Last night, after finally reading the Christmas issue of Food and Wine, I dreamt about chicken and pot roasts. (And, oddly, moving in with my cousins, who for some reason had endless supplies of make-up samples and a really weird huge house.) Talking about food makes you want to make more food. Photographing food makes you want to make your food prettier. Reading about food makes you want to make your food more unusual, more noteworthy. I wish I were making Pork, Mushroom and Squash Pot Pie instead of Chicken Pot Pie (with canned mushroom soup) and make it look just as delicious as it does in the magazine. I wish I could make my own recipes, understand what spices go with what food, what veggie goes with what meat and when to stop adding chocolate or garlic or salt.
Today’s recipe is an old family favourite, always delicious, always bad for you. It’s an Edna Staebler recipe, so of course it really schmecks. The name is terrible though: she calls them Funeral Cookies. Her explanation for the name?
Not a bit funereal but the quickest thing to make and take to a suddenly bereaved friend who might need to have “something on hand.”
See? Desperately in need of a rename.
Edna’s Funeral Cookies
Adapted from Food That Really Schmecks by Edna Staebler
2 cups white sugar
1/3 cup shortening (or margarine or butter)
1/2 cup cocoa
1/2 cup milk
1/2 tsp salt
1/3 cup peanut butter
1 tsp vanilla
4 cups rolled oats (The original recipe calls for 3 cups of rolled oats and 1 cup of coconut, which is how my mom always made them, but I never have coconut, so I just make all 4 cups the rolled oats.)
1/2 cup raisins (Completely optional. I used them this time, and it’s not bad.)
Mix together the sugar, shortening, cocoa, milk and salt. Pop it into the microwave and heat at 30 second intervals. Stir in between. When it comes to a rolling boil, add the peanut butter and allow to melt. Add the vanilla. Throw in your dry ingredients, mix up into a nice gooey mess and eat a few mouthfuls of the warm deliciousness.
Drop the remaining by tablespoons onto a cookie sheet covered in parchment paper or tin foil. Pop the cookies into the fridge for approximately two hours, though the longer the better. Mine really needed the whole night since I didn’t have quite enough rolled oats, and it was all a little gooier than it’s meant to be.