Monday, June 08, 2009

A life lesson

Bert's Best Blueberry Bars
C is for Cooking Copyright 2007

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1 cup packed light brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 stick of butter or margarine softened
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 large eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
3 cups old-fashioned oats
1 pint (2 cups) blueberries.

Preheat the oven to 350. Line a 13 x 9 baking pan with aluminum foil. Spray the foil with nonstick spray.

In a small bowl, whisk together flour, cinnamon, baking soda, and salt.In a large bowl with an electric mixer on medium speed, beat together the brown sugar, granulated sugar, and butter. Beat in the oil, eggs, and vanilla. With a wooden spoon, mix in the flour mixture until blended. Stir in the oats and blueberries. Use a rubber spatula to spread the batter evenly in the pan.

Bake until golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, 30 to 35 minutes. I baked them about 10 minutes longer. Transfer the pan to a wire rack to cool completely. Cut into 24 bar cookies.

There are some tough life lessons that children eventually learn. Adults can be mean. Santa Claus isn't real. Pets die. People die.

But perhaps the harshest lesson of all is one that my son learned this weekend - sometimes the finished product doesn't look anything like the picture in the cookbook.

My son was so excited when this cookbook arrived. While he grew out of Sesame Street a while ago, he has been reintroduced to it due to his little brother's arrival. Which is perfect - he is getting much more out of it educationally now than he was before.

This is the recipe he was most fixated on in this cookbook. The picture was beautiful- too beautiful. I knew something was off with the picture - it looks more like slices from a loaf pan rather than bars from a 9x13-inch pan but it was hard to tell due to the angle. The slices showed perfectly round dissected blueberries. Now come on, how did they get the blueberries not to explode when the bars were baked? It didn't help our version that the blueberries I bought were mutants - almost the size of small grapes. The bars weren't pretty. The blueberries were mushy. My son immediately said 'huh? These don't look like the picture.' and he ran over to the cookbook.

Ah, the loss of innocence.

They were pretty good, taste-wise. Butter, oats, and brown sugar make a fine team. These may have been an asthetic failure but they will get eaten.

This is a cute cookbook and there is a lot of emphasis on healthy eating. While there are a lot of good-looking sparkly kids cookbooks on the market, this one has some of the better recipes (even if they don't end up looking like the pictures in the book).

Question of the Day: What is something you made that looked nothing like the picture in the cookbook?


Anonymous said...

One question: What are Old Fashioned Quick Cooking Oats? Old fashioned rolled oats, or (to me) newer quick oats? I only use rolled oats regardless of directions without difficulty, but was curious about that phrasing. Recipe looks interesting; something new to do with blueberries. If only they were cheap enough to buy regularly! Love your blog! Your editorial comments were interesting: Wait til your son sees a picture of whatever "hot babe" is popular when he's a teen: the picture WITHOUT the make-up and airbrushing!

The Cookbook Junkie said...

Sorry I fixed that. I was lazy and cut and pasted the recipe from somewhere else. I checked the amounts and directions against the book but I missed that about the oats. I have no idea what that would mean either.

Blueberries can be expensive. It was weeks before I could find blueberries that I could afford.

Annie Jones said...

Everything! LOL!

Donna-FFW said...

Oh, these sound absolutely fabulous. Love them, Id love some right now with some coffee.

La Pixie said...

I wish I had seen this last week. the blueberries were 88 cents a box at Safeway!

this recipe looks good. is it similar in taste to the Oat Fashioned Strawberry Dessert?

Jessica said...

That's easy! I made a raspberry coffee cake for Valentine's Day one year thinking it would turn out nice and pink. Well, it sure as heck didn't turn out like the photo. The frozen raspberries I used turned purple in the oven...not the look I was after. They must have used raspberry jam for the glorious cookbook photo!

DancesInGarden said...

I know there have been some, because I tend to compare the picture with the ingredients and get suspicious when something looks "off".

The Cookbook Junkie said...

La Pixie,

The flavor is a bit similar to the Strawberry Oat-fashioned dessert. The texture is different - the strawberry dessert is a crust, fruit filling and crumb topping, this is more like a soft cake.