I don’t have very many food hangups but the ones I have are well established. I will not eat pickled beets, pickled herring, liver and onions, tacos, sushi, or fudge. It’s a very random list and there really is no connection between the items other than I will go out of my way to avoid eating them. Donuts used to be on that list after working at a donut shop in high school. I would leave after a shift and the smell of donut grease was on every strand of hair, every fiber of my clothing, and even my shoes and socks. After a very long estrangement, donuts and I are finally back on friendly terms. In that example, the food hangup was the result of being exposed to the food for prolonged periods. However, sometimes the food hangup predated any long term exposure to the target food so that the eventual exposure was made all the more painful. Fudge falls squarely into that category.
It’s not that I just don’t like fudge. I HATE fudge. I hate the texture and the cloying sweetness of it. I hate the way it smells. To me, there is nothing good about fudge. So imagine the irony of me working in a fudge shop. For six to ten hours a day, six days a week, I was surrounded by fudge. Chocolate, peanut butter, chocolate peanut butter, pistachio, vanilla swirl, rocky road, chocolate pecan, vanilla walnut, chocolate walnut, maple walnut filled tray after tray in the display cases. I think the worst offender was the penuche. Penuche is fudge like candy made from brown sugar, butter, milk, and vanilla. The smell of it would make me queasy. Even thinking about it now, nearly 20 years later makes my face squinch up like I’m tasting something bad.
Day after day, I would don my candy shop uniform and serve up fudge, candies, salt water taffy, and ice cream to beach going vacationers. If fudge hadn’t been on my forbidden foods list before then, that summer job alone would have cemented its place on it. I didn’t last the whole summer at that job and I blame it on the fudge. There wasn’t enough gummy fish, fruit slices, or frozen yogurt in that shop to make me forget about the fudge. I finished out the summer at a record store a few doors up from the candy shop. I would wave as I walked by on my way to or from the record store, thankful that I no longer had to touch, cut, or smell fudge ever again. Or so I thought.
Flash forward about 20 years. Brooke over at Shutterboo posted about Chocolate No Bake Cookies. Everything she said made me want to go home and make them immediately. No bake. 10 minutes. Chocolate. All good things in my world. Nowhere in her fawning did she happen to mention that the cookies have a fudge like texture. So imagine my surprise when, after much anticipation, 10 minutes of cooking and another 10 minutes of cooling, I took a big bite of a chocolate no bake cookie and had a mouthful of fudge. If it weren’t for the fact that I had guests at the time, I would have spit it out. But seeing your hostess hawk a wad of partially chewed cookie across the room is not what one expects in polite company. So I grimaced and got through it.
Sorry Boo, I know you believe these cookies have a place in heaven but we did not make a love connection. Me loves cookies as much as you do but on this one, we will have agree to disagree. Y’all can have all the Chocolate No Bake Cookies you want; I’ll even help you make them. I just won’t eat them.
Chocolate No Bake Cookies
- 1 stick of butter
- 2 cups sugar
- 1/2 cup cocoa powder
- 1/2 cup milk
- 1/2 cup peanut butter
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 3 cups quick cooking oats
Measure out the oats and peanut butter into a medium bowl and set aside. Line two sheet pans with parchment paper and set aside.
Bring the butter, sugar, cocoa powder, and milk to a boil in a medium saucepan. Let it boil for one minute. Remove the pan from the heat and add the oats, peanut butter, and vanilla. Carefully stir until completely combined.
Use a small ice cream scoop to portion out the cookies onto the parchment paper. Let cool completely before eating.