So after the last baking effort (Gooey Butter Cake Squares) turned out to be so sinfully sweet and buttery that the Hungry Episcopalians at coffee hour all had to head over to the nearest Catholic church for confession, I decided to contribute to their redemption by baking a healthy treat:
Chewy Sesame Bars
With such tasty, healthful ingredients as these, how could it be bad? Almonds, sesame seeds, coconut, agave, vanilla, and a little sea salt. Yum, right?
WRONG!!!!! It was SO BAD. SO. VERY. BAD.
See how it looks like a pan of birdseed? That’s what it tasted like. . . BUT WORSE!
Thinking maybe they would taste better the next day after the flavors blended, I tried them again. They still tasted like bird seed, and had developed a “sawdust” flavor as well. Ack!
So I spread a little agave nectar on top, which – surprise! – made them taste like birdseed + sawdust with sticky agave nectar on top. Eeewww!
Then I decided to feed it to the birds, but looked online only to learn that desiccated coconut can kill birds.
Alas, my attempt at redemption was a total failure. 😦
So I regrouped and made Ginger Spice Cookies. Yay! This is one of my top 5 favorite cookie recipes of all time!
The scrumptious ingredients include crystallized ginger (available in the bulk section at Whole Foods) and molasses. The recipe calls for light molasses, but I like a bolder flavor so I used dark. And hey, Nut-Averse Cousin Leah, these are nut-free!
The recipe says to refrigerate the cookie dough, but the cookies turned out a bit flat. So for the next batch, I froze the dough balls overnight, and the cookies turned out all crackly and chewy. Perfect texture!
If you make these, I would suggest rolling the dough balls in sugar right after you take them out of the freezer and then immediately popping them into the oven while they’re still frozen. That will keep them from going flat. Also, take them out of the oven right before they look done. That’ll give them the wonderful, chewy texture.
For Prettiness, I topped them with a mixture of demerara sugar + white sparkling sugar.
Some of the Hungry Episcopalians at Coffee Hour said they went really well with coffee. I think they’d also be good with a glass of cold milk.
But definitely not with bird seed! 😉