Happy Monday, y’all! No, seriously. It really is a happy Monday: I am about to spoil you rotten. Who says the first day following the weekend has to be one to dread? (Okay, only everyone). Luckily for you, I was so excited to kick off my new adventure of blogging, I decided to make my first recipe post a VERY special one. Oh yeah, you read that right! I will feature a favorite recipe of mine each week (until I think you know too much!). You can always find them under the "Baking Goals" folder. However, you have to make a deal with me. I will share my treasured treats only if you promise to:
Make the recipe and share it with someone you love.
Send me a photo of your finished product! (See below)
Tags: Facebook= @Boycepiequeen + Instagram= @thepiequeen_bg
Note: Viewers who ignore these rules and BRING me a bite will automatically be my favorite. I highly encourage this rule.
Easy enough, right? I'm glad we had this conversation.
Back to the good stuff. Today's first feature is none other than my best-selling, personal favorite: NO BAKES (I told you I was going to spoil you rotten!)
You may wonder why I'm setting the bar so high; choosing my best-seller as the first featured recipe. It's simple: No Bakes are the reason I am here today (on a baking blog, not Earth, silly). Dramatic? Eh, maybe, but totally true. My earliest memories of being in the kitchen were making No Bakes with my Mother when I was a little girl. I like to think that my love for creating goodies began in those very moments, in a kitchen that was full of just that. Pure love. Mom has always been more of a cook than baker, but between my Dad's sweet tooth and our frequent church events, No Bakes were her go-to. Fun fact: Dad has always called them Hob Knobs. Not-so-fun fact: I regret not calling mine that. Hindsight is 20/20, you know? Regardless, these cookies hold a special place in my heart, and in my childhood. Though I no longer cover the counter with wax paper to make them, and there have been slight alterations throughout the years, the recipe I use today is the same one my Mama and I used back then. I am truly so excited to share these with you! (Just like I was in this proud, sticky-faced memory! Not a whole lot has changed for this baby Pie Queen!)
You know the attractive, organized cookbook you have in your kitchen? Me too, but you won't find it here. I present to you darling folks, my (seriously fancy) recipe system:
I know, I know! You want to steal my method! But don't, I am too fancy to keep up with! You will thank me later.
Preparation: Be sure to have your parchment paper ready to go before you begin. I place mine on baking trays, but you can use the parchment paper alone if you prefer. Here is what my space looked like as I began:
This recipe yields 48 No Bakes. Note: I will include the recipe for a smaller batch at the end of the final step.
Pour your sugar, cocoa, milk, and butter into a large pot. Queen's Tip: I use cold butter, not melted.
Place pot over medium heat and stir continuously. Queen's Tip: I stir the cold butter around with my whisk during this time, as it helps to melt it evenly.
WATCH: Right before it boils, the mixture will have a frothy top layer that will also be slowly moving, but NOT bubbling. (See below: you don't want it to boil) Queen's Tip: At this point, I drop a small amount between two fingers and rub them together. I'm checking to see if the sugar is still present (it will feel gritty). You'll want to keep stirring until the mixture is no longer gritty at all.
4. Remove from heat and let mixture sit for a minute.
5. Add your peanut butter to the pot, stir until combined.
6. Add the mixture to your large bowl of oats and stir until combined. Queen's Tip: I use a mixture of half quick oats and half rolled oats. Quick oats help form the cookies while rolled oats give them a nice, chewy texture. I'm not satisfied with just one or the other. *If you feel your mixture is too runny, add more oats.
7. Use a 2 Tbsp scoop (or any ice cream/cookie scoop you like) to scoop the mixture out onto your parchment paper. Queen's Tip: I use a 2 Tbsp scoop to yield my 48 No Bakes. Regardless of scooping method, these won't be perfect and no two will be the same.
Speaking of scooping methods: When I was little, my Mom and I would use two actual spoons to do our scooping. One to scoop from the bowl, one to scoop from the spoon. This meant a messy race to the very end!
8. Let those babies sit to form and cool off, and you've got yourself a batch of the best!
Smaller Batch No Bakes:
1 stick unsalted butter
2 cups sugar
1/2 cup milk
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1/2 cup peanut butter
3 cups oats
BONUS FROM BRIE: One of my favorite snacks is taking the leftover crumbs from scooping the mixture and adding a spoonful of peanut butter. Can we say SO YUM!? In fact, this guilty pleasure is how my Peanut Butter Sammies were born. *Keep your eyes peeled for that recipe!
Something that's important to note here, is that all No Bakes will be imperfect in shape. However, No Bakes can be done incorrectly, and you'll be able to tell. Here is a perfect example that no matter how many times you make these, you can still make mistakes. Can you tell what the difference is from left to right?
Like Goldilocks said: One is too wet, one is too dry, and one is juuuust right. Author's Note: I love my employees, but no one is off-limits to making it into the blog's blooper reel. (Don't worry, Pie Queenies. Surely the Boss Lady will end up here eventually, too!)
Congratulations, friends! Would you believe that in FIVE YEARS I have only taught THREE people how to make these? No joke. Three. And no, not even my darling husband made the cut. I am admittedly awful at passing my baking duties off to someone else, let alone sharing them. As demands in our business grew, I had to learn to let go (only a smidge!) of that anxiety and take baby steps into sharing my kitchen with a new set of hands. Fun fact: Currently there are only two people making No Bakes out of the Boyce General Store and Pie Queen's kitchen. I am one of them.
I have LOVED sharing this delicious pastime with you! Now get busy sending me those photos and remember... bringing your product to me in person is highly encouraged. Who doesn't want to be a favorite of The Queen!?
Join me later this week for new updates From The Queen's Kitchen. Happy Baking! (or no baking in this case!)