Healthy no bake cookies | Naturally sweet | Gluten-free | Dairy-free | Vegan
You know that feeling when you’re in a season of waiting and you’re literally squirming in the uncertainty? Maybe you’re waiting for news of a promotion, perhaps a new job, entry into university, or how you did on a big test. Or you’re waiting to find out whether you’re pregnant, or not pregnant, or expecting with stomach butterflies that phone call with the diagnosis (this is it, gulp).
Alex and I are in a long season of squirm-inducing uncertainty, waiting to be matched with a baby who will be our forever child. There’s no roadmap; we could get the call at literally any time. And it’s the weirdest thing, to be waiting for a baby to fall out of the sky. We’re not preparing too much, as a sort of voodoo even though we’re not superstitious. There’s a crib in the nursery, but still in its box since we’ve been warned against the psychological trap of a perfect, pristine nursery silently waiting for an unknown babe. Better to do such things when the little one is home, in your arms, papers signed, we’ve been told.
So we wait with a boxed crib in an empty room, and try to distract ourselves from wondering, who this little one will be? Is it true, that a little human will someday inhabit that room, whose piercing cries will remind us of his or her existence in the wee hours of the night? That he or she will have a name, a spirit, a humanity that will be etched indelibly on our hearts?
These questions are too big, too weighty, so we distract ourselves with work and margarita nights with friends and weekend trips to Santa Fe and making healthy no bake cookies, because well, what else do you do when you’re waiting for a baby to fall out of the sky? (No really. We’re taking other ideas, if you have them.)
Here’s our take on healthy no bake cookies, inspired by a sweet visit from our dear friend Ashlae of Oh Ladycakes. Our version features a soft peanut buttery drizzle topping, so they’re almost an inside-out peanut butter cup. Made with maple syrup, coconut oil, and oats, they’re all natural and as “healthy” a treat as you could find. Even better, make the mini version for a smaller serving size. They’re also naturally sweet, vegan, gluten-free, and dairy-free, and while all those adjectives might sound alarming, the taste is just plain bliss. (We just served them as a sweet treat at the end of a meal, and when asked how they tasted, our guest pronounced “heaven”. True story, and even without coercion!)
We created this recipe for our favorite family-owned maple syrup company, Roxbury Mountain Maple (you may remember these cookies we made with their maple cream a while back.) Maple syrup is our current natural sweetener of choice, so to work with a family business who’ve devoted their lives to high quality maple products is a dream. Roxbury has just received their organic certification (hooray!), which is a big deal for a small business. They’ve also let us know about a recent change in the terminology for maple syrup grades, which is fairly fascinating: what used to be called Grade B syrup is now called Grade A Dark, and the term Grade B is no longer used. (We’ve always wondered about syrup grades, so let us know if you’re also a syrup nerd!) There are various types of Grade A, including Golden (the lightest, most delicate flavor), Amber (richer taste), and Dark (full-bodied flavor, which used to be Grade B). Who knew! We taste tested them back to back, and appreciated them each for their distinct flavors. This recipe calls for Grade A Dark, but you could easily substitute Golden or Amber as a variation.
We hope you enjoy this recipe as much as we do. And thank you for walking with us through the waiting!
PS — we’ve got a (naturally) sweet giveaway for you! See below.
PPS — we’re actually going on a quick little getaway Santa Fe, New Mexico next weekend! Anyone have recommendations? We’d love to hear.
The maple syrup we used in this recipe is made by Roxbury Mountain Maple, a family business run by the Holscher family out of the Catskill Mountains of upstate New York. We cook with a lot of maple syrup and this is one of our favorites. Check out Roxbury’s Amazon Store for their maple syrup, maple cream, and maple sugar (syrup heated and stirred until millions of maple crystals form to produce a pure maple spread). If you’re in the New York area, you can find Roxbury Mountain Maple at the Union Square Farmer’s market, or you can visit the sugarhouse and farm in Hobart, NY.
Giveaway Rules: We’re giving away 1 container of pure, Grade A dark maple syrup, 1 16-ounce container of maple cream, and 1 large shaker of maple sugar. Up to 2 entries per person, U.S and Canada residents only! Leave a comment on this post relating to any of the themes in the post. For a second entry, follow us on Instagram and leave a comment on the giveaway post (to appear 8:30 am EST). Commenting will close on Wednesday, March 23 at 6:00 pm, EST. Make sure you provide your email address in the comment form (we promise to keep it confidential!).
- 6 tablespoons coconut oil, divided
- ¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons peanut butter, divided
- ¼ cup plus 1 tablespoon Grade A dark maple syrup, divided
- ¼ cup dutch process (or dark) cocoa powder
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 pinch kosher salt
- 1 cup rolled oats
- Place 9 cupcake liners into a muffin tin (or 18 liners in a mini-muffin tin).
- In a small saucepan over low heat, melt 5 tablespoons coconut oil and stir together 2 tablespoons peanut butter, ¼ cup maple syrup, ¼ cup cocoa powder, 1 teaspoon vanilla extract, and 1 pinch kosher salt. When fully combined, remove from heat and stir in 1 cup rolled oats. Spoon into cupcake liners. Refrigerate while making the peanut butter topping.
- In a small saucepan over low heat, stir together ¼ cup peanut butter, 1 tablespoon maple syrup, and 1 tablespoon coconut oil. Spoon the warm peanut butter mixture over the chocolate oat mixture. Freeze for 15 to 20 minutes until set, or refrigerate until serving. Store refrigerated.
We developed this recipe for Roxbury Mountain Maple; all opinions expressed are our own. Thank you for supporting the partners that keep A Couple Cooks in action!
About the Authors
Cookbook Author and writer
Sonja Overhiser is author and recipe developer of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the “best vegetarian cookbooks” by Epicurious, and a recipe developer and healthy & sustainable food advocate behind the award-nominated food blog A Couple Cooks.
Cookbook Author and photographer
Alex Overhiser is photographer and recipe developer of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the “best new cookbooks” by Bon Appetit, and a recipe developer, photographer, and technical expert at A Couple Cooks.