This recipe is called Peanut Butter Cookies in my "Old-Fall-Apart-Cookbook" Favorite Recipes of the Great Northwest. Anyone who has EVER made a peanut butter cookie knows it is round, light brown, and has fork marks making an x across the top! These cookies are NOT Peanut Butter Cookies! I am shouting!
And, I CANNOT make these cookies successfully. Again - one more point AGAINST DNA, and FOR ... what was the other ... Nurture!
My Mom and niece make them regularly. Successfully! The problem is not in the recipe! Well, not now that I called my Mom and asked HOW she made those cookies, and what "full boil" really means! The problem is in ... my favorite things in the world - substitution and scrimping!
I have tons of old fashioned oats from Costco. I use them for making granola. This recipe calls for quick cooking oats. I don't have any of those and am not really sure WHERE to get them in my town. So, I used the old fashioned kind. Big big looser. Took the batch to church. No one actually said it tasted like they were eating chocolate covered horse food, but...
The next time I decided to toast the oats before using them. I was too embarrassed to take this batch to church - burnt the oats a bit - so they tasted like chocolate covered burnt horse food.
So, as Japanese cornflakes seem to be harder, thicker and crisper than US ones, I decided to use them instead. This was the worst substitution yet. Though they may be a bit crisper, I bought the cheapo store brand, and I ended up with soggy, tough chocolate covered cornflakes. ARGH!
So, unless someone has a good way to make old fashioned oats into quick cooking oats, I may have to put off making this recipe till I find the "real" thing. Or, until I think of another option. Seriously - don't you think this recipe would be good with slightly broken up salty pretzels? Mmmmm?
No-Bake Chocolate Oatmeal Peanut Butter Cookies (Peanut Butter Cookies)
contributed by Mrs. Fred T. Mellinger, Portland, OR page 168
2 cups sugar
1/4 cup butter (we use margarine)
1/2 cup milk
2 1/2 Tbsp. cocoa
2/3 cup peanut butter
3 tsp. (1 Tbsp.) vanilla
3 cups oatmeal
Combine sugar, butter, milk and cocoa in saucepan. Bring to a full boil. (Full boil means a boil you can't stir down. Then I counted to 10.) Remove from heat and add peanut butter, vanilla and oatmeal. Spoon onto waxed paper. Cool. Yield 3 dozen.
From my experience, one should not skimp on any of the above ingredients (sugar, peanut butter)! Also, from my experience, if making a substitution for the oatmeal, one might just want to start with a half batch!
I tried other recipes like this one that had less peanut butter. They tasted more chocolaty, but didn't set well. This really tastes like peanut butter chocolate fudge with oatmeal in it. If you make them right.
Remember, I am waiting for your ideas about a better substitution for the quick cooking oats!!!
NOTE: I DID try to cut those oats up in my blender/mixer thingie before trying again. And they were much much better. If I had quick oats, I think they are still best, but "blended up oats" worked just fine! Thank you for the suggestion!
HEY! I might use the chocolate/peanut butter mixture as frosting on my birthday cake this Friday!!!??? What do you think??
NOTE: I DID use the "chocolate sauce" part for frostening on my cake! It turned out great! I made 1/2 batch to "frost" a single 8" layer that I cut in half to make two layers. And you don't need a knife!