My husband, Gerrit, and I met working together as counselors at a summer camp. Our days were filled with wrangling kids and leading crazy games and making sure no one’s canoe tipped over in the lake (which unfortunately did happen once and resulted in the death of one of Gerrit’s cell phones). It was a hot summer (no air conditioning. in alabama.) with days beginning around 7 and ending around 10 or 11. Which, okay, doesn’t sound that bad. But when you get up at 7 and immediately have to make sure all 6 to 10 of your elementary/middle/high school campers are up and getting ready to be at breakfast by 8, well, that’s a different story.
Really I’m not sure how we found time to form a relationship. And I guess that’s kind of it–we didn’t dance around each other to form our relationship in the traditional way, we just kind of automatically were. We were together all day every day and that’s how we got to know each other. But this also meant that we missed out on the whole going-out-on-dates thing.
But we still found time to have our specials moments, and these cookies were one of them. I really can’t explain the excitement we felt when we walked into the dining hall for lunch and found out that Ms. Donna had made these for dessert. After lunch we would pour ourselves glasses of milk and sit at the table while the kids played four-square and eat these as slowly and deliciously as possible.
I made these this week mostly just because I felt like it, but also because I was going to visit a friend who also worked at camp with us and thought I would take her some. One of the great things about this recipe is that I can make one batch and I don’t feel overwhelmed with too many cookies that are going to go bad before we can eat them all, or even before I can give them all away. Or I can half the recipe and have just enough gooey deliciousness to last us a couple of days.
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Makes about 2 dozen
2 cups sugar
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup butter
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
3 cups quick cooking oats
1. In a medium-sized sauce pan, combine sugar, cocoa powder, milk, and butter. Over medium heat, bring to a boil and boil for one minute, stirring occasionally.
2. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla, salt, peanut butter, and oats.
3. Spoon cookies onto wax paper, and allow them to cool.
Note: I always heat them up in the microwave for a few seconds if I’m not eating them completely fresh to turn them soft and gooey again.