For the last several months, my kiddos have been taking a class called 'Books and Cooks' every Monday. The teacher reads a story and then the class makes some kind of snack or treat that goes along with the story. They absolutely love this class.
And I fully admit that as a food blogger (with an education degree to boot) it is odd to send my kids to a class where they will essentially be doing just what we do at home everyday. Read and cook. But they love to read and cook, and I want them to continue to love both. And if it means letting them expand their horizons a bit in the kitchen with someone other than Mommy, then that is going to be worth it.
Plus, with the Buddy starting Kindergarten in the Fall, there is less and less time for the two of them to do things together during the week. And as they tell me on a daily basis, they're 'best friends'. It makes my heart squeeze every single time one of them says it.
I love to watch them walk into class together and I feel comforted that the Buddy is there to watch out for the Baby. He's a great big brother. The best, really.
This 'Books and Cooks' class has been a wonderful experience for them. To be out on their own together. And by 'on their own' I mean them in the class room and me hunkered down in the hallway listening to everything that is going on. They may as well be off at college.
They recently had their last class and they will surely miss it. They will be taking swim classes instead; together as best friends, of course.
To make up for no more 'Books and Cooks' we are going to be holding our own class, every Monday, in our very own kitchen. We'll read a story (and I will attempt to make it relevant to the recipe) and cook up a little something. Just for them.
These Wow Butter and Jelly Bars were the product of our first 'Books and Cooks with Mommy'. We read Lama Lama Red Pajama (my first attempt at book pairing was clearly a fail) and made these ooey-gooey Wow Butter and Jelly Bars.
I have been doing a bit of baking with Wow Butter lately; it's a great alternative to peanut butter. With the Baby's peanut allergy we have been forced to be creative with our 'butter' needs. It's been a great learning experience. I am a fan of Sun Butter for taste, but the texture can be all wrong for baking. Plus there is an occasional chemical problem with baking powder and baking soda that can turn your treats green. Not awesome.
Wow Butter though is both smooth and creamy, and has a perfectly roasted flavor and these Wow Butter and Jelly Bars baked up beautifully. The texture, color and flavor is so similar to real peanut butter that I'm not sure you would know the difference. But this could just be me talking who hasn't eaten real peanut butter in a year and a half. Either way, these treats are incredibly rich and decadent. So rich and decadent, I halved the recipe (the half recipe is what is posted below) so that I wouldn't have an entire 9x13 pan of these babies sitting around my kitchen for the next couple of days. If they would have even lasted that long...
They most definitely wouldn't have.
Want more peanut alternative treats? Check these out:
Wow Butter and Jelly Bars
Yields: 16 bars
adapted from Martha Stewart
1 stick unsalted butter, room temperature
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 cup white whole wheat flour
1 large egg
1 1/4 cups smooth Wow Butter
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
3/4 cup fruit preserves (I used strawberry)
1/3 cup old fashioned oats
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 8 inch square baking dish with non stick spray and set aside.
In a medium bowl, whisk together both kinds of flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat together sugar and butter until fluffy, about 2 minutes.
Add egg and Wow Butter and beat on medium speed until combined, about 2 minutes.
With the mixer running on low, gently add the dry ingredients and beat until combined. Add vanilla and mix for an additional 15 seconds.
Transfer 2/3 of the dough to the prepared baking pan and use your hands to press firmly into the bottom of the pan, creating an even layer.
Use a spoon to spread preserves evenly over the first layer.
Add rolled oats to the remaining Wow Butter mixture and use a spoon or clean hands to combine.
Crumble the oat and Wow Butter mixture over the preserves to create a crumb like topping.
Bake until top is golden, about 35-40 minutes. Remove pan to wire rack and allow to cool completely. Cut into sixteen 2 inch squares.