4th of July weekend / Project One

I was looking for something festive to bake for the 4th of July and was in the mood for a little special treat.  I found a recipe for Three-Berry Blondies and decided that three tri-colored berries were appropriate.

That was on Wednesday.  I had shopped on Saturday for all of the ingredients I didn’t already have and was really excited to get to baking!

As I was getting ready to bake today, I realized that I should maybe make something that’s a little less indulgent and something more nutritious.  Curse my bad intentions turned good.

Instead of following the instructions above like I really just should have, I substituted a little.  Actually I substituted a lot.

I still used brown sugar, like the recipe calls for, but instead of white sugar I opted for agave nectar.  Instead of good ol’ white flour, I reached for the whole wheat flour.  I also added about 1 1/2 cup of organic oats.

I found it interesting because whenever I bake, I’m very precise.  I don’t like to use measuring cups and prefer to weigh my dry ingredients on a food scale.

I say that I found it interesting because I added an entire serving of oats without modifying the recipe in the slightest.  More on the outcome of that later.

I also remembered that I had bought the Perfect Brownie about 3 years ago and used it maybe once of twice.  Another reason to use it!  Great!

Before baking:

After bake:

As I took them out of the oven, I already noticed that I should have loaded the sucker with more berries.  I also should not have used the Perfect Brownie.  I had to over-bake the batch because the squares in the middle just wouldn’t bake up.  Screw you, informercial product!  The Perfect Brownie does not bake EVERYTHING perfectly!

So how were they?  They’re alright if you don’t think of them as blondies.  They were really dry (a product of me over baking them) and they take on a very dense texture.  Because of the oats, I should have made sure they were moistened a little better because some of the squares are really dry.  They’re hearty, nutty and have just the right amount of sweetness for me but  I definitely could have used more agave nectar.  I noticed that when you bake with agave, baked goods don’t turn out as airy and fluffy.  It’s also probably whole wheat flour vs. white flour.  I’ll have to remember that next time.

Even though Travis disagrees, I think they turned out pretty.  They’re still delicious and I’m still bringing them to a BBQ (mostly because I’d eat them all if we kept them here) even though I know they’re drier than I would normally like.  I’m going to present them as “energy bars” and hope that goes over well.

One of the several things I have going on today. Stayed tuned, it gets better from here!

Update: Travis asked me not to bring them as they don’t represent my cooking very well.  Into the freezer they go!

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