Imagine: Chex Mix cereal coated with melted butter, chocolate, and peanut butter and then liberally coated in powdered sugar. Sound good? This is what we called Muddy Buddies in college. They’re the perfect study session/road trip/party snack food. And, as a cultural ambassador, the perfect way to introduce peanut butter to Spaniards. Though it’s hard to imagine, peanut butter is not at all popular here. In fact, several of the people we’ve met have never tried it before, and those who have consider peanut butter and jelly an unthinkably bizarre combination. They’re astonished to discover that most American kids were reared on a steady diet of the stuff.
Without an oven, it also places among the limited repertoire of sweets that we can make here at the Dos Jotas Mesón. Julia and I mixed up a large batch back in November and brought Tupper-wares full to our school. In the English department, the teachers could be heard puzzling over the mysterious ingredient (peanut butter!) and asking for the recipe, translated into Spanish. Some even declared they were going to serve it at their Christmas parties.
In December, Julia and made fudge as an encore to the Muddy Buddies. When I was spotted with the tell-tale Tupper-ware, cries of “Are you trying to make us fat?” “Are you trying to make us break our diets?” were elicited as the little squares of chocolate and walnuts rapidly disappeared.
Following in step with the preceding months, we heralded January with some Buckeyes, a candy-like sweet popular at Ohio State tailgates and that is made up of little clusters of peanut butter, butter and powdered sugar coated with chocolate. They are supposed to resemble their namesake nut, but ours have none of this aesthetic value (though in taste I like to think they’re an even match). These we gave to our neighbors and visitors to our apartment (and enjoyed ourselves!).
What will February bring? It is the month of chocolate after all, with Valentines Day about 3 weeks away. Without classic cookies, cakes or pies to fall back on, we’ll have to continue to mine the American recipe box for no-bake treats!
PS: In case you’re in a DIY (or chocolate or peanut butter) mood, the recipe we used for the Muddy Buddies is at…
and the recipe for Buckeyes at…
What about the fudge? Well, we used a secret family recipe from Julia’s family, so you’re on your own for that one!
PPS: If you have any favorite sweets that can be made without an oven, let me know!