Friday, 29 March 2013

2010 - Put Your Back Into It

After cutting out all the Sugar Cookies, I had to skip a day of baking yesterday (Dec. 9). I'm knackered (to coin a British expression) and my back still aches! Sugar Cookies can be simple or difficult, depending on how much you want to do and how detailed you want them to be. So you can have perfectly satisfactory results even if you don't want to invest too much time or trouble.

Lots of Sugar Cookies to decorate.

I tend to go overboard with the shapes, colors and decorations. I have a big box of cutters of every shape, make and size. I always keep a palette of gel paste on hand. Same with powdered egg whites, to make the Royal Icing. And I collect decorations as avidly as I do the cutters! I'm always so happy with the results that I keep making them despite the trouble — at least once a year.

Just a sprinkle and still delicious!

Still, I have been known to cut out all the cookies in a single shape and simply sprinkle them with colored sugar before baking. And they are delicious that way! But for the holidays, I like to invest more thought and effort into the frosting and decorating for those extra-special results. And it's nice to do a few this way so you can enjoy them straight away!

Dunkable Brownies - so delicious and so easy.

But rather than try to do any more work bent over today, I decided to mix up a batch of Dunkable Brownies (and the Sugar Cookies can wait till tomorrow to be frosted).

I also plan to make Coconut Cream-Filled Macaroons — the dough, at least, which can sit overnight in the fridge. These are so great and they remind me of snowballs. We always need more Hedgehog Cookies, and I want to make Nestle's Chocolate Chip Cookies (especially to give away). I'm not excited that Charlie has requested "black-and-white" cookies (Checkerboard Cookies). Ack! They're adorable little shortbread cookies but they take a LOT of work, with an egg-wash and a ruler! So, we'll see about those.
Checkerboard Cookies are pretty and work-intensive.

But for today, I concentrated on Dunkable Brownies and wound up with 6 dozen, which are now nestled in Ziplock bags in the freezer. I made the perfunctory no-nuts dozen for Charlie because he really likes my brownie cookies too.

Tuesday, 26 March 2013

2010 - Butter Up the Baker

Mom had her knee replacement surgery yesterday, Dec. 6. Ouch! It's a necessary evil and I'm glad she's had it done but the recovery won't be easy or quick. I wish I could be there with her. She will be in the hospital for a spell but Michael will take care of her when she gets to go home.

Baking is a good way to take your mind off things so I made the dough for Sugar Cookies. I always use Martha Stewart's recipe now; it's reliable. I was going to make something else but we didn't have any butter. No butter? How can this be? Once again I'm trying to kick off the baking season without taking inventory first. How many times have I said it here even? Read your recipes; take stock. I just assume we'll always have the basics though. And you'd think if my family wanted cookies all the time they would butter up the baker and make sure my pantry is always full.

Charlie and I walked to town today and bought, among other things, eight packages of butter. I didn't get to make anything else today though because I wanted to get the Sugar Cookies baked. I made 1 dozen bells; 2 1/2 dozen trees; 4 dozen mini trees; 3 dozen stars; 2 dozen candy canes; and a baker's dozen of green-sprinkled (unfrosted) trees for Charlie's lunchbox this week.

Now I'm going to call Mom at the hospital again and see how she's doing. There's still flour on the counter!

Saturday, 23 March 2013

1999 - Home for the Holidays!

Wow, what a quick Christmas season this year! Charlie and I didn't get to go back to Louisville for our annual summer visit so we arranged to go home the day after he got out of school for Christmas break (Dec. 7). We were there a little over two weeks and it we didn't get back to England till Dec. 22!

We were suffering from jet lag but there was an awful lot to do to prepare for Christmas (and a visit from St. Nick). Fortunately, we had put the (artificial) tree up before we left. And I did as much baking as I could before we left. I even took cookies with me to share.

