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Dry Milk in Granola Bars? And a sticking-together query too.

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Hi All:

A friend and I have been making granola (mine is based off of the Eleven Madison Park recipe, found on the NYT website) and are trying to make bars, too. She found this link: http://www.thesneakychef.com/free_rec...

These were pretty good, though I'd omit the rice krispies, just b/c I don't care for their texture in a granola bar. Otherwise, they're good.

So, I've got two questions:
The first: why is there 1c of dry milk in this recipe--what's its function? I'm mostly just curious, nothing against dry milk. If it's helpful in keeping things stuck together, then that might answer my 2nd question...

2nd question: how can I make the Eleven MP recipe into bars? My hunch is that I'd need to either up the syrup levels, or take out the maple syrup--a rather less sticky syrup--and maybe add in agave (would like to avoid honey just b/c I don't love a major honey taste). But, I really like the flavor of the maple syrup. NB: at this point, I'm not using the brown sugar, but have subbed in date syrup instead, just b/c it's tastier. Maybe the date is overpowering the maple, anyway, and so just using agave would solve my stickiness problem and I could thus make bars.

Anyway, without rambling further--does anyone have any suggestions? If possible, I'd rather not add more sugars, or oils. Am I asking the moon?

Thanks, all!
Brownie

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