I’ll never forget the day I thought, “Wow, this woman has absolutely lost it. I mean, she’s really out of control now!” I sat in my living room staring at her, with my mouth hanging open in shock. Surely, this couldn’t be happening. Clearly, she had lost all her marbles! But no, there she was, Martha Stewart, making her own homemade marshmallows. “Someone should really call her and tell her that they sell them at the store and they are extremely cheap,” I thought as she gathered the most unbelievably sticky mass of white goo in her hands. “It really is quite tacky and will stick to your hands!” she instructed as she stretched it and squished it. All this for some “homemade s’mores”. And by homemade I mean she made the graham crackers and the marshmallows from scratch. I seriously doubted if her version was THAT much better than mine wherein you take already purchased ingredients, slap them together and microwave them for a few seconds.
I’ve never been one to make more work by preparing something that is homemade if it is possible to just buy it. No, I’m pretty low-fuss when it comes to cooking and baking. I read a recipe and if it is too long, too complicated, or requires too many ingredients I set it aside. Some of my favorite recipes are the ones where you combine 3 or 4 ingredients and then pour it into a ready-made graham cracker crust. The failure rate is next to nothing in such situations. There is safety is simplicity.
I suppose I started on a slippery slope when I began making my own bread. There are hundreds of loaves of bread in all three of our local grocery stores. I’m sure any one of them would meet my needs just fine. But truly, there isn’t anything quite as yummy as fresh homemade bread. I argue to myself that it is worth it, if just to make the house smell incredible. Besides, Reagan loves my homemade bread. And that makes me feel pretty good. So I combine ingredients and go through all the messy prep work when I could be simply undoing a twisty-tie and pulling out a slice.
When I saw a recipe for Snickers Fudge here, I knew I would have to try it. It looked that good. And I’m a sucker for a candy bar. While some people have a “sweet tooth”, I’m quite sure my entire mouth, as evidenced by my many fillings, is full of sweet teeth. I looked at the pretty picture of the chocolate layers, the nougat layer and the caramel layer and drooled all over my desk. If only I had some occassion that called for a dessert, like people coming over to my house for supper or Hubby having to bring snacks to a deacons meeting. Oh! So Friday, Hubby went to the store and bought all the ingredients...and it is quite a bit to be honest. Saturday morning I began by melting chocolate and making each layer, one at a time.
Halfway through my prep, I sorta began to doubt myself. Really, this was a LOT of work for one dessert. I had to melt each layer over the stove and then pour it into the dish and then let it set. An hour layer I would go into the kitchen and make another layer, pour it on top of the others and wait again. Is there any dessert worth this much effort? Will I only be disappointed because the end result will not meet with my expectations? Will I regret spending so much of my time on something I don’t immediately want to eat all at once?
No. Unfortunately my friends, it was every bit as good as, if not better than, your run-of-the-mill Snickers. It melts in your mouth, except for the lightly-salted peanuts. The caramel ooozes out from underneath the chocolate. The chocolate layers are soft and don’t crumble or crack when you bite into them. They are perfect. Very messy, but very delicious.
And here’s where I realize that silly silly Martha may just have something figured out. Sometimes homemade stuff is way better. I get that now. And while I will still buy my marshmallows and have taken a vow to never let my baking get so far out of control as to make me think I should make my own, I did enjoy making something that was better than the $.55 candy bar I could buy in the store. My one and only complaint is that there are several sitting my fridge and if I am forced to eat them all...well...I’m in a lot of trouble.