At Christmas time back in the 80’s I had a cookie baking business that I ran for the people I worked with. Every year I would scour my cookbooks and choose 12 to 15 different recipes to make. I would write up a page with the recipe names and a description of each, hand them out to my coworkers, and they would preorder what they wanted.
I have never shared all those recipes, but this year I am sharing them. A number of the recipes are ones that I have not seen anywhere on the web; and I do not want them to become “lost”. Hopefully sharing the recipes here will help preserve them for the future.
Before I post today’s recipes here are a few tips I learned from making many cookies at Christmastime.
1. Make bar cookies. There are so many different recipes out there, and you can just mix up the batter and stick them in the oven.
2. Use cookie recipes that make big batches or double your regular recipes. It takes the same amount of time to mix up dough that makes 3 dozen cookies as it does to mix up dough that makes 6 dozen. Being the Cookie Monster’s grandmother, I never make recipes that will yield only 16 or 24 cookies.
3. Make cookie recipes that can be formed into large “logs” and then sliced after baking. Several of the recipes that I will post are this type.
4. Make recipes that you can keep in the refrigerator or freezer and then just slice and bake.
5. Make “no-bake” cookies. Saves time and you are not paying for having the oven on.
The first recipes I am sharing are "no-bake”. A very popular “no-bake” cookie is made with cocoa, peanut butter and oatmeal. These cookies are either Peanut Butter OR Chocolate. I have been making these for over 35 years and no longer remember where the Peanut Butter recipe came from. The Chocolate recipe came from Land O Lakes.
Any kind of nut can be used in the chocolate cookies. They should be toasted for the best flavor. A nice change is to used toasted almonds and sub 1/2 to 1 t. almond extract for the vanilla.
The method for making both cookies is the same so I will list the ingredients for each and then the method.
Peanut Butter Oatmeal Drops
1/2 cup butter
2 cups light brown sugar, firmly packed
1/2 cup milk
pinch of salt
1/2 cup peanut butter (I like crunchy)
1 t. vanilla
3 c. quick-cooking rolled oats
Chocolate Oatmeal Drops
1/2 c. butter
1 1/2 c. sugar
1/2 c. milk
1/4 to 1/2 c. cocoa
1/2 t. vanilla
3 c. quick-cooking rolled oats
1/2 c. toasted nuts
1/2 to 1 c. coconut (optional)
Cut a piece of waxed paper at least 3 ft. long and place on counter or table. In a large, heavy saucepan combine butter, milk, white or brown sugar, salt and cocoa if using. Bring mixture to a full-rolling boil over medium heat, stirring occasionally. Without stirring, let mixture boil for 3 minutes. Immediately remove from heat. Stir in peanut butter (if using) and vanilla. Stir until peanut butter is melted. Add oats and mix well. Stir in nuts and coconut if using. Using two teaspoons drop mixture onto waxed paper. Use one spoon to scoop up mixture and the other to slide it onto the waxed paper. Let set until firm, about 30 minutes. Makes about 4 dozen.
If you have an eagle eye, you may have noticed that there are no nuts in the chocolate cookies in the photo. I forgot to put them in.
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