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The Trick to Making the Easiest Cookies in the World

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“Why can’t I find it anywhere?” I ask myself with frustration, as I try and fail to recover my mom’s handwritten recipe for what she considered the world’s easiest cookie to make, the one she would produce with aplomb and without warning. There was no pre-heating of the oven, no electric mixer whirring — merely a saucepan surreptitiously poised on the stovetop, a metal spoon, and a few ingredients that could be mistaken for those left in the wake of a hurried breakfast. 

They were the last cookies we ever made together. As if to attest to her faith in their simplicity, she managed to make them with ease when nothing else was easeful for her, on the last Christmas Eve we would have together. Nobody expected her to be at dinner. She not only came to the table, but she came bearing no-bake cookies, her brother’s favorite, her specialty. 

Since then, I’ve had trouble recreating her effortless gift. And this year, I can’t even find the recipe. So I cobble together the best the internet has to offer, held up to the foggy mirror of memory and loss. With love and nostalgia bearing us forth, we try, try again, every Christmas. Stir when it boils just a minute, don’t leave it too long on the burner, drop by spoonful directly onto the countertop, the granite cools them perfectly. And lick your fingers, by all means, this is your life, your one beautiful go of it. 

No-Bake Cookies

Prep Time: 5 min

Makes: 3 dozen cookies

Ingredients

  • 1/2 CUP SALTED BUTTER
  • 1 3/4 CUPS GRANULATED SUGAR
  • 1/3 CUP UNSWEETENED COCOA POWDER
  • 1/2 CUP WHOLE MILK
  • 1 TSP VANILLA EXTRACT
  • 1 CUP CRUNCHY ALL NATURAL PEANUT BUTTER (OR ⅔ CUPS CREAMY) 
  • 3 CUPS QUICK OATS (NOT THE OLD FASHIONED KIND)

Directions

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