This recipe originally came from a newspaper clipping saved by some family member or other. I played with the directions a bit, as usual. (Hey, you knew I would!) The final product reminds me of the peanut butter chocolate fudge you buy at the beach. YUM!
The key to making these cookies successfully is to read the whole recipe, then have all the ingredients measured & ready before you start, as well as your waxed paper torn or your baking dish buttered. Once it starts, it goes quickly! But so will the cookies, so save some back before the family finds them. =^..^=
1Measure out all of the ingredients. Put the sugar & milk in a dutch oven. Have all other ingredients laid out in order of use.
If you're making traditional no-bake cookies, tear off enough waxed paper for about 36 cookies.
If you want "break apart" cookies, butter the bottom of a 13 x 9 baking dish with the end of the stick of butter you have lined up. (This works well when you're out of waxed paper, too.) You just break the cooked & cooled cookies into pieces.
2Combine the sugar & milk in the dutch oven over MEDIUM heat, stirring constantly. When the mixture starts to bubble, boil it for one minute.
3Leaving the pot on the heat, add the stick of butter and the peanut butter. Stir to melt & combine.
4Remove the pot from the heat & add the vanilla. Stir well. Then add the oats...
5...and mix together well.
(You have to work QUICKLY once you add the oats!)
6Drop by spoonfuls onto waxed paper OR...
7...pour the mixture into the buttered baking dish. Spread to desired thickness.
(Pictures 6 & 7 show 1/2 a recipe each.)
8Cool & eat. Store leftover cookies in airtight containers. Cookie crumbles also make an excellent ice cream topping.
I hear they freeze well, but that's never been proven at my house since they usually don't last long enough to properly cool. =^..^=
9For a "peanut butter free" version of this recipe, just increase the sugar to 2 cups. The rest of the ingredients stay the same. Prepare the waxed paper or butter the pan, as written above. Have all of the ingredients measured & waiting, too, since it all goes fast. The directions are different: In a dutch oven or large saucepan, stir together the sugar, milk, margarine, and cocoa. Turn heat on HIGH. Stir until boiling. Quickly turn the heat to MEDIUM and stir & boil for 4 minutes only. Remove from heat. Add vanilla & stir. Add oatmeal & mix well. Drop spoonfuls onto the waxed paper or pour into the buttered pan. Cool.