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Tuesday, May 22, 2012

the no-bake peanut butter cookie.

Sometimes I just want to potter about the kitchen and do something with my hands that doesn't require too much effort. (Strangely enough, cooking never comes to mind.) The urge struck again last weekend, and I turned to this recipe which does not require the blast of oven heat.

While I love the combination of peanut butter and chocolate (and who doesn't really), the uncooked oats had an odd taste that I didn't quite take to very well. It tasted stale and woody, and made me feel rather much like a rabbit at first. I don't have anything against oats, and there was a time I practically lived on cereal bars, but I feel that if they were pre-toasted, the cookies would taste much better.

The No-Bake Peanut Butter Cookie
makes 36
adapted from Baked Explorations

I replaced the regular sugar originally called for in the recipe with brown sugar, and reduced the total amount by a half cup. The addition of salt is of my own doing and you can always leave it out if you rather not add it. Also, the espresso beans are a bomb with this cookie! As mentioned above, I feel that toasting the oats before adding them to the mixture would lessen the their staleness and heighten the cookies' taste.

1/2 cup whole milk
1 1/2 cups brown sugar
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 cup butter, diced
1 cup peanut butter, smooth or chunky, but not natural
3 cups rolled oats
1 tsp vanilla extract
pinch of salt

36 chocolate-coated espresso beans

Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

In a heavy saucepan over medium heat, stir together the milk, brown sugar, cocoa powder and butter until the butter is melted and sugar is dissolved. Bring the mixture to a boil for a full 90 seconds. Remove the pan from the heat and add the peanut butter, vanilla extract, salt and oats. Stir until the mixture is combined.

Use a small ice cream scoop with a release mechanism or alternatively, a tablespoon to drop the mounds of chocolate-peanut-butter-goop onto the baking sheet, leaving some room around them as they spread. Press a chocolate-coated espresso bean into the centre of each mound. Let the cookies cool, then refrigerate them for at least 1 hour or up to 3 days. They can be eaten directly from the refrigerator or at room temperature.

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