No-bake cookies provide a quick chocolate fix

Rebecca Bright

The time of year between Christmas and spring break sucks in a lot of ways. It’s still cold, but not cold enough for snow, there’s not much happening on campus or in town and the homework is really starting to pile up. Some nights, all you can do is curl up in front of the Olympics (or with a textbook) and eat ridiculously tasty, easy-to-make cookies. At least, that’s all I can do.

And these cookies are really easy. They’re the perfect combination of oatmeal, chocolate and peanut butter, and you don’t even have to bake them: just boil the mixture on the stove, drop them onto cookie sheets, and wait for them to cool. To make a batch, you only need a few ingredients, and although you probably can’t steal them from a dining hall, they’re all easy to find at the store or pilfer from a friend’s off-campus house.

Perfect for any late-night chocolate cravings or study breaks, this recipe can be adapted easily to fit the ingredients you have on hand. Chopped nuts, coconut or almond extract can add a lot to the flavor and extra chocolate chips make for an extra-rich, gooey cookie. For peanut butter, you can go with smooth or crunchy, sugary or organic, according to your preference.

Only one warning: I would recommend using butter instead of margarine, although both will work. This helps the cookies to set faster and firm up better: and the hardest part of making this recipe is waiting while the cookies cool. Other, messier eating options include scooping the warm cookies straight off the cookie sheet with a spoon or eating them as a topping on vanilla ice cream.

If you’re looking for convenience, a high chocolate content and perfect chewy texture, you won’t find a better cookie option than this. And the oatmeal makes them healthy, right?

Chocolate Oatmeal No-Bake Cookies

2 cups granulated sugar

2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa

½ cup milk

¼ cup butter (or margarine)

3 cups quick-cooking oats

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

½ cup peanut butter

  1. In a medium saucepan, bring the sugar, unsweetened cocoa, milk and butter to a boil.
  2. Remove from heat and immediately add the oats, vanilla extract and peanut butter.
  3. Drop the hot mixture onto greased cookie sheets or wax paper, about a spoonful at a time.
  4. Let stand for one half-hour (if you can!) or pop them in the freezer for a few minutes to speed up the process.