The Summer Cookie

May 28, 2010

I was at least a teenager before I realized that no-bake cookies existed outside our kitchen at home. I remember discovering them at a cookie shop in the mall and wondering how the recipe got out. One reason for this is because we never called them no-bake cookies.

We called them California Cookies.

I don’t know why. I just know that after I learned the more well-known name, I started calling them no-bake too so that people would know what I’m talking about it. However, the other night when I was trying to come up with a dessert that wouldn’t require me to turn on the oven I reconsidered the name.

No-bakes are a great summer cookie because everything is done on the stovetop and then left to cool. Hmm…California kind of makes me think of warm weather and sunshine which makes me think of summer. Perhaps we should all be calling them California Cookies.

I would expect that many of you have had them before, but if you haven’t, these cookies combine chocolate and peanut butter with hearty oatmeal. That’s a favorite combination around here. In fact, lately I’ve been doing this type of combo with my morning oatmeal, minus lots of sugar.

I’m always playing with the ingredients for these. Back in December I made them with coconut oil, maple syrup and honey. I wasn’t thrilled with the result. The coconut oil worked, but this time around I decided to go back to butter. My real mission was to see if demerara sugar would give me the same result as the original white sugar.

The final call? I found my new California Cookie recipe! They turned out just like the original I had as a kid, but use the minimally refined sugar, natural peanut butter and old fashioned oatmeal.

The New California Cookie

1 cup demerara sugar
¼ cup milk
¼ cup cocoa powder
¼ cup unsalted butter
½ cup natural, no-sugar peanut butter
1 ½ cups old fashioned rolled oats

Cover a cookie sheet with parchment paper. In a sauce pan, melt together the sugar, milk, cocoa and butter over medium heat. Bring to a boil (that you can’t stir down) and continue to boil for 1 minute.

Remove the pan from heat and stir in the peanut butter until melted and fully incorporated into the chocolate. Stir in the oats. Drop by the tablespoon onto the parchment paper, and shape and flatten slightly. Allow to cool completely and they will harden as they cool. You can speed up the process a bit by placing them in the fridge, but this will cause them to sweat a little. Once cool and firm, enjoy. Makes 12 to 15 cookies.


If you are here reading this post you know that Fake Food Free has a new look. I’d love to know what you think.

I also want to provide a little information about myself in the About Me as a Q & A so tell me in the comments what you’d like to know about me.

I also have a new Facebook page for the blog so give me a “Like” if you use it. I’ll update on posts, with pictures and with interesting food and health articles I come across.

You Might Also Like

  • kat May 28, 2010 at 7:17 am

    Like the new header! & I know Matt would love those cookies

  • Denise @ Creative Kitchen May 28, 2010 at 7:45 am

    Thanks for reminding me about these cookies. My kids will be thrilled! I’m bookmarking them & am sure I’ll be making them quite a bit this summer.

    Looks like a neat event you went to…but I’m with you the crowds. Have a great holiday weekend!

  • Andrea (Off Her Cork) May 28, 2010 at 8:06 am

    No bake cookies! Holy crap I grew up eating those cookies and loved them. They were the first cookie I ever really made on my own. I have found that sometimes if it’s super humid outside they won’t set. Still tasty though! 😀

  • MelindaRD May 28, 2010 at 9:45 am

    I don’t think I have ever made no-bake cookies. Probably because I don’t usually make cookies, but these look good so I might need to give them a try.

  • Emily (A Nutritionist Eats) May 28, 2010 at 10:45 am

    Love the new look!

  • cathy May 28, 2010 at 12:07 pm

    These look delicious! Do you think that muscovado sugar would work fine in place of demerara?

  • The Food Hunter May 28, 2010 at 1:58 pm

    I’ll give them a try. they look really good and easy

  • Marianne (frenchfriestoflaxseeds) May 28, 2010 at 6:19 pm

    Oh, I love the new header Lori. It’s very clean and fresh looking. Good job.

    I also like the looks of these cookies. I honestly don’t think I’ve ever made or eaten a no bake cookie like this.

  • Anonymous May 29, 2010 at 12:41 am

    We called them “Top of the stove cookies”. We use to make them all the time and still do as adults. Don’t know anyone who doesn’t like them.

  • 5 Star Foodie May 29, 2010 at 4:10 pm

    These cookies look terrific! We would definitely love to try them very soon!

