This is a week of recipes where the finished dish doesn’t look good, but tastes really good, so I lead with a picture of something else. Yesterday it was Kachin Chicken Curry with a picture of a mortar and pestle, today it’s No-Bake Chocolate Peanut Butter Cookies from Baked Explorations with an image of peanut butter in a measuring cup. You’ll understand why when we get to the end.
First things first: why No-Bake? Why now?
Well, deep in the trenches of my apartment hunt (which is ending today, thank God, with a lease-signing in Atwater Village…more soon) I craved a cookie but didn’t want to go through the rigamarole of dirtying my stand mixer, etc. I thumbed through the new Baked book and came across this cookie recipe which goes straight from pot to cookie sheet to refrigerator to your mouth.
It’s really a rather genius idea. You put a little milk, some cocoa powder, sugar and butter in a pot and turn up the heat. When it comes to a boil, you let it cook for 90 seconds and then you add peanut butter, oats and vanilla.
That’s pretty much it. You scoop the “dough” on to a cookie sheet with an ice cream scoop, flatten the cookies a bit and refrigerate until you’re ready to eat. Here’s what they look like at the end.
It’s not that they’re gross-looking, per se, it’s just that they look unfinished. Trust me, though: they’re done. And they taste really good, pretty much what you’d expect chocolate, peanut butter, and oats to taste like all scrunched together. And in terms of an easy thing to make to satisfy a cookie craving with very little clean-up, this is the recipe for you. It won’t be on the cover of a food magazine any time soon, but it’ll be in your mouth and you’ll be happy about that fact, I guarantee it.
Recipe: No-Bake Chocolate Peanut Butter Cookies
Summary: From Baked Explorations, makes 18 small cookies or 6 very large ones.
1/4 cup whole milk
1 cup sugar
1/8 cup dark unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes, softened
1/2 cup chunky peanut butter (smooth works fine too)
1 1/2 cups rolled oats
A pinch of salt (my addition, but worthwhile)
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
In a heavy saucepan over medium heat, stir together the milk, sugar, cocoa powder, and butter until the butter is melted and the sugar is dissolved. Bring the mixture to a boil, stop stirring and boil for a full 90 seconds. Remove the pan from the heat and add the peanut butter, oats, salt and vanilla. Stir until the mixture is combined.
Use a small ice cream scoop with a release mechanism or a tablespoon to drop the no-bake cookies onto the baking sheet (leave some room around them; they will spread). Let the cookies cool, then refrigerate them for at least 1 hour. They can be eaten directly from the refrigerator or at room temp.