As someone who has sampled her fair share of comfort food, I can say with confidence that nothing warms the soul quite like a fresh batch of cookies. Regardless of the situation, cookies act as a remedy for any and all human ailments. Whether a person has had an overfilled day of classes or is suffering from a dire craving for sweets, cookies never fail to come to the rescue.
Unfortunately, these magical confections carry with them a troubling paradox. In order to gain access to cookies and their stress-relieving properties, we all ironically must undergo a great deal of stress. This stress is primarily derived from the time spent waiting for the goods to bake and come out of the oven.
For those who feel as strongly about this crisis of impatience as I do, fear not, for I have found your savior: it is called the no-bake cookie. Requiring only easily accessible ingredients and about 15 minutes of your time, these treats are practically made for dorm life. Moreover, because they are made with a simple base of sugar, milk, and butter, they can be altered with almost any combination of flavors.
The recipe below was inspired by one of my favorite sweet-salty snack combinations: peanut butter-dipped pretzels. Combined with the aforementioned base (oatmeal) and a touch of vanilla, these simple ingredients are transformed into a heavenly, decadent, and, of course, stress-free dessert.
2 cups granulated sugar
1/2 cup skim milk
1/2 cup unsalted butter
1 tsp. vanilla extract (optional)
Pinch of salt
1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
3 cups quick-cook oatmeal
1. Add sugar, milk, and butter to a large pot.
2. Bring mixture to a boil over medium high heat; boil for one minute.
3. Remove from heat. Add vanilla (again, optional), salt, and peanut butter. Stir until smooth.
4. Fold in the oats until completely combined, and then fold in pretzels.
5. Lay down a cookie sheet covered in parchment paper and drop the cookie dough onto the surface with a tablespoon (the size of the cookies may vary depending on your preference).
6. Allow the cookies to set for about 20 minutes and store in a covered container (that is, if there are any left).