Want to return to stone-age sweetness? Library can help

Being of a certain age, at times I look back on the good old days and recall some nifty TV shows my family used to watch, including “Andy Griffith,” “Bonanza,” “Rocky and Bullwinkle,” “The Jetsons” and, well, feel free to insert your own favorites.

Now time travel with me back to Friday, Sept. 30, 1960, and the premier of “The Flintstones.” Such a fun show. But, even more fun was that we would almost always would make boiled cookies and then watch the show on Friday nights.

With ingredients including peanut butter, milk, sugar, cocoa, butter and oatmeal, boiled cookies are a breeze to whip up.

You can imagine my shock when as an adult I learned that the majority of people refer to my boiled cookies as no-bake cookies. The audacity. Perhaps this name debate is due to geography? I have no clue, but I do know boiled and/or no-bake cookies are still favorites everywhere.

Your library has an entire book devoted to the no-bake school of baking called no-bake makery: more than 80 two-bite treats made with lovin’, not an oven.

The author covers truffles, fudge, pies, cakes, candy, cookies and other yummy treats. Unfortunately, the author’s little gem of a book does not have a boiled and/or no-bake cookie recipe similar to the one we made while watching “The Flintstones.”

“Weeknight Desserts: Quick & Easy Sweet Treats” contains a recipe for chocolate fudge oatmeal cookies.” This is a variation on my boiled cookie but does not contain the essential ingredient of peanut butter and calls for walnuts or pecans.

In the same book, a recipe for peanut butter corn flake crunch squares piqued my interest. Only four ingredients — corn syrup, sugar, peanut butter and corn flakes — so I may have to try this when the grandchildren visit next.

The Hoopla e-book “Super Simple No-Bake Cookies,” geared for the younger set, also does not contain the classic boiled cookie recipe. Children who use this book gain knowledge on measuring, cooking terms and kitchen utensils. Recipes include those for sweet cookie pops, delish cookie drizzle and noodle stack-ups.

Alas, not even “Sally’s Baking Addiction: Irresistible Cookies, Cupcakes & Desserts for Your Sweet-Tooth Fix,” my favorite cookbook in the universe, is lacking information on how to make boiled cookies. But you can discover how to make “Cake Batter Chocolate Chip Cookies,” “Dark Chocolate Raspberry Cheesecake Bars,” “Nutella Frosted Banana Cupcakes,” and “Brown Sugar Marble Pound Cake.”

But, in the end, Sally did not let me down. Check out the Hoopla e-book “Sally’s Cookie Addiction: Irresistible Cookies, Cookie Bars, Shortbread, and More From the Creator of Sally’s Baking Addiction.” Nutella No-Bakes is definitely a variation of the childhood recipe I remember. In fact, one can just substitute peanut butter for the Nutella, or use some of each!

So glad Sally saved me as I was beginning to believe my boiled cookies were too pedestrian to be included in a cookbook. After all, childhood memories should be preserved.

In fact, I could go to the library’s DVD section and check out “The Flintstones: The Complete First Season,” and eat boiled cookies to my heart’s content. Now that’s a relaxing way to spend an evening.

Mary Clare Speckner is community services coordinator at the Bartholomew County Public Library. She can be reached at [email protected].