I always take Hedgehog Cookies with us on the plane — but we have to eat what we take or throw them out, so it's never more than a dozen in our carry-on luggage. But I had others packed and stashed in the larger bags! I took more Hedgehogs, Dunkable Brownies and Lime Meltaways. There were plenty to share and set out on Mom's cookie platter. In fact, Barb, the neighbor across the street, wanted the recipe for the Dunkables (a brownie cookie). They are always a hit everywhere I take them.

While we were at Mom's, she made Snickerdoodles (Lisa's recipe) and Nestle's Chocolate Chip Cookies, my favorite. I think she also made some Christmas Tree slice and bake cookies from Pillsbury. How lucky are Americans that they can buy those? We don't have that here in England — yet! I even bought a few Nestle's Chocolate Chip Cookie dough trays to take home. I will freeze them, then stow them in my bag, which will keep cold in the hold-all until I get them home. I really don't mind making my own, but it's nice to have a choice!

I also bought some new cookie trays and tins — I can never resist! And my niece, Danielle, and I went shopping at Target for a few baking supplies. I just couldn't get over how many more products there were available for the home baker and the cookie exchanger. Stuff I didn't even know I needed!! Naturally, I bought a few goodies to bring back with me.

I wanted to bake cookies with Lisa's girls but we just didn't have enough time. In fact, I didn't record anything other than what I've written here for 1999. This is it! See you next year, when I will keep better records, I hope.

Thursday, 21 March 2013

2008 - From Berry to Spice, These Cookies Are Nice

Strawberry Shortbread boasts a glossy pink icing that's bursting with flavor.
 Snickerdoodle Croissants are swollen with cinnamon and toasted pecans.

Today I made Better Homes and Garden's Strawberry Shortbread, which I'm hoping Charlie will enjoy. The dough can be a bit difficult, mainly because it's very dry and crumbly (like all shortbread I've ever made). It just needs to be pulled together, wrapped in cling film and stored in the fridge for at least an hour.

They came out tasty enough — light and buttery — but I don't think the strawberry flavor says much. Mom made them too and said the same thing about hers! So I added an extra tablespoon of strawberry jam to the icing recipe. I was surprised at how good they were once they were iced (not being a huge strawberry fan) and had two when we got back from Boy Scouts. Charlie had one and said he liked it but I'm doubtful — or he would have had more! We wound up with about four dozen berry beatific cookies.

I also made the dough for yet another variety of Snickerdoodles — the Snickerdoodle Croissant Cookiesalso from BHG. They were cute, fun and deliciously cinnamon-y! I'm always on the lookout for a good Snick — one where you can really taste the cinnamon — and these do the trick. I also like them because they have a unique appearance and look great on the cookie tray. What made them even more enjoyable was the addition of toasted pecans! I made nine no-nuts for Charlie but he didn't like them! I'll eat those too! Next year, I'll know better, though. Yield: 4 dozen.

I wanted to try Martha's Lemon Poppyseed Crisps but I'm sure I've run out of time (it's Dec. 18!). I still want to make another batch of Pumpkin Bread mini loaves and our last batch of Chex Party Mix for the season. 

The 2008 Christmas Cookie Tray features Sugar Cookie Cutouts,
Coconut Cream-Filled  Macaroons, Pumpkin Muffins, Chewy Molasses Spice Crinkles,
 Dunkable Brownies, Strawberry Shortbread and Snickerdoodle Croissant Cookies.

Wednesday, 20 March 2013

2008 - That Darned Dough

Darn that dough! The Vanilla-Bean Butter Cookies dough, to be specific. 

I loved it yesterday (Dec. 15), when I made it. It was light and creamy and flecked with ebony vanilla seeds. A sight to behold! After I added the flour, it was a bit crumbly, like shortbread. I had to pull it together and shape it into disks, which went into the fridge overnight. 

When I rolled it out today, though, it kept cracking or sticking. Cracking because it was too cold; and sticking as I put pressure on it. Once rolled out into a rectangle, it needs to be put in the freezer for 20 minutes before cutting. Then the cutouts would stick to the cutter, or break when I tried to poke them out. 

