Tots in the Kitchen: No-Bake Cookies For Any Type of Diet

For some of you lucky ducks cool Autumn weather is creeping in, but for those of us still enduring 100 degree weather, firing up the oven is not an attractive prospect.  Simple no-bake cookies are a fun learning activity for kids.  Allow them to measure, pour, stir, and roll out/scoop/spread the cookies on their own if they are willing, and when the cookies are ready they might serve them up to family or friends on a tray to receive a bit of praise for their good work. Here are a few favorite no-bake recipes for any type of diet:

NO-BAKE PEANUT BUTTER BARS

1 cup butter, melted

2 cups graham cracker crumbs

2 cups confectioners’ sugar

1 cup peanut butter

1 1/2 cups semisweet chocolate chips (to melt) and 4 tablespoons peanut butter

  1. In a medium bowl, mix together the butter or margarine, graham cracker crumbs, confectioners’ sugar, and 1 cup peanut butter until well blended. Press evenly into the bottom of an ungreased 9×13 inch pan.
  2. In a metal bowl over simmering water, or in the microwave, melt the chocolate chips with the peanut butter, stirring occasionally until smooth. Spread over the prepared crust. Refrigerate for at least two hours before cutting into squares.

GLUTEN AND DAIRY FREE CHOCOLATE PEANUT BUTTER NO-BAKE COOKIES (from the wonderful food blog BEARD & BONNET)

3 cups gluten-free quick cooking oats

2 cups sugar

4 Tbsp. cocoa powder

8 Tbsp. Earth Balance

1/2 cup coconut milk

1 cup peanut butter

1 Tbsp. vanilla extract

Line baking sheets with waxed paper and set aside. In a heavy saucepan bring the sugar, cocoa, earth balance, and coconut milk to a boil over medium-high heat. Let boil for 1 minute add the peanut butter, vanilla extract and oatmeal stirring well to combine. Remove from the heat and drop the mixture by tablespoonful’s onto the wax paper. Allow to cool and harden then store in an airtight container.

If you are allergic to or do not prefer Peanut Butter, try this similar vegan and dairy-free recipe that uses bananas instead (and look for chocolate chips that are non-dairy and soy free if you are a vegan purist). It is from the lifestyle website backtoherroots.com

Ingredients (18 cookies)
2 medium bananas, cut into chunks
1 cup soy­free, dairy­free chocolate chips
1/4 cup almond butter
2 tablespoons chia seeds
1 tablespoons cocoa powder
1/3 cup non­dairy milk
Pinch of salt
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 cups rolled gluten­free oats

Instructions
In a medium saucepan over low heat, combine banana chunks, chocolate chips, almond butter, chia seeds, cocoa power, milk and salt. Heat for 2­3 minutes or until just beginning to bubble. Using a potato masher or fork, mash the bananas in chocolate mixture until smooth. Bring mixture to a boil and boil for 2­3 minutes. Remove from heat, stick in vanilla.
Stir in oats until well­coated. Spoon rounded tablespoonfuls onto waxed paper and let cool. Chill in fridge or freezer for at least one hour for a more solid cookie.