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Chocolate, Peanut Butter & Oatmeal No-Bake Cookies! – but at least they are made with real ingredients

Chocolate, Peanut Butter & Oatmeal No Bake Cookies

I shop at a variety of places for our food, the locally-owned natural food store (Native Roots), a regional chain natural grocery store (Natural Grocers), the local farmer’s market, the local regular grocery store (Homeland), and even Wal-Mart.  The bakery at my local Wal-Mart is right next to the produce section and so I end up walking by all the cakes and cookies on my way to get the healthy fruits and veggies.  🙂 

The last few times, the packaged bakery “Peanut butter fudge no bakes” cookies have definitely been tempting me.  But, I know that they put lots of unnecessary and kind of scary things in packaged cookies.  The Wal-mart ingredients are: Granulated Sugar, Oats, Water, Peanut Butter (Roasted Peanuts, Hydrogenated Vegetable Oil, Salt, Partially Hydrogenated Soybean & Cottonseed Oil), Margarine (Vegetable Monodiglycerides, Soy Lecithin, Beta Carotene, Vitamin A Palmitate, Artificial Butter Flavor), Cocoa, Non-Fat Dry Milk Solids, Vanilla.   Actually, not too horrible compared to other packaged cookies, except the peanut butter has hydrogenated oils in it and we don’t use margarine because of all the crap in it.

So, I dug out my recipe for no-bake cookies and decided to make my own.  These cookies are a bit addictive.  This recipe makes about 28-30 cookies.  Luckily, I have 6 people in the house to eat these things so that is only 4 or 5 cookies each and we stretched them out over 3 days.  I did cut the sugar a bit and upped the peanut butter from the original recipe and they were still just great.

Chocolate, Peanut Butter & Oatmeal No-Bake Cookies
makes 2-3 dozen depending on how big you make them

  • 6 Tbsp (that is 3/4 of a stick) real butter
  • 1 1/2 cups Demerara sugar (or other unrefined sugar such as “sugar in the raw”) 
  • 1/2 cup organic milk 
  • 4 Tbsp cocoa powder (not hot cocoa mix, I used Hershey’s)
  • 3 1/2 to 4 cups quick cooking oats (I used organic, the only ingredient on the package should be OATS)
  • 3/4 cup creamy natural peanut butter  (made with just peanuts or peanuts and a bit of salt)
  • 1 1/2 tsp real vanilla extract
  1. Add the butter, sugar, milk, and cocoa  to a large saucepan.  Bring to a rolling boil for at least one minute, but two is better.  Note: To make sure cookies set up properly wait until mixture comes to a complete FULL boil and then start the timer for one minute.
  2. Remove from heat. Stir in the peanut butter and vanilla and mix well with a whisk until smooth and the peanut butter is fully melted in.  Add the oats and stir well.
  3. Drop by heaping Tablespoonfuls onto waxed paper or parchment paper lined baking sheets (I used my silpats). Let them set up and cool for at least one hour.  If you can’t wait, you can put a few in the freezer to speed thing up. 

Some folks like to add a bit of coconut flakes to the mix, but we like ours traditional.  We managed to ration these out over 3 days, but it was hard.

Note for those with special diets:

  • These are naturally gluten-free as long as you are sure about the source of your oats.  I understand that some oats are grown in the same fields as or near wheat and can become contaminated.
  • If you wanted to make these vegetarian, you could probably substitute coconut oil for the butter since it is also a solid a room temp. 
  • If you have a peanut allergy, I am sure that almond butter or sunflower butter or any other nut butter would work just as well.

 

– Stacey

Another Holiday Treat… Chocolate Peanut Butter Fudge

Chocolate Peanut Butter FudgeI made this fudge last night to add to the treats box the girls gave their 1st grade teacher. The box included Sugar Plums, this Chocolate Peanut Butter Fudge, and Frosted Nutmeg Logs

This fudge recipe is from Mindy at The Purposed Heart and she adapted it from Kimi’s Chocolate Fudge recipe at The Nourishing Gourmet. Kimi adapted her recipe from Sally Fallon’s recipe in Nourishing Traditions, which uses butter instead of coconut oil. So if you don’t have coconut oil or really don’t like coconut oil for whatever reason, you can try substituting butter in this recipe.  It needs to be a fat that is basically a solid at room temp, but let’s not use shortening or something like that, OK?

