Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Strickly Sandbars — Yum!

In senior year of college, one of my roommates decided to make us a traditional Southern treat: a Mississippi Mud Cake. With great pride, she handed us all hefty slices.

Eight years later, my eyes uncrossed. My hair is still tightly curled from the experience, though.

Mississippi Mud is certainly to be tried once. The cake itself was delicious, but to add a full, large jar of marshmallow creme on top of it, and then cover that up with a half-inch-thick layer of chocolate icing (or ganache)—that's just irresponsible. Why, that creates diabetics of anyone standing within 50 feet of the cake.

After I'd been on my own for a while I recalled that cake. At the time I was a vegetarian; the cake fell within my dietary guidelines, as did most things with a lot of sugar. But I wondered: how to make it healthy? Of course step number 1 would be to eliminate the marshmallow crap and icing. There was more than enough chocolate in the cake to satisfy chocolate cravings.

Checking my shelves I spotted a large container of oatmeal. That was healthy. Why, that was mega-healthy! And if I substituted honey for a bit of the sugar, that would make it even healthier, wouldn't it?

Okay, eventually my version with the honey has been lost, but I give you the COMPLETELY HEALTHY VERSION of the Mississippi Mud Cake, which I call (of course):


Oven set to 350° F, Number One! Engage!

1 cup low-cholesterol-type butter-esque spread OR 2 sticks butter
4 eggs (think healthy! Use 1 cup of that liquid egg stuff!)
1 tsp vanilla

Cream/mix all this together and then add
3/4 c. flour
2 c. oats (I have no idea if quick-cooking ones make any difference)
2 Tbsp. cocoa
2 c. sugar (you could use raw sugar if you wanted to make this EVEN HEALTHIER!!!)

Mix it well and then dump in
7 oz or 1 1/2 c. coconut
6 oz or 1 1/2 c. (funny; I don't think my 6 oz. came to that much, but 6 oz was definitely enough!) chopped pecans

I have a note that says you can add more coconut and nuts, but really, this is quite enough.

Pour everything into a healthily-sprayed 13x9 pan for 30-35 min. When cool, cut into bars.

If you want to really shock your system, turn this into a Mississippi Mud Cake. Substitute 1 1/2 c. flour for the flour and oats, and while the cake is still warm from the oven, spread a large jar of marshmallow creme over it. Let cool before frosting with: 1 box powdered sugar, 1 stick butter, 1/2 c. canned milk (evaporated, I think, but don't quote me on that), 1/3 c. cocoa, 1 tsp. vanilla. Have 911 on standby.

Contrast the two recipes. See how the sandbars are healthy?

What kind of healthy treats do you enjoy? Have you ever redone a recipe to make it healthier?

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