Back in the days of single parenting three young children, I had an old-fashioned recipe for simple no-bake cookies that relied on little more than safflower margarine, sugar, milk, cocoa powder, peanut butter, and oats. As I remember, the recipe was a bit dry, but it was a quick chocolate fix, and an easy kid pleaser. I haven’t made that recipe in ages and had a craving for something chocolatey, so I decided to recreate it — except this time I wanted to switch out the sugar, and use something a little healthier than margarine to help keep things together.
Maple syrup has become one of my favorite sweeteners, not only because of its delicious flavor but also because (unlike sugar) it is also a source calcium, potassium, iron, and zinc. I split it with a bit of agave nectar, which is a thicker, stickier sweetener that performs better at binding. I’ve also added raw coconut butter in lieu of margarine, as well a bit of vanilla. The result is a soft, chewy, chocolatey cookie with a subtle maple flavor.
Serves: 5 (~15 cookies). Prep time: 5-8 minutes.
- 1/4 cup pure maple syrup
- 1/4 cup agave nectar
- 1/4 cup raw coconut butter
- 1/4 cup fresh-grind peanut butter
- 3 tbsp cocoa power
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 1/2 cups rolled oats
1. In a medium saucepan, combine the maple syrup, agave, coconut butter, peanut butter, and cocoa powder over medium flame/heat until coconut butter and peanut butter soften. Stir until the mixture is well-combined and just bubbling.
2. Remove from heat and add the vanilla extract, then stir in the oats, 1/2 cup at a time, until everything is coated.
3. Cover a baking sheet with wax paper. Drop in small tablespoons on the wax paper, rounding carefully with your fingertips. These will solidify on their own fairly quickly, but I suggest popping them in the fridge or freezer and keeping them there until you’re ready to enjoy.