‘Tis the way
To call hers exquisite, in question more:
These happy masks that kiss fair ladies’ brows
Being black put us in mind they hide the fair;
He that is strucken blind cannot forget
The precious treasure of his eyesight lost.
~ Romeo and Juliet, Act I, Scene I
Once upon a time, a PhD Princess was invited to a Ball. A Bohemian Ball, to be exact. A masquerade Bohemian Ball, to be even more exact. (Is it possible to be more exact than exact? Yes? No? Undecided? Exactly.)
The PhD Princess had been asked to attend by a group of friends and not by a handsome prince, but this didn’t negate the nerves she felt at the idea of dressing up and walking into an unfamiliar situation.
So to calm herself down before it became time to attempt the transformation from Home-Toad to Ball-Frog, the PhD Princess decided to do what she did best:
Eat chocolate, and then create something with peanut butter.
And lo! It was good.
Well, the slice was. The Bohemian Ball was a bit of a dud, to be honest. It was less like a Fairytale/Grown-Ups Ball than a Year 10 Formal For Alternative Folks. Which is all well and good if that’s your scene, but it isn’t really mine, and I prefer to have more drink options than one type of never-before-heard-of beer, one type of never-before-heard-of cider, and two types of absinthe cocktails.
Turned out, though, that the friend who’d invited me was enjoying the Ball less than I, and so we ended up leaving early. And hurrah for me! I had a freshly-made-and-set tray of peanut butter slice to come home to.
I may or may not have eaten an entire row and a half of the slice at midnight, standing in front of the heater in my dress and jewellery, left hand still holding my borrowed-chinese-takeaway-container-esque handbag.
And apart from running into the wonderful L.LawyerLady (see photo above) and enjoying a good old-fashioned-shouted-above-the-music-gabfest, this peanut-butter-slice-midnight-snackage was the best part of the night.
No-Bake-Could-Be-Vegan-But-Either-Way-Is-Definitely-Tasty-Peanut Butter Slice
Makes about 24 squares, or less if you cut them larger rectangles. Very very loosely adapted from the Women’s Weekly Biscuits and Slices Mini Cookbook, which used Coco Pops as well as Rice Bubbles and coconut instead of flaxseed. And even more sugar, if you can believe it.
- 160g Rice Bubbles
- 70g flaxmeal (i.e. ground flaxseeds)
- 80g honey or agave/maple syrup, for the vegan version
- 110g Nuttelex (or butter/spread of your choosing)
- 80g peanut butter (crunchy! Because crunchy is the only kind of peanut butter that has a right to exist.)
- 100g caster sugar
- Grease and line a 20cm x 30cm lamington tin, extending the baking paper a few centimetres above the two long sides of the tin to aid in later slice-removal.
- In a large bowl, mix together the Rice Bubbles and flaxmeal.
- In a medium saucepan, heat the honey, Nuttelex, peanut butter, and sugar over medium-low heat until everything has melted together and sugar seems to have dissolved. Turn heat to low and simmer for 5 minutes. Don’t be tempted to dip your pinkie in for a quick taste at this point. It will burn like the billy-o.
- Pour the peanut butter mixture over the Rice Bubble mixture and stir to combine. Then tip this sticky, yummy, tempting mixture into the lamington tin and pat down evenly.
- Stick in the fridge for a few hours, then cut into squares and eat as a private little congratulations to yourself for having had the courage to do something you were nervous about.
Note: These slices were absolutely awesome frozen, too. If only I hadn’t eaten all my ice cream prior to making these, I could’ve made some divine peanut-butter-ice-cream-sandwiches. Next time…
Question Time: Have you ever been to a masquerade ball? Did you meet a Romeo there?