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Saturday, August 18, 2007

I used a candy thermometer and didn't fail!

Yes, shockingly enough, I made a recipe that involved using a candy thermometer and it worked! If there's one thing that I've had nearly zero success with, it's candy. I once tried making a nut brittle and ended up with a sugar brick. It was bad enough to have failed miserably, but to add insult to injury, there was also the annoying factor of the wasted money from all those nuts encased in the sugar brick that subsequently got thrown into the trash. Heck, I didn't even have success with making caramel apples - the caramel slid off - and I wasn't even making my own caramel!

This recipe is from The King Arthur Flour Cookie Companion (Yes, I still have this out from the library - I keep renewing it!) When I first decided to make this recipe, I didn't realize I'd need a candy thermometer or I likely would have chickened out. Having already started on the recipe, however, I bravely forged ahead and gave it a try. These bars are a cross between a granola bar, a Rice Krispie Treat and a s'more. Unlike a Rice Krispie Treat, they involve a little more than simply melting butter and marshmallows together and that's where the candy thermometer comes in. Sugar, butter, water and corn syrup are brought to a temperature of 250ยบ - between the soft and hard stages - to form a sweet slightly chewy, slightly crunchy "glue" that holds the bars together.

S'more Granola Bars (159-5988_IMG)

In addition to rice cereal, these bars have toasted oats, giving the bars a added flavor and texture and also serving to keep these bars from being quite as sweet as some of these treats tend to be. To give them a s'more-like appeal, marshmallows and chocolate chips are baked onto the top. I only had 9x3-inch pans and instead of using 2 pans for these bars, as suggested by the recipe, I opted to make one pan, producing a nice, thick bar. Since I had less surface area than if I had baked them in two pans, I used less marshmallows and chocolate chips on the top.

We enjoyed these bars very much - they are nicely chewy and not overly sweet - but I couldn't help but think we should have gone the extra step and added chopped, toasted almonds, essentially turning them into Rocky Road Granola Bars.

11 comments:

  1. See - it's not scary! I need to buy a new candy therm. and will probably go digital this time once we find a house and get settled in. I use it a ton during the holiday season!

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  2. Joe - I don't know, it's still pretty scary. I'll have to have a few more successes before I'm over my candy trauma. Maybe I can try to conquer it this winter....I'd love to be able to make caramel.........

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  3. The bars sound delicous..my hips are growing as we speak!!!Smores are wonderful and I would like the addition of the almonds as well!!!

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  4. Valli - Yes, it scares me that cool weather will soon be upon us and that means that I will have the urge to bake more and more....... :-0

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  5. Those look amazing! I've managed to avoid that cookie book so far, but these may just tempt me into the purchase...

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  6. Erika - I just joined The Good Cook and got the book for $1 plus shipping. Doubly djangerous! ;)

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  7. Boy, those look so tempting. Fortunately, I do not have the ingredients to make them, or I'd be in the kitchen right now!
    Your blog is wonderfully scrumptous and I've linked yours to mine. You make food so appetizing---I'm always whining about my war with food! I just have to stop by more often to enjoy the sites!

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  8. i know what you mean. i tried making caramel too like 3 months ago.. it became sugar cement.

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  9. Lara - Thanks for stopping by. :)

    Karen - I'm determined to make caramel some day. But so far, not determined enough to attempt it again....... ;-)

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  10. this looks mighty tasty, i love making my own breakfast bars! great pics, by the way :).

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  11. Sophie - These are a bit sweet for me as a breakfast bar, but they are very good. :)

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