This is Day 3 of the “31 Day Online Writing Challenge”. Click here to start at the beginning.
October is many things: American Pharmacist Month. Computer Learning Month. Seafood Month. Apple Jack Month.
It’s also National Cookie Month.
A month… devoted to cookies? Yes, please.
I’m not much of a baker. My skillset is limited to two types of cookies and an out-of-this-world cupcake that consists of a homemade spice cake with apple pie filling, topped with butterscotch icing and caramelized bacon. Yes, I can make something worthy of Cupcake Wars standards, but a cookie recipe? I usually fall flat. Pun intended.
(It’s also why I host a cookie exchange every year around Christmas. Let other people do the work. Wink, wink.)
To be fair, there have been instances when my failures were the result of flawed logic. Like when I followed a recipe for “Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies” and decided I would just leave out the oatmeal and make “Chocolate Chip Cookies”. What I got was “Chocolate Chip Pancakes” and my brother retelling the story at nearly every family meal.
Other times I just didn’t pay close enough attention to the recipe.
Adding ¾ cup of baking soda…
Hmm… nobody seems to like these cookies…
What’s that, Mom? Oh, it said ¾ TB of baking soda?
Well, okay then.
Over the years, I have managed to successfully and repeatedly make two types of cookies. The first is a recipe I discovered on Pinterest some time ago which has never yet failed me. I am eternally grateful to The Idea Room and her Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip cookies.
And the second cookie – well, the only reason there IS a second cookie is because they are “No Bake Cookies”. I don’t know what it is, but I have a certain knack for these little bits of chocolate goodness. It’s a mystery – right up there with Donald Trump’s approval ratings and why British people never sound British when they sing. There’s just no good explanation.
So in honor of National Cookie Month, I thought I would do something I swore I would never do: Share my secret recipe for No Bake Cookies. You will need 1 stick of butter, 2 cups of sugar, 3 TB of cocoa, ½ cup of milk, ¾ cup of peanut butter, and 3 ¼ cups of oatmeal. That’s right. These bad boys are not even remotely good for you. (But that’s why we like them. Am I right, ladies?)
First, put the stick of butter in the microwave for 1 minute. You just want to soften it up a bit. Then throw it in a saucepan over medium heat and add the sugar, milk, and cocoa, stirring continuously until it’s a nice, rich chocolatey sauce.
Next (and this is the part that will make it or break it), put the spoon down, turn your burner up to high and wait.
They say a watched pot never boils. This is false. Watch and wait. Don’t walk away to get a drink of water or check on your kids or move the laundry to the dryer. Watch and wait until at least three-fourths of the perimeter is bubbling slightly. Once it is, wait exactly one minute and then take it off the stove immediately. It sounds kooky, I know. But it IS vital to the whole No Bake Cookie operation.
In the same pot, add your oatmeal and peanut butter and stir until completely blended. (Remember – I’m not a cook. I have no idea if I’m using the correct terminology here.) Dip up spoonful’s of the dough onto wax paper and let sit for approximately an hour. Many people refrigerate them. Do not put them in the refrigerator. I repeat. DO NOT PUT THEM IN THE REFRIGERATOR.
If you’ve followed these steps you should be the proud owner of approximately 36 No Bake Cookies. If you like them to stay soft and fresh, stick ‘em in a piece of Tupperware. If you like them a bit drier and crumbly (like I do), let them sit out overnight. I have no picture of the finished product to show you. They are usually scarfed down before I can get my camera out. Just imagine tiny piles of what look like mud but are actually soft, sweet, and insanely addictive heaven-sent morsels.
So this October, let’s celebrate and honor National Cookie Month with Oreos (double stuff only) and Monster Cookies and Peanut butter Kiss Cookies and No Bake Cookies and Chips Ahoy and Girl Scout Cookies and Milanos. Let’s bake them and buy them and share them and dunk them. But let’s just leave the raisin cookies out of the mix, okay? That’s just a cruel joke.
See you tomorrow!