A Southern Grace: and bad mistakes, i've made a few

December 21, 2016

and bad mistakes, i've made a few


Easy chocolate peanut butter fudge. Do you have 4-H in your neck of the woods? I did, and it helped me learn at least one valuable lesson.

There was a 4-H summer camp and a club and there were also various competitions associated with it each year. One of those competitions involved delivering presentations to our classmates and a few judges from the community. The topic could be anything, and at the end you were awarded a blue or red ribbon (or possibly green, who has memory space for things like that?). One year (and this is elementary school, mind you), I decided I would present the preparation of a tasty and aptly-named treat called Easy Bars.

It's important to note that one hard and fast rule for any food presentation was to never lick your fingers or utensils. I knew this. However, I became so flustered at one point toward the end that I stuck pretty much my entire chocolate-covered fist into my mouth. I remember thinking "Must. Not. Do. This." but I just couldn't stop myself. Can we say humiliation? I think so. I painfully finished my spiel and promptly bolted to the bathroom in tears.

After I had pulled myself together a few hours later, I came back and offered the judges some of the finished product, giving the excuse that I had waited to serve the goodies because I didn't want to spoil their lunches (even as a child I was pretty shrewd). I got a blue ribbon.

Thus marked the beginning of the end of my career as a public speaker. It's something at which I've always been terrible.

These bars, though, are far from terrible. Not only are they extremely easy, but they also taste incredible. The treats make a great gift, which is wonderful because you won't be able to eat them all, but also upsetting, since you won't be able to eat them all. They can get messy, however, and if you aren't giving an important presentation at the time, feel free to lick your fingers.

On that note, Merry Christmas, Joyeux Noël, Feliz Navidad, Buon Natale!!

Easy Bars
(printable recipe)
Makes about 16 pieces
  • 1 (12 ounce) package semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Pinch salt
  • 4 cups mini marshmallows*
Line an 8-inch square pan** with wax paper.
Combine the chocolate and peanut butter together in a large microwave safe bowl.
Heat at 30-second intervals, stirring well between each, until the mixture is smooth and combined.
Alternatively, you can heat the chocolate and peanut butter in a saucepan over medium-low heat, stirring constantly until smooth.
Stir in the vanilla extract and salt, then fold in marshmallows using a spatula.
Scoop into prepared pan, press evenly, and cover with wax paper.
Chill until firm, about 1 hour, then cut into squares.

*Add more if you want to cut the richness of these--I often add 6 cups!
**If you want a thinner bar, use a bigger dish, and if you like a thick slab of fudge, try a loaf pan!


Angie's Recipes said...

How could they be not tasty? Hey, there's peanut butter in there!!

~~louise~~ said...

Hi Grace:)
Kudos to you on oh so many levels!!! Congrats on the Blue Ribbon too:) I didn't grow up with 4-H but it is very popular here in PA and it seems like something I should have been introduced to much earlier in life.

There's everything to LOVE about these Easy Bars but I have to say, the story is my first luv:) Thank you for sharing it Grace:) And thanks for the recipe too.

I wanted to drop by and personally wish you and your new "hubby" a very Merry Christmas. If I'm not mistaken, it's your first one as Mr. and Mrs. (although it's quite possible I lost an entire year:)

As you know, Grace, I am no longer blogging but I did do an update to my blog tonight. It has been wonderful following you and your blog these past years Grace. It has been delightful getting to know you through your words and pictures. Thank you for that. Now you have a Happy, Safe and Healthy New Year, Grace. May all your wishes and dreams come true. Stay well...Louise...

Katerina said...

This is a win recipe and so perfect for the season! Happy Christmas and Joy in your hearts!

Amy (Savory Moments) said...

That's a terrific story and memory, Grace. The easy bars look pretty great. I hope you are enjoying your holiday season!

Big Rigs 'n Lil' Cookies said...

Oh my gosh... That was a great story! Fudge sounds fantastic too.
Merry Christmas :)

Adina said...

Funny story! :) I have a finger licking problem as well and especially when baking for other people I have the feeling of washing my hands continously, just to be on the safe side.

Adina said...

I almost forgot! Merry Christmas!

Jenn said...

Making this today with Alice. 🙂

Bianca @ Confessions of a Chocoholic said...

Easy fudge is one of my favorite holiday gifts. This does sound delicious!

Beth said...

What a cute story! I loved making fudge as a kid too.
Hope you had a wonderful Christmas! xo

lisa is cooking said...

I remember once giving a terrible 4-H presentation. Mine involved flower arranging. Getting to eat the result sounds much better! Hope you're having a great holiday season!

Marjie said...

My friend Janine's mother ran a 4H sewing club. We did make snacks for the meetings, but never fudge. And never at Janine's house; her mother would have had a nervous breakdown over that.

Tania | My Kitchen Stories said...

How could these not be delicious. Oh and I am sure you would be great at speaking now....wouldn't you, I mean you know to not to like those naughty fingers.....

Inger @ Art of Natural Living said...

Oh this is too funny! I think one of the real lessons here is no one is as hard on us as we are on ourselves. But glad you shied away from speaking and not baking!!