nourishing & unapologetic
If you've been reading for a while, you know I love me some chocolate. Good news on that front, I made you a classic: no bake cookies. They're basic, but chockfull of chocolate, peanut butter, and oats. (Wait, I just gave you a a third of the ingredient list right there...) They come together in minutes in one pan. Oh, and they're incredibly addicting. So seemingly there's no bad news. BUT, I'm wearing a bridesmaid's dress in less than a week. WHY DO I DO THIS TO MYSELF? Thank goodness it's A-line and a teeny bit forgiving.
The recipe is almost a non-recipe that can turn out splendidly. OR, it sends you over the edge because you need a straw for your cookies or they've setup like hockey pucks. For this very reason, my own mother refuses to make no bakes. So, over the years, I've tweaked and tried to perfect them. More times than not, the recipe below will net you a winner.
Let's get to it.
Classic No Bake Cookies
1/2 cup unsalted butter
2 cups granulated sugar
1/2 cup milk (I prefer 2% or whole)
3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder (if you're feeling bold, try special dark cocoa)
Combine all ingredients in medium-large sauce pan. Stir well. Bring ingredients to a boil.
Pro tip: This is the tricky, critical part. You want the start of a rolling boil but not one you sustain for too long. As soon as you get a good boil, turn the heat off and remove from stove top.
Once removed from the heat, immediately stir in:
1/2 cup peanut butter (I always put a little extra in, probably about 1 tablespoon or 2 extra!)
1 teaspoon vanilla (the good stuff, no artificial)
3 cups old fashioned oats.
More Pro Tips:
This measuring tool from Pampered Chef is a LIFESAVER when you're using peanut butter. I'm not one for too many gadgets but this is a good item!
And, most no bake cookies call for quick oats. I am not a fan. I love the full size oats. They add more body to the cookies and make them look more uniform. Doubters (like my husband initially) will be convinced.
I'm a lifelong fan of Mexican vanilla. It's the best thing. My grandparents once took a trip to Cozumel (which my gma endearingly pronounced "Coashamel" and brought back some vanilla. I'm pretty sure we used that vanilla well beyond the expiration window but, really, can vanilla go bad? The smell of Mexican vanilla evokes a strong response from me, one of bliss and eagerness. Now it's the only type of vanilla you'll find in my cupboard.
Stir well. Then drop by tablespoons on to waxed paper. Let sit. (and save yourself a scoop of the hot mixture. You've earned it!)
Okay. Enough belaboring a basic recipe. You can do this. Make them tonight since you likely have all of the ingredients on hand.
We'll talk again soon. Perhaps about our house. Perhaps about some Friday favorites. So much to say, coming soon.
Until next time,
6/28/2014 6 Comments
Unsurprising Confession: I really love cookies. The only other sweet I'd forego a cookie for is a brownie. But as of late, the Born household has been on a cookie kick.
Now, I must request a virtual ROUND OF APPLAUSE for Sally over at Sally's Baking Addiction for this kick butt recipe! It is undeniably one of the best cookie recipes I've ever made. (And this sweet tooth has made a lot of cookies over the last 28 years...)
What makes these cookies both addicting and awesome is their classic simplicity. My vegetable preferring husband is a sucker for soft cookies. He liked these Soft-Baked Monster Cookies so much requested I make these cookies two nights in a row.
These are perfect for any bake sale, picnic, family get together, or just an afternoon snack.
What these cookies aren't perfect for is bikini/swimsuit season. Seriously, you need willpower of a Saint to refuse one (er, three). Summer is in full swing and we're headed to Florida in a few weeks. This is when I should be eating greens, protein, and nothing enjoyable. But if you've been reading this blog, you know that I tend to prefer things that aren't going to keep me slim and trim. But as I grumble about what I look like (and maybe reach for another cookie at the same time) , I have to remind myself that I prefer to eat what I love and run a little more than regiment my diet. (For those who tell me that's not the way to think, I know this but I'm not looking to be a super model (I mean I'm 5'1.5" for goodness sakes!), just healthy.) I'm never going to be lean or cut because it's not something I value over being in the kitchen generating a form of love and a few calories.
But in the spirit of swimsuit season, let's quickly reflect on this wardrobe component that most women despise. And, then I'll share a few I'm coveting and/or considering. Then I promise I'll give you the goods on the cookies.
You might have seen this video on Facebook, but I wanted to share it here. I'm not sure what to think of Jessica Rey's call for modesty as means of empowerment. I am conflicted. On one hand, I think she's brilliant. I totally get not wanting to be seen as an "object". It repulses me to think that an article of clothing can slingshot our evolutionary advanced mind back to the more archaic times. But..
Here's my argument: a power suit is not about the amount of fabric and fit, but rather the mental and emotional feelings one has when wearing it. Power suit= self-confidence. To me, wearing any swimsuit at all and feeling like a rockstar in it is empowering. If that's a itsy bitsy bikini for some or a full-on one piece with a skirt, so be it. I will throw in the caveat that there are some swimsuits that are just not suited for all body types and generally you know when that's the case. And complete honesty, I am totally guilty of judging someone else for wearing something I don't think is flattering on them but that's my problem and my misstep. Seriously, who am I to judge what someone else feels best in?
All that said, here are a few swimsuits, in a variety of styles, I think are adorable for summer 2014:
I know after trying on swimsuits (virtually or in a store), I want a reward. Here's yours.
Soft-Baked Monster Cookies
Recipe source: Sally's Baking Addiction
1/2 cup (1 stick) salted butter, softened to room temperature
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1/4 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup creamy peanut butter
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract (I prefer Mexican vanilla)
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 and 1/4 cups all purpose flour
1/2 cup quick oats*
3/4 cup your favorite M&Ms
1/2 cup milk chocolate or semi-sweet chocolate chips
*I never have quick oats on hand, so I just put a little over a 1/2 cup of old fashioned oats in the food processor, pulsed for a few seconds, and viola!
Thanks for letting me ramble on today. I sincerely hope if you're on the hunt for a swimsuit this summer that you find one that makes you feel 100% beautiful and/or comfortable. If you do, celebrate with these cookies. If not, commiserate with these cookies. Either way this recipe is a homerun! Talk to you soon.
PS For the mommas out there debating whether to pass on the pool or splash with your kiddos, check out this article. It's a good read.