When I was young, one of my favorite books was the Betty Crocker Cookbook. Yes, I know most 10 year olds do not typically cherish each page of the dessert chapter of a cookbook, but I certainly did! Each page to me was a new possibility, an adventure. My poor mom would constantly have to listen to my requests to make a time consuming, complicated, fancy cake or cookie with her on a weekly basis. When I wanted to make a “Baked Alaska” that’s when she drew the line and suggested I make some no-bake cookies instead. I was so looking forward to creating a beautiful masterpiece that had mounds of meringue piled high on ice cream that got “torched” under the broiler. Somehow no-bake cookies did not have the same grandiose appeal! When I got over my disappointment, I soon realized that this could be fun; I could make this all by myself without my mother’s help! From that day on, I made these cookies every weekend for a year. They became my favorite lunchbox treat. I felt so independent and proud of myself for making something so delicious without my mother’s assistant and sharing them with my friends.

I do believe it is important to let your kids be independent in the kitchen. Having fun at an early age in the kitchen can benefit your children for a lifetime. Through the years I have “fancied up” traditional no bake cookies with extra goodies that I enjoy. It is a great treat for an after school snack or for your child’s lunch box. I combine granola with Challenge Butter, nuts, and fruit to create a perfect little goodie your children will look forward to. As soon as your children are old enough to use the stovetop, introduce them to this recipe and let them create this for their lunch box on the weekends. Learning does not just happen in school; the kitchen is where good life skills begin. Proof that learning can be ‘sweet!’


40 cookies


  • 1¾ cups sugar
  • 5 Tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • ½ cup (1 stick) Challenge Butter
  • ½ cup milk
  • 1 cup peanut butter (almond butter can be substituted)
  • 1 Tablespoon vanilla
  • 3 cups granola
  • 1 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
  • ½ cup raisins or dried cranberries
  • ½ cup chopped pecans or peanuts


  • 1

    Add sugar, cocoa, Challenge Butter and milk to a heavy bottom sauce pan. Bring to a boil over medium high heat for one minute. Remove from stove and stir in peanut butter, vanilla, granola, coconut, dried fruit and nuts.

  • 2

    To create cookies, place a large sheet of waxed or parchment paper on your countertop. Using a spoon, drop mixture onto paper to create 2 ½ inch round cookies. Let cookies cool until hardened. Store cookies in air tight container. Cookies can easily be frozen in a freezer safe ziplock bag for up to a month.