What's worse — I used a snowflake cutter. Even after religiously dipping it in flour, I still wound up prying loose each little delicate snowflake arm with the blunt end of a wooden skewer. I don't know why I didn't just use a star, as the recipe suggests. Or a round biscuit cutter! Mom suggested rolling the dough into logs and slicing the cookies (since they lose their shape anyway). I might give that a try.  

Vanilla-Bean cookies take forever too because they have to go back into the freezer again for 10 to 20 minutes after being cut out. It took practically all day to make four dozen. 

After all that, the dough spread in the oven (despite going in the freezer again before baking) and the snowflakes wound up looking like swollen, puffy flowers.

But ... they were absolutely delicious! So tender and buttery and perfect tasting. They practically melt in your mouth, so I was ready for another one immediately. I will be making them again, despite my complaints. I'm sure they will go faster and look better with practice and a few tweaks. But their taste needs no improvement whatsoever.

Vanilla-Bean Butter Cookies
1 c butter, softened
1 1/2 c powdered sugar
3 vanilla beans, split lengthwise
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla
2  1/2 c flour, sifted
1/4 tsp salt
colored dragées
sanding sugar

In the bowl of an electric mixer, combine butter and sugar. Scrape in vanilla seeds. Beat on high until fluffy, 2 to 3 minutes.

Add egg and vanilla; beat to combine.

Add flour and salt, beat on low till incorporated.

Divide dough into half; flatten into disks. Wrap in plastic and chill at least 1 hour or overnight.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. On lightly floured surface, roll out disks to 1/4-inch thickness. Place dough on separate baking sheets and chill in freezer for 20 minutes.

Line baking sheets with parchment. Using 2-inch star-shaped cutter, cut out stars. Place a dragée in center of each star; sprinkle generously with sanding sugar. Freeze until firm, 10 to 20 minutes.

Bake until golden, rotating sheets halfway through, 18 to 22 minutes. Transfer to wire racks to cool completely. 

Monday, 18 March 2013

2008 - I'll Trade My Cookies for Your Saffron Buns

I cranked out the Coconut Cream-Filled Macaroons today (after Charlie and I walked to town for powdered sugar). I think I got only three dozen from a double batch! I had to get them finished today because I wanted to give some to my friend, Lucy (who loves coconut), and she's going to her Mum's for Christmas. I gave her about nine of them and we each savored one with our tea.

Earlier, I made the Chewy Molasses Spice Crinkles while I filled the macaroons with the coconut cream. These are truly, truly divine! I definitely will be making these again! So soft and chewy and gingerbread-y. I didn't count these either but I think there were about nine dozen. They're stashed in the freezer for now. YUM!

I took a dozen of these giant spicy cookies and a dozen Pumpkin Muffins to my friend Harriet, and she gave me some of her gingerbread (Pepparkakor) and some of her Swedish Saffron Buns (Saffransbullar). To honor her Swedish heritage (in England), she makes these every year for St. Lucia Day. The sweet yeast rolls are studded with raisins or currants and usually S-shaped, to resemble a cat. They're not overly sweet, like cinnamon rolls, but they're flavorful and very nice with a hot drink. She sweetly gave me the recipe — complete with illustrations!

When I got home and while Charlie was playing, I finally made a batch of Vanilla-Bean Butter Cookies. The recipe calls for 3 vanilla bean pods, which can be expensive, so I hope they are worth it! The two dough disks are in the fridge till tomorrow. We have a party to go to tomorrow too, so I will need to get these finished early.

