No-bake cookies were always one of my favorite potluck eats.
I grew up with a lot of potlucks. It was the late 80s and everyone seemed to be potluck-happy. I also went to also many Mary Kay and Tupperware parties with my mom that I had a full make-up kit perfectly organized in airtight plastic containers by the time I was 13. (In all seriousness, though, why would a teenager need an age-reversal skin care regimen?)
Because potlucks and network marketing were the bulk of my weekend social interactions until 1992, I became a connoisseur of fine crockpot meals and more importantly, the dessert table. Minus the occasional Jello fruit salad, this was where ladies pulled out all the stops and everyone rejoiced.
Ladies carefully laid out their platters of cookies, cakes, Swiss rolls, brownies, cobblers, and pies, vying for a space on the table and the honor of being the first to have their dessert completely consumed. It was kind of the potluck finish line where everyone took a victory lap.
No-bake cookies were always one of my favorite potluck eats. These seemed like straight-up magic to me, and I was fascinated by cookies that tasted awesome without baking them. It was potluck sorcery at Hogwarts level.
The main ingredient in this recipe is oats, which I became sensitive to for a brief time after I had a baby. Apparently, oats contain nickel — my earlobes swelled up like tomatoes when I wore my favorite cheap earrings from Target and my doctor said to cut out nickel, including the oats. Sure enough, I tried eating oats and within two hours the skin under my wedding band cracked and swelled. I cried. The doctor was right.
But I had a problem: All I wanted were these no-bake cookies with oats for days.
So, I channeled my inner potluck goddess and created a new recipe with different ingredients. The result? I loved these even more than the original.
For those of you who are sensitive to grains, this is a great option for you. For the rest of you, you're going to love these cookies, too.
3 cups shredded coconut or blend with coconut flakes
1 cup peanut butter (you can sub sunflower seed butter if peanuts are an issue)
1 cup sugar or equivalent dry sweetener of your choice
2/3 cup cocoa powder
1/4 coconut oil
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp vanilla extract
Put on an apron. If you're making these cookies, your favorite church lady apron is a must.
Next, combine peanut butter and coconut oil in a sauce pan and melt on low heat, stirring frequently. Add vanilla extract, and remove from heat.
Using a whisk, stir in cocoa powder. I sift mine in because I'm wild like that, but it's not necessary unless you're wild, too. Of course, you ARE wearing an apron so who knows what will happen next? Go ahead and add your sugar and cinnamon, too. Whisk until everything is smooth.
Add your coconut shreds half a cup at a time, until coconut is completely coated. Pour this mixture into a square, wax paper-lined pan. Spread evenly.
Pop the pan in the freezer for 40 minutes to set. Remove from freezer and slice into bars. Store in the refrigerator to keep them fresh in that Tupperware container indefinitely.