  • ♥¸¸.•*¨Skip to Malou¨¨*•.¸¸♥¸ May 29, 2010 at 8:40 pm

    California cookies sounds good.. haha.. I’m biased as I am from California. The cookies looks like it’s going to be gone the minute it hits the table in my kitchen…

    I love the new header. It’s crisp, it’s fresh… great job on the new design.

  • Jessica May 29, 2010 at 9:10 pm

    I like the new name…California Cookie! Do I have to wait till they cool? I don’t mind messy cookies! ;-D

  • HealthnutFoodie May 29, 2010 at 9:35 pm

    LOL…I grew up in Kansas and our no-bake cookies didn’t even require the stove. Yours look great and semi-healthy, I can’t wait to try them!

  • Natalie May 30, 2010 at 12:31 am

    Oh yes I know these cookies well. Or at least a similar cookie! It gets so hot here in Texas in the summer so a cookie without having to turn the oven on is a win-win solution! These look great.

  • Lori May 31, 2010 at 6:57 am

    kat – Thanks! The pb chocolate combo is popular with my other half as well. 🙂

    Denise – Glad I could offer the reminder. I tend to forget about recipes like this from time to time. It is nice to bring back a favorite.

    Andrea – Now that you say that I’m pretty sure they were my first cookie too! Yeah, the weather can mess with them sometimes.

    MelindaRD – Careful, if you make them you may end up making cookies all the time. Ha, ha! 🙂 They are so good!

    Emily – Thanks!

    cathy – I didn’t use muscovado this time around becuase I was worried about the strong flavor. I think they would work for the texture though. I plan to try it at some point, but let me know how they turn out if you do first.

    Food Hunter – They are very easy, that is for sure and good too. 🙂

    Marianne – Thanks. I appreciate you saying that. Definitely try them. No bakes are great for a change in cookie selection. 🙂

    Anon – I love learning everyone’s names for them. I think they are a memory cookie for many of us in the US.

    5 Star – Thanks! I hope you like them!

    Malou – Thank you! Yes, the cookies disappear quickly! 🙂

    Jessica – I’ve eaten many before they cooled. Ha, ha!

    Healthnut Foodie – Ha! Funny! Glad you like them.

    Natalie – They are a great choice for a hot day for sure!

  • Leighann of Multi-Minding Mom May 31, 2010 at 3:26 pm

    As a girl scout we made something similar called “Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Peanut Butter Cookies.”

    I’ve been looking for the recipe forever. Will have to give yours a try.

    Thanks for sharing!

  • gastroanthropologist June 1, 2010 at 6:04 am

    California definitely means the much of the same to me! Summer, sun, love, home….

    Love your new digs!

  • Mandy June 1, 2010 at 6:48 am

    We called them California Cookies too, but I’ve never heard anyone else use that name! Yum yum, these are some of my faves!

  • Debinhawaii June 1, 2010 at 3:00 pm

    loving the new blog look. 😉 I have not had a no-bake cookie in ages–these look delicious and I like the less-processed sugar addition too.

  • OysterCulture June 2, 2010 at 6:07 am

    Wow, not sure I ever had a cookie like this, not sure I am doing my adopted state justice. Oops, sorry CA, will remedy soon.

  • Tangled Noodle June 2, 2010 at 2:05 pm

    I’m happy just to call them delicious! 😎

    Your new blog look is fantastic – I lovelovelove the apple/globe. It perfectly captures the spirit and theme of your site- healthy is universal!

  • Miss. Tarrah Dame June 2, 2010 at 6:49 pm

    these truly are the best! cant be beat! i just posted a recipe that used graham crackers not too long ago!

  • Lori June 3, 2010 at 4:50 am

    Leighann – So interesting to hear about all this cookie history. Didn’t know it had girl scout roots! Our original was this exact recipe, but with white sugar, standard pb and a tsp of vanilla tossed in the chocolate after cooking.

    gastroanthro – I have so much more to explore there. Thanks!

    Mandy – You are the first person I’ve heard of to call it that too!!

    Deb – Thanks! It had been a while since I’d made some. Kind of a throwback cookie.

    Oyster – Ha! Something tells me that the cookie has little to do with CA, but I could be wrong. Perhaps one of your great culinary history posts is in order. 🙂

  • Lisa August 4, 2010 at 1:19 pm

    these looks great and sound so easy to make.