No-Bake Chocolate, Peanut Butter & Oatmeal Cookies

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Perfect for those moments when you are desperately craving something sweet and chocolatey, but don’t have a lot of time (or patience) to make a full-blown batch of cookies. I must really live under a rock sometimes (I know, I said this when I made the coconut macaroons, but I swear it’s true!) because although I had heard of no-bake cookies from my time spent surfing food blogs, I had never had them before! Well, now I might be in trouble. These mounds of sugary, peanut buttery, chocolate goodness are incredibly addicting. They take only minutes to make and if you’re really desperate and don’t want to wait for them to set, you can eat the mixture straight from the bowl – no raw eggs to worry about! These mark my third installment of cookies that you all voted for me to make in the poll I held following the cookbook giveaway. Thanks to everyone for helping to broaden my cookie horizons!

no-bake-cookies-row

As soon as I took my first bite of these I immediately thought that they tasted like the icing for the Texas Sheet Cake that I love so much. After thinking about it, the ingredients are very similar – butter, sugar and cocoa that are boiled together. The peanut butter and oats help to cut the sweetness and add great flavor and texture.

These really are as easy as they sound, and a great recipe to make with kids if you have any little hands eager to help in the kitchen. I’m sure they’ll love eating the “dough” straight from the bowl! The only suggestion I have is when you drop the dough onto the wax paper-lined sheets, they will pretty much set in whatever shape they are already in, with minimal spreading. After I realized this I used the back of the spoon to smooth them out and flatten them a bit to give them more of a “cookie” shape.

no-bake-cookies-stack

Cookies from the Top 10 I have made:
Almond Macarons filled with Nutella
Chocolate-Dipped Coconut Macaroons
Chocolate Chip Cookies (Thick & Chewy)
Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies
Peanut Butter Cookies
Sugar Cookies
Oatmeal Raisin Cookies
Peanut Butter Blossoms

No-Bake Chocolate, Peanut Butter & Oatmeal Cookies

Yield: 2 to 3 dozen cookies

Cook Time: 10 minutes

Total Time: 20 minutes

Ingredients:

½ cup (1 stick) butter
2 cups granulated sugar
½ cup milk
4 tablespoons cocoa powder
½ cup peanut butter
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3 cups quick-cooking oats

Directions:

1. Add the first four ingredients (through the cocoa powder) to a 4-quart saucepan.

2. Bring to a rolling boil and let boil for 1 minute.

3. Remove from heat.

4. Stir in the peanut butter and vanilla until smooth, then stir in the oats.

5. Drop by heaping tablespoons onto wax paper-lined baking sheets.

6. Let cool until set.

(Recipe adapted from Ezra Pound Cake)

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258 Responses to “No-Bake Chocolate, Peanut Butter & Oatmeal Cookies”

  1. Diana Jensen on December 22, 2009 at 1:00 am

    Can you use regular oats instead of quick oats in this recipe?

    Reply

    • Jenn on February 3rd, 2014 at 8:33 pm

      I did….. my son said my cookies were much better than Grandma’s (who used quick cooking oats). I prefer the texture with regular oats.

      Reply

  2. Diana Jensen on December 22, 2009 at 1:01 am

    oops! just saw the same question. sorry :)

    Reply

  3. Melinda on December 24, 2009 at 10:48 pm

    I used your recipe tonight to make cookies. I don’t know if any of your readers are diabetic, or sensitive to sugar, but there is a product that tastes like sugar called Whey Low. I use it, its low carb, calorie and low on the glycemic index. Thanks for your recipe. My cookies turned out wonderful and I can enjoy an oldie but goodie without getting sick. Thanks again!

    Reply

  4. Keith on December 28, 2009 at 2:02 pm

    I am 52 years-old and will never forget making these with my mom when I was a little kid! They are the first thing I ever cooked by myself! I still love them!

    Reply

  5. micheal on January 3, 2010 at 1:46 pm

    what about using splenda

    Reply

  6. Michelle on January 3, 2010 at 10:37 pm

    Hi Paige,

    They just need to be in the fridge until they firm up, probably about a 1/2 hour. Just check them to make sure they’re set.

    Enjoy! :)

    Reply

  7. Michelle on January 4, 2010 at 1:10 am

    Hi Micheal,

    I have never used Splenda to bake with, so I can’t endorse or reject it, but if you try it in this recipe please stop back and let us know how it turns out!

