I borrowed an idea from an older sister today and taught one of my kiddos to make No-Bake cookies, another first. We made two pans of them in old fashioned circles and then dyed the rest with green food coloring and made a 4-leaf clover for St Patty's day.
A no-bake cookie, in case you've not had the pleasure of making them, is a cookie you boil, not bake. Hence the name. They include 8 total ingredients and take very little time to make. When I was a kid my little sister and I weren't allowed to use the oven when no one else was home but the stove was okay so these were the only cookies we could make ourselves. And we made them all the time.
The best no-bake cookies I ever had:
When I was growing up my mother was a single mother and often worked late or graveyard shifts making ends meet. As a result things sometimes were a little hard to squeeze in and one year (I'm guessing I was in middle school?) I didn't have a birthday cake. It wasn't a huge deal but I was a little bit disappointed. So while I was in my room reading my little sister Lee made two batches of no-bake cookies and made my initials out of them (one batch each for the first and last initial) and stuck candles in it. This is still one of the top presents anyone has ever given me.
There are several variations on the recipe but here's the recipe I use if you'd like to try them out:
No Bake Cookies
1/2 cup butter, softened
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 cup milk
2 cups sugar
1/3 cup baking cocoa
3/4 cup creamy peanut butter
3 cups quick cooking oats
1 tsp. vanilla
Combine the first 5 ingredients in a sauce pan and boil for one to two minutes*. Stir in peanut butter and vanilla. Stir in the oats.
*I boil at a full boil for 1.5 minutes. Too long and the cookies are really dry, too short and they won't harden into a solid cookie but will stay mushy.