MARGOT MCCORMACK: Cooking in Nashville since 1996

Dirty Page: Peanut Butter Bars

photo: Andrea Behrends

photo: Andrea Behrends

When chef Margot McCormack of Margot Café and Bar thumbed through her grandmother’s recipe box she found Mrs. Roger’s Chocolate Cake and Aunt Gerdie’s Devil’s Food.

“They’re a lot like my recipes,” she says. “They just have the ingredients. They assume that you know how to make the cake and what temperature to make it, and how to fix the pans.”

But among the scratchings on note cards and envelopes, she also has a favorite for peanut butter bars.

Margot’s mother procured the recipe from Brookemeade Elementary School when Margot attended as a kid. “I loved the food there. The rolls. The macaroni and cheese. But my favorite thing was these peanut butter bars.”

Though the original recipe fed a crowd of 300 or more, her mother broke it down for a 9-by-11 pan. “That took some doing,” Margot says. “She used to make them periodically for me.”

A longtime fan of peanut butter, she says her mother also made her a peanut butter birthday cake. “I have one every year. Even now,” Margot says.

As for the peanut butter bars, you can find them at Marche on occasion made by the restaurant’s pastry chef Tom Huber.

“It’s written in a bunch of places,” she says. “I have it written in my recipe book at home. It’s at work, and it’s at Marche. There’s a trail of peanut butter bars.” 

Cindy Wall