My mom is the oldest of four and when she was growing up these were one of her specialties. I was told they named them after her because no one else in the family could make them as well as she could.
We always called them chocolate oaties, instead of Linda's cookies. Why limit your mom to one special cookie when she could be making all sorts of great ones?
There are the thing to make, when you don't know what else to make, especially when the weather turns hot and you don't want the oven heating up the kitchen. Basically, they are quick, simple, and everyone likes them.
The trick is in the boil, not too hot, you want the sugar to melt before it starts to boil so the cookies have smooth texture. Also, wait to start your three minute count until after you reach a rolling boil (that's when the mixture continues to boil even while stirring it). These are really more of a candy than a cookie, so it also helps to have a heavy bottomed pan like you would use for candy making. It helps heat the mixture at a more even rate and keep it from scorching. Sometimes even when you think you've followed all the rules, they still don't set up and the only way to eat them is to scrape them off the tin foil with a spoon. Don't worry, just call them spoon oaties and enjoy!
linda's cookies (chocolate oaties)
2 cups sugar
2 Tablespoons cocoa powder
1 stick butter
5 ounces evaporated milk (one small can)
1/3 cup creamy peanut butter (you can use crunchy, unless you are making them for cj)
1 Tablespoon vanilla
2 cups quick cooking oatmeal
Lay a sheet of aluminum foil (or as we call it tin foil), about 18" long on your counter. In a large, heavy bottomed saucepan, stir the sugar and cocoa powder together (this keeps the cocoa from clumping together). Add the stick of butter and stir in the evaporated milk.
Place over medium heat and stir constantly. Once the mixture reaches a rolling boil (still boiling even when stirring) cook stirring continuing to stir constantly for 3 minutes. Remove from heat, stir in oats, peanut butter, and vanilla. Drop by spoonfuls on the foil and allow to cool.