Warning, the recipe that follows is DANGEROUS. It is quick, it is easy, and the results are so yummy you may end up eating far more of the delicious little bites than you ever intended. At least that is what happened to me. These no-bake cookies reminded me of Reese's Peanut Butter Cups. I was first drawn to the idea because I thought it was a great way to make cookies with my toddler- he could eat all the dough he wanted and I did not have to fret about salmonella poisoning. Win/win, right? And the fact they tasted even better than I thought they would is yet another win- except to my waistline. However, the holidays are right around the corner, and for us that means visitors. These are a great little treat to keep in the fridge for any guests you might have that have a sweet tooth. And if you have small children coming to visit, this is a really fun kitchen activity.
I feel like "no bake" is a little misleading. It is very true that you do not have to bake anything, but you do have to use the stovetop. However, it is much faster than having to bake batches of cookies, so I'm not complaining. Right up front, I will say I swapped the smooth peanut butter for chunky and reduced the amount of sugar in the original recipe. People seemed to have trouble with the cookies setting, but I placed mine to cool on the counter for half an hour and then put them in the fridge overnight. The next day they were more than ready to be moved to a sealed container in the fridge.
The recipe is adapted from the Food Network Kitchen Peanut Butter-Chocolate No Bake Cookies
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/2 cup milk
1 stick (8 tablespoons) unsalted butter
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
3 cups rolled oats
1 cup peanut butter (I used extra chunky)
1 tablespoon vanilla
1 pinch kosher salt
1. Line two baking sheets with wax or parchment paper and set aside.
2. In a medium saucepan over medium heat, bring the sugar, milk, butter and cocoa to a boil. Make sure you keep an eye on this and stir occasionally. Allow the mixture to boil for 1-2 minutes. Remove it from the heat. In the same saucepan, add the oats, peanut butter, vanilla and salt. Stir to combine.
3. Using a teaspoon or small scooper, drop the dough on the prepared baking sheets. You will want to do this while your mixture is still warm.
4. Allow your cookies to cool at room temperature for at least 30 minutes. If your baking sheets will fit in your fridge, cover them with plastic wrap and set the cookies in the fridge overnight. If baking sheets do not fit between the leftovers, as was the case in my refrigerator, wait about an hour and then gently transfer the cookies in a single layer to a plate. Cover with plastic wrap and allow at least four hours before you move the cookies to a sealed container.
The cookies should be kept in the refrigerator in a sealed container. They are at their best if eaten within three days. However, we munched on ours for a week and there were no complaints. Toward the end of the week, however, the texture of these little delights did suffer.