What to Make When It's Too Hot to Bake? Chocolate Fudgies
This is a long-time favorite recipe that I'm reposting because it's HOT outside--way too hot to bake anything in the regular oven! The thermometer on my car registered 101 as I was driving home this afternoon, and the "feels like" temperature in northern Virginia is even hotter. So, no, I'm not going to turn on the oven, and I recommend opting for a no-bake treat if you face similarly high temperatures. My old standby for "no bakes" are cookies that have been around for decades and that are know by names like "Cow Pie" cookies and "Fudgie-Wudgies." I just call them "Chocolate Fudgies" like the lunch ladies in my elementary school did (hmm--this recipe really has been around a long time!). Regardless of what you call the cookies, they are incredibly good and addictive. The cookies are 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. Enjoy!
Cow Pie Cookies -- Also Known as No-Bake Chocolate Oatmeal Cookies and Chocolate Fudgies -- 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 "oaty")
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.