I'm jealous of Ina. I'm jealous of her talent, her beauty, her smarts, her house, her life. I'm even jealous of her sultry nickname. But mostly I'm jealous of her culinary courage. Her cookbooks are shimmering with butter, encased in cream, and resplendent with egg yolks. I wish I was brave enough to eat like that every day. But I'm afraid. I'm afraid of clogged arteries, high blood pressure, death and big fat jeans. So, when I do make some of Ina's spectacularly delicious recipes, I make a few little changes. Like the addition of oatmeal and wheat flour. I'm hoping that a bit of insoluble fiber will counteract the effects of saturated fat, refined sugar, and unabashed envy. You may want to make a double batch.
Sweet and Salty Peanut Butter and Strawberry Jam Bars
Estimated Cost: $3.50
Notes: I added a generous pinch more salt than is called for. I also used peanuts on only half the bars (picky kids); but I happened to photograph the nutless ones.1/2 cup butter
3/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup creamy peanut butter
1 cup flour (I used whole wheat)
1 cup old fashioned oats
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup homemade strawberry jam or purchased jam-any flavor
1/3 cup roasted salted peanuts, chopped
Preheat oven to 350. Lightly grease an 8 inch square baking dish. In a medium bowl, cream together butter and sugar. Add vanilla, egg, and peanut butter, stirring until smooth. In a separate small bowl, combine flour, oatmeal, powder, and salt. Stir into peanut butter mixture. Layer 2/3 of peanut butter mixture in prepared baking dish. Cover with jam and top with remaining peanut butter mixture, by spoonful. Sprinkle with nuts if desired. Bake for 45 minutes, or until golden brown. Notice the perfect dress for enjoying all things strawberry.