This is an old familiar favorite of mine since childhood. However, we called them Grandma's "Boiled Cookies," simply because she boiled them on the stovetop.
My Grandmother used the exact same ingredients and exact same amounts. However, boiling time is crucial and essential. We add the Peanut Butter with the other ingredients to boil (milk, butter/oleo, sugar, cocoa, salt) and bring the mixture to a hard boil over a medium flame(roughly, 4 - 5 minutes from beginning to boil). We were too poor to afford a candy thermometer, I suppose. THIS IS WHERE GRANDMA TOLD ME THAT THE TEXTURE PROBLEM LIES - " ... Too little boiling time, runny/wet & unable to set properly (because the mix did not reach high enough temperature to become the confection); while too much time produced dry & crumbly cookies (result of too hot too long, burning off moisture)."
Also, I choose to use Super Chunky peanut butter for more peanut texture and Grandma is probably rolling in her grave, but it defintely works for me!
Then, after we remove the boiling mixture from the flame and stir in the vanilla and quick oats (one-minute), spooning out mixture onto wax-paper lined cookie sheets. Also, I've noticed that if I use baking/cooling racks, these tend to cool and set a little more rapidly. So, if you're like me and can't wait ...
I've never had a soft batch. They're definitely one of my all-time favorites. Not to mention the favorites of any guests and all of my neices and nephews!
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This is an old familiar favorite of mine since childhood. However, we called them Grandma's...