This is Ryan's first year of college, and I wanted to send him a box for Valentine's Day. Oh, I know he's big and stuff like that, but we moms have the right to be sentimental and hold with tradition. Initially, I was going to just get him a nice big box of chocolates, wrap and send it. But then, it rained over the weekend, so I stayed home. And then it got colder Monday, so when I went out on Tuesday to buy milk and Valentine's Day candy, my garage door wouldn't move. The rain melted just enough snow to cause it to run under my garage door and freeze it shut. And it's only gotten colder as the week has gone on; today's high was 9. (For those of you in celsius-land, that's like -13C.) So, after contemplating Poppy's comment about cocoa powder in her oatmeal, I knew what I had to do.
NO BAKE OATMEAL COOKIES
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter or margarine
2 cups sugar
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1/2 cup milk (I use nonfat milk)
optional: 2 tbsp dry milk powder
1/2 cup peanut butter
1 tsp vanilla extract
2-1/2 cups quick cooking oats
1/3 cup chopped nuts
Melt the butter in a pan with the milk. Stir together the sugar, cocoa powder and milk powder if you're adding it (to give them a richer flavor), and whisk into the warm milk/butter combination. Bring to a boil, and boil for 3 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the sugar is fully dissolved. Remove from the heat and stir in the peanut butter and vanilla, until the peanut butter is melted. Add the oats and nuts, stir until combined, and drop by the teaspoonful onto baking sheets lined with waxed paper which has been sprayed. The recipe says it makes 30 cookies, but I use my smallest cookie scoop, which makes 2-bite sized cookies, and routinely get about 70 cookies from this recipe.
To make these lower sugar if you have sugar issues, substitute 1 cup of Stevia for 1 cup of sugar - don't replace all of the sugar with Stevia, or the cookies will fail. These are good without peanut butter or nuts for nut allergy sufferers, and fine without cocoa powder for chocolate allergies. Using the small scoop as I do, each cookie only contains 3mg of cholesterol, even using butter; I figure the oats surely counteract that, right? So comfort yourself in the knowledge that these are almost-health-food treats, perfect for Valentine's Day if your car is frozen into your garage!
Happy Weekending, everyone!