Midterm exams have got me in their veery tight grip right now which means my life basically consists of studying, eating, running and sleeping. But I’ve kinda maxed out my running capacity (after 10 km a day my body just says stop) which means I have to find another way to cope with the stress: *stressbaking enters the stage*.
BUT: I have to get off my chocolate consumption a little (or not a little) which means no snickers, chocolate, muffins and so on.
My life is about to end ! I’ve found a solution: granola bars.
Wheat pops are a typical student food (cheap, sweet, easy to eat) but they really show off their capacities in these abricot coconut granola bars. I made them once when I was still a kid and I can’t find the recipe anymore, so I tried to re-create it. The texture is hard to describe I would call them crewy (a mixture between crunchy from the wheat pops and chewy from the abricots) and if you are a sweet tooth, these are for you!!!(If you want to get off sugar though, too, then don’t even look at them (or maybe still do), because these are not for the faint of heart (literally). But at least not a lot of fat, gotta take what you get.
I left them in the kitchen once I was done and my roommates tried them (big hit with them). Then I went for a run. And then I came home and the ones that looked nicest were GONE. They ate them!
How could they ? And I totally understand.
Now, the first important thing is that you cut your abricots in small pieces (that can be a bit of a pain, because they are so many, but it’s really necessary to get some abricot in ever bite!). Tip: Buying a dried fruit mix is usually cheaper than a pure fruit one, and mine consisted to 40% out of abricots, so you really get a lot for your money.
And the second thing: You really, really, really need to flatten your granola bars. A lot. Otherwise they won’t stick. I didn’t have a big enough baking pan, so I put them on a cookie sheet and then pushed on the top, pushed from the sides, put pressure on the top, pushed from the sides and so on, until I had a nice rectangle. After baking, when they were still pretty hot, I covered the mixture with some more baking paper and did the pressure thing again. This way you ensure that they will really stick together.Umm yeah, my abricots kinda got a bit dark because I didnt watch the oven (studyiiing), so you definitely should do that…
But they still look nice, don’t they? A little energy kick for the exam tomorrow.
Anyone else who could use these for studying? And are there some stressbakers among you guys too?
Abricot Coconut granola bars
This is what you need
180 grams quick cooking oats (2 cups)
80 grams wheat pops (1 3/4 cups)
60 grams shredded coconut (1 cup)
180 g dried abricot, chopped into pieces
1/2 teaspoon of salt
90 grams butter (6 tbs)
70 grams brown sugar (1/3 cup)
135 grams honey, not the liquid kind (about 1/4 cup and 2 tablespoons)
And this is how we do it:
1. Chop the abricots into small pieces (you want them to be about the size of a raisin to ensure you get some in every bite) and line a baking pan or cookie sheet with parchment paper (non-stick) or aluminium foil. Pre-heat the oven to 180 degrees celsius (350 degrees F)
2. mix all the dry ingredients and the chopped fruit in a bowl
3. Add butter, sugar and honey to a pot and heat it up until everything is molten. Once it starts to boil and bubble and look foamyon top, keep the heat on for 2 and a half minutes. This will thicken the liquid by evaporating water and ensure that your bars will stay together nicely.
4. After the 2 and a half minutes, pour the hot mixture over the mixed dry ingredients (scrape out all the mixture from the pan with a spatula, or, if you don’t have one, with a spoon) and stir it really well (you really want everything to be coated)
5. dump the whole mixture on the lined pan/cookie sheet and flatten it out with a spoon/your hands. Now:
when using a baking pan: press down firmly with your hands to make the mass stick together. If your pan is too big, only fill a part of it with the mixture (you want the bars to be at least a few centimeters thick in order for them to be stable).
When using a cookie sheet: It’s a bit tricky, but doable. Spread the mass out in a rectangle (the thing with the thickness applies here too) and then push down on it from the top with your hands. Of course the mass will spread, so now, you align your hands to the sides and the top and bottom of the mass and push against the sides to make the rectangle smaller again. By doing this several times you ensure that your rectangle becomes more compact (it will actually shrink in size but that’s perfectly fine!)
6. Reduce the heat in the oven to 150 degrees Celsius (300 degrees Fahrenheit) Put the pan/cookie sheet in the oven and let it bake for about 25 minutes (be careful your abricots don’t burn).
7. Take it out of the oven, place another baking paper on top of the mass. Now, you can apply some pressure again (with your hands if possible, if it’s still too hot put a plate on top and then put the pressure on the plate).
8. When the bars are completely cooled, cut them into squares. Pieces, especially on the borders, might fall off. That’s ok, just eat them RIGHT NOW or use them as granola.
9. Eat them all by yourself or share them with your friends
The pot in which you made the sugar-honey-butter mixture might be hard to clean, but some hot water will dissolve the sugar and make it really easy.If making this with kids (your little siblings for example) or even by yourself: there will probably be a lot of snacking involved in the process (because all those fruits and spoons to lick off), so be sure you make them brush teeth afterwards.