Here's Harriet's recipe for Saffron Buns. Johanna Kindvall has a wonderful illustration of the various bun shapes (with their English names) at Kokblog

Harriet's Swedish Saffron Buns
200 g butter
1 1/2 pints milk (UK pint equals 10 oz)
50 g yeast (or dry equivalent)
1/2 tsp salt
100 ml sugar (scant 1/2 cup)
1 g saffron, ground
1/2 tsp ground cardamom
1 egg
1 1/2 pints bread flour (about 3 cups)
A few raisins that have been soaked in warm tea or water
1 egg, beaten, for brushing

Melt butter and add the milk to warm to 37 degrees Celsius, if using fresh yeast. If using dried, follow package instructions. Crumble the fresh yeast and stir in the butter and milk mixture until combined. Add the saffron and let it infuse for a minute or two.

Add some flour, mix in the egg, sugar, salt and cardamom. Then start adding more flour to form a soft dough that can be handled without getting sticky fingers.

Dust with flour, cover with tea towel and place in a warm but not hot place to rise to double (approximately 40 minutes). 

Place dough on clean surface and knead until all air has escaped. You may add some more flour if dough is still sticky.

Divid dough into quarters. Roll each into a long sausage and divide equally into smaller pieces. (Roughly eight pieces per sausage.)

Shape the dough pieces into S-shapes, in which the top and bottom curls into itself. 

Place shapes on greaseproof paper on a baking tray. Leave plenty of room between each bun. Cover with a cloth and leave to rise to approximately double in size.

Carefully insert a plumped raisin in each "curl" and brush with beaten egg.

Place baking tray in the middle of the oven at 225 degrees Celcius for 5-10 minutes, depending on size. Keep checking so that they don't color too much. 

Cool on wire rack, covered with a tea towel.

God Jul!

Friday, 15 March 2013

2008 - My Kingdom for a Can of Pumpkin

Charlie and I mixed up another batch of Pumpkin Bread today (Dec. 13) but this time I made muffins and mini-muffins; 2 dozen and 3 dozen, respectively. This year, Waitrose didn't have any canned pumpkin Thanksgiving week! I had seen it with the fruit fillings earlier in the year, so I didn't worry about stocking up, thinking it would be there regularly. Skyco doesn't sell it either; they have pumpkin pie filling, which isn't the same thing at all.

Luckily, I had four cans saved from last year that still hadn't expired. I had used one for pumpkin bread. I used one for a pie at Thanksgiving. I used another can today and the last one will make another batch of Pumpkin Bread mini-loaves. All I need now is cream cheese to spread on it.

I also made the "dough" for Coconut Cream-Filled Macaroons and a new effort from Martha Stewart: Chewy Molasses Spice Crinkles (they're supposed to be soft). The doughs went in the fridge and I'll bake them tomorrow.

Now I'm going to look through my books and magazines to see what else I want to make, besides another double batch of Toll House Chocolate Chip Cookies. Finally, I hope to make Vanilla-Bean Butter Cookies — I have wanted to try them for years. And Charlie has requested Overnights. They're easy and he really likes them because they're simple.

Thursday, 14 March 2013

2008 - History Repeats Itself

I know I say this every year but this must be the absolute latest first entry ever in the history (15-year history, at that) of Our Cookie Journal. It's already Dec. 14. I actually started baking quite early but I haven't been diligent about recording my efforts.

First, I made Pumpkin Bread a few weeks before Thanksgiving. And by Thanksgiving weekend, it was all gone. We made a few batches of Chex Party Mix before Thanksgiving too. That disappears in a flash around here because Charlie is as bad as I am about scarfing it down. So Mom had to send more cereals and we have enough for one more batch and that's all. Boo-hoo.

The main reason for the late start has been the kitchen remodeling that Richard started in late June. He began by laying the floor tiles and doing a bit of the wall tiles. Eventually, we had to get someone in to finish and that started Nov. 10; they got out the day before Thanksgiving. Officially, they won't finish till Dec. 20! So it's been a wreck out there but it's almost finished and MUCH improved. It used to be burnt orange and bright yellow; now it is blue, grey and white.

