Kids love cookies, but moms are often too busy to bother cooking in the summer. But wouldn’t it be great if kids could make their own? The first recipe does not require any cooking. The second recipe uses a stovetop, and the third recipe only needs a microwave. Because they’re not cooked, you don’t have to worry about the chemistry of the ingredients. This makes almost complete proof of it!
RECIPE 1 NO-BAKE COOKIE DOUGH: Here is a variation of a no-bake cookie. The recipe calls for ¼ cup creamed butter with 1/3 cup brown sugar. If you don’t have brown sugar, just use regular sugar. (If you’re 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 1-inch round balls or use a cookie spoon. Place on waxed paper and refrigerate for about an hour. With a tablespoon of a tablespoon, you should get about 25 cookies.
I collect different chips throughout the year to use for decorating Christmas cookies. So I have coffee, peanut butter, red cherry, spearmint, yogurt, and butterscotch chips that I like to use for variety and color. I also keep various chopped nuts in the fridge. Mix and match as you like to make that last half cup.
I call standard no-bake cookies my “kitchen sink cookies” because I like to add whatever I have on hand. The only concern is to keep a balance between wet and dry ingredients, so that they harden when cooled.
RECIPE 2 STANDARD NO COOKING COOKIES: Besides nuts and crisps, I also like to add coconut flakes. For anyone allergic to chocolate, I have adapted this recipe for carob powder. So mix 2 cups of sugar with ½ cup of milk, butter and carob powder in a saucepan. If you are using cocoa, just use ¼ cup of cocoa powder. Cook for a minute after boiling. Add ½ cup of chopped or plain peanut butter, a teaspoon of vanilla extract and 3 cups of oatmeal. Place on waxed paper and refrigerate. Try different extracts, like cinnamon or peppermint, but use less than a teaspoon. I have candy aromas on hand that only require a few drops for great flavor.
Oatmeal absorbs a lot of moisture, so I use a little less, if I add nuts, crisps or coconut flakes. The recipe is quite indulgent and allows for many experiments. If you run out of oatmeal, dig the bottom of a cereal box and use the crumbs from it to make the 3 cups. You can also mash cereal, graham crackers, or vanilla wafers to compensate.
3 NON-BAKING STRAWBERRY BALLS RECIPE: Now for decadence, here is a recipe that only makes a dozen cookies. You can double the recipe, but they are very rich. Microwave over low heat to melt ¼ cup semisweet chocolate chips and let cool (or use ¼ cup carob powder and skip the microwave). If the chips don’t melt (and some don’t), simply grind them until they become a powder. Stir in 2 ounces of cream cheese. Stir in 1 large chopped strawberry. (I also used 5-6 raspberries.)
Add 20 crushed vanilla wafers. Use more wafers if the dough is too thin. Refrigerate 2 hours until firm, then shape into 1-inch balls. Microwave Candy Melt flavored crisps until melted (use defrost setting for about 1 to 1 1/2 minutes) and dip cooled balls into melted crisps. Place on waxed paper and refrigerate until set. I am rating these PGs for a mature audience. They can be richer than your young children can appreciate!