    Reply

  8. Laurel on January 21, 2010 at 12:57 pm

    This recipe is close to one I make. Mine has coconut and no peanut butter. We call them “Specials” and we grew up making them. Definitely a family favorite.

    Reply

  9. angie on January 22, 2010 at 1:10 am

    hi these were favorite around our house but we didnt put peanut butter in them when i was a kid

    Reply

  10. Cole on January 24, 2010 at 10:00 am

    A tasty alternative is to forgo the cocoa and use White Chocolate Wonderland peanut butter (it’s peanut butter with white chocolate added to it), or if Dark chocolate is your thing then they have Dark Chocolate Dreams, too. ;)

    Reply

  11. erisgrrrl on January 25, 2010 at 8:34 pm

    Yum! I made this recipe for the 2nd time in a week today. Both times I used soy butter instead of peanut butter and today I used turbinado sugar instead of white granulated sugar b/c I was out. I like to put a tray in the freezer to set up superfast so we can eat them faster! :D

    Reply

  12. Emily on January 30, 2010 at 2:23 pm

    I just made these today with soy butter because of a child with a peanut allergy. They were awesome! I don’t know that anyone would be able to tell the difference. They were so good!

    Reply

  13. xo on February 8, 2010 at 11:46 pm

    Hi, I made these yesterday and they were delicious, but way too chewy!
    I think I used regular oats. They kind of taste heavy, the mixture is so good though .but I also found it to be a tad too sweet.

    Guess I’d have to use different oats next time. Will quaker oats do?
    thank you for the recipe, it’s yummy!

    Reply

  14. xo on February 9, 2010 at 1:46 am

    Also, would it be possible to substitue the oats for corn flakes or frosted flakes?
    Or maybe some sort of cereal?

    Reply

  15. Michelle on February 16, 2010 at 10:29 pm

    xo – I use Quaker Oats for these, but yes using the traditional oats instead of the quick oats will definitely alter the texture. I also think you could probably substitute a cereal like corn flakes or rice krispy treats for the oats. Would love to hear about your version!

    Reply

    • linda on September 24th, 2011 at 10:50 pm

      Thats what i am going to do try it with rice krispies instead of oatmeal . Of course when i make them with oatmeal I usually ad at least 2 talbelspoon of carmal topping in with the peanut butter .But i take 2 tblspns of peanut buuter out before iI add the carmel . I will let you know how they turn out

      Reply

  16. Rose on February 23, 2010 at 3:07 pm

    Thank you for posting this! I was looking for a no eggless quick dessert to make (for fun and practice) I will be adding to my site soon.

    Reply

  17. TN Lizzie on March 1, 2010 at 11:55 pm

    My cookies are sitting on the counter cooling.

    I am sitting at the computer doing the dishes! You see, my waxed paper was small, and the left-overs have to go somewhere…

    Oh, my word! I used crunchy peanut butter, so there are teeny bits of peanut in each bite. I am diabetic, and THESE are what God made Insulin for! (I only used 1.5 C. sugar, but I will have to try this with Splenda.)

    Thank you for sharing this recipe! You are my new best friend! LOL

    Reply

  18. Tony Velasquez on March 7, 2010 at 5:24 pm

    VERY glad you also put a Photo of the cookies as well!
    My Mom had this recipe from someone she worked with and me and her during the Holidays made them, but I havent for years.
    There was a little Bakery across the street where I worked a long time ago, and they had in a case “Missouri Mud Cookies”!
    Thats when I learned to actual name for them . . . and thats what they look like :D
    I just shared the Recipe with 2 Ladies at a Bakery in “Old Town” Monrovia Ca. who will feature them soon!
    Can’t wait! :P

    Reply

  19. hedorah on March 7, 2010 at 11:12 pm

    I just made these tonight, so delicious~

    Reply

  20. LilSis on March 15, 2010 at 10:50 am

    My family has made this cookie recipe for years and it’s a real favorite of mine! I’m not the best at baking so this is a perfect recipe for me. Great photos!

    Reply

  21. Kate on April 21, 2010 at 1:40 pm

    I just made these with my 2 1/2 year old and he loved every bit of it (especially liking the leftovers out of the pan!). He is currently sitting at the counter waiting patiently for them to set. =) Thanks for the recipe!!! Delicious!

    Reply

  22. Beth on May 16, 2010 at 11:10 am

    My grandma and I used to make these together. For the sake of time, she would spread them in a pan (9×9, I think), and cut them after they set. That is another good way to make them without having to mess around with the shape.

