Saturday, November 18, 2017
Cooking

From the food editor: How to make Trail Mix Bars, a low-calorie sweet treat

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Next week, we debut our Cake Issue of Taste, in which we'll feature recipes, profiles on local bakers, reader stories and more.

Which means that in the past few weeks, I have been interviewing people about cake. Making and photographing cake. Reading about cake.

And, well, eating cake.

Tough job, right?

While I firmly believe cake should be an essential part of everyone's lives, I fear I have become too dependent on the almost daily sugar fix. Really, it has to stop.

So this week's recipe is somewhat of a remedy for the cake overload. Basically, it's an answer to the question: How healthy can you make a sweet treat and still be satisfied by it?

For starters, call the treat "bars" instead of "cookies," and you will probably feel better about eating them.

Okay, nomenclature aside, these Trail Mix Bars are loaded with so many goodies you will hardly notice how little sugar and fat they contain.

The real trick is using a bare sheet pan to cook the bars in one large rectangle, which ensures they cook through and harden up slightly for a crunchy-chewy texture. It's all part of the cookie illusion.

These are very easy to make, another reason I turned to them after a long week of testing layer cakes and buttercream frosting. It's a two-bowl recipe that could easily become a one-bowl recipe if you're one of those people who doesn't always mix their dry ingredients together before adding them to the wet ingredients. (Guilty.)

For this reason and others, Trail Mix Bars are your friend. They freeze really well. They make an ideal to-go breakfast, especially if you slather some peanut butter between two bars and eat it like a sandwich. And best of all, they curb cake cravings.

For the most part.

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