Highland Foodie: Easy Christmas cookies for those too busy to bake
December 19, 2013
Santa's elves don't live at your house; however, armed with these recipes you just might think they do. These are the easiest cookie recipes you'll ever make because there is no baking involved, so easy young children can help make them. A bonus for you and for Santa is that they're extremely delicious.
My friend Kristie Booth gave me this recipe for family friend Gary Lane's Cookies. Kristie usually makes a double batch — one with chocolate chips, the other with butterscotch chips.
Gary Lane Cookies
1/2 cup peanut butter
1 16-oz. package butterscotch or chocolate chips
1 3-oz. can of crispy Chow Mien noodles
2 cups of miniature marshmallows
Melt the peanut butter and chips in the microwave (or a double boiler). Stir in the noodles and marshmallows. Drop by tablespoonfuls onto waxed or parchment paper to make 2-inch round mounds. This step is messy as you'll need to tidy them into the mounds, little fingers will love this part, but be careful that the mixture isn't too hot for them. Let cool until set before serving. Note: I could only find the noodles in a 5-oz. can and used its entire contents with no ill-effect on the recipe.
Country singer Trisha Yearwood makes these bar cookies using the microwave while traveling on her tour bus from one venue to the next. With a flavor that is very similar to a peanut butter cup, they're no bake, salty, and sweet — frosted with chocolate.
Chocolate Pretzel Peanut Butter Squares
4 cups pretzel sticks, crushed
1 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar
1 cup peanut butter
1 1/2 sticks butter (melted)
1/4 cup peanut butter
1 1/2 cups chocolate chips
Mix the crushed pretzel sticks, confectioners' sugar, cup of peanut butter and melted butter together and press the mixture into the bottom of an ungreased 9 x 13-inch baking pan (or smaller pan if you would like thicker bars). Melt the topping ingredients in the microwave for 30 seconds, (depending upon the strength of your microwave) stir until smooth and spread on top of the pretzel mixture. Place pan in refrigerator for about one hour before cutting into squares.
Yearwood says you can substitute chocolate chip cookies or vanilla wafers for the pretzels and that you can use smooth or creamy peanut butter. Make the recipe her way first, then create your own versions. I see a Nutella version in my future.
With these recipes and ingredients on hand you'll be ready to whip up a batch of sweet treats at the drop of a hat this holiday season. Try to save a few to go with Santa's milk.
Susan Stone has been a Fraser resident for 20 years and is a devoted foodie. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org