Saturday, October 10, 2009

Hillbilly Cookies

Yeah, I know. The name is not exactly politically correct. However, consider the place and time.

This is one that came from my aunt back in the late 1960s. She was a teacher in the Louisville or Jefferson County (KY) schools. The school system used this recipe to make use of the FDA surplus foods that were supplied to them back then, and they were regularly featured in the school cafeterias of my youth. Yes, they actually cooked food at each school!

This recipe is easy and surprisingly good! I make no claims for dietary goodness or appropriateness for special diets. They're treats, after all.

Hillbilly Cookies

2 cups sugar
1/2 cup milk
2 tablespoons cocoa
4 tablespoons butter (the original recipe was made with margarine)
2/3 cup peanut butter
2 cups oatmeal

Measure out all ingredients and lay out sheets of wax paper before starting to cook. This goes fast and you won't have time later.

In a heavy saucepan or dutch oven, stir and boil sugar, milk, cocoa, and butter on high heat for only 3 minutes. Time the 3 minutes for the moment you turn on the burner. If you cook the mixture for too long, the cookies will be too dry to hold together. I realize that individual cooktops may vary, but the point is this--this part goes really fast so have everything measured and ready to add in advance. That includes the peanut butter and the oats! The goal in cooking the sugar mixture is basically to just melt everything together until there aren't any sugar crystals remaining, so don't keep cooking after that has occurred.

Remove from heat and stir in peanut butter until melted. Then mix in the oatmeal.

Working quickly, drop rounded teaspoonfuls onto wax paper and allow to cool.

There you have it. Except for the drama of the boiling sugar mixture, it's pretty easy and simple to make.


Gigi said...

Wow, it sounds like even a non-baker like me could manage this delicious-sounding recipe! Thanks for sharing that. I remember the cafeteria cooking all of our lunches when I was in school. When I lived in Hawaii we actually had to take turns volunteering in the cafeteria and the library. I loved the library duty but hated working in the cafeteria because of the hair net. :-)

goodworks1 said...
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Duchesse said...

With all that sugar, and the boiling,it's really a candy, not a cookie. But who's quibbling, I make the same thing but without the PB and with shredded coconut, and they are all gone very quickly!

Nancy (nanflan) said...

You have a point, Duchesse. This is a hybrid of both. Boiling sugar? yes. Candy Thermometer? no. And then there's the matter of oats. I don't really think of them as a candy ingredient, but why not?

The name probably has more to do with originating in a school cafeteria where they could serve cookies but not candy, would that make sense?

The chocolate and coconut mix sounds great!! I've also had similar with chow mein noodles--love the sweet and salty.

Izzie said...

We used to make these all the time, my Dad called them Chocolate Cow

Modiste Madness said...

We used to make these but I had forgotten about them. Thanks for the memories and the recipe. I'll have to have my 15 yr old food consuming machine try them.

Shay said...

I used to make these in Okinawa, on a one-burner hot plate in my (un-airconditioned) quarters on base. They appealed to my constantly-hungry mucy younger much thinner much more active self's raging sweet tooth and didn't heat up the room. Too badly.

Dianne said...

These are my favorite cookies! We always just called them No Bake Cookies.