No Bake Cookies

no bake cookies
In all my years of cooking and baking, I had never whipped up a batch of No Bake cookies. A week and a half ago I made my first batch.

I made a third batch last night.

I cannot stop eating these cookies. The fact that they take less than 10 minutes to make doesn’t help the situation.

There are tons of variations on this basic recipe for No Bakes and this is no exception. My brother-in-law passed his recipe along to me with a follow-up message of modifications. I started with that recipe and altered it slightly in the three batches I’ve made to suit my needs. I use old fashioned oatmeal and natural peanut butter—both affect the consistency and timing of the recipe. The key is finding the right amount of oats so your cookie is not too dry or too wet to hold its shape. Humidity levels will affect this so keep that in mind when making these tasty treats. You may need a few more or less tablespoons of oats depending on your climate.

The recipe below is my current incarnation and is ridiculously delicious. I should probably padlock the Tupperware dish so I don’t eat them all in one sitting.

Oh, and make sure you eat the last bite out of the pan with a spoon while it is still warm. Trust me, you will not be sorry.

No Bake Cookies
makes 24–30 cookies

Ingredients
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup + 1 tablespoon milk
1/4 cup cocoa
4 tablespoons butter (heavy 1/4 cup—probably an extra TB full of PB)
2 1/4 cup oatmeal*
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 cup peanut butter
pinch of salt

Directions

  1. Combine sugar, milk, cocoa, and butter in a medium saucepan and bring to a rolling boil stirring often.
  2. Boil for one minute.
  3. Turn off the heat and add oatmeal, vanilla, peanut butter, and salt. Mix well.*
  4. Drop teaspoonful size cookies onto wax paper and cool.

Enjoy!

*You can use quick cook oats or old-fashioned oats. I use old-fashioned oats and allow the mixture to sit in the pan for 3 minutes before dropping the cookies onto the wax paper. If using quick cook oats you and mix and drop right away.

Cranberry, Almond, & Cashew Bark

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Inspired by this post written by Daisy over at Curvy Girl Guide (you are reading CGG, right? You know I also write there, correct?), I decided to make a batch of my own bark.

The results were fantastic.

In my opinion, the beauty of bark is that you can throw pretty much whatever you want in the chocolate and create some pretty delicious results. In addition to the dried cranberries, almonds, and cashews, I sprinkled some kosher salt on the top of the chocolate before it set. I highly recommend doing this. I do the same thing when I make almond clusters. I don’t use salted nuts and the addition of the kosher salt at the end is a great contrast to the creamy sweet chocolate.

Cranberry Almond Cashew Bark

Ingredients:
5–6 ounces Chocolate Chips (milk or dark)
1/2 tablespoon vegetable shortening (like Crisco)
Dried Cranberries
Whole Natural Almonds
Cashew Halves & Pieces
Kosher Salt

Directions:

  1. Place chocolate chips and shortening in a double boiler—I use a small metal bowl set inside a small pan filled with a little water—over medium heat. Stir occasionally as the chips melt being careful to not get any water in the bowl.
  2. Remove from heat and stir in 1/4 to 1/2 cup each of the almonds, cashews, and dried cranberries.
  3. Pour the chocolate mixture onto a rimmed cookie sheet lined with wax paper and spread out with a spatula.
  4. Top the bark with a few more cranberries, almonds, and cashews and sprinkle with kosher salt.
  5. Refrigerate to set. Break apart set bark with a butter knife.

Notes:
5–6 ounces of chips is about half a bag. I just eyeball it and don’t worry about measuring out the chocolate.
Dry off the bottom of the bowl you melt the chocolate in before pouring the mixture onto the baking sheet so no water drips into the chocolate.

Oven Dried Tomatoes (1 Year/100 Recipes #3)

Tomatoes.

I have them. Lots and lots of them.

Tiny grape tomatoes all from one little plant. I thought I would be safe by just planting one grape tomato plant this year—along with two varieties of large tomatoes. I’m the only one that will eat the grape tomatoes but one can only eat so many of those little gems before they bad.

So what’s a girl to do with quart after quart of grape tomatoes?

Dehydrate them of course.

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Turn them into little tomato candies that can be tossed in the freezer and used anytime you need some tomato flavor in your dishes.

