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Monday, April 07, 2014

Cow Pies


Are they cookies or are they candies?  Who knows? I got the recipe in a magazine some years ago when the boys were still living at home.  I don't know which magazine it was but I know it was submitted by a woman by the name of "Karen Kenny of Harvard, Illinois" because I still have the clipping in my box.  So thank you Karen Kenny, wherever you are now.



My mother took great exception to the name of these treats and thought I should rename them but I didn't.  Whenever I offered her one I always specifically (and wickedly) asked if she wanted a Cow Pie.  She'd look at me in disgust, roll her eyes and then take one and tell me the name was enough to turn a delicate person's stomach.  Obviously, Mom didn't have a delicate stomach!

Over the years I added a few more ingredients and came up with fancier Cow Pies.  These have peanut butter and Rice Krispies added to the mix and make a rather fine eating cookie/candy.  Whether they are a cookie or a candy is probably debatable but whatever they are, they are delicious either way you make them. 

These are super quick to make and can be whipped up in a matter of minutes if you unexpectedly need a dessert to serve or take out to a party.  And the add-ins are endless.  Any kind of dried fruit or berry would be lovely.  Coconut lovers could substitute ½ cup toasted coconut for the nuts or raisins or better still use all three.  All kinds of unhealthy stuff can be added as well (not that the original recipe would be considered a healthy dessert by any stretch of the imagination), such as miniature marshmallows, sugary coloured cereal, chopped candies or cookies, and so on and so on. . . .  

The original recipe called for milk chocolate chips but I always use the semi-sweet chips because I don't like milk chocolate. So suit yourself on whatever kind of chocolate chips you like.  And if you have some kind of allergy or aversion to chocolate, they can be made with carob chips with great success as well. 


Cow Pies
2 cups chocolate chips
½ cup raisins
½ cup slivered almonds or chopped peanuts
1 tablespoon shortening or oil

Melt chocolate chips and shortening or oil together in a medium sized heat-proof bowl, over simmering water. Once melted, remove from heat and stir until smooth. Stir in raisins and nuts. Drop by tablespoons onto a parchment or waxed paper lined cookie sheet. Chill until chocolate has hardened. Makes about 2 dozen.


Crispy Peanut Butter Cow Pies
2 cups chocolate chips

3 tablespoons peanut butter
1 tablespoon shortening or oil
½ cup raisins
½ cup favourite nuts
1 cup Rice Krispies

Melt chocolate chips, peanut butter and shortening or oil together in a medium sized heat-proof bowl, over simmering water. Once melted, remove from heat and stir until smooth. Stir in raisins, nuts and Rice Krispies. Drop by tablespoons onto a parchment or waxed paper lined cookie sheet. Chill until chocolate has hardened.  Yield: About 2 ½ dozen.


Preparation Time: 30 minutes


Melt chocolate chips, and shortening together.  
Today I made the Peanut Butter Cow Pies so I added the peanut butter to the bowl as well. 


I lightly toasted the almonds because it makes them crunchy and brings out a nice flavour.

Add the nuts, raisins and Rice Krispies (if using) and mix together.

 I used a tablespoon measure to easily spoon the treats onto a waxed paper covered tray.


 
After they have been refrigerated they can easily be peeled off the paper and stored in a container.  


These must be stored in the refrigerator as they can be quite delicate in a warm house or in hot weather.  Serve them straight from the fridge or else have plenty of wipes or paper towels handy to clean up the chocolate.  There's only so much cleaning finger lickin' can do. 

I made a little Easter egg from some of the chocolate mixture because Cow Pies would make absolutely delicious Easter Eggs.  At this time of year inexpensive silicone or plastic egg molds are available at most dollar stores.  Just follow the manufacture's directions and fill with the warm Cow Pie mixture.  I decorated my little egg with left-over icing I had in the fridge.


Even "Old Nellie" will approve of these Cow Pies!

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