Nice to see you brought up Tip 152. I sent you an E-mail about this tip last August but I'm sure you must have missed it (probably hiking somewhere) :)
I'll copy and paste same here, because some other people might have come across the same *problems* I encountered.
The reason for this e-mail is to ask about Tip nr 152 and, more specifically, the part about the “Homemade No-Bake Groovy-rific Bars”.
Where I live (in Spain) it’s not always possible to get all the items mentioned in recipes and this particular one wouldn’t be an exception. I’m fully aware of the fact that any recipe can be altered to meet the specific taste and needs of whoever is going to make the food (bars in this case), but I’d like to do the utmost to not change anything at all – at least the first time.
Having said so, “vanilla-”, “hazelnut-” and “almond-” extract is only available at an extremely high price-ticket (as much as € 14 for just a few mls.). For just doing an experiment once it might be feasible, but making these bars more often if these turn out to be palatable (and I have no doubt about this – with all these ingredients they’ll be more than delicious), there is no way I could afford this kind of money for “just” bars – no matter how energy-rich and delicious these are.
Another thing I’m having trouble with finding is the tapioca flour. Is there a certain reason tapioca flour is better (or at least more recommendable) than any other type of flour? Almond-butter is another problem, but peanut-butter and hazelnut-butter are both available (although the latter comes -again- at a rather high price: € 8,00 for 325 ml).
All the rest is readily available over the shelf – having said so, the “spelt flakes” here are called “copos de espelta” and, although it might seem pretty obvious (once you know), it took me quite a while before I found out (the only thing the Google Translator could come up with was a form of the verb “to spell”.
One last thing: I’m a bit puzzled about the fact you mention coconut oil. I’ve always understood olive oil was far better – correct me if I’m wrong. Maybe it’s because of the taste???
OK. Let’s get to the point.
Since I haven’t found the tapioca flour and almond-butter (yet??), and I wouldn’t like to part with the amount of money involved with the different extracts, I thought of doing the following:
1. Change the almond-butter (which I can’t find) for hazelnut-butter (which would give me the taste of hazelnut, instead of using hazelnut-extract) or maybe even peanut-butter, which is quite a bit cheaper, although I’d follow your advice about hazelnut- or peanut-butter.
2. Forget about the vanilla-extract (maybe there is something else that could be added to give a bit of a vanilla taste???). I believe the extracts are only in the recipe to give the taste required – or not??
3. Change the tapioca-flour for any other kind of flour (whichever you’d advise).
4. Change the coconut-oil for olive-oil (unless its taste would be too dominating, which I’m afraid of) and use dried or raw coconut flakes or chips (the small ones) to create the dusty covering for the finished bars (instead of the flour); this would give at least some kind of coconut taste to the bars, if the coconut-oil was meant to give a bit of a coconut taste.
All the rest would remain completely unaltered. What do you think about these changes?
Henk Smees aka TFD
(The Flying Dutchman)
BTW. I ordered your book thru’ BPL on April 26st. I’ve read it at least 4 times since. Great stuff - I learned a lot.