Putting the Bake back in No-Bakes

Did you grow up with Chocolate No-Bake Cookies?  That glorious, super simple, and super fast concoction of butter/sugar/cocoa/oats?  I did.  They were one of the first sweet treats I was allowed to make entirely by myself, and I can’t even imagine how many batches of them my brother and I devoured, home alone after school while mom was at work.  I grew up with the peanut butter version–seeing as we’re such a peanut butter family and all–but I’ve made plenty of the “plain” variety as well.

A couple years back a friend of mine started a cookie company, and spent a holiday season selling them at the Truffle shop with me.  One way or another the subject of no-bake cookies came up, and I begged her to make some.  She did, and she sold out of them (the ones I didn’t eat, anyway) almost immediately.  She couldn’t believe it–why would somebody buy a cookie that is so easy to make?  But, of course, hers were beyond awesome thanks to a secret ingredient (which I will not reveal!), so it was no surprise to me.  And, who can turn down a no-bake cookie?!  Not me.

My only gripe about no-bakes, as an adult, is that they tend to be a little too sweet and one-dimensional in flavor.  Don’t get me wrong, I’ll still eat the whole batch!  But the grown up in me wants something just a tiny bit more interesting.  And thus the Yummy Bar was born!  Take a layer of crispy, buttery shortbread, and top it with the no-bake cookie mixture–this time made with buttermilk for a bit of tang, and rolled oats (not instant) for a slightly chewy texture.  Love at first bite, sigh.

Yummy Bar is a boring, nondescript name, I know.  But I couldn’t call it a No-Bake Shortbread Bar, because you do have to bake the shortbread, right?  And these bars are yummy, for sure.  So there you have it.

Other name recommendations gladly accepted.

One Year Ago on C&T: Sticky Chewy Ooey Gooey Cookies

Yummy Bars

Shortbread Layer:

  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 2 cups all purpose flour*
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • pinch salt

Heat oven to 350.  Line a 9×9 pan with aluminum foil and spray with baking spray.  Combine all ingredients in a food processor and pulse until the dough just begins to come together.  Press into an even layer in the prepared pan and bake for 20 minutes.  Cool.

No-Bake Layer

  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup buttermilk
  • 1/4 cup peanut butter
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 1-1/2 cups rolled oats

In a medium saucepan, combine butter, cocoa powder, sugar, and buttermilk.  Bring to a boil and boil for 1 minute.  Remove from heat and mix in peanut butter, vanilla, and oats.  Mix well, then spread on top of shortbread layer.  Allow to set completely (refrigerate for faster setting).

NOTES:  I used white whole wheat flour in the shortbread because I was out of everything else – and it was surprisingly good!  Also, this recipe is based on a 1/2 recipe of no bake cookies, but I think next time I would use a full recipe (doubling the ingredients listed above) to get a thicker no bake layer.  That’s just me.

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3 thoughts on “Putting the Bake back in No-Bakes

  1. These look so delicious! I just printed out the recipe and will be making these this weekend. I would agree, I love the no bake cookies (partly because they are almost fudge like) but with the shortbread – oh man. I’m going to be in trouble.

    Thanks!!!

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