Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Christmas Cookie #1 -- Preacher Cookies

In 8th grade, I took a home economics class. The teacher was an older woman with brilliant white hair who taught me how to make buttermilk biscuits and Preacher cookies. In fact, when she couldn't figure out what to do with her class of mostly 8th grade boys (I don't know how I got stuck in that class!) she just let us make batches and batches of preacher cookies with government sugar and butter. I don't remember ever learning about the food pyramid, or how to eat healthily in that class, but the woman knew how to cook with butter and sugar!

A few weeks ago, a good friend from high school named Eric emailed me his family's recipe for Preacher Cookies. I was so excited! I live a state away from where I grew up and it's rare that I hear people refer to these particular cookies as "Preacher Cookies." Eric had no idea how much he made my day!

You probably know these cookies as "No-bake Cookies", "Stove Top Cookies", "Haystacks", "No Bake Oatmeal Cookies", "Boiled Cookies", etc... (If you have another name for them, I'd love to know what you call them!) But where I grew up they were called Preacher cookies. I have no idea why they are called that, but it just seems wrong to call them anything else!

What I've learned (from Eric's instructions) in making these cookies is that they are sort of a cross between fudge and cookies. I made homemade fudge for the first time this year! I never made it previously because I was intimidated with the process. All the fudge recipes I had looked at called for really crazy kitchen utensils like a candy thermometer. (Yes, that's crazy in my kitchen! -- It's another one-purpose instrument!!) So I never tried them. Then, earlier this month, I found an easy recipe for peanut butter fudge and I was instantly hooked! It was so easy! As I was making that peanut butter fudge, it dawned on me that the process was basically how those wonderful preacher cookies were made! Don't you love it when the cooking "light-bulb" turns on and you "get it?" I live for those moments!

So without further ado, here are Eric's awesome cookies. I love these at Christmas! Don't be intimidated by the instructions. These are not hard cookies to make, just make sure to boil the sugar and butter mixture for the right about of time to get the correct texture!

Eric's Preacher Cookies
free of gluten & soy (to make them dairy-free use non-dairy milk & coconut oil in place of butter)
shared by Carrie Forbes on
printer-friendly recipe

2 cups granulated sugar
1/2 cup butter (1 stick)
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup powdered cocoa
1 tsp. vanilla (opt.)
1/2 cup peanut butter (opt.)
2 - 2 1/2 cups certified gluten-free oatmeal

Melt butter in a medium sized saucepan until sizzling. Add sugar, milk, and cocoa. Stir thoroughly to remove any lumps in the mixture. On medium-high heat, stir constantly as mixture begins to boil. Boil additional 3-5 minutes stirring constantly. Remove from heat and immediately add vanilla and peanut butter. Mix thoroughly. Add oatmeal and stir until combined. Drop by tablespoons onto wax paper and let cool for an hour before serving. (These cookies can begin to harden quickly, so drop them on the wax paper fast!)

Yields 1-2 dozen cookies depending on size.

NOTE: I altered Eric's recipe slightly in the amount of oatmeal used, the original recipe calls for 2 cups. I also added peanut butter and vanilla because this is how I was taught to make them! Eric's great tip is: If your cookies turn out too chewy, next time boil the sugar/cocoa/butter mixture la few minutes longer!
Pin It!