Thursday, December 10, 2009

Boiled Cookies


Ah, Christmas. The holiday when the sweet smell of baking fills the air, exquisitely wrapped presents sit under a lovingly-decorated tree, and children with the delicate innocence of youth watch quietly with wide-eyed wonder as they soak in the sights and joy of the season.

Or not.

Welcome to my house. :)

Things get a little bit crazy around my house this time of year. I attribute it to sugar. I’m not sure where my children are finding sugar (I’m trying to confiscate it on sight these days), but finding it they are.

063Yesterday got wacky, and my plans to make some really exotic, Iron Chef-esque cookies went askew. Sooo…I dug around in my grandmother’s old recipe box.

I found an odd-looking recipe. Oh. She’d apparently made a to-do list. Okay. But the other side had a recipe. 068

Yes, that’s a recipe. I could barely make it out, actually…pencil on really old paper.

I vaguely remembered eating these cookies when I was a child. They’re chewy cookies. And they were no-bake (just boil.)

Ideal for children to cook with their mother for Christmas memories that would last a lifetime.

Or not.

Since my children were running around like wild things, bopping each other on the head with empty paper towel rolls, I decided to make these cookies myself. And yes, I ate them myself. :)

Boiled Cookies050

1/2 cup baking cocoa
2 cups sugar
1/2 cup butter (1 stick)
1/2 cup peanut butter (either smooth or crunchy)
1/2 cup milk
2 1/2 cups quick cooking oatmeal***
1 tsp. vanilla

Mix cocoa, sugar, butter and milk together in sauce pan. Heat to a low boil. Boil for 1 minute, stirring constantly. Remove from heat, add peanut butter and vanilla. Mix well. Add oatmeal and mix.
Drop by spoon on wax paper and let cool.

***You can substitute 1 cup of chopped nuts for 1 of the cups of oatmeal, if you prefer.

They may not be pretty, but boy, do they taste good.


Pretty is as Pretty Dies –Elizabeth Spann Craig
Delicious and Suspicious (May 2010)—Riley Adams

Don’t forget that this is your last week to send us a suggestion for our January Iron Chef competition and enter our contest to win a Junior's Cheesecake! This time next week we'll be announcing the winner, so get your suggestions in soon!


  1. I love these cookies. But I've never heard them called Boiled Cookies. We just call them Chocolate Oatmeal Cookies. I like the name Boiled Cookies much better. Next time I make them that's what I'm calling them and can't wait to see everyone's expression.

  2. I bet if you powdered them with sugar, they'd look great. Sound fabuluous. Love oatmeaal!

  3. Riley (Elizabeth) - Am grinning over AM coffee, just reading about your trying to make cookies with your kids running around, shouting & bopping each other with empty paper towel rolls. LOL! That is EXACTLY what the holiday season should be!

    I am also thrilled with your cookie week recipe and here's why: I remember making some version of these as a teenager. We called them "no bake" cookies and I LOVED them because they're an amazing chocolaty-rich cross between a cookie and a candy. But I lost my recipe! I was yearning for these cookies during the dog days of August when I didn't want to turn on the oven, but I just didn't have a reliable recipe. Now I've got one coutesy of you and your beloved grandmother. That's a real gift. Thank you! Also have to say that I love that last photo of you welcoming us into your home for the holdiays! A wonderful Holiday Card to all of us.

    Happy Holidays to you
    and your family!

    “Where coffee and crime are always brewing…”
    Cleo Coyle on Twitter

  4. These sound delicious! And easy, too. Thanks so much Elizabeth. And I have to echo Cleo -- I love that photo of you welcoming us into your home.


  5. When I make my "all-boiled" dinner, now I have a dessert! Thanks, Riley/Elizabeth.

  6. Oh I haven't thought of these cookies in years! I got Julie's newsletter this morning which reminded me about this blog and I'm glad it did. Cookie week indeed! I'm going to start my Christmas baking this weekend so this collection of cookie recipes came at a very good time.
    And when scrolling down I saw a very interesting brussel sprout recipe to try too.

  7. Oh, Elizabeth! These sound like the perfect cookie to make when you need them in a hurry. You can't even burn them! Chocolate and oatmeal -- two all-time favorites.

    ~ Krista

  8. Greetings... first time commenting, been a lurker for a bit. I love the site, and the idea of teh site. years ago, I owned a mystery specialty bookstore in Peoria, Illinois. Wish I could have booked you all for store appearances and bake offs!

  9. E-
    I think if your house and my house collided, we'd have quite the explosion -- of laughter!
    I can't wait to try this recipe with the hooligans. Sounds fab -- and I love the pics!

  10. Mason--They'll probably make a face! But they'll be relieved it's the same cookie. :)

    Avery--You know, that's a great idea. Powdered sugar, y'all! Might make them look prettier.

    Cleo--It IS sort of Christmassy, in a cat and dog fighting way! :)

    That is so funny that you were looking for this recipe and that I happened to find it! I think my grandmother, who I miss every day, would LOVE to think that she helped me out with my blog. And helped you find an old recipe!

    Julie--Thanks! My son took it. The daylight was fading fast, but I was glad we had time to shoot it. :)

    Alan--And you *could* have an all-boiled dinner! Corn on the cob, boiled lima beans, um...boiled ham? Anyway, the boiled cookies would make a nice finishing touch.

    Caryn--Isn't that Brussels sprouts recipe gorgeous? I think Cleo could make even my unattractive cookies look pretty! Glad to remind you of this recipe again.

    Krista--It's nice to have no bake, isn't it? And it makes the house smell *yummy*.

    A Year on the Grill--Wish we could have gone to your store, too! That would have been a lot of fun.

    Jenn--It would be a crazy place, if our houses collided! And my son is getting into teenage hormonal stuff, which wouldn't make it any easier! :) Hope the hooligans like the recipe (the cuties!)

  11. Sounds yummy! There's nothing on this planet that tastes better than peanut butter and chocolate. (imho)

    Poetikat (came over from Carol Murdock's blog)

  12. These cookies are very popular around here (central Michigan). I don't think you can go to a bake sale without finding piles of them. In fact, I even saw a commercial brand of them the other day. I think I'm going to have to go the quick and easy route soon. Time is running out!

  13. Poetikat--Thanks so much for dropping by! I really appreciate it. Yes, this recipe has very much a Reece's cup taste to it (but with a crunch.)

    Janel--They're soooo easy. So easy. And they're done--start to finish--in 15 minutes.

  14. first time i heard of boiled cookies. i bet they're yummy. this is great for me, since i don't have an oven. yet. thanks for sharing