Saturday, February 20, 2010

No-bake cookies

The hubs has been asking me to make these for a while, so in honor of the Superbowl I decided to find a recipe for some no-bakes to try them out in hopes of having them live up to Thomas' expectations.  I snagged a recipe from a friend and tweaked it just slightly based on a few other recipes I saw.

2 cups sugar
1/2 cup milk
1/4 pound of butter (1 stick)
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup peanut butter
3 cups oatmeal
3/4 cup shredded coconut (optional)

For anyone trying to cut calories, she has this to say about the butter, "It's VERY important to not use tub margarine in this recipe. If you do, the cookies will turn out black and will never properly harden."  So let that be a warning to you all.  And let's face it, butter makes everything better.  And I'd rather put something natural in my body that happens to have a bit more fat in it than something with less fat but is laden with chemicals, so that's my two cents on the matter.

Back to the cookies!

Combine the sugar, milk, butter and cocoa powder in a large sauce pan on the stove.  Heat until butter is melted.  Be sure to stir continuously so nothing burns to the bottom of the pan.  Bring the contents of the pan to a full boil and let it boil for a full minute, timing accurately.

Remove the sauce pan from heat.  Stir in the peanut butter, salt and vanilla until well combined.  Tip: if you give your measuring cup a little shot of Pam before measuring the peanut butter it will be much easier to get out of the measuring cup and clean later.  Add the oatmeal and coconut and stir.  I used regular oatmeal, so I put the lid back on the pan and let the residual heat work on the oatmeal for around 5 minutes to soften it up a bit.  If you used quick cooking 1 minute oats then you don't have to do that.

Drop by spoonfuls onto wax paper (or a silpat) and let harden.  If you want to speed that up a bit, pop them in the fridge.

I made two batches, one with coconut and one without.  Both were equally well received.  I thought the coconut gave it a little extra chew and structural integrity and overall liked them more, but both were good.  Most people couldn't really tell the difference between the cookies with and without coconut, so take that for what you will.

We also found out that if you're from Minnesota you call these something else, because upon entering our friends' house and announcing that we had brought no-bakes we were met with a resounding chorus of "Oaties!!".

And yes, they did live up to Thomas' expectations, so this recipe lives on to be used again another day.