Crunchy No-Bake Cookies

Crunchy No-Bake Cookies | marissabaker.wordpress.com

I have perfected the no-bake cookie!

Okay, perhaps that is a bit of an exaggeration, but these are seriously good. My previous no-bake recipe (a rather standard one using cocoa powder) typically resulted in a sticky, fudge-like mess that tasted good but wasn’t much like a cookie. These are more substantial, and hold their cookie shape once they’ve set.

You could make it with creamy peanut butter, but I prefer having the crunchy peanut pieces. That’s also the reason I use full-size chocolate chips — they’re large enough not to melt completely, so there are chunks of chocolate in the finished cookie. If you’d rather have the chocolate all melted in, just stir it longer or use mini chocolate chips.

Crunchy No-Bake Cookies

Crunchy No-Bake Cookies | marissabaker.wordpress.com2 cups sugar

1/2 cup milk

1/4 cup butter

1 cup crunchy peanut butter

3 cups rolled oats

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

Combine sugar, milk, butter, and crunchy peanut butter in a large sauce pan. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. As soon as the mixture boils, remove from heat.

Crunchy No-Bake Cookies | marissabaker.wordpress.com

Stir in vanilla and oats. Add chocolate chips and stir just long enough to mix them in, but not long enough to completely melt the chips. Drop from a spoon onto cookie sheets covered with wax paper. Chill and serve.

Crunchy No-Bake Cookies | marissabaker.wordpress.com

Fruit and Seed Granola Bars

Fruit and Seed Granola Bars marissabaker.wordpress.com

My brother has been begging me to come up with some kind of healthy, filling snack that he can munch on when he feels hungry (which seems to be all the time). Enter the Healthy Homemade Granola Bars from Beth at redandhoney.com. They are amazing, though you do have to keep them chilled to prevent melting, which makes them a bad choice to stuffing in a backpack or purse … not that we would know this from experience.

Fruit and Seed Granola Bars marissabaker.wordpress.com
Granola bar add-ins

There are many variations on these bars depending on the nut butter and add-ins you choose, but the version I’m posting today is my favorite. I’ve decided dried cherries are an essential ingredient. So are pumpkin seeds — I like the flavor and the green color looks great with the red dried fruit.

As an added bonus, these granola bars are unleavened, so they will still be perfect for snacking once the Days of Unleavened Bread start next month.

Fruit and Seed Granola Bars

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2/3 cup peanut butter
2/3 cup coconut oil
2/3 cup honey
2 cups oats
1 cup dried fruit (raisins, cranberries and/or cherries)
1 cup seeds and nuts (peanuts, pumpkin, flax, chia and/or sunflower seeds)Fruit and Seed Granola Bars marissabaker.wordpress.com

Mix first three ingredients together, microwaving in 15 to 20 second bursts and stirring until the coconut oil is melted.

Stir-in the oats, dried fruit, seeds and nuts. Press the granola bar mixture into an ungreased 13×9-inch baking pan. Place granola bars in the refrigerator for 2 to 3 hours.

Once granola mixture is cooled and set, cut into bars. Wrap individually or package in snack bags. Store in the refrigerator or freezer.

Variations
You can replace the peanut butter with almond butter if you prefer the taste or have an allergy.

The two cups of dried fruit, seeds, and nuts can be substituted for a wide variety of add-ins, including chocolate chips, coconut flakes, and almonds. My sister prefers her add-ins to be 1 cup chocolate chips, 1/2 cup coconut flakes, and 1/2 cup peanuts. Just keep experimenting until you find a few mixtures that you love.

Fruit and Seed Granola Bars marissabaker.wordpress.com

No-Bake Blueberry Cheesecake

No-Bake Blueberry cheesecake recipeThis is one of my favorite summer dessert recipes. As soon as the blueberries start getting ripe, I start stocking up on cream cheese so I can make this wonderful little cheesecake. It will not work with frozen blueberries, so this is the only time of year we get to eat it. Aside from tasting great, it is ridiculously easy to make. Just make or buy a crust, beat cream cheese with sugar, toss the blueberries in sugar, put it all together and pop it in the refrigerator.

Usually, I just make a graham cracker crust for this cheesecake. This time, however, I didn’t have enough graham crackers and found a substitute crust. It stuck the the pan, but I’m hoping that can be overcome because the taste was better and it didn’t fall apart. I’ve included it in this version of the recipe.

Fresh Blueberry Cheesecake

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cheesecake crust
this new crust worked up much better than just graham crackers and butter

Crust

½ cup flour

½ cup graham cracker crumbs

5 Tablespoons butter, melted

3 Tablespoon brown sugar

Mix all crust ingredients in bowl and press into a greased, 9-inch pie pan. Set aside.

 

No-bake fresh blueberry cheesecake filling
cream-cheese filling

Filling

2 (8-oz) packages cream cheese, softened

¼ cup brown sugar, packed

In small mixing bowl, beat cream cheese and brown sugar with an electric mixer until smooth. Spread the filling over the crust in the pie pan.

 

No-bake fresh blueberry cheesecake
The finished cheesecake

Topping

2 cups fresh blueberries

2-3 tablespoons sugar

1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice

In a bowl, toss the blueberries in sugar and lemon juice. Spoon blueberries over cheesecake. Place finished cheesecake in the refrigerator and chill for at least two hours before serving.

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