Recently, friends shared some granola bars with us... granola bars that their daughter had made. I don't mind a good granola bar... my husband isn't a big fan of granola bars. But these granola bars were WONDERFUL! They were chewy and oaty and nutty and not too sweet. These granola bars were the KING of all granola bars. The family was leaving on vacation the next day, but they were kind enough to accommodate my request for the recipe, and they sent it to me before they left. Being only a week away from my own vacation, I saved the recipe, put it aside, and then promptly forgot about it.
But last week I was reminded of the recipe, and more importantly, those granola bars, and I went back to the recipe.
Now, I've posted about recipes before, so you know that I like the rules and the formulas, even though I occasionally go 'off-track'. But I like the rules and formulas (yes, I know, I already said that, but I really like rules and formulas). This recipe was more about going off-track than providing any sort of rules or formulas. The ingredients list included entries like '2 or 3 cups', and it had more items that were optional than items that were required. And in case the reader of the recipe was still feeling a bit constrained, at the end of the recipe was a long list of ingredients that you might want to substitute or add in. This was NOT a Laurie-sort of recipe. The formulas were fuzzy and the rules were almost nonexistent. The friends' daughter had included a couple of comments about things she'd done differently -- this did NOT help.
But boy oh boy, those had been some really outstanding granola bars.
So I put aside my pouty face, went to the cupboard, and dragged out all sorts of mandatory, optional, suggested and implied ingredients. I went to work, trying to be the free-wheeling, unconstrained being that I am most definitely not.
And I was worried.
I was worried that we might like the granola bars and I would never know how to repeat them again, and I was worried that we might not like the granola bars and I wouldn't know what not to do, in the event I ever made a second stab at this. So as I added each ingredient - listed or not - and as I measured the ingredients I was adding (really? 2 or 3 cups? what am I supposed to do with that suggestion?), I made detailed notes about what I was doing.
The resulting granola bars were BETTER than wonderful! They were the TZAR of all granola bars! They were more than outstanding, they were phenomenal!
There now, see why it was such a good idea that I made a note of everything I did!
And then I realized that I'd forgotten to add the shredded coconut. And the shredded coconut would have been really good. I mean ... Really. Good.
So. Apparently I'm going to have to try this recipe again. Except that this time, I'll simply use MY notes of ingredients and measures... and just go a tiny bit off-track and add a handful of shredded coconut. Yeah, that will work.
By the way, in case you were wondering, those granola bars went great with a nice cup of tea.
I don't generally post recipes here, but it only seems fair, this time. So in case you're interested, here is the original recipe.