Kids love cookies, but moms are often too busy to bother baking in the summertime. But wouldn’t it be great if the kids could make their own? The first recipe requires no baking at all. The second recipe makes use of a stove top and the third recipe needs just a microwave. Because these aren’t baked, you don’t have to worry about the chemistry of the ingredients. That makes them practically full proof!
RECIPE 1 COOKIE DOUGH NO BAKES: Here is a twist on a no bake cookie. The recipe calls for ¼ cup butter creamed with 1/3 cup brown sugar. If you don’t have brown sugar just use regular sugar. (If you are a purist add a teaspoon of molasses or maple extract.) Add 1 cup of oatmeal, 7 ounces of sweetened condensed milk and ½ teaspoon of vanilla extract. Add ½ cup of chips or nuts or ¼ cup of each. Shape the dough into one-inch round balls or use a cookie scoop. Place on wax paper and chill for about an hour. With a one-tablespoon sized scoop, you should get about 25 cookies.
I collect different chips throughout the year to use for cookie decorating at Christmas. So I have coffee-flavored, peanut butter, red cherry-flavored, green mint-flavored, yogurt and butterscotch chips that I like to use for variety and for color. I also keep different chopped nuts in the refrigerator. Mix and match to your heart’s content to make up that last half cup.
I call the standard no-bake cookies my “kitchen sink cookies,” because I like to add whatever I have on hand to them. The only concern is keeping a balance between the wet and dry ingredients, so that they will harden when chilled.
RECIPE 2 STANDARD NO BAKE COOKIES: Besides nuts and chips, I like to add coconut flakes also. For anyone allergic to chocolate, I have adapted this recipe for carob powder. So mix 2 cups of sugar with ½ cup each of milk, butter and carob powder in a pan. If using cocoa, just use ¼ cup of cocoa powder. Cook for one minute after it comes to a boil. Add ½ cup chunky or plain peanut butter, a teaspoon of vanilla extract and 3 cups of oatmeal. Drop on wax paper and chill. Try different extracts, like cinnamon or peppermint, but use less than a teaspoon. I have candy flavorings on hand that only require a few drops for a big flavor.
The oatmeal takes up a lot of the moisture, so I use a little less of it, if I am adding nuts or chips or coconut flakes. The recipe is fairly forgiving and allows for a lot of experimenting. If you are short on oatmeal, dig in the bottom of a cereal box and use the crumbs from that to come up with the 3 cups. You can also crush some cereal, graham crackers or vanilla wafers to compensate.
RECIPE 3 STRAWBERRY NO BAKE BALLS: Now for sheer decadence, here is a recipe that only makes a dozen cookies. You can double the recipe, but they are very rich. Microwave on low to melt ¼ cup of semi-sweet chocolate chips and let cool (or use ¼ cup carob powder and skip the microwaving). If the chips don’t melt (and some won’t), just grind them till they are a powder. Mix in 2 ounces of cream cheese. Stir in 1 large chopped strawberry. (I have also used 5-6 raspberries.)
Add 20 crushed vanilla wafers. Use more wafers if the batter is too thin. Refrigerate 2 hours until firm and then shape into 1-inch balls. Microwave some Candy Melt flavored chips until melted (use defrost setting for about 1 to 1 1/2 minutes) and dip the chilled balls into the melted chips. Place on wax paper and refrigerate until set. I rate these PG for mature audiences. They may be richer than your younger children can appreciate!