Amish Cook: No bake recipes reduce stress during hot-weather months

The Amish Cook - Gloria Yoder
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I don’t know about you, but for me, doing lots of baking in this weather and heating up the house just doesn’t seem very practical.

I’d rather cut down on baked goods than go through too much bother on a hot day. A few days ago, I told Julia we really should find the recipe we used quite frequently a year ago. This no-bake recipe was in a children’s magazine and is simple enough for a young person to make. The best thing about it is that you don’t even need to use the oven. Julia’s aunt, Keturah, who is an amazing baker at 12 years old, is here for the day, so this may be a good time for them to make these tasty treats.

At our house, we’re all peanut butter lovers, so I’m on the lookout for new recipes with peanut butter in them. As a young girl, I was especially fond of the no-bake chocolate cookies. In fact, when I was 14 years old, the Wengerd family joined our family on a trip to the Saint Louis Zoo and Gateway Arch. We hired a driver with a big van and made a two-day trip out of it. Plans were made to pitch tents at a campsite and take our meals along to help cut back on cost. Anyway, the mothers decided the oldest children could plan and prepare one meal. It was a top priority for me to take some of these no-bake chocolate cookies along.

Unfortunately, plans didn’t fall into place like we hoped they would. By the time we were ready to set up camp, things weren’t looking too good. Clouds were gathering, and it started sprinkling. The optimistic fathers decided to go on setting up the tents and making the most out of things. Us children proceeded to serve the meal we had taken along, but things kept going in the wrong direction.

As lightning flashed through the woods and the thunder rumbled, there were two concerned fathers who decided that plan B needed to be followed. There was no choice but to pack up all our soaking camp gear and have 14 wet, disappointed people climb back into a van and go for a motel. After the initial disappointment, we were all excited to go to a motel; after all, most of us children had never been to one before. We ended up really having a nice time — the following morning we all gathered in one room so we could have devotions together.

Now, a number of years have passed since I’ve had these no-bake cookies, and I recently sampled one. It was hard to imagine that I liked them that sweet.

Must be that my taste buds have changed somewhere along the line. I still liked them, but to me, they would be much better without the large amount of sugar. So here’s the recipe as is. Make it according to what strikes your fancy. The second recipe has a lower sugar content which we like, especially for Austin, who seems to do better with not eating too much sugar.

By the way, he still has plenty of energy. Time and again I tell him that I like all his energy; it’s just that we need to use it in the right way. He is a very intense person who can really make things happen in short order. I do look forward to watching him grow up and, with God’s help, have his ambitions channeled in the right directions.

Anyway, here you go. Best wishes on some stress-free “baking.”

No-bake chocolate cookies

1 3/4 cup white sugar

1/2 cup milk

1/3 cup cocoa

1/2 cup butter

3 cups quick oats

1/2 cup peanut butter

Boil first four ingredients in a medium saucepan for five minutes. Remove from heat and add quick oats and peanut butter; mix well. Drop on wax paper and cool.

Monster cookie energy bites

1 cup peanut butter

1/2 cup honey

3 tablespoons maple syrup

2 teaspoons vanilla

4 tablespoons wheat germ

2 cups quick oats

2/3 cup flax seeds (optional)

2 tablespoons chia seeds (optional)

1/2 cup chocolate chips

1/2 cup M&M’s (sometimes I use raisins instead)

Mix together. Roll into balls. Refrigerate or freeze.

Yield: 2 dozen

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The Amish Cook

Gloria Yoder

Readers with culinary or cultural questions or stories can write Gloria directly at her new address: Gloria Yoder, 10510 E. 350th Ave., Flat Rock, IL 62427-2019. To see more on the Amish, go to www.amish365.com.

Readers with culinary or cultural questions or stories can write Gloria directly at her new address: Gloria Yoder, 10510 E. 350th Ave., Flat Rock, IL 62427-2019. To see more on the Amish, go to www.amish365.com.