We did manage to make a double batch of Hedgehog Cookies for Charlie. I think we made those the day before Thanksgiving. I just put the last dozen of them in the snowman cookie jar last night. I'll have to make another batch for him this week, when I get some more brown sugar.

I made Nestle's Toll House Chocolate Chip Cookies too because I prefer those (with pecans). I think that was two weeks ago. I stuck most of them in the freezer.

Then on Monday (Dec. 8), I made Sugar Cookies, finally, because I knew I had to send some to Charlie's class on his last day (Dec. 11). I didn't have powdered sugar, though, so I couldn't frost them till Wednesday. I made a double batch and cut out trees, stars, canes, bells, snowmen and, for a change, reindeer (about a dozen each), plus a few dozen or so each of mini trees and mini stars. I used a new technique with the candy canes: I striped them, then ran a toothpick through the stripes vertically (à la Martha). They were lovely, I must say. I was up until about 2 a.m. frosting them. I got some really cute boxes for giving them away too — they're Chinese takeaway boxes with Christmas patterns, of course. We gave one box each to Mrs. Record and Miss Lawrence.

On Tuesday, Dec. 9, I made a double batch of Dunkable Brownies. I didn't have enough semisweet Baker's chocolate, so I used a Green & Black bar, which was perfectly delicious. I made 5 1/2 dozen with walnuts and 1 dozen no-nuts for Charlie. By the time the last day of school rolled around, I had only three types of cookies to share! Unbelievable!

Monday, 11 March 2013

2007 - Party Time! Let's Decorate Cookies!

Charlie had his Gingerbread Party today (Dec 17)! As a bonus, his gingerbread kids ornaments came in the mail too. Every year he gets a new ornament for the tree. The first several years were tied to his age but that stops after about 5 or 6. Subsequently, I've tried to get an ornament that will remind him of that particular Christmas. For instance, he has a scooter ornament from the year that Santa brought a scooter. And this year, I found gingerbread kids. There are two and they're really cute. They have sticky decorations — hats and scarves in red and green.

Back to the party: Naturally, I covered the table and moved the chairs out of the way so everyone could get to the cookies and icing. I gave each of the nine children a dozen Gingerbread Kids cookies to decorate. I had piping bags for each of them and plenty of wet and dry towels on hand. I had oodles of decorations: nonpareils, colored sugars, jimmies, dragées, candies, and more. 

There were nine kids, including Charlie, and it took them about nine minutes to finish! I'm being sarcastic but it didn't take them anywhere as long as it takes me (the perfectionist!). I loved their efforts though and they all enjoyed themselves! When they finished, they left their cookies on plates to dry while they played games and watched videos for the next few hours. 

When the cookies were dry, I put each collection in a treat bag (decorated with gingerbread men, of course) to take home with them. Charlie had a blast and the cookies were delicious! It was great fun and I highly recommend it as a great creative outlet. You don't have to wait till Christmas or restrict yourself to gingerbread either. Why not bake some Sugar Cookie eggs for Easter and invite a crowd of children round to decorate? I promise you won't mind the mess when you see what fun they're having and how proud they are of their tasty creations! 

Friday, 8 March 2013

2007 - Coconut Cream Is a Dream!

I was all set to make Coconut Cream-Filled Macaroons today but I didn't have any cream of coconut so Charlie and I had to walk to town. Before we left, I called my friend, Lucy, to see if she would look for molasses while she was Christmas shopping in Oxford. I told her she can probably find it at a health food store.

When we got home, I made 4 1/2 dozen macaroons. I gave Lucy a dozen for bringing the molasses for tomorrow's Gingerbread party. I LOVE these cookies at every stage. The cookies that you sandwich together are crispy on the outside and chewy on the inside. And the filing is just scrumptious - thick and creamy and coconutty. Next year, just make the filling and eat it up with a big spoon! Yum!
Mom telephoned while I was putting the macaroons in the fridge to set. She called because she was sad about Lisa. Poor thing! She was thinking about her because she was making Coconut Cream-Filled Macaroons too! They made her think about Lisa because she was making them last year when Mike called with the awful news of her death. We talked, cried, laughed. Eventually, she was OK and ready to finish her cookies.

