A Real Cool Way To Make Cookies

Diana Helfand
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Wednesday - May 31, 2006
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Andrew Morgans, who has always loved shirts that are somewhat wild and different, has found the perfect job. He is a sales associate for Pearlridge Center’s Crazy Shirts Store, and the Crazy Shirts Waikele Outlet. Andrew originally hails from Kansas City, but is now a Hawaii resident going for his associate degree in business at Leeward Community College. Someday he hopes to either go into the field of international business or open his own business. In his spare time, Andrew enjoys free diving at Paradise Cove and off the coast at Nanakuli. This recipe is dedicated to him.

If you want to keep the kitchen cooler in these hot summer months, try this no-bake cookie recipe. Get the keiki involved and let them make their own cookie drops. I like to use semi-sweet chocolate chips for the top, but you can get creative and use butter-scotch, or milk chocolate chips.

Oats are a cereal grain native to Asia; several archaeological finds have provided evidence that all varieties of oats are derived from the wild red oat.

Oats were used primarily for medicinal purposes before being used as a food, and the ancient Romans and Greeks regarded them as weeds.

Here’s a quick oat primer: * Steel-cut oats are made from hulled roasted oats that are passed between steel blades which cut them into slices of varying thickness. The more finely the oats are cut, the more quickly they cook.

* Old-fashioned rolled oats are hulled grains that are steamed and rolled to produce flat flakes.

* Quick-cooking oats are old-fashioned oats that have been cut more finely to shorten cooking time. Their nutritional value is equivalent to that of old-fashioned oats.

* Instant oats are partially cooked, and then dried and rolled very thin, so that they are ready to eat simply by adding boiling water. The nutritional value is equal to quick-cooking oats.

The main advantage of oats from a nutritional aspect is that they are rich in soluble fiber, which has been shown to reduce blood cholesterol levels. Oatmeal is a good source of thiamine and magnesium and contains phosphorus, potassium, iron, pantothenic acid and copper.


* 1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
* 2 1/2 cups white sugar
* 2/3 cup skim milk
* 2/3 cup Smart Balance margarine (no trans fats)
* 1 1/4 teaspoons pure almond extract
* 2/3 cup chunky peanut butter
* 4 cups quick-cooking oats
* 48 semi-sweet chocolate chips
* 48 mini marshmallows (optional)

Line cookie sheets with wax paper and lightly coat with cooking spray. Combine cocoa with sugar in small bowl until well-mixed. In a saucepan over medium heat, add milk and margarine, then add the sugar-cocoa mixture and stir to combine. Bring to a boil, stirring a few times. Boil for one minute. Remove from heat and stir in the almond extract, peanut butter and oats until just combined.

Drop by teaspoonfuls onto sprayed waxed paper and put a chocolate chip and a marshmallow in the center of each cookie. Allow cookies to cool for at least two hours. Store in a covered container.

Makes 48 cookies.

Nutrition Information Per Serving:

Calories: 115 Fat: 4 grams Cholesterol: 1 milligram Sodium: 45 milligrams

(Diana Helfand, author of “Hawaii Light and Healthy” and “The Best of Heart-y Cooking,” has taught nutrition in the Kapiolani Community College culinary arts program.)

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