A few years ago, a family member made a delicious cookie ball that required no baking and instead, a little freezer time. I ate them with great gusto and told myself, “I need to try making those myself.” I was emailed the recipe and then, like most things, I promptly forgot about it. I’m not sure what made me think of this recipe again. Maybe it was a random search of my Gmail account? Perhaps something I saw on Pinterest? I blame mommy-brain for my complete lack of memory on how I came up with this recipe again.

It was my daughter’s birthday and I needed something simple to make with a group of ten preschoolers. I figured, no bake, what could be easier? I adapted the recipe considerably to make things much healthier and was absolutely astounded at how good these cookies turned out when we were done. No seriously…best dessert I’d had in a VERY long time and that was saying a lot.

Since then, I’ve made these cookies for parties, potlucks and just because. I set them out and wait. I love seeing the look on people’s faces when they try the first bite. Inevitably, their face contorts into a, “this is amazing!” sort of way and can’t help but verbally announce how divine the cookies are. Then they look around and start asking everyone who made them. The minute I speak up, people literally hound me for the recipe and follow up with emails begging for it. They crave these things and I understand, because I’m right there too. As far as recipes go, this one is ridiculously easy and really fun to make with all-aged children. The bonus? There is no refined sugar (with the exception of what’s found in chocolate chips), they are gluten-free, and full of fiber.

No-Bake Chocolate Oatmeal Cookies

1 cup old fashioned oats
1 cup unsweetend coconut flakes
1/2 cup ground flaxseed
1/2 cup peanut butter or nut butter
1/2 cup dark chocolate chips*
1/3 cup raw honey*
1 tsp real vanilla extract

Add all ingredients together in order above into a medium sized bowl. Mix together using a wood spoon or clean hands until well combined. You can either make balls or bars out of these cookies:

Bars – Press the mixture into a baking dish. If it’s a large dish, your bars will be thinner. If you use a smaller one, your bars will be thicker (you can cut them into cubes instead of rectangular balls). Let the dish chill in the freezer for 30 minutes. Once chilled, cut them into bars with a heavy knife and serve immediately.

Balls – Leave the mixture in the bowl and stick the whole bowl into the freezer for 30 minutes. Once chilled, remove mixture and roll into small balls. Serve immediately.

The Other Method – Stick the bowl into the freezer for 10 minutes or as long as you can handle it. Once slightly chilled, grab a spoon and dig in.

If you bring them to a party, it’s best to store them in the fridge or freezer until it’s time to eat them. You can keep these cookies in a closed container in refrigerator or freezer for a week, but I can pretty much guarantee they’ll be eaten WAY sooner than this.

 

Notes:

I tried shredded coconut, but I personally like the large hunks of coconut flakes way better. Just be sure to get the unsweetened variety.

Use fair trade chocolate whenever possible as it is your best chance at avoiding child labor.

If you prefer, you can also use a bar of 72% fair trade dark chocolate (Trader Joes has a great one). Just break it into small pieces and use in place of the chocolate chips.

I use a plunger-style measuring cup for this recipe. It is so awesome for messy and wet ingredients like honey, peanut butter, molasses and mayonnaise. I highly recommend adding one to your kitchen.

Make sure you are buying raw honey. Local is best, so check out your local farmers market for resources.

Unless you go through your flaxseed quickly, store it in a glass container in the fridge to avoid rancidity.

I’ve used both chunky peanut butter and smooth…they are both incredible.

I tend to have most of these ingredients on hand, with the exception of chocolate chips (hmm…wonder why that is). If you are in a pinch, use 1-2 tablespoons of cocoa powder in place of the chocolate chips. You’ll still get the chocolately flavor, but without the crunch.

 

Recipe inspired by: http://allrecipes.com/recipe/no-bake-cookies-i/

KitchenArt Pro 55210 Adjust-A-Cup 2-Cup Measuring Cup