Saturday, September 26, 2009

Baking with Agave Nectar

my first recipe from my new "baking with agave nectar" cookbook was ok. i was a little disappointed because my expectations were so high. makes me think of what E always says. something along the lines of set the bar very low. then, when you barely exceed it, its good. i'll remember to have lower expectations for the next recipe.

i made date nut squares. i'd give this one a 6 out of 10. it's not horrible or inedible by any means but they are not incredible either. i think the reason my hopes were so high was because the author said this under the recipe:

"these are my all-time favorite bars; i just love dates and nuts together. these bars have a crumbly texture with a creamy date center enhanced by raspberry juice."

i even followed the recipe to the letter (something i rarely do). except now that i look at the recipe, i realize i didn't it called for raisins and dates and i only had dates, so i didn't use the rasins. maybe that's the key. my mom had one and wasn't impressed. my dad said they were good but i will say he likes everything. E actually liked them and said the flavor was good.

well, here is the recipe if you decided to try them. if you like dates and nuts, these might be great for you.

Date Nut Squares
(makes 16 (2") squares - 200 calories per square)

2 c pitted dates, chopped
1 c rasins
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/4 c raspberry (or berry-blend) 100% juice

crust and topping:
2 c walnuts
1/2 c oat flour
1/2 c barley flour
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/3 c light agave nectar
1/4 c canola oil

     preheat oven to 350 and lightly oil an 8" square baking pan.
     filling: put all ingredients (dates through juice) in a saucepan and bring to a boil. reduce heat and simmer (stirring occasionally) for 5 minutes or until the liquid has been absorbed and the dates have formed a puree. (i used an immersion blender at the end to make it smooth). set aside.
     crust and topping: grind 1 c of walnuts in a food processor and chop the remaining 1 c. place all the walnuts in a bowl. add the oat and barley flour and cinnamon. add agave and oil and combine with a fork until crumbly.
     press a little more than half of the crumb mixture into the bottom of the pan. spread the date mixture over the crust and then top with remaining topping.
     bake for 25 minutes or until golden. cool for 30 minutes before cutting into squares.


  1. That's a bummer. You might want to visit my blog, Altered Plates. There I remake recipes to use agave nectar instead of other sweeteners. I've been doing it for a while, so the recipes are well tested.

    By the way, I tried out the book and had some similar experience, even with all the ingredients. Good luck with your other recipes.

  2. Hi!
    It's a bummer that it didn't work out for you.
    If I might suggest my site, Altered Plates, as an alternative. There I remake recipes to use agave nectar instead of other sweeteners. Please try some of mine and let me know if you encounter the same issues.


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