    Reply

  23. lisa on May 23, 2010 at 4:28 pm

    Thanks, these r the best no bakes i have made!!

    Reply

  24. Weng on May 26, 2010 at 10:03 am

    can i use 1/2 cup granulated sugar and 1/2 cup brown sugar on this recipe?

    Reply

    • Michelle on June 1st, 2010 at 12:00 pm

      Hi Weng, I haven’t tried 1/2 white and 1/2 brown, but I don’t see why not. Would love to hear about your results!

      Reply

  25. Sue on June 15, 2010 at 10:27 pm

    These have been my favorite cookie since my mom made them for me when I was in Brownies(MANY years ago)! I had them for every special occasion:)

    Reply

  26. Megan on July 4, 2010 at 2:11 pm

    Made these yesterday. I don’t think I can ever make them again because I ate way too many! :-)

    Reply

  27. Heather on July 12, 2010 at 10:37 am

    Joy, joy! I just saw your link from the Skip to my Lou blog. These cookies have been a family favorite recipe for a few generations now. As I make them ‘down here in the South’, not too many people have ever seen or tasted them (but they love them once they try them). I had a big smile as I read that you’re from PA. Explains everything – mom’s family is from Everson (teeny, tiny town). Thanks for posting and sharing this great cookie!

    Reply

    • Belinda on July 22nd, 2013 at 6:41 pm

      I’m from Alabama, we make them down there too. I live in Kansas now, I make them here too. :)

      Reply

  28. Cynthia on July 18, 2010 at 11:26 pm

    My mom made these when I was growing up… and I LOVED them. I have a similar recipe, and I make it with carob powder, instead of cocoa powder, because I can’t eat chocolate. (I will pause a moment while you feel my pain.) You can’t taste the difference at all when carob is used in this recipe. I have fed it to people who swear to me that they hate carob, and they never noticed, until I gloatingly told them about it later. It makes me soooo happy to be able to have the chocolate taste without the chocolate!

    Reply

  29. Kath on July 21, 2010 at 11:01 am

    Well, I guess I’m a little late to the party, but these cookies look amazing! Have you heard of anyone using soy or almond milk instead of dairy milk? I know someone who has developed an intolerance for milk, but does OK with butter.

    Reply

  30. Magic of Spice on July 22, 2010 at 5:32 pm

    They look really good:)

    Reply

  31. Wendy on July 23, 2010 at 8:33 pm

    I love these cookies. I make them often. My nieces ask for them at every get together, if I don’t make them, I hear about it.
    I add 1/2 cup of crushed peanuts to mine and they are great.

    Reply

  32. Barbara J Driggers on July 24, 2010 at 1:46 pm

    Give me any recipes that you can make or bake in slow cooker, like pies or cakes. My oven is broke, no money to fix it, so everything we eat, is either slow cooked, boiled or grilled in a skillet or fried. Boy these cookies look so good.

    Reply

  33. Donna Brumley on July 24, 2010 at 7:49 pm

    I made these for my kids all growing up, but always included coconut. Makes a fun variation. I’m making some tonight as its too hot to bake and I plan to add some walnuts this time.

    Reply

  34. Pamela on July 24, 2010 at 10:02 pm

    It’s ridiculously hot here right now, so I made these tonight. They were great…in fact a little too good – I made huge ones and ate way more than one…ekk! I added marshmellows in to half of the batch and that was tasty too. Thanks for sharing. :)

    Reply

  35. Lauren on July 26, 2010 at 9:25 am

    Help!! I’m doing something wrong :(

    This weekend marked the third time I’ve made this cookies, and I’ve only managed to get them right ONCE (the first time). This time they wouldn’t harden. Even after 45 minutes on the wax paper, they were still very gooey (we ended up eating a couple of them off the paper, with forks, but they just weren’t the same). What am I doing wrong?? My boyfriend thinks there may have been a bit too much peanut butter. Would that cause this?

    Thanks!

    Reply

    • Wendy on July 26th, 2010 at 11:36 am

      The peanut butter really wouldn’t make them not set. I’ve had that problem myself a few times. Make sure they boil. Some one had a good idea, when they get to a rolling boil shut them off instead of waiting the minute. Oh yeah make sure you use quick oats.

      I’ve made a few errors making these cookies. Keep trying you will get it right.