Afterward, I cut out and baked all the Gingerbread Kids. Charlie helped me count them - we got 47 boys and 41 girls. I made the icing too and divided it among 10 piping bags and stashed it all in the fridge. We're all set for tomorrow's party now. YAY! We can't wait! 

Wednesday, 6 March 2013

2007 - Meet My Able Assistant, Charlie

After Charlie and I returned home after his soccer practice, I made Dunkable Brownies. I was going to double the recipe but my Skyco order of American groceries hasn't come yet. I wound up with 46 with walnuts and I made a dozen for Charlie with no nuts. Then I made another batch of Snicker Doodles dough to go in the fridge.

We went to Clemmie's birthday party today (Dec. 15). But before we left I made a batch of Checkerboard Cookies dough (two rectangular "logs"). After we got home from the party, I baked the Checkerboards for a yield of 21 white-and-black cookies and 21 black-and-white cookies. 
Then Charlie helped me make the Snicks. He was so helpful! He rolled the dough into balls; made the cinnamon-sugar mixture; rolled them in the mixture; and removed the baked cookies from the tray. What a helper! We made 8 dozen. 

Afterward, he decided to start his own Cookie Journal! How cute is that? We also made another double batch of Hedgehog Cookies (6 1/2 dozen) and some Kolacky dough to throw in the fridge until tomorrow. 

I was all set to make the dough for the Gingerbread Kids for Charlie's cookie decorating party but I don't have molasses! How could I not?! The gingerbread party is on Monday! I could have a crisis on my hands! I'll have to figure something out tomorrow. 

I finished the day with a batch of Chex Party Mix. I pulled it out of the oven at 12:45 a.m. Good night! 

Monday, 4 March 2013

2007 - If You Give a Friend a Cookie

I decided to make Mom's Citrus Slice & Bake Cookies today, so I mixed up the dough and socked it away in the fridge, along with a batch of Kolacky dough.

Citrus Slice & Bake Cookies from Land O' Lakes butter.
With the logs chilling, I had enough time before picking up Charlie from school to make Grandma Baker's Criss-Cross Cookies. It's my favorite peanut butter cookie because the texture is chewy. I finished with nearly 6 dozen. Before I went for Charlie, I packed up all the Sugar Cookies (except a small tray-full for munching). 

I bought four cookie trays on eBay. They're plastic Santa trays that read: Cookies for Santa. I used four to make gifts for Charlie's teachers and I get to keep one for myself! 

This year's cookie trays ready to be wrapped.
The Citrus Cookies yielded 5 dozen. I had to brush the semi-logs with butter to make sure the sugar sticks. By the way, I used 1 tsp lemon extract, 1 tsp orange extract and only made orange-colored sugar. Next time, I'll do a lemon zest-lemon sugar version too. 

I didn't get to the Kolacky today. I was out of time and needed to assemble the cookie tray gifts. They were lovely, as ever! I also made four treat boxes for "the girls" that I meet for tea on Friday mornings. They're the mums I've met at Charlie's school. They were very pleased and surprised. I also sent in treat bags filled with Sugar Cookies and other sweets to the children in Charlie's class. 

It's Dec 6 and I still have baking to do but I'm taking a break this weekend. I'd like to make the Coconut Cream-Filled MacaroonsDunkable Brownies, more Hedgehog Cookies and finish the Kolacky. And I'm thinking that should just about do it.
Cookie gifts for friends and teachers.

