June 13, 2008

Reader Recipe--Commodity Cookies

[Posted by Crabby]

This recipe was sent in by one of our favorite Cranky Fitness commenters, Mary Anne in Kentucky. It's perfect for those of us who love cookies, but don't like to go to a lot of fuss to make them. And the main ingredient is oats! Oats are good enough for you that in my Unwritten Rule book, they cancel out the little bit of sugar involved. And who can argue with peanut butter and cocoa? Certainly not the Crab. Yum!
Thanks Mary Anne!

Commodity Cookies
by Mary Anne in Kentucky

I call these Commodity Cookies because when I was eating them in the high school lunchroom decades ago all the ingredients were available from the Commodities to the Schools program.

Commodity cookies
1/2 c. oil
1/2 c. milk (I substitute water due to years of milk allergy; my high school's recipe used dried milk plus water)
1/3 c. sugar
1/3 c. cocoa
Boil for 1 minute; Yes really--one minute only. No candy thermometers, no Soft Ball Stage nonsense, just 60 seconds.

1/3 c. peanut butter (preferably without sugar, unless you figure out how to reduce the 1/3 c. sugar; commodity peanut butter had nothing in it but ground peanuts.)
3 c. oats
Roll into balls.
Eat. No, not all at once.

See how disgustingly healthy it is? Do the math: all the other ingredients together are less than the amount of oatmeal. Yet it's sweet and chocolaty and has a little protein. It keeps for a week at room temperature (perhaps more--that's as long as I ever managed to keep any around); it freezes without any loss of flavor or texture.


  1. These look great, thanks for sharing. I will make a batch this weekend. Looks like it will be easy to calculate WW points (if that's your thing) too. This may be my first weekend to eat cookies w/out guilt. Happy Friday!

  2. Oooh, these cookies sound delicious! I might have to whip these up! :)

  3. Sounds tasty, healthy, and easy to do. My criteria met.

  4. These look awesome. And with the PB and oats, I bet they have lots of protein (though we shouldn't really be worrying about such trifle things if we're eating cookies!)

  5. I seem to have forgotten to mention that they don't heat up the kitchen, which in this weather is an important point!

    Mary Anne in Kentucky, with highs in the 90s

  6. We always had these around as kids. They were a little goopy and you'd drop them by the teaspoonfull onto waxed paper. We called ours Beaver Houses. :)

  7. They sounds really good! I like that fact they won't heat up the kitchen too.

  8. Yum. Might have to mix up a batch of these - they sound scrumptious. Thanks, Mary Anne in Kentucky, who always makes the Bag Lady smile!!

  9. Years ago when I was a young mom, I belonged to Le Leche League for breastfeeding mothers and we had a cookbook of healthy recipe and there was one very like this. Nutritious, flavorful and easy to make.

    My kids loved them.


  10. How did you know I've been a cookie fiend lately and have been looking for cookie recipes in a cookie monster manner?! They look yummy:) Really can't go wrong with PB and chocolate!

  11. Went to elementary school in KY...to this day these are one of my biggest weaknesses.

    Love them.

  12. We had these growing up too... "Chocolate No-Bakes" was the name. Careful as they're so good you'll want to eat lots!

  13. Eeevil! These cookies look too easy to make and eat!! :)

  14. Thanks for the recipe! I've always liked reading your comments, Mary Anne!

    Dr. J

  15. YUM!! Making these tomorrow!!

  16. I've made a version of these before, and, yes, they are awesome. They're one way to have dessert and feel really good about it. :)

  17. What kind of oat do you use? Instant? Quick-cooking? Old-fashioned?

  18. Hmm, this was a guest post so I'm not sure if Mary Anne will be checking back to answer.

    I would guess the "regular" kind one uses for oatmeal cookies which are probably "old fashioned."

  19. I usually use quick-cooking, because it all holds together better. The regular "old-fashioned" kind tends to fall apart more. And I didn't mention that I usually substitute oat bran for for half a cup of the oatmeal because only certified health nuts keep oat bran around the house. That really improves the way it sticks together.

    Mary Anne in Kentucky

  20. Keith Owen CampbellOctober 20, 2008 at 8:52 PM

    The world may call these No-Bake cookies but as a kid in WV, these were COMMODITY COOKIES to us. I never knew where the name came from til I stumbled across your recipe. Believe it or not, before your post, "Commodity Cookies" only brought up Economics class examples. These are phenomenal cookies and can be made by/with the smallest of children (save the boiling part). Thanks again for saying where the name came from.


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