I’ve gotten a total number of 10 hours of sleep the last two nights (maaaaan, sleep deprivation has been a recurring theme around here, hasn’t it?) so you’ll have to excuse me because I’m tired and it’s early but I am hell bent on getting you this recipe because 1) I promised I would and 2) these cookies are so delicious that it’d be wrong for me to keep it tucked away any longer. But I did think about it. Partly because I was pressed for time and in a rush to photograph them (and had to use the super harsh, early morning light), but mostly because there’s been a disproportionate amount of brown-colored food in this space (these, those, and this) (and now you’re looking at more) and it’s summer and the farmers market is bursting with vibrant produce and I’m just over here whipping up shit with peanut butter and chocolate.
Rest assured, that’s about to change because we fiiinally got a refrigerator – like, a proper refrigerator – even though it doesn’t look like a proper refrigerator because it’s six and a half feet tall and 24″ wide. It is a thing of beauty and I’m still trying to figure out how the delivery dudes got it out of the box and up two flights of stairs and into our kitchen without breaking a noticeable sweat.. on a 98˚F day. I rewarded their efforts with cold La Croix (and an Andrew Jackson) but what they really deserved was an ice cold beer. Or a plate of cookies. And sadly, we had no beer or cookies. Anyway, what I was trying to say before I went off on a tangent about the superhuman delivery duo is that we finally have a refrigerator and a proper way to store produce.. so more vibrant recipes are on their way. I promise.
But let’s talk about these cookies for a minute because it’s worth noting that the only thing that really sets these apart from my original easy no-bake cookies is the cacao butter. Back before we had a proper refrigerator, I got a hankering for some no-bakes but had no way to chill them because our tiny refrigerator was comprised of 40% ice, 5% melting ice water, and 55% necessities (like almondmilk, La Croix, coffee creamer, tempeh, hummus, pickles, cashew cheese, etc.) – and I couldn’t have made room for cookies even if I tried. After scanning our pantry for what felt like an eternity, I got the bright idea to swap the coconut oil with cacao butter (hoping that would make them stable at room temperature) AND IT WORKED. So you should go make yourself some hella rich, stable-at-room-temperature no bakes because it’s the weekend. And you deserve ’em.
PS – If Captain Fantastic is playing near you this weekend (or anytime, really), you’ve gotta go see it. It’s captivating and heartbreaking and witty and uplifting.. and more than worthy of the $10 ticket. It was truly one of the most beautiful and moving films I’ve ever seen and – although that’s not saying much considering I don’t watch many movies (I’m cursed with almost always falling asleep) – my cinephile husband agrees.
Notes: If you don’t have cacao butter, you can use this recipe. Or you can use unsweetened chocolate and reduce the cacao powder to 3-4 tablespoons. If you don’t have cacao butter or unsweetened chocolate, you can use dark chocolate (I wouldn’t go any lighter than 70%) but you’ll have to reduce the cacao powder to 4-5 tablespoons (also, your cookies will also be a touch sweeter). If you want to up the peanut butter flavor, you can get away with adding up to one full cup without altering any of the other ingredient measurements. If you want to use quick cooking oats (personally I think quick cooking oats are awful in no-bake cookies, but that’s just me), you’ll have to scale the oat measurement back by about 2 tablespoons.
THE NEW EASY NO-BAKE COOKIES
You’ll also need
Dry roasted peanuts, roughly chopped
Sea salt flakes
Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper; set aside. Add the cacao butter to a small saucepan set over medium-low heat and warm for 20-25 seconds. Whisk in the maple syrup and peanut butter, just until combined, then whisk in the cacao powder until smooth. Remove saucepan from heat and, using a wooden spoon or spatula, stir in the oats and sea salt. Using a 1/4 cup stainless steel scoop (or a 1 1/2 tablespoon scoop for smaller cookies), drop the mixture onto the prepared baking sheet, flatten with the back of a spoon then sprinkle with chopped peanuts and sea salt flakes, if desired. The cookies will firm up after a few hours at room temperature, or you can transfer the baking sheet sheet to the freezer and chill for 10-15 minutes (and have yourself a coffee break). Once firm, store cookies in a semi-air tight container. Cookies will keep in the refrigerator for up to one week but can also be stored at room temperature, if desired.
Yield: 6-7 big ass cookies (or about 20 small cookies)