Friday, April 13, 2012

Peanut-Free No Bake Cookies

Recently I joined the peanut allergy club. I was amazed at the number of foods on my grocery list that harbor peanuts! Worst of all, my husband loves peanuts. If you have followed many of my recipes you will know many of them include peanuts. So, from now on I either choose to make baked goods for everyone else or work around the peanuts. 
My husband and I love no bake cookies so much...though I hate to admit it...we have even placed a hot pad under the sauce pan, tossed in some spoons and cleaned out the contents in front of the T.V. Yes, that is horrible, but I will say it only happens about once a year. But what’s not to love about these cookies? They are easy, no oven required, and they taste incredible! So if you are making them for your family or the neighborhood cookout here is the recipe my mom and I used to make when I was a kid, but with a very important substitute.
You will need:
  • 2 c. sugar 
  • 1/2 c. cocoa
  • 1/4 lb. butter
  • 1/8 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 c. milk
  • 3 c. oatmeal
  • 1/2 c. crunchy soy nut butter
  • 1 tsp. vanilla

Combine sugar, cocoa, butter and salt. Bring to a boil on your range in a heat-safe pot. Reduce heat and stir in soy butter, vanilla an oatmeal. Drop tablespoon sized cookies onto a cookie sheet lined with parchment or wax paper. Chill to serve quickly or let stand for a couple hours at room temperature. Yields about 30 cookies.
Important notes:
These are not healthy! I substitute low-fat, low-calorie options where ever I can...milk, oatmeal, butter, etc. 
Using fat free milk or soy milk and soy butter impedes the process of the cookies setting up properly. This version is stickier than the original. I don’t know about you, but I could care less.
The difference in taste is minimal, but I added slightly more flavoring to mask the sharper taste of the soy.
Almond butter would make another substitute for peanut butter, but could be cross contaminated. Check to see whether it is manufactured in a peanut-free facility.  
I made these while exploring a gluten free diet. Though some people lump oats into gluten, others do not. Just check the back of your ingredients to make sure the brands you chose do not include wheat, barley or rye. If you are truly going gluten free you can find much more information regarding other names gluten sometimes masks as.  

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