Chocolate on the Cheap

In budget discussions with my husband, we often talk about the small things that add up. We agree that Every Ten Dollars Counts.

Here's one of my favorite ways to save ten dollars - this month, when you crave chocolate, instead of spending five bucks on a package of cookies a couple of times, make these!

If you have fifteen minutes, you have time to make these treats. It's super easy.

Chocolate Fudge Drops
2c. sugar mixed with 1/2 c. cocoa powder til blended
1 cube of butter
1/2 c. milk

mix in a saucepan over med. high heat till well blended, keep slowly stirring. Bring to a boil and cook, stirring continuously, til a few drops dripped in to a cup of cold water make a nice miniature cookie shaped mound when they hit the bottom of the cup. (technically, soft ball stage, but whenever I use my candy thermometer it gets way overcooked, so I give you Nana's cold water method instead.)

Mix in a half cup of peanut or almond butter, a teaspoon of vanilla, then three cups of oatmeal. Most recipes use quick, but I like the chewy factor of the old fashioned kind. Drop by spoonfuls onto parchment or foil and allow to cool completely. It will seem like they are too gooey at first but in a couple of hours they should come off the parchment without squishing between your fingers. ( I eat some anyway, lol).

Variation: To make Caramel Drops, omit the cocoa powder and use evaporated milk instead of regular. (if you don't have any or don't want to use canned, you can just boil 2 c. milk in a skillet til it measures about 3/4c. and that will work fine.) Use half regular sugar and half rapadura (dried unrefined cane sugar - really caramelly tasting stuff, mmm!)

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