Sunday, October 26, 2014

Sunday Surprise: No Bake Oatmeal Cookies

Greetings everyone,

Happy Sunday! Oh boy, have I got a blog post for you today. The odds were stacked against me, and at two or three points during this recipe, I thought "This is going to be a genuine Pinstrosity". But, alas, I triumphed-ish.

So I should probably start this post by saying that I  really wanted to make these cookies for Pinstrosity's Pumpkin-tober.

But I ended up forgetting several crucial ingredients when I went to the grocery store (why do I think I can shop successfully when I don't make a list? I totally can't). Naturally, I didn't realize this until 9:00 PM, when I got the fever to bake said cookies.

Then, I thought I'd make some delicious oatmeal cookies. I was sure I had all of the items for those in the pantry already. But, nope, nope I did not. Being unable (and unwilling) to give up cookie making for my Saturday night project, I settled on these "Chocolate Oatmeal No Bake Cookies". Yummsies.

And note, when I type "settled", it wasn't like I was upset about those at all. I mean, look at that picture. GET IN MY FACE!

Here's the recipe listed on the original blog:

Chocolate Oatmeal No Bake Cookies
1/2 C Butter
2 C Sugar
1/2 C Milk
4 Tbsp Cocoa
1/2 C Peanut Butter
3- 3 1/2 C Quick cooking Oats
2 tsp. Vanilla

Add the first 4 ingredients in a saucepan. Bring to a rolling boil, and boil for 1 minute. Stir in the next 3 ingredients and drop onto wax/foil paper. Let cool until set. 
Now would probably be a good time to disclose that tonight, for no particular reason at all, I did not do a hands-on inventory of the things I needed for this recipe. I was just naturally sure that I had it all. Bad choice. especially considering that I couldn't make the original recipe because items were missing. As a writer, you'd think that I would have caught the ominous foreshadowing of this. No such luck. We shall call the lack of inventory Mistake #1.
Mistake #1A: Not enough butter. Nope. We're at the bottom of the container. Maybe a couple of teaspoons, at most. 

No problem, I figure. I'll just use Butter Flavored Crisco, despite never having used Crisco in this way. What could go wrong? 
I started with the whole "Add the first four ingredients in a saucepan". Mistake #2 (while Mistake #1 - no inventory-  is still in progress): I started cooking BEFORE gathering the ingredients. What the heck was I thinking?! 
Here we go... Milk, sugar, and Crisco
Here, see? The shortening is melting. That's cool.

Is it supposed to be separated like that? Like... not sure how much you can actually tell, but the shortening was just a yellow layer on top of the milk and the sugar. It didn't seem to be blending at all. Very oil/water. Hmm. Troubling... 
Photo in motion...ooooh....ahhh....
But, not nearly as troubling as what I found next (on the Crisco container):

As you can imagine, since this stuff was already heating in the saucepan, this was not an ideal moment to realize this. Even worse, the recipe instructed me to "bring ingredients to a rolling boil". Gulp.
I turned up the heat a little more, and then this started to happen:

I panicked and removed the pan from the burner (on the off chance that this was what Stage 1 of a grease fire looked like). But, the good news was that it started to mix up, kinda...
Pardon the messy stove.
Next item on the recipe? Quick oats. Awesome... I'll just go ahead and add my 3 - 3 1/2 cu-- oh no. Literally, as I am pouring the quick oats into the pan, I realize that there are only two cups left in the container. And, naturally, we only have one container. Mistake #1B.

Oat to  sugary grease ratio was all sorts of off.
At this point, I'm like, 'welp, this is over and done with. May as well figure out how to dump it in the trash...' Until... dun dun da dun!!! (Prince Oatmeal rides in on his valiant steed)
Individual packets of oatmeal that Rob bought at Target, but didn't like. So they've just been sitting in the pantry for a couple of months. Strawberry or not, into the pan the last three packets went.
Ahhh....much better.
It is only at this point during this "baking" session (if you can even call it that), that I realized I never added the cocoa, as I was instructed in Step 1.  Mistake #3. Whoops. I started scrounging around in my pantry only to discover...... no cocoa. 


Mistake #1C. Seriously. Almost lost my mind. But, again, I'd already made it this far, so I couldn't just give up. Right? Right.


