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stephanie eddy The Globe and Mail

No-bake cookies are perfect for those evenings when you discover you're supposed to be bringing a dessert to the bake sale/book club and you only have half an hour to spare. You can whip them up quickly and let set overnight, or stick them in the fridge to firm up faster. They also stash nicely in office drawers, lunch boxes or gym bags for chocolate-related emergencies.

This version is dark and decadent with extra cocoa, semi-sweet chocolate chips and hints of fresh orange zest. It's the grown-up version of a childhood classic. Usually I prefer doling them out in bite-size pieces instead of serving as larger cookies. However, I can't be the only person who enjoys eating the warm mixture straight from the pot. Add some to a bowl with a scoop of vanilla ice cream and you may never turn on your oven to make cookies again.

Servings: Makes about 25 regular cookies.

Ingredients

3 1/4 cups (325 g) quick oats

1/2 cup (80 g) semi-sweet chocolate chips

2 1/2 teaspoons orange zest (roughly three oranges worth)

1/8 teaspoon salt

3/4 cup (170 g) sugar

1/3 cup (80 g) cocoa powder

1/2 cup + 1 tablespoon butter cut into pieces

1/2 cup milk

Method

Lay out sheets of parchment paper to spoon the cookies onto.

Stir together the oats, chocolate chips, orange zest and salt in a bowl, and set aside

In a pot, combine the sugar, cocoa powder, butter and milk. Place on the stove over medium heat and whisk until the butter has melted completely. Let the mixture come to a boil and allow to boil on medium for a full minute without stirring. I find it helps to set a timer beforehand and then start it once the boil starts. It will rise to almost double its height.

Once the mixture has boiled for a full minute, remove from heat and stir in the oat mixture until completely combined.

Spoon the cookies onto the parchment paper. Use a heaping tablespoon for regular-size cookies or a barely filled tablespoon for bite-size cookies.

Allow the cookies to set overnight or place in the fridge for a few hours. Once cooled, these cookies can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature or in the fridge for five to seven days.

Stephanie Eddy, who writes about her baking exploits at clockworklemon.com, lives in Calgary.

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