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No-hassle, no-bake cookies

By Staff | Mar 15, 2019

Photo by Diane Labombarbe Boiled oatmeal cookies are the quintessential no-bake cookie, and they taste great, too.


GRIT Magazine

As the temperatures start to rise, we begin looking for ways to stay cool, and that goes double for kitchen duty. Your family may clamor for cookies, but you would really prefer to not turn on the oven. What do you do?

No-bake cookies are the answer. Some call them preacher cookies, or no-bakes, or cow patties, or poodgies, or well, you get the idea.

Many variations exist, though the main no-bake recipe contains cocoa, peanut butter, oats, sugar, butter, vanilla and milk. For another example, those puffed cereal squares your children love to make and eat are the epitome of no-bake treats.

Incredibly edible fruitcake cookies are simple to make.

No-bake cookie recipes do not contain flour or eggs, and they usually contain some type of fruit or nuts, held together by a sugar like honey or a fat like peanut butter. The mixture is then either pressed into a pan, cooled and cut into squares or bars, or dropped by the spoonful onto a sheet of wax paper spread over a jellyroll pan, and then refrigerated or frozen. Some, such as Boiled Oatmeal Cookies, are cooked on the stovetop, mainly to dissolve things, and then cooled before eating.

It’s difficult to trace the history of such a novel yet simple cookie. Early recipes date back to the 1930s, while the concept but no recipes may be traced back to ancient Middle Eastern cooks, who put together various concoctions of seeds, nuts, dried fruit and sweeteners for travelers to carry during their journeys.

The idea of no-bake cookies is as simple as the cookie. It’s a recipe that can be thrown together in a hurry for unexpected guests or short-notice get-togethers. The story behind the name “preacher cookies” says it was so named because a housewife, upon looking out her window and seeing the preacher coming up the mountain on his horse, could quickly whip up a batch of cookies to be cooling when the preacher arrived at the door.

Whatever you call them, we hope these no-bake confections are a hit in your house.

Easy No-Bake Treats

Belle Warden, Granite City, Illinois, would like a variety of recipes for no-bake cookies to help her rebuild her recipe collection.

Quite a few readers sent recipes, many of them of the standard no-bake cookie.

Boiled oatmeal cookies

This version comes from Karen Ann Bland, Gove, Kansas.

1/2 cup margarine

1 cup sugar

1/2 cup milk

3 tablespoons cocoa

3 cups quick cooking oats

1/2 cup peanut butter

1/2 cup nut meats

1 teaspoon vanilla

In saucepan, combine margarine, sugar, milk and cocoa. Bring to a boil while stirring; boil hard for 1 minute.

Remove from heat. Add oats, peanut butter, nuts and vanilla, and stir until well-blended.

Drop by spoonful onto cookie sheet lined with wax paper; allow cookies to cool and set up.

Note: Grapenuts cereal can be substituted for nut meats to save money and add nutrients.

Incredibly edible fruitcake cookies

Michelle McLachlan, Liberty Lake, Washington, sends a simple and interesting recipe.

2 cups graham cracker crumbs

1 cup chopped nuts

11/4 cups chopped mixed dried fruits

1 can (14 ounces) sweetened condensed milk

In large mixing bowl, combine all ingredients, mixing well.

Form into tablespoon-sized balls. Chill for several hours.

Orange no-bake cookies

From Sue Jenness, Chrisman, Illinois, comes another fruit-based cookie.3/4 box (16 ounces) confectioner’s sugar

1 box (12 ounces) vanilla wafers, crumbled

1 stick margarine

1 cup chopped nuts

1 can (6 ounces) frozen orange juice

1 can (31/2 ounces) coconut

In bowl, combine confectioner’s sugar, vanilla wafers, margarine, nuts and orange juice; mix well.

Shape into 12 balls and roll each ball in coconut. Yields 1 dozen cookies.

Dinosaur food

Pat Haring, Clare, Michigan, sent in several different recipes for no-bake cookies. Here are a few of her selections.

These cookies are fun to make with children. No hot oven, no waiting for the cookies to bake, and they love the names of the ingredients.

1/4 cup dirt (cocoa)

1/2 cup swamp water (milk)

2 cups crushed bones (sugar)

1/2 cup fat (margarine)

31/2 cups grass (uncooked quick oats)

1/2 cup squashed bugs (crunchy peanut butter)

1 teaspoon muddy water (vanilla)

In saucepan, combine dirt, swamp water, crushed bones and fat. Bring to a boil, and boil for 1 minute.

Add grass, squashed bugs and muddy water. Stir until bugs dissolve.

Drop on wax paper; let cool.

Life-saving cookies

They save your life when time is short and you have to have cookies for a gathering.

1 cup sugar

1 cup light corn syrup

12 ounces creamy peanut butter

4 cups cornflakes

In large saucepan, combine sugar and corn syrup; heat just until sugar completely dissolves.

Stir in peanut butter and cornflakes.

Drop by spoonfuls onto wax paper. Let cool completely.

Yields 3 dozen cookies.

Chocolate bird nests

21/2 cups chow mein noodles

2 cups coarsely crushed cornflakes

3 cups (18 ounces) semisweet chocolate chips

54 jelly beans in various colors

Line large baking sheet with wax paper; set aside.

In large bowl, use hands to toss together noodles and cornflakes.

In medium saucepan over low heat, melt chocolate chips, stirring constantly until smooth. Pour over noodle mixture and toss gently with mixing spoon until evenly coated.

For each nest, mound 2 tablespoons mixture on prepared baking sheet. With fingers, make indentation in each mound, shaping mixture into nests. Press three jelly beans into each indentation. Set aside until firm, about 2 hours.

Yields 11/2 dozen cookies.

Chocolate-dipped pretzel rods

Lavaughn Buehl, Janesville, Wisconsin, sends a recipe she found that uses pretzels as the base of the cookie.

2 packages (14 ounces each) caramels

2 packages (10 ounces each) pretzel rods

3 cups chopped toasted almonds

1 pound white confectionery coating

1 pound dark chocolate confectionery coating

In top of double boiler or in microwave-safe bowl, melt caramels. Pour into ungreased 8-inch square pan or tall glass.

Leaving 1 inch on end to hold, roll or dip pretzels in caramel. Allow excess to drip off. Roll in almonds. Place on wax paper-lined baking sheets and allow to harden.

Melt white confectionery coating in double boiler or microwave-safe bowl.

Repeat dipping procedure with half the caramel-coated pretzels. Return to baking sheets to harden.

Repeat melting and dipping procedure with dark chocolate coating and remaining caramel-coated pretzels.

Store in airtight container, or wrap in plastic wrap and tie with colorful ribbon for gift-giving. Yields about 4 dozen coated pretzels.

Note: Confectionery coating is found in the baking section of most grocery stores, sometimes labeled “almond bark” or “candy coating,” and it is often sold in bulk packages of 1 to 11/2 pounds.

To learn more simple and quick recipes visit us at www.grit.com.

Excerpted from Grit. To read more articles from Grit, please visit www.grit.com, or call 866-803-7096. Copyright 2019 by Ogden Publications Inc.

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