No Oven Required: Oatmeal Orange Slice Cookies

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[Flickr: photoguyinmo]

Growing up in a nonreligious household, I was raised to believe that the Holy Trinity was Spinach, Milk, and Orange Juice. My parents were convinced that without these three substances, I would die. Spinach would make me strong like Popeye; without milk my teeth and bones would crumble into dust; without orange juice I would get scurvy.

The elixir had to be orange juice, not the oranges themselves, or broccoli, or other foods containing Vitamin C.

Unfortunately, I hated orange juice: the pulp caught in my throat and it made my mouth taste funny if I had just brushed my teeth. My mother chased me around the house every morning with a glass. Sometimes she wouldn't rest until I pinched my nose and choked it down.

Why didn't those lazy scientists who linked drinking too much juice to spikes in your blood sugar only release their studies AFTER I was grown up?

Of course, I was no budding health nut as a child. I loved orange marmalade spread on peanut butter, preferably melting together in a goo on top of warm, toasted cinnamon raisin bread. Orange candy, like all fruity candy, trumped the fruit itself tenfold. Gum drops, jelly beans, Chuckles, candied fruit slices—all looked like gems in my eyes. I also liked costume jewelry better than the real stuff, because the fake gems were bigger and shinier.

Just like now I'd prefer real rubies over rhinestones, I've come to prefer fruit to Froot Loops. I hadn't thought of fruity candy in a long time, until recently when I was reading David Lebovitz's blog, in which he spoke of his love of orange slice candy. I recalled seeing several recipes for cookies with orange slice candy, often made with oatmeal. It seemed like the perfect candidate for a whimsical no-bake cookie.

I adapted a no-bake oatmeal cookie and included an orange slice "center." I'd love to say it's a perfectly balanced breakfast of orange juiciness and oatmeal, but I have more scruples than nutritional advertising campaigns of the past. I will only admit that the sugar of the candy contrasts well with the wholesomeness of the oatmeal.

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