No Bake Monster Cookies

A few weeks ago, a friend posted a picture on Facebook of some cookies her daughter had created for 4-H. One of the cookies was a no bake monster cookie. I asked her for the recipe and she said they had found it on Pinterest. Since I follow her on Pinterest, I checked out her pins. This recipe is super easy and protein packed. It’s quick and easy but not as good as my mom’s original monster cookie recipe. My husband agreed. However, I did get a chance to use my my new cookie scoop I got as a wedding gift.

No Bake Monster Cookies by The Baker Mama
FullSizeRender (7)2 1/2 c. oatmeal
1 c. peanut butter
1/2 c. honey
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 c. mini chocolate chips
1/2 c. mini M&Ms

Mix together oatmeal, peanut butter, honey, and extract. Then, stir in chocolate chips and M&Ms. Scoop into round balls on parchment paper and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes before eating. Once solid, you can transfer to an airtight container so they don’t dry out.

Notes:

  • I used reduced fat creamy peanut butter but the original recipe says you can also use crunchy peanut butter.
  • I used regular sized chocolate chips and M&Ms. They worked but the might have stayed together better if I had used the mini sizes.
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Banana Oatmeal Muffins

Honey, bananas, and Greek yogurt are great healthy recipe substitutions. The recipe has all plus the low fat, high fiber quick oats. Throw in a little flax seed which is currently being researched to prevent breast cancer. You might be surprised to learn this recipe is actually pretty good. I would totally make it again.

Banana Oatmeal MuffinsBanana Oatmeal Muffins from Pinterest
2 ½ c. oats
1 c. low-fat Greek yogurt
2 eggs
½ c. honey
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
2 T. flax seed
1 tsp. vanilla
2 ripe bananas

Food process oats to a finer consistency. Add remaining ingredients and blend until mixed. Pour into 12 muffin cups and bake at 350 degrees for 18-20 minutes.

Notes:

  • I halved the recipe and it still made 9 muffins.
  • I substituted low-fat vanilla yogurt because it was what I had on hand.
  • I added some frozen berries to a few muffins. Feel free to mix chocolate chips or nuts into yours. The plain muffins were also good.
  • I didn’t have any flax seed so I made it without.

Goodbye 2013

Looking back at 2013, I thought I would share a few of my favorite new recipes. In no particular order, here are my top 13:
Breakfast QuicheBreakfast recipes:

Dinner recipes:

Dessert recipes:

Cherry Crisp

Fall is officially in the air. The low temperature last night was is in the upper 40s with a high in 70s. This is my kind of weather.

Craving cherry crisp, I went to my blog to search for the recipe. I was shocked that I hadn’t posted it for all of you yet. This recipe comes from my mother. Super easy and very tasty. It’s one of my favorite recipes. It serves up delicious warm or cold, with ice cream or fat free Cool Whip. Enjoy!

Cherry CrispCherry Crisp by Kathy Bourek
1 c. brown sugar
1 c. flour
1/2 c. oleo (I used butter/margarine)
1/2 c. oatmeal
1 can cherry pie mix

Crumble flour, oleo, and brown sugar with a fork. Add oatmeal and mix. Pour 1/2 into a 8 inch square pan. Pour cherry pie filling over crust. Sprinkle with remaining mix. Bake at 350 degrees for 30-40 minutes.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Bars

I first saw this recipe on Facebook. It got buried in my Facebook timeline and I had to go search the internet to find it. As a single person, it make way more than I can eat to decided to share it with my co-workers. They loved it and I hope you will too. It’s a good balance of chocolate and peanut butter.

Chocolate Peanut Butter BarsChocolate Peanut Butter Bars
2 c. instant oatmeal
1 1/2 c. flour
1 3/4 c. brown sugar
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. baking powder
1 c. of butter (2 sticks)
1/2 c. chopped peanuts
1 c. chocolate chips
1 egg, slightly beaten
1 can sweet and condensed milk (14 oz.)
1/2 c. creamy peanut butter

Mix together oats, brown sugar, flour, baking soda, and baking powder. Cut in butter. Save 1 1/2 cups. Stir in egg to bowl and press in the bottom of a 13 x 9 pan. Bake for 15 minutes at 350 degrees. In a separate bowl, stir together sweet and condensed milk and peanut butter. Pour over crust. Sprinkle crumble, chocolate chips, and nuts. Bake 15 minutes more.

Notes:

  • I omitted the peanuts.
  • I used Fat Free sweet and condensed milk and reduced fat peanut butter.

