Tuesday, January 27, 2009

CSA week seven - Black sapote oat bars

Yet another night I really don't feel like cooking dinner, but these bar cookies are simple enough and since they've got fruit, nuts and oats in them I can pretend they're healthy and eat them for breakfast.

The last time I made these I made the fruit filling with a jar of black cherry jam, a bit of vanilla and a quarter cup of a spicy red wine. The next time, I'm going to use pumpkin butter, ground almonds and nutmeg. This time I used the black sapote swirl from the coffee cake recipe in the week seven newsletter (cut down by a third):
1/3 cup vanilla sugar
1 cup mashed black sapote
3 Tablespoons ground walnuts (I don't know why I expected a powder when I ground walnuts in my spice grinder. I actually got nut chunks in half formed walnut butter. By the way, walnut butter? Really good. I did not know that.), and
1 pinch ground cinnamon
blended together.
I added
1 generous pinch fine-ground coffee
and a pinch of salt.

The bar itself is made of:
3/4 cup butter, softened,
1 cup packed light brown sugar
and then mixed with
1 1/2 cups rolled oats,
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
and another pinch of salt.

That's half packed on the bottom of a buttered 9"x13" baking pan, then spread with the black sapote mixture. The other half is mixed with a small handful of crushed walnut bits and crumbled on top.

All baked at 400 degrees for 20 to 25 minutes until light brown. Well, actually, it starts light brown. Slightly darker brown?

Like I said, simple enough.

The result is really pretty good. The outer layers are, of course, crisp and oaty as they should be and somewhat less sweet than you'd expect given how much sugar's in it. The filling is creamy with a little more body than the epoxy gel the jam reduced to in my last batch. The sapote's fruitiness is hidden behind notes of nut and spice leaving a mild mocha start with a lingering toasted oat/walnut butter finish. Hard to guess that there's fruit in there unless you were told; the addition of coffee, I think, goes some distance to bringing out the sapote's psuedo-chocolate flavors. Call it mocha-cream walnut oat bars and I don't think anyone would suspect there's fruit in there. I may just take them in to work tomorrow to confirm that hypothesis.


LaDivaCucina said...

Hmmm...perfect idea for the black sapote. I'm going to a Superbowl potluck and wanted to make a sweet, great idea! Thanks!

kat said...

I bet these are going to be fantastic with pumpkin butter

billjac said...

I intended to add coconut flakes to the top layer of the bar but forgot. Diva, if you do make these, consider a quarter cup of finely flaked dried coconut mixed into the second half of the oat mixture officially part of the recipe.

billjac said...

Reporting back from work, the bars are going over like gangbusters, but the fruit origins aren't entirely obscured. The guess was figs.

It's just now occurred to me, but with the way sapotes shrink as they ripen, they really are dried fruit and that's where the fig and prune comparisons are coming from. And as long as we're making that comparison: black sapote hamantashen. Now that would be a distinctively Miamian recipe.

Margie- Bee Heaven Farm said...

ooohh, BS hamentashen- I like it!! Watch out, Haman! We finally dried some black sapote successfully in the dehydrator- the trick is to start with a pretty thick wedge. It's yummy. And those bars sound great- we're going to make them at the farm.

cintia Jasminoy said...

I will try the next time we get black sapote in the CSA share.