When I was a kid, we spent most holidays at my grandma’s house. She lived roughly 65 miles away from us, though it took about an hour and a half to get there. While growing up those 65 miles seemed to take forever (my how things have changed)!
Once we turned down that gravel road to her house, the comforts of grandma’s would flood my mind and flash pictures from my memory. They included the smell of fresh country air, the feeling of the sun’s warmth on my face as I ran around the house, climbed the trees or walked to the lake, Easter egg hunting in the spring flowers, playing games or hang-man on the chalk board hanging in the hallway, going to the Halloween parade and then playing hide-and-go-seek in the dark (which always scared me but I’d never tell my brother or cousins!).
The activities were endless and thankfully, so was the food. Grandma made enough food for all of us, but that didn’t stop my mom, aunts and uncles from bringing extra iced tea, green bean casserole, cheesy cauliflower, potato casserole, baked ham, sweet potato pie, deviled eggs, or a variety of desserts. My mission upon arrival was to grab a food item my mom had prepared so I could get a temporary pass on the greetings and hugs to make a quick stop at the desserts. I needed to check on two things, peanut oatmeal drops and animal shaped sugar cookies with colored icing. To this day, my grandma makes outstanding sugar cookies (yes, still in animal shapes) with homemade colored icing. Every single time they are soft with a little chew and wonderful. I believe they are my brother’s favorite. As for me, I couldn’t wait for a peanut oatmeal drop. They are creamy with a little crunch from the peanuts and slightly chewy from the oats. Just knowing they were there waiting for me was enough; I could go greet everyone and give out hugs.
At some point I asked my grandma for her recipe so I could make them at home, or maybe because I felt guilty eating most of them in one day. The recipe went untouched for over 10 years until just recently. I love peanut butter and was craving these terribly. Living in New York and being on an externship in California makes it difficult to stop by grandma’s house to grab a few of my favorite treats so I had to make them myself. They are just as delightful as I remembered! Also, they are quick and easy. I stored mine in the refrigerator for a week without any problems. Enjoy them cold or bring them to room temperature on a plate for about 1 hour. They freeze well, too.
No-Bake Peanut Oatmeal Drops courtesy of my Grandma Winona
- In a saucepan, mix together:
- 1 cup sugar
- 1/4 cup butter
- 1/3 cup evaporated milk
- Bring to a rolling boil. Boil for 3 minutes, stir often.
- Remove from heat and stir in:
- 1 cup peanut butter (I don’t suggest the all-natural kind)
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 cup rolled oats
- 1/2 cup Spanish peanuts
- Mix well. Drop by the tablespoon on waxed paper. Let stand until set. (Once at room temp, I placed mine in the refrigerator to cool. Then, placed them in plastic bowls with lids or plastic baggies for storage.)
- **Optional: dip them in chocolate! I have yet to try them dipped in chocolate though I think they might be good. You can melt semi-sweet or milk chocolate (0r the kind you prefer) in the microwave or over a double boiler on the stove. If in the microwave, check and stir often. If on the stove, set up one pot of boiling water with a smaller pot to fit just inside, as it will heat up from the steam. Add the chocolate to the smaller pot stirring often as it melts.