We took the new “Smitten Kitchen” cookbook for a test drive. Here’s what happened.

Deb Perelman stops by the store tomorrow at 7 p.m. to chat about her newest cookbook, Smitten Kitchen Every Day. No one is more excited about that fact than BookPeople’s own Meike Alana! Below, the event staffer recounts her experience making Perelman’s Bake Sale Winning-est Gooey Oat Bars. We’re salivating! 

I was hugely excited when I heard the Deb Perelman was coming to BookPeople, so I decided to surprise my fellow event staffers by making a sweet surprise from her newest cookbook, Smitten Kitchen Every Day.

It was a tough choice. Should I make the Strawberry Cloud Cookies? Strawberry and meringue are two of my favorite things, after all. Or the Double Coconut Meltaways? The combo of coconut oil and grated coconut sounded pretty irresistible. The Pretzel Linzers with salted caramel sounded amazing, too, but it was Texas Book Festival weekend, so I was a little pressed for time. I needed something quick to throw together, and I decided on the “Bake Sale Winning-est Gooey Oat Bars.”

I pulled out the relatively few ingredients that were needed: butter, sugar (brown and white), flour, salt, oats, coconut, eggs, vanilla, chocolate chips (I used dark) and dried fruit (I used pineapple). The combination of pineapple and dark chocolate is one of my favorites — with a gooey custard, oats and coconut, I imagined it would be fantastic.

First, I threw some flour, salt, sugar and butter into my food processor. I had the dough ready in less than a minute! After patting it into a parchment-paper lined pan, I prebaked it for about 20 minutes.

While the crust was in the oven, I melted the butter in a saucepan and stirred until it was just beginning to brown. I stirred in both white and dark brown sugar, and then set the mixture aside to cool slightly. After about 10 minutes, I whisked in my homemade vanilla and three eggs, one at a time. Once the mixture was smooth, I stirred in the oats, coconut, dark chocolate chips and dried pineapple. I poured all of that over my crust and threw it in the oven for another 20 minutes.

The final result looks incredible. I can’t wait to sample it tomorrow, in celebration of the event!

— Meike Alana



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