Last week, I decided to head into Geula, one of Jerusalem's Hassidic neighborhoods. I had never before really appreciated it, as the culture it so different from mine, but these days I just find it fascinating. So off I went, to find some clothes, and just wander around and explore a bit. I did end up finding a dress and a blouse! and picking up some music, for some reason Im obsessed with Hassidic music... it's beautiful... Go figure. Anyway, while I was wandering around, my eye caught a Croc store. After going in without buying anything, I noticed a health food store. Now, there are some stores, like book stores, that I just can not resist going into. Health food stores are under that category because you just never know what you're going to find. And besides, lots of our conventional baking ingredients in Israel fall under the category of health food. Like maple syrup. Dont ask-I suppose it's just not so common here. And you can tell by its hefty price tag. So in to the store I went. I browsed around a bit and then noticed an entire back section of the store where they stocked all of their flours. Let me just say, was I surprised. They stocked every flour that I have ever wanted to lay my hands on but didnt think they had in this country. I came home with oat flour and... BARLEY FLOUR!!! and spelt flour as well. But they had everything! This store in Geula is a well kept secret and let me say, I will be going there ALOT. So naturally, what was one to do with all this flour? Get to whole grain baking, that's what! And so I went home and pulled KAF's Whole Grain Baking off the shelf and got to researching. Flours in hand, I bookmarked many recipes. I should say here that I decided to boil down the remaining apples to applesauce and I used most of it in a recipe that I had my eye on. Only I should tell you that it is very adapted and doesnt really resemble the original recipe. The original recipe is for Cinnamon Apple Bars with a PB Glaze but I didnt have cinnamon chips, I omitted the glaze and my girls told me they couldnt taste the applesauce but loved the spiciness. And so I dub these, Whole Grain Spice Bars. One of my girls called these bites of deliciousness and my roommate kept remarking on its moist texture. I was nervous about these because they were so crumbly. Perhaps they need to be held overnight before cutting. Turns out, my nerves were unwarranted. So there you have it. Bars that wont win any prizes for their humble looks, but delicious (and whole grain!) nonetheless.
Whole Grain Spice Bars
adapted from KAF Whole Grain Baking
3/4 cup margarine, softened
1 1/3 cups dark brown sugar
1 cup applesauce, sweetened or not, homemade or not
1 tsp vanilla
3/4 tsp baking powder
1 1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg, freshly ground
1/4 tsp ginger
1/4 tsp allspice
1 1/4 cups whole wheat flour
2/3 cup old fashioned oats, ground in a food processor
Preheat the oven to 350. Grease a 9x13 inch pan and set aside.
Place the margarine and sugar in a bowl,
Add the applesauce, vanilla, baking powder, salt, and spices.
Blend. It's okay if the mixture looks curdled.
Add the egg and incorporate.
Add the flours and mix to incorporate. There should be no patches of flour remaining.
Spread into the prepared pan and bake for 35-40 minutes.
Remove from the oven and cool completely before cutting into squares.