Mindy made her fudge cups larger than mine, as her recipe yields 10.  I used the mini-muffin papers in my mini-muffin pan and got 19, but could have squeezed out 20, if I had really scraped the bowl.  I used a 1 Tablespoon measure to pour the fudge into each paper.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Fudge
from The Purposed Heart

  • 1/2 cup coconut oil (at room temperature)
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (not hot cocoa mix)
  • 1/2 cup natural peanut butter
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • pinch of sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp real vanilla extract
  1. Prepare a mini-muffin pan with 20 mini-muffin liners.
  2. Put all ingredients except vanilla in a microwave safe bowl.
  3. Microwave bowl for like 10-15 seconds.  Stir mixture with whisk.  Microwave another 5 seconds.  Stir mixture again.  Do this until the coconut oil is melted, but not hot.  In the summer, your coconut oil may already be melted in your house depending on how cool you keep it as the melting point of coconut oil is 76 °F. 
  4. Stir with whisk until everything is smooth and nicely combined; it will be very liquidy.  Stir in vanilla extract.
  5. Pour the liquid fudge into the prepared muffin liners dividing evenly between them.  I used a 1 Tablespoon measuring spoon to scoop them out.   There will be about 1/2 inch of fudge in each mini-muffin liner.
  6. Place the muffin pan in the refrigerator for 30 minutes or until the fudge has hardened.  Or, you can use the freezer to make it even faster.
  7. Remove the muffin liners from the pan and store in the refrigerator or freezer.
  8. Another liner-less option is to pour the fudge into the compartments of an ice cube tray and freeze it. They should pop right out when frozen!

Here are the nutrition stats on the fudge from About.com’s Recipe Analyzer.  Note the low amount of carbs/sugar in a fudge.  The calories mainly come from fat, but it is what many consider good fats, coconut oil and peanuts. 

– Stacey

Time for a treat – Black Bean Brownies

Child Eating Black Bean BrownieTime for a TREAT!  Black Bean Brownies!  Yay!
 
Wait, that sounds nasty to you?  Well, you have never had a black bean brownie then.  Because the chocolate flavor is so intense that you can’t even tell that all the flour in a regular brownie has been replaced by beans.  So, while these brownies are high fiber, lower carb, and even gluten-free, they are also rich, moist, and delicious.

The first time I saw a recipe for them was at All Recipes and then saw a different version at Meal Makeover Moms. I made several different versions of them and then tweeked it to get the recipe I give below.

I typically use semi-sweet chips, but this time I went with some white chocolate ones.  I also add a little prepared coffee (left over from breakfast) to bring out the chocolate flavor and add some flax seed just to give it some Omega-3s.  Both of those are optional.  Also, we like nuts in our brownies, so I put either chopped pecans or walnuts in, but again that is optional if you are not a nut lover or have someone with an allergy issue in your family.

Black Bean Brownie Ingredients

Black Bean BrowniesBlack Bean Puree
(makes 16 2″x2″ brownies)

  • 1 15-oz can black beans, rinsed and drained very well
  • 3 eggs (organic is great and pastured is even better)
  • 3 Tbsp peanut or coconut oil (or whatever vegetable oil you prefer)
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 pinch of sea salt
  • 1.5 tsp aluminum-free baking powder (Rumford is one option)
  • 1 tsp real vanilla extract
  • 2/3 cup packed brown sugar OR 3/4 cup white granulated sugarBlack Bean Brownie Batter
  • 2 Tbsp prepared coffee (optional)
  • 2 Tbsp ground flax seed (optional)
  • 1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips, divided
  • 1/2 cup pecans or walnuts, chopped (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Grease an 8” x 8” baking pan; I use my MISTO oil sprayer.  In a food processor, process black beans until smooth.  Add the eggs, oil, cocoa powder, salt, baking powder, vanilla extract, and sugar, and process until smooth.  Add half of the chocolate chips, and pulse a few times or stir, so that the chips are mixed in. Stir in chopped nuts, if using.  Transfer the batter to the baking pan, and sprinkle the remaining chips on top of the brownies.  Bake for 35-40 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted at the center comes out clean; check during the last 5 minutes so they don’t burn.  When cool, cut into squares.

Black Bean Brownie Batter in Pan

In Pan Before Baking

Baked Black Bean Brownies

In Pan After Baking

I ran the recipe through the Calorie Count Recipe Analyzer assuming the generous 2″x2″ square serving and these are the nutritional results below.  The downside is that it is high in sugar, but not really compared to other desserts.  On the upside, it is high in fiber and protein and low in sodium.

Plus, they are yummy and very chocolatey.  I have seen a recipe online for garbanzo-bean blondies, so we may be trying those soon.

– Stacey

black bean brownies nutrition

Black Bean Brownie Closeup

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