Saturday, 2 March 2013

2007 - Bake All Day, Frost All Night

First thing after I got Charlie off to school, I baked the Snicker Doodles that I whipped up yesterday (Dec. 4). A double batch yielded 8 1/2 dozen scrumptious cookies. I followed Lisa's directions, pressing the cinnamon-sugar-coated balls down with a glass. These cookies were far superior to the Pinwheels and I'll probably stick with these from here on out. My sister knew what she was talking about when it comes to cookies!
Overnight Cookies, with pecans.
Afterward, I sliced and baked the Overnight Cookies. Charlie was a little disappointed that I baked them while he was at school, but I had to get on with it. I wound up with 4 1/2 dozen (no nuts) and 4 dozen (with nuts). 
Production zone! 

Then I went for Charlie, made supper and bought some gingerbread house cookie cutters on eBay. I also got some gingerbread boy and girl cutters in the mail yesterday, but now I don't know where I've stashed them!
Sugar Cookie cutouts.

I started frosting Sugar Cookies after Charlie went up to bed; I was up till midnight. I had such a back ache. It was all worth it when Charlie came down in the morning, though. He made his selections to take in his packed lunch for the Pantomime. He wanted one of each shape! Of course he did.
Sugar Cookies waiting to set.

Friday, 1 March 2013

Celebrate National Peanut Butter Lover's Month With School Fudge

I took Home Economics at Lassiter Middle School in the seventh grade and loved every minute of it. Even when we were making Peanut Butter and Jelly French Toast! It was a new school in the county and it had all the amenities in the 1970s: air conditioning, carpeting, a few left-handed desks, and tones instead of bells! And state-of-the-art kitchens.

My favorite recipe from that class was School Fudge (what everybody else calls No Bake Cookies). We always knew it as School Fudge, though, because it was served nearly every Friday in the cafeteria with lunch. It came in great, chocolate squares and featured the ever-popular taste sensation: peanut butter and chocolate. It was made in an industrial-size sheet pan. Sometimes the fudge was glistening and squidgy; other times it was stiff and dry. We didn't really mind either way — it was always delicious.  

Over the years, I wore that recipe out. Lisa, my best friend, Stacey Simms, and i would make it every chance we got. The ingredients are in nearly everyone's cupboard and it takes less than 20 minutes to knock out a batch of 3 dozen yummy treats. If you make it that far — we rarely did! The taste and smell are so irresistible and tempting that we could hardly wait. Sometimes we would burn our fingers, digging out a sneaky sample. Other times, we'd pop the pan into the freezer to speed up the process. (That doesn't work, by the way. It cools but it doesn't set.)

After many years of making School Fudge, I have learned that it's best made as drop cookies because it's ready faster! Instead of spreading it in a pan, I drop it by the tablespoonful onto waxed paper. More surface area equals less cooling time. In fact, this should be done a bit quickly before it sets in the pan. 
 I've found that the English don't eat as much peanut butter as Americans. The average American child will eat 1,500 PB sandwiches before graduation. I have always loved it and went through a period when I took peanut butter sandwiches to school every day for lunch. So I've made a batch of School Fudge to celebrate National Peanut Butter Lover's Day, which kicks off National Peanut Butter Lover's Month today. Please join in the celebration and try a quick batch of no-bake, peanut buttery School Fudge.

School Fudge 

2 c granulated sugar
4 Tbsp cocoa
1 stick butter or margarine (1/2 c)
1 c smooth peanut butter
1 Tbsp vanilla
3 c quick-cook oats

Spread waxed paper or parchment paper, on which to drop the cookies, onto a countertop, table or heat-proof surface. 

In a heavy saucepan, melt the butter; stir in sugar. Add milk and bring to a full, rolling boil. Boil for 1 minute.

Remove from heat and add peanut butter, cocoa, oatmeal and vanilla, stirring quickly to combine completely.

Drop by spoonful onto paper and let cool — if you can!

I shared this recipe with Foodie Friday at Simple Living and Eating; as well as Weekend Potluck at The Country Cook. You can also find it on Aloha Friday at What Jean Likes and Kitchen Creations. Please click on these links to find loads of super recipes to pin, save and share!