Friday, 23 January 2009

No-Bake Puffed Barley Squares

I was really pleased with how these turned out.

I had bought a bag of puffed barley that came from Grassroots Organics (Saugeen Specialty Grains). They are the only small organic mill I know of in Ontario that makes puffed cereals. However, they have sat around for a while as I don't really tend to eat puffed cereals - I stick to my oatmeal, with the occasional outbreak of pancakes. So, I decided to adapt a recipe traditionally made with puffed rice cereal to use these up.

Did I say they turned out really well? I cut back the sugar, and replaced corn syrup with honey as well as swapping out the puffed cereals. The result has far more depth and gravitas than any mere rice crisp could achieve. You can't just stuff these down, you need to nibble them slowly, and savour them. Preferably with a nice cup of tea.

It wasn't just the rich, mellow flavour of the barley (do rice crisps even have a flavour?) but also the honey was a local one, of which we have just bought a gigantic tub. I have to say I find the honey from the Bruce Peninsula/Georgian Bay area/Muskoka to be exceptionally good. Some fingers got licked during the making of these squares, and I just about floated off to heaven right then. Wow, really fragrant.

25 squares
10 minutes - not including the time to set

No-Bake Puffed Barley Squares
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup honey
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 to 3 1/2 cups puffed barley

Lightly oil an 8" x 8" baking pan.

Put the cocoa, sugar, butter and honey in a large, heavy-bottomed pot. Slowly bring the mixture to a boil, stirring well to prevent lumps. Once the mixture comes to a boil, boil it for 45 seconds to one minute, stirring occasionally to prevent scorching. Yes, the timing is that precise, so watch it.

Remove the pot from the heat, and stir in the vanilla extract. Stir in the puffed barley, until it is well coated in the mixture. Let the mixture cool for a few minutes, then scrape it into the prepared pan. Press it out evenly over the bottom of the pan. Once the mixture has set - half an hour will do it - cut the squares and remove them from the pan.

Last year at this time I made Wild Rice Pilaf and Sweet Potatoes with Bacon & Shallots.

1 comment:

shoaib siddiqui said...
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