COMMUNAL cooking is not a regular practice in our home, primarily because one of us is always trying to lose weight, or gain weight, or simply maintain weight. There is an exception, though, when we gather by the double boiler to make Mom's Chinese Noodle Cookies.

Those golden, crunchy noodles you have frequently noshed on in restaurants may not seem like run-of-the-mill ingredients for a cookie recipe, but my mother is a product of the improvisational school of cooking. The majority of her concoctions consist of whatever happens to be in the house. That's the way it was with Chinese Noodle Cookies.

Their combination of chocolate, butterscotch and peanuts--plus the all-important noodles--makes for quite an unexpected dessert.

One note of warning: More than a hearty appetite is needed to tackle these chocolatey delights. A healthy jaw is an absolute must.

In light of the damage they have been known to inflict on the roof of the mouth, these inventions have been lately rechristened Kamikaze Cookies. (Not because of the ethnic origin of the crunchy noodles, but because of their deadly accuracy in aiming for your hard palate.) Don't worry, though. Once you've got your munching technique down pat, these treats are easy to eat, easy to make and they need no cooking. Only refrigeration.

One last note of advice: if you live in a home where midnight raids on the kitchen are not uncommon, a large note securely fastened to your freezer container reading "KEEP AWAY" might prove useful.

My mother caught on to this after I had been pilfering from her private stock of chocolate delights for several days. Unfortunately, in my case there was no note on the tin of cookies in the freezer. She had simply emptied the remaining contents and refilled it with pebbles approximating the weight of the cookies. Lucky for me I'd brought a flashlight.

KAMIKAZE COOKIES

18 ounces "real" (not artificially flavored) semi-sweet chocolate chips

12 ounces "real" butterscotch chips

11/2 cups peanuts

2 6-ounce cans Chinese chow mein noodles

Melt the first two ingredients in a double boiler. Stir in the peanuts and noodles, making sure they are completely coated. Spoon out onto cookie sheets or trays lined with foil, and place in freezer for 20 minutes or until hard.