Strawberry Rhubarb Crisp

When I think of rhubarb, I think of the house I grew up in. Behind our house in Wisner, my parents had a rhubarb patch and apple tree. Unfortunately, our tree was struck by lightning so the apples it produced were not edible. I remember my mother sending me out in the summer time to pull rhubarb for recipes she would make. The recipe I remember the most was a coffee cake.

When we moved to Wayne, my Grandma Fletcher helped me plant a garden our first year. When we started, the only thing in the garden was rhubarb and Morning Glory flowers growing up the vine. I really wanted strawberries and pumpkins. I learned a few very important lessons. 1) I don’t have a green thumb. 2) You can’t grow strawberries right away. 3) Pumpkins take over and spread everywhere. My great uncle Bob would often come over and take our rhubarb to make jam. The blessing of course is that he would share it with us for providing the rhubarb.

As an adult, I occasionally find recipes I want to make with rhubarb. My dear friend Chuck even has a whole recipe book with just rhubarb recipes. A few months ago, I noticed they sold it in the freezer section at Hy-Vee. I picked up some rhubarb in hopes of making a few of those recipes.

During a recent trip to visit my family, my sister had the television on The Food Network. The Barefoot Contessa was making a Strawberry Rhubarb Crisp. It looked so good I decided to make it a few days ago. I wish I could capture the smell of this amazing recipe straight from the oven to share with you through my blog. I guess this beautiful picture will have to do until you cook it for yourself.

Strawberry Rhubarb CrispStrawberry Rhubarb Crisp by The Barefoot Contessa
4 c. rhubarb, chopped
4 c. strawberries, chopped
1 1/4 c. sugar
1 1/2 tsp. orange zest
1 t. cornstarch
1/2 c. orange juice
1 c. flour
1/2 c. brown sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
1 c. oatmeal
12 T. (1 and 1/2 sticks butter), chopped

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix rhubarb and strawberries with 3/4 c. sugar. Add orange zest. Dissolve cornstarch in orange juice. Pour into large baking dish (2 qt. oblong). Mix flour, salt, brown sugar, remaining granulated sugar, and oatmeal together. Mix in cubed butter. Sprinkle onto of fruit. Bake for 1 hour.

(Please note – I cut the recipe in half.)

I Think My Oven Hates Me

I’m sure we have all thought it at least once. A recipe that you love when somebody else makes it doesn’t turn out quite the same when you make it. What did I do wrong? You check with the original recipe provider just to make sure you didn’t miss any ingredients. You ask what brands they used. You might even try using different bake ware. As a last resort you watch them make the recipe. But you still can’t get the recipe to come out just right. That’s when I blame my oven.

The recipe for me that seems to keep eluding me is Monster Cookies. One of my favorite memories from my childhood is making cookies with my mom. When I was really little my mother stayed home with me and did the books for my parents gas/service station. My mother was always cooking up something in the kitchen and trying new recipes. She also baked lots of desserts for funerals at our church. But my mom always let me help her make cookies.

We usually made Chocolate Chip Cookies. For helping, I got to eat the leftover batter in the bowl. (Yes, this was before we knew the salmonella from raw eggs was bad for you and the invention of Cookie Dough ice cream.) I have always loved chocolate, especially M&Ms. As a kid, I didn’t get to eat chocolate very often because my sister was allergic. (She ate too many solid chocolate Easter Bunnies as a kid. And I’m sorry but carob is not chocolate!) Monster Cookies were great because they included chocolate chips and M&Ms. What’s not to love.

I can’t tell you how many times I have made this recipe and I still can’t get it to look like my mother’s Monster Cookies. They taste fine but they look flat. At first, I thought it was because I was using reduced fat peanut butter so I switched to regular. They still looked flat. Then, I left the dough in the fridge over night to get stiffer. No change. I decided to cook them on a regular cookie sheet as opposed to a mat or air bake pan. Still no change.

I told my sister that it must be because I used generic oatmeal. My sister made me feel better when she told me that her cookies looked just like mine and she uses Quaker oatmeal. Steph also reminded me that my mother had baked the cookies at her house, with her ingredients and magically got the cookies to not look flat.

I share this recipe in hopes your cookies look like they do when my mother bakes them. Even if they don’t, I promise they still taste exactly the same. Pure heaven!

Monster Cookies by Kathy Bourek

1/2 c. butter
1 c. sugar
1 and 1/2 c. brown sugar
3 eggs
1 and 1/2 c. peanut butter
1 tsp. vanilla
2 tsp. baking soda
2 c. oatmeal
1 c. chocolate chips
1/2 c. M&Ms

Cream together first three ingredients. Continue to add ingredients and stir. Bake at 350 degrees for 8-10 minutes.