Plump them back up in some hot water and add them to soups and sauces.
Chop them up and mix them with some basil, mozzarella, and olive oil to spread on a baguette.
Eat them on a cracker with a smear of cream cheese.

The possibilities are endless.

And the process? Super easy. All you really need is some time and an oven. Well, and tomatoes.

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Oven Dried Tomatoes

Ingredients
Small tomatoes
Salt
Pepper

Directions
Set oven to about 150°.**
Cut tomatoes in half and spread cut side up on a baking sheet.
Sprinkle tomatoes with salt and pepper.
Bake for 8–10 hours until dried.

Toss in the freezer for long term storage or cover with olive oil and keep in the fridge for up to two weeks.

**My oven shows the lowest number as 200° but will heat up in the little section of white between the OFF and the 200° mark. I’m estimating that it is around 150°. What you want is a very low setting.

These are seriously yummy right off the baking sheet. Give them a try. You won’t be disappointed.

This recipe is part of my 1 Year/100 Recipes Challenge. It was first made on 8.16.11.

Other recipes I’ve tried and posted about for this challenge include:
Shish Tawook Chicken & Garlic Sauce
Cheesy Ham & Hashbrown Bake

Cheesy Ham and Hashbrown Bake (1 Year/100 Recipes #2)

Do you know Rachel? You will want to run up and kiss her after I tell you about the second recipe in my 1 Year/100 Recipe challenge.

Why? Because she is responsible for this OMG IT’S SO GOOD recipe.

Seriously, look at this thing.

IMG_1928Bubbly cheesy goodness and enough to feed a crowd. That is if you want to share. One bite and you may want to horde it all to yourself.

It is a Cheesy Ham and Hashbrown Bake and I cannot wait to make it for a family gathering. I made it (7.1.11) for JQ, G-tot and I and never got sick of eating the leftovers—which there were plenty. I’m seriously salivating over this just thinking about it.

What’s in it you ask?

Hashbrowns.
Ham.
Sour Cream.
Onion.
Cream of Potato Soup.
Spices.
LOTS of Cheese.

Basically you mix it all together and bake it.

So very good.

And you end up with this.

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Want the recipe?

Wait, let me answer that for you—YES, you want the recipe.

You can find it over at A Southern Fairytale. Here’s the link—Cheesy Ham and Hashbrown Bake.

Enjoy.

Shish Tawook Chicken & Garlic Sauce (1 Year/100 Recipes #1)

1 Year/100 Recipes. What’s this all about?

The first recipe I chose for the 1 Year/100 Recipes challenge was Shish Tawook Chicken and Garlic Sauce (made 6.30.11). When I pulled this recipe out of my Entrees folder and looked it over, one thing that caught my eye was the date printed at the bottom—12.14.06. I have had this recipe in my possession for almost 5 years and had never made it. That is exactly why I’m doing this challenge. If I’m never going to make it—or if it doesn’t taste good—why am I hanging on to these recipes for years and years?

Pretty sure from the recipe that there is nothing authentic about it but it was still really good. Good enough that both my husband and my 4 year old son really enjoyed it and agreed that it should be put in the “keep” pile.

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I did alter it slightly from the original as I made it and that alteration is what I’m going to share with you today.

I served it with yellow rice and some fresh veggies. If you give it a try I’d love to hear what you thought of it.

Shish Tawook Chicken and Garlic Sauce

INGREDIENTS

For the Chicken
3 TB vegetable oil
2 TB plain yogurt
2 TB ketchup
2 TB mustard
1 tsp garlic salt
2 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp curry powder
boneless skinless chicken breasts—in bite size pieces (Recipe called for 3 pounds. I used what I felt was appropriate for a family of 3. Use what you need.)

For the Garlic Sauce
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1/2 cup plain yogurt
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/8 tsp salt

DIRECTIONS

For the Chicken
1. Mix together first 9 ingredients in a medium bowl (vegetable oil through curry powder). Add chicken pieces, coat thoroughly, and refrigerate for several 1. hours or overnight.
2. Sauté in pan for approximately 12 minutes (Until chicken is cooked through. No extra fat is needed in pan.)

For the Garlic Sauce
1. Mix together mayo, yogurt, garlic, and salt in a small bowl.
2. Cover and refrigerate to allow flavors to meld.