      Reply

      • SuzQ on July 28th, 2010 at 4:01 pm

        Lauren, see my post below.

        Reply

    • Mark on May 29th, 2013 at 1:23 am

      I made these many times. Last night I used Blue Bonnet instead of real butter. They also did not set, so if you are using a butter substitute, that could be the problem.

      Reply

  36. SuzQ on July 28, 2010 at 4:00 pm

    Hey guys, I’ve been making No Bake Cookies for about 30 years (since I was about 10) and the key to them setting up is to boil them for 2 minutes. Boil two minutes, stirring constantly, and then quickly add your oats and scoop them out on to your wax paper. If you do this they harden almost instantly. Seriously, you will be eating them within about 5 minutes. Don’t boil any longer though or you will have granola! Try it, this is a family favorite and this is how we’ve always done it.

    Reply

    • Michelle on July 31st, 2010 at 10:47 pm

      SuzQ, thank you for sharing your expert tips! Much appreciated!

      Reply

  37. Duchess of Fork on August 8, 2010 at 9:17 pm

    Just made these with Rice Krispies because I didn’t have any oats. They’re cooling right now and they look amazing! Can’t wait to try. :)

    Reply

  38. Be Fresh on August 11, 2010 at 12:02 am

    With the weather being as hot as it is, this was a quick and cool treat to make. Plus it tasted great!

    Reply

  39. Meredith on August 19, 2010 at 2:21 pm

    I made these cookies once before, but I decide to be brave and make them with Sunflower seed butter (my son is allergic to peanuts). They turned out awesome. I thought he was going to miss out on one of my favorite childhood treats, but no more he thought the cookies were great too.

    Reply

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  42. Pam on September 22, 2010 at 2:49 am

    THANK YOU!!

    I came across your site when googling Pizzelles. When I found this recipe I was taken back to my childhood. My grandmother would make these. I just made two batches for the teachers at our school.

    Thanks again. I look forward to reading your blog.

    Reply

    • Michelle on September 22nd, 2010 at 7:36 pm

      You’re welcome Pam! I love recipes that bring back warm memories :)

      Reply

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  44. Heather on October 1, 2010 at 11:13 pm

    In case anyone is wondering, these work great with canola oil and almond milk if you are like me and can’t have dairy or soy. Delicious, although life isn’t really lived if you don’t have butter in it.

    Reply

    • Michelle on October 3rd, 2010 at 10:31 am

      Heather, Thanks so much for the tips on substituting canola oil and almond milk!

      Reply

  45. jane on October 14, 2010 at 5:21 pm

    I remember eating these cookies at school (was desert for the hot lunch) back in the mid-fifties. Never could find a recipe so made them from memory. These hit it right on. Thanks.

    Reply

    • Michelle on October 18th, 2010 at 10:45 pm

      Aw what lovely memories! Thank you for sharing Jane, and great to know the recipe is spot-on!

      Reply

  46. Barbara J Driggers on October 24, 2010 at 3:01 pm

    Help!!! Can I somehow bake a pumpkin pie in my slow cooker, I want one so bad and oven is still broke. I don’t like boughten pies.

    Reply

    • Michelle on October 24th, 2010 at 7:28 pm

      Hi Barbara, I don’t have any experience baking in slow cookies, but hopefully some other readers may have some ideas!

      Reply

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  48. Melissa on November 21, 2010 at 3:15 pm

    My mom used to make these! Thanks for the memory. :-)

    Reply

    • Michelle on November 22nd, 2010 at 9:57 pm

      Most welcome, love the warm fuzzies :)

      Reply

  49. Amber on December 2, 2010 at 1:47 pm

    I’ve been making these cookies for years and they are so good! I don’t boil mine at all. Just heat the first 4 ingredients until the butter is melted, stir in the peanut butter, remove from heat and stir in oats. Super easy. For another shortcut, just pour the “dough” into a 9×13″ pan and let it cool at room temp then cut into bars. I’ve tried to speed up the process by placing the pan in the refrigerator right away, but the oats didn’t cook completely so the texture was off a little. The bars are easier to cut if they are cold, so I let mine cool at room temp and then chill them for a bit before cutting. These cookies are so addicting!

    Reply

  50. lindsay on December 4, 2010 at 1:49 pm

    i love these cookies!!! ive been craving these for such a long time, but couldnt find a good recipe!! this website is the best for baked goods, since i love to bake. i have tried many of these recipes and these are my favorite!!

    Reply

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