Yesterday was National Bittersweet Chocolate Day. So in their honor, I had planned on making cookies with…you guessed it. Bittersweet chocolate in them. But yesterday, like today has been gray and rainy here in Ohio. I just could never get warm and all I wanted was to float in a big, warm bath of chocolate. I know…a big old mug of hot chocolate. No wait…I’ve been wanting to make these dark chocolate no-bakes and it starts with a big pan of warm chocolate syrup. Good ’nuff. That and it’s super easy to make. My last recipe was a bit of a marathon so making cookies in about 15 minutes was awesome.
There are dozens of no-bake recipes online. All of these no-bake oat cookie recipes are pretty much the same. Heat sugar, milk, butter, salt, and cocoa in a pan. Boil for a minute. Add peanut butter and vanilla. Stir in oats. By spoonful, drop onto pan to dry.
So of course we’ll have changes right off to veg these up. Swap out coconut oil for butter and I used Trader Joe’s Original Almond Milk. I also had purchased Hershey’s Special Dark Cocoa over the holidays for a wonderful chocolate cupcake recipe that made these no-bakes quite a bit darker than you might be used to. Mix organic sugar, coconut oil, almond milk (or your favorite plant-based milk), salt, and cocoa in a medium pan and heat until coconut oil is melted and everything is blended together.
One thing I really advise you to do, and I know this but didn’t do it. The term is Mise en place. It’s a fancy french term for ‘get it together ahead of time’. If there is a recipe to try that on, it’s Special Dark Chocolate No-Bake Cookies.
Have everything measured out: your 3 cups of oats, your 1/2 cup of almond milk, 1/2 cup coconut oil, and 1/2 cup of peanut butter. Measuring spoons out so you’re ready to add your vanilla. I found myself to the peanut butter stage and didn’t have my oats measured. So I rushed and flung a golf ball sized ball of raw cashew butter across the kitchen and onto the floor. No biggie except it could have been avoided and I know better. And cashew butter is $$$. So…the word for day is Mise en place.
So plant milk, coconut oil, organic sugar, salt and cocoa powder mixed in a pan. Heat until melted then, allow to come to a fast boil for one minute.
Remove from heat and mix in the cashew butter and vanilla. Raw cashew butter is not like stirring in Jif. It takes some time to blend in the cashew butter. I would recommend removing from the fridge early to allow it to come to room temperature or ever better, you may want to warm a bit in the microwave so it is very soft and ready to be mixed into the chocolate syrup.
When the cashew butter is for the most part blended in, add your oats and stir to coat. I used just plain old – Old Fashioned Oats. Some recipes call for quick cooking oats which will give you a softer textured cookie. The old-fashioned oats give you a chewier cookie. You can always put your regular oats on a blender or food processor and break them down for a few seconds if you want to do that.
Work fairly quickly as these will set up fairly quickly. This is not the time to start a text fest and answer every text your BFF sends you asking about your day. You will have one giant cookie that you’ll need to pry out of the pan when you come back to reality. Once all the oats are evenly covered, use a small cookie scoop and drop by even round scoops on parchment covered cookie sheets.
Allow to set up for about 30 minutes. I can never wait and….I didn’t. Doesn’t matter. They are wonderful. Just don’t burn your mouth.
OK. So my husband hates raisins and I really wanted to add raisins to these cookies. I so miss Raisinets and love chocolate and raisins together. So about half of the cookies were ‘plain’ and went on the first cookie sheet.
The second half of the batch had 2/3 cup of raisins, a few dashes of Penzey’s Baking Spice and some more small chunks of cashew butter. Not because they really needed it, but I knew my husband’s first question would be how do I tell them apart? Because a raisin would be horrible.
Now since it was a little longer to get these on the pan, they had more time to set up. ‘My’ cookies look a little drier. But they are so worth it. Melt in your mouth with raisins and the added spice just kicked these great cookies up a notch.
I was right btw…the first thing my husband asked me when I told him mine had raisins was…you guessed it.
“So how do I tell them apart?” Cashew butter, baby!
I was going to crack myself up and do a How did I make Special Dark Chocolate No-Bake Cookies Healthier? But let’s not kid ourselves. These are cookies full of sugar. I did actually reduce the 2 cups of sugar to 1 3/4 cups. I know. I am a rebel for health. When I make these again…(Michael wants coconut in them. No raisins. Just coconut. Like just coconut. No oats. Coconut in chocolate. Well that sounds good. I think there’s a candy bar like that) – I think I will reduce the sugar even further, maybe 1 1/2 cups or down to 1 1/4 cups of sugar. We’ll see. Enjoy these and we’ll move on to Michael’s Mounds-Haystacks at a later date.
- ½ cup coconut oil
- 1.5 - 2 cups organic granulated sugar
- ½ cup plant based milk, I used Trader Joe's Almond milk
- 4 tablespoons unsweetened Hershey's Special Dark cocoa powder
- Pinch of salt
- ½ cup raw ground cashew butter, at room temperature or warmed in microwave
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 3 cups old fashioned or quick-cooking oats
- optional adding:
- ⅔ cup raisins
- ⅛ teaspoon Penzey's Baking Spice
- 2-3 tablespoons raw cashew butter, forked out into small chunks
- Add the first five ingredients (coconut oil through the salt) to a medium sized saucepan.
- Melt all ingredients and incorporate.
- Bring to a rapid boil and let boil for 1 minute.
- Remove from heat.
- Stir in the cashew butter and vanilla extract until smooth.
- Stir in the oats until evenly coated.
- Optional: If you're adding the additional add ins, mix in.
- Using a small cookie scoop (or 2 tablespoonfuls), drop onto parchment-lined baking sheets.
- Let cool until set, about 30 minutes.
If you make these no-bakes and use a different nut butter or additional mix in, let me know how it goes!
Please remember to post a pic and tag with #designingvegan