Friday, March 24, 2017

3-Ingredient No-Bake Cookies

I know I mention this all the time but I have the hardest time cooking in Russia. I can never find the ingredients I need when I go to the store, and sometimes I just don't have the right equipment in my house. This is especially the case with desserts. No matter what I do my desserts never seem to turn out right. For the past few months I've been scouring Pinterest for ideas. I would come across no-bake cookies, but they always called for that one ingredient I could never find: peanut butter. In December I managed to find peanut butter but forgot about my desire to make those no-bake cookies. A few weeks ago I resumed my search for a recipe that I could follow. All the no-bake recipes called for ingredients like cocoa powder. I felt defeated. Then, I found it. The three-ingredient no-bake cookie of my dreams. One that called for honey and not a stick of butter. There is no short supply of honey in Bashkortostan.
What you need:
  • 3 cups oatmeal
  • 1 cup peanut butter
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • Optional: chocolate bar, raisins, nuts
Directions:
  1. Grease a 9x9 pan with non-stick cooking spray.
  2. Heat honey and peanut butter together on the stove until melted.
  3. Pour oatmeal into a large bowl. 
  4. Add the honey/peanut butter mixture a little at a time stirring often. It will look like you don't have enough peanut butter and honey but just keep mixing. I ended up using my hands (after I washed them, obviously) and it sped up the process.
  5. Pour the mixture onto your greased pan. Flatten to mixture out so it's even. Place into the refrigerator to cool.
  6. Optional: While the bar is cooling I heated up an old chocolate bar on the stove (I used about a 1/4-1/3 of the bar. When it was melted I took a spoon and drizzled it over the oatmeal bar. Then I placed it back in the fridge to cool.
  7. After about 30 minutes I removed the bar and cut it into pieces. You can let it sit for a little bit so it softens and becomes easier to cut.
  8. Storing options: After I cut the bar into smaller pieces I put them in a storage container and returned them to the refrigerator. I did this for several reasons. One, my apartment gets really hot, especially in the kitchen, and I didn't want the bars melting. Two, I don't like a strong taste of honey and when they are cooler they don't taste as strong. Of course, I always let them sit out about 10 minutes before I want to eat them so that they soften and are easier to bite. You can always keep them in an air tight container at room temperature, just be aware that all the ingredients melt. 
The reason I share posts like this is for people, like me, who have a very hard time cooking in another country because the ingredients are different from what you are used to. I know how frustrating it can be to not find something to cook. So, I hope someone will find recipes like this useful. If you have any recipes you would like to share leave them in the comments!
Have you made no-bake cookies? How did they turn out?

4 comments

  1. Ooh, these look great! My Americanized baked goods were constantly a disaster in Russia - idk what was up with the products but they never turned out right.

    My husband makes this яблочный пирог all the time - super good. He got the recipe from his grandma, but this one looks close: https://www.edimdoma.ru/retsepty/22997-staromodnyy-yablochnyy-pirog

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    1. That looks good actually. Anton's family is from Nizhnevartovsk so I haven't met them but I always tell him I need to go there so his mom can teach me how to cook. His grandparent's live near us during the summer and he always brings back delicious foods that his grandma made.

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  2. Hey, Jasilyn! Maybe this will help you a lttle.

    In Ufa, usually you can find cocoa powder in vegetarian and healthy food shops, like DobroFOOD, for example (https://vk.com/dobrofood ), or others.
    Peanut butter can be found in malls like Okay (Окей), Ашан (Ashan), Лента (Lenta), Карусель (Carousel), etc. It's called Arachisovoe maslo(Арахисовое масло).

    I know it is not very convenient, 'cause malls are scattered across the city and can be hard to reach (especiall on Mondays). But there are often a good discounts, so you can buy a few cans for future use instead of one.

    You can always use city guide on 2gis.ru, though it is actually in Russian only. But Google Translate can help, and the search engine is kinda smart. ^_^

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    Replies
    1. I've found peanut butter! I'll have to look for the cocoa powder though! Maybe I can find other hard-to-find ingredients at the healthy food shops.

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