Friday, March 27, 2009

Elegance on an Electric Burner

I have a tendency of forgetting the usuals-- things like names, birthdays and anniversaries. Things everybody forgets from time to time. But it's become a real issue since I've been pregnant and my poor husband gets the worst of it. It's now as bad as forgetting my next sentence, what I did last weekend or having the gas turned on in our new apartment.

We managed to endure an entire month in this place without cooking gas, which, at least for my chef-in-training husband, was no easy feat. Personally, I was delighted with the challenge of preparing all my meals without the convenience of heat. But you can only eat so many raw vegetables before you get the urge to kill someone with a carrot. So after about a week, I resorted to a tiny electric burner.

Now we were living luxuriously on pastas, boiled potatoes and soups. Chad still wasn't pleased. He had just started his baking class and reminded me every day just how helpful it would be if he could use the oven. After a few more weeks of blatant reminders and bland foods, I made amends. First, I hassled the folks at the gas company until they finally approved me for gas (I still don't understand why this is such a grueling process-- seriously people, it's cooking gas!) and then I whipped up a batch of no-bake cookies on that itty bitty electric burner for my patient hubby.

Now I realize that we're still technically newlyweds, but not once have I impressed my husband in the kitchen. Like I've said before, I'm barely even allowed in that room when he's home. And when I mentioned the term "no-bake" cookies, he looked utterly confused and severely skeptical. But after one bite (OK, maybe it was more like three), he was a believer-- not in my cooking abilities, mind you, but in this seemingly ridiculous dessert recipe. Oh, and he never brought up the gas issue again.

No-bake cookie recipe
Courtesy of


* 2 cups white sugar
* 3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
* 1/2 cup margarine
* 1/2 cup milk
* 1 pinch salt
* 3 cups quick cooking oats
* 1/2 cup peanut butter
* 1 teaspoon vanilla extract


1. In a saucepan bring sugar, cocoa, margarine, milk, and salt to a rapid boil for 1 minute.
2. Add quick cooking oats, peanut butter, and vanilla; mix well.
3. Working quickly, drop by teaspoonfuls onto waxed paper, and let cool.

***Note: I recommend using a candy thermometer until it reaches 210/120, as the boil time on these cookies means everything. Too long and you've got dry crumbles, not long enough and you end up with a big pile of chocolate goop.

This article was first published on
Photo: flickr / fatalysis

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