I have never been a big fan of peanut butter. When it came to PB&J, I always said forget the PB, just give me lots of the J. To this day, I don't like eating this stuff on it's own. However there is a way to get me to eat it - pair it up with chocolate. I love Reese's Peanut Butter cups (especially the dark chocolate ones). If there is enough chocolate to go along with it, I will eat the PB - no problem. One of my favorite ways to enjoy it with the chocolate besides the aforementioned Reese's product is no bake cookies. I have been using my mom's no bake cookie recipe for years. The other night I had the desire to make these cookies again. Only this time I wanted to come up with a recipe that is more mine. So what did I do. I found a recipe I liked on Food Network's website. I know not exactly going out on my own there. However I did make some changes to this recipe to make it more mine. Thus my Extra Chocolaty & Crispy No Bake Cookies came out of my kitchen and onto the front page of my blog.
I wanted to up the ante with these cookies. I want them to be more chocolaty and more crispy. Here is how I accomplished these goals.
Why use 4 tablespoons of cocoa powder when you can use 5! But the real secret to making these extra chocolaty is the use of cacao nibs. Cocoa nibs are pieces of cocoa beans that have been roasted and hulled. The nibs are further processed to make chocolate bars. But you can find them just as they are in your supermarket. On their own they are pretty bitter and hard to eat without some sweetness. Adding them to the cookies will bring another burst of chocolaty goodness to the cookie. They are strong and expensive to purchase, but you only need ¼ cup of them for the recipe.
Most no bake recipes with PB and chocolate call for quick oats. I don't mind that at all. But I wanted to add a little more in the way of texture. I looked at the pantry and came out with some puffed Kamut cereal. Kamut is an ancient wheat variety that is twice as big as our modern day wheat. It is known for it's rich nutty flavor. You can buy it as a puffed cereal. I replace 1 cup of the oats with 1 cup of the puffed Kamut. You could use another puffed cereal or crisp rice cereal if you like. I just like the idea of using something different and unexpected like Kamut.
A lot of recipes have you just bring your no bakes to a boil and then immediately remove. I think it's better to let it get to a full rolling boil and let it boil without touching it for 2 whole minutes. This made for a firmer cookie. But if you go longer than that you might end up with a dry, crumbly cookie.
Get the cookies out of the pot as soon as possible. I used a #20 disher to easily remove them and make them even sizes for serving.
Have some wax paper ready for the cookies to go on. Wax paper helps the cookies not to stick. You can also use parchment paper. I don't recommend it as it costs more money. Save the parchment for the oven.
- 2 cups granulated sugar
- 5 tablespoons cocoa powder
- 1 stick butter
- ½ cup whole milk
- 1 cup smooth peanut butter
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 1 ½ cups quick oats
- 1 cup puffed Kamut cereal
- ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
- Melt the butter in a bottom of large sauce pan.
- Add the sugar, salt, cocoa powder, and milk.
- Bring to a rolling boil over medium high heat.
- Allow to boil for 2 minutes without stirring
- Remove from the heat.
- Add the peanut butter, vanilla, oats, and puffed Kamut. Stir to combine.
- Quickly scoop the cookies out onto wax paper. They will set up fast, so work fast.
- Make them whatever size you like. I used an average sized disher to dispense my cookies.
- Allow to fully cool before enjoying.