Orange Cocoa Oatmeal Balls
- 2 cups brown sugar
- 1/2 cup milk
- 1/4 cup butter
- 1/4 cup vegetable shortening
- 1/2 cup cocoa
- 1 large orange zest & juice
- 4 cups large flake oats
- 2 tablespoons Cointreau optional
- This is a no-bake treat, but you will need to prepare a baking sheet (or two) by lining it with parchment paper. Make sure there’s a clear spot in your freezer to place it, even if it’s on top of other items. (It won’t be there long.)
- Add the sugar, milk, butter and cocoa to a large saucepan over a medium setting. Stir constantly as it heats.
- Once the butter melts, add the orange juice and zest.
- Continue to stir as it comes to a boil, and lower the temperature so that it remains at a steady bubbling simmer.
- Stir and cook for about 3 minutes as it thickens.
- Remove from the heat, and if you are using the liqueur, add the Cointreau now. Stir to blend.
- Add the oats, and fold them into the orange-cocoa mixture. Combine thoroughly.
- The mixture will be quite loose at this point, although it should also be sticky. If you find it too hard to handle, you can place the saucepan in the fridge for 15 to 20 minutes or so until it’s colder and thicker.
- When you’re ready, drop the mixture by the spoonful on the parchment paper lined baking sheet. You can round them after you’ve dropped the spoonful on the paper. They won’t spread, so you can place them pretty close together.
- Place the baking sheet in the freezer for about 30 minutes. When you remove it, the drops should be firm, and you should be able to lift them easily off the parchment paper—although they will always be a touch on the sticky side.
- You can eat them immediately, or store, covered, in the fridge for a week to 10 days.