Do you remember eating no-bake cookies as a kid? I sure do. My brothers and I routinely begged my mother to let us make cookies. She usually indulged us by agreeing to make no-bake cookies. No chocolate chip cookies or sugar cookies—just no-bake cookies. She was busy raising three kids and running her own business, so I can’t blame her for wanting to minimize mess and baking time.
Granted, we were in for a treat every time we gathered around the stove to watch the cocoa, butter and peanut butter boil. Since childhood, I’ve tried various homemade versions and they tend to disappoint. They’re either too dry or bland for my more mature taste buds. I pulled out my favorite old recipe from The Muffin Lady and made half batches until I found the perfect ratio of oatmeal, cocoa, peanut butter and extra flavor.
First off, I almost doubled the amount of cocoa powder so the cookies are sufficiently rich. I also wanted to add espresso powder to intensify the flavor of the chocolate, but I couldn’t find any at local stores. I had a packet of Starbucks VIA instant coffee, so I poured that in at the end. Eureka! I substituted turbinado sugar, a less refined sugar, for a more moist cookie with better flavor. And for texture, I chose extra thick rolled oats instead of the instant variety. End result? A grown-up, decadent no-bake cookie, ready to eat in less than twenty minutes flat.
- 2 cups turbinado sugar
- ½ cup milk
- 5 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
- 4 tablespoons butter
- ½ cup peanut butter
- 2½ cups rolled oats
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 packet Starbucks Columbia VIA
- Pour sugar, milk, cocoa and butter in a medium, heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium-high heat. Bring to a rolling boil for 1 minute and 30 seconds, stirring often.
- Remove from heat and quickly mix in the rest of the ingredients.
- Drop spoonfuls on wax paper or parchment paper.