Too Hot to Bake Cookies
I wanted to make something for my husband's students who were working late on July 3rd, but it was too hot to bake. The "feels like" temperature outside was 110 degrees. So, no, I wasn't going to turn on the oven. Instead, I opted for the old standby, "Cow Pie" cookies. These cookies have been around for decades and have been known by many names. I used to eat them in elementary school. The lunch ladies who made them called them "chocolate fudgies." The kids, of course, called them "cow pies" and ate as many of them as possible. By whatever name, the cookies are good. They're sweet with plenty of peanut butter and chocolate flavor. The addition of oats gives them texture. Some recipes call for raisins and/or coconut. I like them with chopped peanuts and rice crispy cereal (sometimes) added, but you can add what you like or nothing at all. The cookies are simple and fast to make. You spend just a few minutes cooking a fudge mixture on the stove top, add the other ingredients, and spoon portions of the mixture onto waxed paper to set. These no-bake cookies might just end up in your cookie rotation whether you have hot weather or not.
Cow Pie Cookies -- Also Known as No-Bake Chocolate Oatmeal Cookies -- Makes 18-24
1/2 cup of butter or Smart Balance (1 stick)
2 cups of sugar (or 1 1/2 cups of white sugar and 1/2 cup of brown sugar for a deeper flavor)
1/3 cup of cocoa powder
1/2 cup of low-fat milk
3/4 cup of peanut butter (I like chunky)
1 teaspoon of vanilla
1/4 teaspoon of ground cinnamon
3 cups of oats (I use 1 cup of old fashioned and 2 cups of quick oats for a texture that's not too
1 1/2 cups of rice crispy cereal (optional)
1/2 cup of chopped peanuts (optional)
1/2 cup of shredded coconut (optional)
In a medium saucepan over medium heat, bring the butter, sugar, and cocoa to a boil, stirring periodically. After the mixture reaches a rolling boil, let it continue to cook for a minute (to 230 degrees), stirring it constantly (and watching out for hot liquid). Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the peanut butter, vanilla, and cinnamon until thoroughly combined. Stir in the oats and any additions you'd like to use. Drop mounds of the mixture (about a tablespoon each) onto sheets of waxed paper. Let the cookies cool for at least half an hour before removing them. If you've used the rice crispy cereal in the cookies, you can roll the mixture into balls rather than dropping it, free-form, onto the waxed paper. Store the cookies between sheets of waxed paper in an air-tight container or plastic bag.