No-bake cookies are probably made most often during these sweltering summer months, and in our house that is no exception (despite the fact that I regularly turn on the oven to bake!! I can’t help it. I have a problem). Since I pretty much think of them as “beneath me” (hello, I need a dessert recipe that is at least two pages long with instructions that include things like whipping something for ten minutes straight!), my hubby is the one who makes them and his recipe is pretty much the standard except that it has a lot more cocoa powder, which makes it that much better (IMHO). I usually let him do his thing with the cookies, including this amusing little mishap, where he decided to make long “bar” cookies that ended up looking a bit like…well, see for yourself.
Yeah. Let’s just delete that from our memory, shall we?
So anyway, when he made the next batch I convinced him to pour the batter into a greased pan and (proper) No-Bake Cookie Bars were born! The recipe was already insanely easy, and dumping the mixture into a pan makes it even easier since you don’t have to put spoonfuls onto wax paper. All you have to do is pour and slice. The extra benefit to this method is that the mixture stays glossy since it doesn’t stay in the pan too long. I hate it when the cookies lose their gloss and look all dry and sad. No danger of that here!
So next time you need a cookie and it’s too hot to turn on the oven, whip some of these babies up! You can’t go wrong with peanut butter and chocolate, even if it does look like…nevermind.
2 cups granulated sugar
1/2 cup milk
1 stick (1/2 cup) butter
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 cup crunchy peanut butter
3 cups quick-cooking oats
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Spray an 8″ square pan with cooking spray and set aside. Measure the peanut butter & oats and set aside so they’re ready when you need them. Have your vanilla bottle handy along with a teaspoon. In a medium saucepan, combine sugar, milk, butter, and cocoa. Bring to a boil and once it reaches a full rolling boil, cook for 1 1/2 minutes, stirring constantly. Remove from heat and stir in the peanut butter until melted, then stir in the vanilla and lastly the oats. Immediately pour mixture into prepared pan and put on a cooling rack to set until completely cool. Once cool, cut into bars. To make this recipe into the regular round cookies, just drop the mixture by spoonfuls onto wax paper and let cool. You can store them in an airtight container several days at room temp or over a week in the fridge.
Recipe source: Dennis Miller (no, not that Dennis Miller), the bestest husband on the planet (IMHO) :)