by Anza Goodbar
(last updated August 5, 2015)
When my kids were little, we went to a potluck dinner. One of the desserts served that day was no-bake cookies. I'd never heard of them and had no idea how easy they were to make. One of my best friends hated to cook, so this was her answer to giving her kids homemade cookies. Our family adopted it as one of our favorites too.
This is a great recipe to share with kids. They can help measure out the ingredients. If they are tall enough, they can help stir on the stovetop, too. Once the mixture is cooked, it can be transferred to a Tupperware bowl and younger kids can help spoon out the cookies onto waxed paper.
I especially love this recipe in the summer. They make a sweet treat that doesn't require keeping the oven on. (This means the house stays cooler.) These cookies also freeze well. Once cooked, you can place them in Tupperware containers or gallon-sized zip-locked bags and store until needed.
These cookies can be made in bite-sized drops or into larger, more substantial cookies. For a twist, I like to add toasted coconut. The coconut gives added texture and body to the cookie and provides an interesting flavor. A teaspoon of hazelnut extract instead of vanilla will also add nice flavor and variety to the recipe.
I use creamy peanut butter, but you can use crunchy if you prefer. It doesn't change the flavor or consistency of the cookie. Instant or long-cooking oatmeal can be used. The texture is firmer with long-cooking oatmeal, so this is my favorite. My kids prefer the softer texture of instant oatmeal. Maybe they like it better because it cooks faster!
These cookies melt to the touch of your hand. If you have small children, keep them at the table and wipe their hands after eating to prevent chocolaty fingerprints.
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