Indeed. Ovaltine to the rescue. I mean, it's powdery and chocolately, so, really, I felt like I was going in at least kind of the right direction. I added the vanilla for this photo too:

In the interest of full disclosure, this tasted amazing. I gave it a little nibble and was quite impressed. Because, really, I was still amazed that it wasn't on fire.

Carrying on. Last ingredient: peanut butter. 

And this, ladies and gentleman, was the first PLANNED substitution for this recipe. Skippy Dark Chocolate peanut butter was a Nutella competitor that I found at the dollar store awhile back. I quickly decided that there was no competing with Nutella, so about half of this jar has been hanging out in the pantry, waiting for its purpose. And this recipe was just the ticket.

The bad news? My 1/2 cup wouldn't fit into the container. And, I know, I know, I could have spooned it out into the 1/2 cup, but that just seemed like "too much work". I decided to just "eyeball it" because really, who cared at this point? I didn't really. It was tasty, but I was pretty cranky about how all of this was unfolding.

I scooped this into cookie sized balls and waited. After ten minutes, it didn't look like it was any closer to being "set"-- so I opted to put it in the fridge, with the other half in a pie dish.

This may have been a mistake, but as you can imagine, I was pretty much ready to throw the towel in anyway. I fell asleep and ended up leaving these in the fridge overnight. Here's the final product:

Rob quite likes them. Though they're not nearly as nice looking as the original post. They also have little specks in them. Maybe shortening? Who knows.

I actually find these to be waaaaaay too sugary/a weird consistency (almost....grainy?). But, of course, I don't blame that on the original post. I feel my version of this was a recipe unto itself, what with all of the fails. I do want to say this though, think of what a solid recipe this must be if I could replace butter with shortening, forget/replace cocoa with Ovaltine, use plain AND flavored oatmeal, and a different kind of peanut butter and still coming out edible. Hats off to the original post, I say.

Let's review the morals of the baking story:
  1. Do not, unless you are absolutely sure of what you're doing, start baking at 9:00 PM.
  2. Do a complete inventory of the ingredients needed. Seriously.
  3. Do NOT start to bake until inventory is complete (or, what you start working on can be used for something else, I suppose) 
Learn from my mistakes!!

Have any of you tried the original post? What did you think?
Thanks for hanging in there with me. Hopefully, I'll have something else for you soon!

E-hugs and e-kisses,


  1. This is really a fabulous recipe. Try it again with the correct ingredients and you'll be quite happy with it. We don't bother to make it into cookies. We put it into bowls and eat it that way - much less work and same great taste.

  2. Oh and I agree with you that the new Skippy dark chocolate peanut butter will never give Nutella any competition. Ever.

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  4. Hehehe, this made my night after a long day of preparing food for my daughters birthday!! I have tried the original recipe and they are delicious!!!!!!

  5. No-bake oatmeal cookies have been a staple in my family for decades! I want to try it with the Skippy chocolate peanut butter now! They're REALLY delicious with dark cocoa. I do remember using Nestle's Quik back in the day. I also microwave the first few ingredients, if I'm really impatient.

  6. We have mad a few versions of these, and we discovered that the slight graininess and extra sweetness is either from too much sugar or the powdered milk. We didn't have cocoa on hand at one point and used hot chocolate mix, cue slightly grainy and too sweet, but still edible.

  7. I make those, but I just use chocolate chips instead of the cocoa, vanilla, milk. I am at work so will have to get the recipe from home. These, or my version, are a staple of my Christmas cookie making.

  8. Agreed with everyone here! No-Bake Oatmeal cookies were the first ones I could make by myself (mom didn't want me using the oven when she was gone.....) they are so delicious (and not grainy or sweet when you use real cocoa!) :) Glad your version turned out for you!

  9. Oh my gosh. We used to call these "Fudgy cookies" when I was a kid. They were my dad's favorites. And this post made me laugh so hard I almost started to cry!!! LOVE IT!

    But do try them again making them the right way. They're awesome. :)

  10. Oh Rachel, this makes me laugh every single time I read it. What everyone else is missing is hearing your voice and laugh as you tell this story. Adding that in makes this AWESOMENESS even more epic. I love it.


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