I love these. I used to make these all the time growing up - for every bake sale or fundraiser event. They were called Skillet Cookies because you make them in a skillet. Also, you leave the stove on Medium heat the entire time. This allows the sugar to dissolve completely and prevents you from over cooking or under cooking them. (So you don't have to worry about the 2 mins of boiling.) The butter, milk, cocoa and sugar make a candy-like coating so that when you add the oats & stuff, it hardens when it cools. We always put these in the refrigerator to harden.
Using rolled oats makes them chewy - using quick oats makes them easier to eat (less chewy, which is good for people with dentures :).
I followed this version of the recipe except I reduced the sugar to 1 3/4 cups and it was still too sweet (will try 1.5 cups next time). I upped the walnuts and coconut to 3/4 cup, but couldn't taste them much. My original recipe didn't include nuts or coconut - now I see why. You can't really taste them (kind of a waste of ingredients). I like mine more chocolaty so I increased the cocoa to 8 tablespoons = 1/2 cup.
My original recipe called for 2 Tablespoons of peanut butter - that might have balanced the sugar a little bit so they didn't seem so sweet.
Either way - these are great! I always get requests for them at family gatherings and parties.
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I love these. I used to make these all the time growing up - for every bake sale or fundraiser...