My first Christmas in Taiwan was a difficult one. I was half a world a way from nearly everyone who cared about me, including my daughter and the man who has since become my husband. I was practically alone in a strange country where Christmas isn’t even a thing. It was also the first Christmas since my mother’s death. There was emotional turmoil all over the place.
I also lived in a tiny studio apartment with no kitchen. Luckily, I had a few dear friends in Taiwan who were as good as family, and since we were all far from our families, we decided to spend the holiday together. We drove three hours on mopeds to the town of Nantou, and I made Christmas dinner with the one friend in our group who had a kitchen. That’s to say, she had two burners and a wok. I made pasta carbonara and no bake cookies. It was pretty fantastic given what we had to work with.
Now, every time I make no bake cookies, I remember how family has nothing to do with DNA, and that you can do a little with a lot if you’re willing to be flexible and creative. I also remember that no bake cookies are freakin’ awesome.
Even if you only have a hot plate and one pot, you can make these cookies. They’re chewy, sweet, and salty thanks to some pretzel bits smashed up and stirred in at the end. There’s basically no excuse for staying out of the cookie game this holiday season.
Make these and share them with your friends and family, even if they’re the same thing.
- 1 cup sugar
- 2 tablespoons cocoa
- 2 ounces (1/2 stick) butter
- 1/4 cup milk
- 1/2 cup peanut butter
- 1-1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1-1/2 cups quick-cooking oats
- 1/2 cup crushed pretzels
- In a large sauce pan over medium-high heat, stir together sugar, cocoa, butter, and milk. Bring the mixture to a boil and allow it to boil for one minute.
- While your sugar mixture is heating, measure out your remaining ingredients. Once your minute is up, you'll want to be able to add everything right away.
- After boiling for one minute, remove from heat and quickly stir in the remaining ingredients. Once the peanut butter is incorporated and everything is well mixed, drop large spoonfuls of your cookie mixture onto wax paper or parchment. I got about 18 cookies.
- Allow the cookies to cool and harden. Just try and stop eating them. I dare you.