This Vintage Southern No-Bake Cookie is a Forever Favorite

Boiled Peanut Butter Cookies

Southern cuisine as we know and love it today is rich and vibrant thanks to the incredible food pioneers who helped shape it. One of those figures is Edna Lewis, a chef, culinary teacher, cookbook author, farmer and food advocate whose work helped counteract negative perceptions of Southern cooking and made Americans rethink what they thought they knew about Southern food.

One of Lewis' lasting legacies includes the numerous cookbooks she wrote with Scott Peacock, her dear friend and a prominent Southern chef in his own right. Peacock is best known for his buttermilk biscuits and his fried chicken recipe has been praised as one of the "40 best recipes ever published" by Food & Wine.

In their iconic 2003 cookbook, The Gift of Southern Cooking, Lewis and Peacock warn that their Boiled Peanut Butter Cookies are "powerfully addictive." That description alone had me sold. The combination of peanut butter, oats and chocolate is something I can't resist—plus this cookie is a no-bake treat! Bubbling with excitement, I headed to the store and got ready to make this super simple dessert.

Get the recipe: Boiled Peanut Butter Cookies

<em>Ingredients for Boiled Peanut Butter Cookies</em><p>Courtesy of Jessica Wrubel</p>
Ingredients for Boiled Peanut Butter Cookies

Courtesy of Jessica Wrubel

Ingredients for Boiled Peanut Butter Cookies

For these cookies, you'll need quick-cooking oats, crunchy peanut butter, unsalted butter, kosher salt, vanilla, cocoa powder, milk and sugar.

How to Make Boiled Peanut Butter Cookies

In a large bowl, stir together the oats, peanut butter and vanilla. In a heavy saucepan over medium heat, heat the butter and milk until the butter melts. Whisk in the sugar, cocoa and salt until the mixture is smooth. Keep in mind this might take a bit longer than you think. I used a whisk for a solid minute to break everything up. Bring the mixture to a boil and cook for 1 1/2 minutes, stirring often to prevent scorching.

Stir in the oat mixture and continue cooking for 1 minute longer, stirring constantly. Drop the mixture by tablespoonfuls (I used two large spoons) onto waxed paper or aluminum foil. Let the cookies cool until firm. Serve at room temperature.

Related: Go Nuts! We're Ranking the 8 Best Natural Peanut Butter

<p>Courtesy of Jessica Wrubel</p>

Courtesy of Jessica Wrubel

What I Thought of Edna Lewis' Boiled Peanut Butter Cookies

This was one of the easiest recipes I've made in a while. For such a simple recipe, I was surprised by how much it had going for it. On day one, the cookies tasted almost like a bowl of Cocoa Krispies and brought me right back to my childhood. On day two, they took on more of a chewy, fudge-like consistency and were a dead ringer for candy store fudge. Because these were so small, they weren't over-the-top sweet. Instead, they're the perfect little bite when you want something sweet with a nutty kick (and minimal work). If you're a peanut butter chocolate fan like me, then you need to make these cookies immediately.

Related: I'm a Food Editor—Here's How I Make The Perfect Bowl of Oatmeal Every Morning

Finished plate of Boiled Peanut Butter Cookies<p>Courtesy of Jessica Wrubel</p>
Finished plate of Boiled Peanut Butter Cookies

Courtesy of Jessica Wrubel

Tips for Making Edna Lewis' Boiled Peanut Butter Cookies

  1. Use more oats. If your dough is too wet, add more oats—about 1/4 cup at a time—and cook in the pot until the dough thickens up. In total, I used about 1/2 cup more oats than called for in the original recipe to form a scoopable dough. You can also make these gluten-free too if you buy gluten-free oats at the store.

  2. Make sure to watch your pot carefully. The chocolate mixture can burn if left unattended, so you'll want to stir continuously to make sure the mixture doesn’t scorch.

  3. Grab the right peanut butter. The recipe didn't specify what type of peanut butter to use, but I used unsweetened natural chunky peanut butter from Trader Joe's, which worked out great. The recipe will also work with regular peanut butter (sweetened or unsweetened), though the texture will be a bit different. If you're using standard peanut butter, you'll probably need to add fewer extra oats because the peanut butter has a thicker consistency.

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