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Author Notes: My husband won't complain if I pack him a salad for lunch as long as one of these cookies makes it into his lunch sack. I grew up eating these sweets at my grandmother's house in Michigan and, though they are humble, they have a few big things going for them: they don't require an oven and there's only 20 minutes between me and a powerhouse combination of chocolate and peanut butter. Think chubby mounds of chocolate-y oats shot throughout with the rich flavor of peanut butter. Plus, they have plenty of oat texture and just enough richness to go with a glass of cold milk. I've made a few adaptations to Grandma's recipe, the most important being that I use a candy thermometer to get the texture right. I also sub old fashioned oats for quick cooking oats, dial down the sugar and up the salt. Finally, I add the cocoa powder to the hot liquid -- more chocolate flavor this way. —halfasiangirl
Makes approximately 15 cookies
cups old fashioned oats
cup natural peanut butter (100% peanuts preferred, creamy or crunchy are both fine)
cup granulated sugar
cup milk (1% or 2% both work)
cup unsalted butter
teaspoon sea salt (may omit if your peanut butter is salted)
tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
cold milk, for drinking
- Add the oats and the peanut butter to a large mixing bowl. Set aside.
- Set out an area for the cookies to cool: a sheet or two of waxed paper or a silicone baking mat big enough to hold 15 2-inch cookies.
- In a small saucepan, combine the sugar, milk, butter, cocoa powder and salt over medium heat. Stir to combine with a wooden spoon or silicone spatula. Place a candy thermometer in the saucepan and, stirring frequently, bring the mixture to 235 degrees Fahrenheit. The mixture will boil vigorously and become foamy and glossy. Watch the thermometer closely and, once the mixture reaches 235-240 degrees, take it off the stove immediately. On my stove, this process usually takes between 4 and 6 minutes but will vary depending on your stove. (I know it feels like it is taking forever but it's better not to step away from the stove during this step. Wait it out.)
- Pour the cocoa mixture into the mixing bowl containing the oats and peanut butter. Stir well to thoroughly combine the ingredients, working fairly quickly, so the mixture does not begin to set in the bowl.
- Drop cookies by the tablespoonful onto the wax paper or silicone baking mat you set out earlier. Let cool until firm, approximately 5-10 minutes. The outer surface of the cookies will go from glossy/shiny to matte looking. I love eating them when they are still a little shiny but they will hold together better if they are matte. Store covered. These cookies keep for a day or two but are best eaten immediately.
- This recipe was entered in the contest for Your Best Brown Bag Lunch