Last night, after a large and virtuous dinner of an Ol' Reliable and a bowl of vinaigrette-roasted cauliflower and carrots, I made a batch of (never home)maker's lemon cardamom oat bars.
I had been scoping these out for a few days, since they looked so easy and sounded so good. However, I was a little suspicious because they require no oil or butter whatsoever. Of course, I only noticed this after I had already started mixing up ingredients. At that point I said "well, let's see how they turn out," finished mixing, spread my batter into a parchment-papered loaf pan (we have no 8x8 pan and probably never will, considering how long we've managed without one), and threw it into a 350F oven. Verdict: they turned out well, but were just slightly dry. I may try adding a spoonful of applesauce or labneh to the batter next time.
We had whole cardamom pods instead of ground and an actual lemon instead of a bottle of juice, so the first order of business was creating ground cardamom and lemon juice. I bashed the seeds out of four cardamom pods with a mortar & pestle, fished out the husks, and ground the aforementioned seeds coarsely. I tore off a quarter of a lemon and squeezed the juice out through my fingers, catching the seeds in my palm.
Then I mixed those with an egg and half a cup of maple syrup, and added in the dry ingredients. I never mix the dry and wet ingredients separately, so I threw the 1/2 tsp baking soda, 1 tsp salt, 1 cup rolled oats and 1 cup flour straight into the bowl of wet, mixing once after the oats and again after the flour. The resulting batter was a little thick, but still pretty easy to press into the pan with the back of my spatula.
Even with all the cardamom-bashing, this was one of the fastest recipes ever! For once it did indeed take me less than the oven preheating time to completely finish a batter. Usually I end up running all over the kitchen putting ingredients back right after I've used them. This time, even though I did clean a little as I went, I was entirely done by the time the oven beeped. NICE.
Since I was using a loaf pan, I ended up baking these for a little over the required time--more like 35 minutes. The result was a panful of super-fragrant oat business, which was tasty as is but even better with apricot jam. I have a feeling it would be extra super plus good with some labneh or Greek yogurt. Maybe I should actually go and get some of that within the next, uh, day. Otherwise the whole pan of delicious business is going to be gone.