Tuesday, September 21, 2010

The Cookies

My weekend was a blur, from guitar lesson to eye doctor appointment and other errands, then on to making oodles of cookies for an anniversary party. Sunday was a long drive up to Maine for the party, then a quick dinner with my parents before turning around and heading back to Massachusetts. I'm really not sure who the genius was who decided it was a great idea to do night paving on 495 right after a NASCAR race in NH, but I'd like a word...I got home pretty late, and haven't managed to quite catch up on my sleep yet.

I'm also not sure what happened to a childhood friend's house. The anniversary party was nearby, and I was shocked to see that the house is now gone. There's now just a vacant, empty lot - and this was a nice house! My friend's family hasn't lived there in a long time, and honestly he hasn't been my friend in like 25 years, but it was always his house, y'know? And now it feels like one more relic from my childhood is gone forever. It's a pretty strange feeling.

So it probably goes without saying that there was no sewing or knitting, and I have nothing to share in the crafting department. But let me tell you about the cookies I made. I don't think they are a Maine thing per se, but I've never seen them sold anywhere else; back home, almost every mom & pop general store sells these, and they are a staple at bake sales. These are one of the first things I learned to cook, mostly because my mom was something of a health nut, and my sister and I inherited my dad's sweet tooth. We usually had the ingredients on hand to make these, though. (And fifty bazillion cans of fruit coctail.) Mom hates these; she's very proper and ladylike, but refers to these as "cat shit cookies" because they look like...well. No need to explain further. The rest of us love them and call them "no bake cookies", though I will tell you don't eat too many; they have the tendency to sit in your stomach like lead.

Ingredients:

1 stick of butter (1/2 cup)
2 cups sugar
1/2 cup milk
4 heaping tablespoons of cocoa
1 teaspoon of vanilla
1/2 cup peanut butter
3-4 cups oatmeal (quick oats)

Put peanut butter and vanilla in a bowl. Melt butter, sugar, milk, and the cocoa in a saucepan and bring to a rolling boil for 1 minute, stirring frequently. Pour over peanut butter and vanilla. Once the peanut butter is melted in, stir in the oatmeal.

There's a fine line betwen too much and not enough oatmeal. The more oatmeal you add, the faster the mixture will begin to set. Once it's all mixed in, quickly spoon the mixture by dropfuls onto wax paper and let them sit for about 15-20 minutes.

Excellent with cold milk. And, the sugar aside, they are full of oatmeal and peanut butter and have been known to be used as a substitute for a granola bar in certain households that shall remain nameless.

3 comments:

Lyn said...

Yes! No-bakes! I still make those cookies now and then, too!

What I have discovered: using frou-frou peanut butter (aka peanut butter made out of just.. peanuts) does not work as well. There's something in the PBs w/more ingredients (polymers?? ;) ) that helps the cookies hold together better.

Love 'em either way, though. My midwestern spouse was introduced to them one Christmas and he's a fan now, too.

Your favorite Aunt said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Your favorite Aunt said...

I'd never heard of them nor tried the no bake cookies until we moved to Virginia. Here they are referred to as "preacher" cookies -- clueless on the name but they are even better with dark chocolate cocoa ;) delish