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My Love/Hate Relationship with No Bake Cookies (+Recipe)

I love no bake cookies. But I hate making them. Why? I almost always utterly fail at it. I am much more awesome at making oatmeal/peanut butter/chocolate fudge then I am oatmeal peanut butter chocolate cookies. For the last ten years, every time I made no bakes, you had to eat them with a spoon. The only time I could eat them like cookies is if they were made in a different home or I bought them at the store. It was a sad part of life in the McClain household.

no bake cookies

This year I was determined to make them work. Part of the annual overbaking of Christmas cookies, I decided to try my hand, once again, at no bakes. This year, I actually got them right! Yes! Me!

no bake cookies

Ok, well they were actually a little dry. But dry is better than fudge that never sets up. The key is the amount of time you let them boil. But not just boil, a rolling boil. What I have (finally) figured out is that a rolling boil is when you stir the pot, and it continues to boil around the spoon. You MUST let them sit at a rolling boil for 2 minutes or else fudge.

A lot of other recipes say only a boil for one minute. Don’t listen to them. Do it for two.

no bake cookies

Since the writing of this post, I have officially made no bake cookies correctly twice now. They have been different both times. The first was dry, this batch a lot more moist. I really don’t care about the level of dryness, as long as I can peel them up from the parchment paper without getting it all over my hands.

I used the following recipe from Food Network, with just a couple of tweeks. I’m a big fan of Food Network. Because, come on, who isn’t a big fan of food? 🙂

2 cups sugar
1/2 cup milk
1 stick salted butter
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (I use THIS cocoa. It is amazing.)
3 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
1 cup smooth peanut butter
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract

Line a baking sheet (or your countertop) with wax paper or parchment.

no bake cookies
Bring the sugar, milk, butter and cocoa to a boil in a medium saucepan over medium heat, stirring occasionally.

no bake cookies

Let sit at a rolling boil for 2 minutes. Remove from the heat. Add the vanilla, then peanut butter, then the oats. Stir well between each ingredient.

Drop teaspoonfuls of the mixture onto the prepared baking sheet (or countertop), and let sit at room temperature until cooled and hardened, about 30 minutes. Refrigerate in an airtight container for up to 3 days.

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