Thursday, June 28, 2012

Too Hot to Bake But I Want Chocolate!

It's Hot!!

So what are you going to do when it is 103º outside and you want to eat something chocolatey but you really don't want to heat up the oven?

Whip up a batch of No Bake Chocolate Fudge Bars.  

These were my go to chocolate fix when my kids were young and the "gotta have some chocolate now" urge hit me during nap time.  They are quick to mix up, take only a few ingredients that are usually in my cupboards and are GOOD! 

I don't think this is a unique recipe and you can probably find one that is similar in many cookbooks and web sites.  I originally discovered it in one of my all time favorite cookbooks, "Favorite Recipes of the Nebraska 4-H Club", that I have had since high school.  It is obvious that it has been a favorite from it's condition.
No cover.  Binding gone.  Stained and dog-eared pages.
I loved this cookbook so much that when I ran across a duplicate copy at a garage sale about 20 years ago I snatched it up, knowing that my first copy wasn't going to last forever.  Unfortunately, the second copy has suffered a similar fate.  
First copy on left.  Second copy on right.  I have to keep both copies because each one is missing different pages.
For the bars, combine sugar, milk, butter and cocoa in a saucepan and heat over medium high until butter is melted.  Bring to a boil and allow to boil for 1 1/2 minutes.

Remove from heat.  Add peanut butter and stir until the peanut butter is lost in the chocolate pool.
Do not mistake that yellow blob as mustard instead of peanut butter.  
Then add in oatmeal and vanilla (and nuts if you are feeling adventurous. I always skip the nuts.)

Quick cooking or regular oatmeal seems to work equally well in this recipe.
It's really all about the chocolate anyway! 
The mixture all gets spread into a 9x9 or 11x7 greased pan.
Save the wrapper from the butter to grease the pan.
Now, patiently wait for the bars to set up before cutting. Or impatiently put the bars into the freezer for 20 minutes to speed up the process which allows you to cut and eat much faster!
Guess which method I chose?

Another option it to drop the mixture by teaspoons onto was paper to make individual No Bake Chocolate Cookies rather than Bars.

I like making bars best.
Now you have no excuse for denying yourself your family something yummy on the hottest days of the year. 

And, by the way, this is one of my new favorite cookbooks....
Wonder what she (meaning the book, not Ree) will look like in 20 years!

            from "Favorite Recipes of the Nebraska 4-H Club"

2 cups sugar
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup butter
4 tablespoons cocoa
1/2 cup peanut butter
3 cups oatmeal
2 teaspoons vanilla
1/2 cup chopped nuts, if desired

Combine sugar, milk, butter, cocoa in saucepan and heat over medium high heat until sugar is dissolved and butter is melted.  Allow to come to a boil and continue boiling for 1 1/2 minutes. Remove from heat, add peanut butter and stir to combine.  Add oatmeal, vanilla and nuts (if desired).  Stir until blended.  Drop by teaspoons onto wax paper or spread in greased 11x7 or 9x9 pan.  Once cooled, cut into bars.


  1. I love those bars!!! And I have that same 4-H cookbook in my cupboard, without the cover. The only way I know for sure is that the beverage page looks the same :)

    1. It's an oldie but a goodie (kinda like us!!!!) :)

  2. Any "proper" upbringing includes these delicious treats. We always dropped our on wax paper. I think I need to make them again soon.

    1. It's an oldie but a goodie!! Thought it was time to introduce one of my offspring to this recipe. I sure want to make sure I raised them "proper".

  3. Love your blog Mary! These look yummy and I am also heading to the Pioneer Woman cookbook this summer! Have you tried her Spicey Dr. Pepper Pulled Pork?

    1. Thanks, Gail. No, I haven't tried that PW recipe yet but will soon.