I think one of the reasons I enjoy blogging about recipes is they tell a story the story of where I’ve been, who I am, and who I want to be. Several lifetimes ago, I lived in the Appalachian mountains of western Pennsylvania, in the small town of Elton, PA. It was a magical place to live as a child and grow into adulthood, and I still have many fond memories and friends that live there. I wistfully long to move back sometimes, although my stepfather was always keen to remind me that “what I missed was a memory.”
I still carry many things with me from my western PA roots: my love of mountains and wading in streams, listening to the spring peepers on a cool spring evening, catching fireflies in the summer while the bats dive bomb mosquitoes, playing Kick the Can with neighborhood kids (or at this point in my life – sitting on the patio watching the kids play Kick the Can), saying “yins’ (in the South we use “ya’ll”) and “crik” (psst – that means creek), and of course more recipes than you can shake a stick at (yes, I know – I ended that sentence with a preposition…).
One such recipe is this one, for Chocolate No-Bakes. The recipe that we use is from my Stahl Mennonite Church Cookbook, that I acquired in my last years in PA before I moved South. It is definitely one of my favorite and most used books, which is evidenced by the batter stained pages and the missing cover on my copy. One of my favorite things about the book is I know most if not all of the recipe contributors, and keenly remember their killer cooking skills from many a covered dish super at Stahl Mennonite. These women know how to cook wonderful meals on a shoestring budget, and from real food you can find in your kitchen any given day! Luckily, I now have two of these cookbooks (mine and my Mom’s) or my daughters would be fighting over who gets my copy! Now I just need to get my hands on two more to pass them along to the boys of our tribe when they are ready to move out on their own. 😉
Over the years since leaving western PA, every now and again I will run across someone else’s version of these cookies, sometimes called Parson’s Cookies, but they are NEVER quite as good as this recipe.
Just a note on this recipe — I NEVER make just one batch if I want to have some for anyone other than Mackdaddy Mike – as soon as he sees that I am making No-Bakes, you can count on the first batch being GONE!
Mix together the sugar, cocoa, butter, and milk in a large pot and bring it to a boil. Boil for one minute, stirring constantly.
Remove from the heat and let site one to two minutes. Then add peanut butter and stir well.
Add the oatmeal and vanilla and stir well.
Drop by spoonful onto wax paper and let set 15-30 minutes before eating. Cookies will get firm. (Try not to let your family know you are making these until they are at least half way done or there may not be any left for guests!)
Chocolate Cookies (No Bakes)
Always a kid favorite!
- 2 cups sugar
- 3 Tbls cocoa
- 1 stick butter
- 3 cups oatmeal
- 1/2 cup milk
- 2 tsp vanilla
- 2/3 cup crunchy peanut butter
Mix sugar, cocoa, butter, and milk in a large pot. Bring it to a boil
Boil 1 minute, stirring all the time. Remove from the stove.
Let stand for one or two minutes. Add the peanut butter and stir.
Add the oatmeal and vanilla and stir well
Drop by spoonfuls onto wax paper unil set (about 15-30 minutes