Saturday, 23 January 2016

Foodie Reads 2016: Kitchens of the Great Midwest by J Ryan Stradal - Peanut Butter Bars

I'm not so good at reviewing books. I read a lot but I don't like to analyse and tear things apart. I read mostly for escapism, especially on the tube. I can pretend I'm in the sunshine in Italy or in small town America.

I am a complete Americanophile, anything about the States and food, I will read. However, this book wasn't what I expected. It tells the story of the life of Eva Thorvald, but it's not a linear story, it is told from lots of different people's viewpoints and sometimes she only briefly appears in a chapter, but she has an impact on all their lives. It wasn't what I was expecting but I did enjoy the book, the descriptions of food sound amazing and I want to go to her supper club!

I decided to make one of the recipes from the book, there are a few scattered through the book and this one really stood out and now I know why. These bars are completely in contrast to most of the foodie scenes and language in the book. They are home cooking using supermarket ingredients and this appealed to me. They are also spectacular and when describing them to my friends I kept calling them crack in peanut butter and chocolate form, they are seriously addictive.

Graham crackers don't exist in the UK, you could try digestive biscuits crushed, but I have no idea what the effect would be! If anyone tries it, let me know!

Peanut Butter Bars (from Kitchens of the Great Midwest by J Ryan Stradal)

2 1/2 cups/210g crushed graham cracker crumbs
1 cup/250g melted butter
1 cup/250g peanut butter
2 1/2 cups/312g icing sugar
1 cup/175g milk chocolate chips with 1 tsp butter

Mix together the graham crackers, melted butter, peanut butter and sugar. Pat into a greased or lined 23cm x 28cm pan.

Melt the chocolate chips and butter and spread them on top of the bars. Set in the fridge until firm. Cut into bars.

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