When I was a kid, the elementary school I went to actually had a kitchen and our lunches were actually cooked in that kitchen. We had our fair share of "mystery meat" days, but there were also some really good lunches that were produced in that kitchen. Some were so popular that recipes were requested and provided to the students.

One of my favorite treats that the school kitchen produced were no-bake chocolate oatmeal drops called Fudgies. These treats were kind of like a peanut-buttery fudge drop filled with coconut and oats. They're not very pretty, but they are satisfying. I've long since lost the school's recipe, but I have one that I've modified over the years to my tastes. I find that as an adult I like these much less sweet and with grown-up ingredients added in, such as espresso powder, dried cherries or cocoa nibs. The base can really be customized to suit your tastes. Even better, you don't have to turn on the oven on a hot day!

3/4 cup white sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
4 Tbsp. unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 cup butter
1/2 cup milk
1 tsp. vanilla
1 tsp. espresso powder (optional)
1 cup creamy or chunky peanut butter
2 1/2 to 3 cups oatmeal (quick cooking or old fashioned)

In a saucepan, combine the sugars, cocoa powder, butter and milk. Bring the mixture to a boil, then boil for 1-2 minutes, stirring constantly (the drops will be firmer the longer you cook this mixture). Remove from the heat and stir in the espresso powder and vanilla extract. Stir in the peanut butter until smooth. Stir in oatmeal and any other additions you like.

Let mixture cool a few minutes, then drop by spoonfuls onto a wax-paper lined tray. Allow to cool completely at room temperature or cool in the refrigerator. Store covered in the refrigerator.


Add shredded, unsweetened coconut.

Add nuts or cocoa nibs.

Add dried fruit.

Add cereal or cookie crumbs.