No Bake Cookies were my sister Jennifer’s specialty growing up. Our dad was a huge fan of these cookies and they never lasted long, come to think of it I don’t think they lasted more than 2 days, ever. Jen started to make these treats about the time Reagan was wrapping up his last term in office when our Home Ec teacher, Mrs. Brady, shared the recipe with her class. As I began to think about summertime sweet treats, this one immediately came to mind and I’m a little ashamed to say that these have not made my repertoire of sweets, so I had to text Jen for the recipe. She has always been great at candy making and didn’t appear to ever have the same terror of boiling sugar that I had.
As I’ve said before, I loathe turning on my oven in the heat of summer and with this cookie you don’t have to.
“No Bakes” from the kitchen of Jennifer Higdon
Ingredients: 2 C sugar 1/4 C cocoa powder 1 stick butter 1/2 C milk 2 T vanilla 1/2 C smooth peanut butter (like Jif or Skippy, don’t use natural peanut butter) 2 1/2 C quick cook oatmeal (uncooked)
In a large, heavy sauce pan bring the sugar, cocoa powder, butter and milk to a boil over medium high heat. Boil for 2.5-3 minutes or until a candy thermometer reaches just below “soft ball” and remove from heat. Then stir in the vanilla, peanut butter and oatmeal.
Once thoroughly combined, drop by tablespoonfuls onto waxed paper and allow to cool at room temperature for at least 30 minutes. If it’s a warm day it will take longer to cool and harden. Be patient. Store in an airtight container on the counter for up to 5 days, if you want them to last longer you can refrigerate them and if it is hot out the fridge is the best place for them.
A couple of tips: use smooth peanut butter such as Jif or Skippy, avoid natural peanut butters; only use real butter; and quick cook oats makes the texture of the cookie more tender, I don’t recommend traditional oats it makes a tougher cookie.
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