No-Bake Chocolate, Peanut Butter & Oatmeal Cookies

[Thank you so very much for your patience over these past two weeks as I’ve worked to clear up technical issues on the site.  My deepest apologies for the glitches; everything should be running smoothly at this point. I’m still cleaning up some missing photos and broken links, so if you see anything that needs to be fixed, feel free to shoot me an email – Thanks again!

These cookies were first featured in 2009, but I’ve since nailed down the recipe and updated the photos – Enjoy!]

No Bake Oatmeal, Peanut Butter & Chocolate Cookies |

These cookies are 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 know that a lot of people grew up eating these as after-school snacks or saw them every year on holiday cookie trays, but believe it or not, I had never heard of them until a few years ago! 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!

No Bake Oatmeal, Peanut Butter & Chocolate Cookies |

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.

No Bake Oatmeal, Peanut Butter & Chocolate Cookies |

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 can’t believe that these cookies were off of my radar until recently… I love having quick, easy recipes on hand for a quick sweet treat. Plus, no-bake recipes are perfect for the summertime when the last thing you want to do is turn on the oven. Whatever the occasion, I guarantee this is a recipe that you’ll want to stash away and use time and time again.

No Bake Oatmeal, Peanut Butter & Chocolate Cookies |

No-Bake Oatmeal, Peanut Butter & Chocolate Cookies

Yield: 2 to 3 dozen cookies

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 10 minutes

Total Time: 45 minutes

No-Bake Oatmeal, Peanut Butter & Chocolate Cookies. A quick and easy recipe!


½ cup unsalted butter
2 cups granulated sugar
½ cup whole or 2% milk
4 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
Pinch of salt
½ cup peanut butter
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3 cups quick-cooking oats


1. Add the first five ingredients (through the salt) to a 4-quart saucepan.

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

3. Remove from heat.

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

5. Using a medium cookie scoop (or 2 tablespoonfuls), drop onto parchment-lined baking sheets.

6. Let cool until set, about 30 minutes. Cookies can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature (or in the refrigerator) for up to 2 weeks.

(Recipe adapted from Ezra Pound Cake)


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

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  9. Sheri on January 12, 2011 at 11:20 am

    Just made a batch but threw them in a greased 9×13 pan.
    This recipe brings me back to 2nd grade and the thrill of making them in class.


  10. Laura Witts on January 19, 2011 at 12:34 pm

    I just made a batch, they came out well but my family didn’t really care for them. Cocoa powder left a bad after taste, I used unsweetened as recipe did not say but thought with all the sugar unsweetened made sense. May be if I used sweeten it would taste better.


  11. lindsayy on January 19, 2011 at 2:19 pm

    i just found out, i have an intolerance to wheat and gluten. soo, i cant eat anything with gluten and flour in it. which is basically the same thing as wheat. but i loved these cookies!


  12. moon on January 21, 2011 at 9:21 pm

    I made a recipe very similar to this one, but I cannot get them to set up…any suggestions on what I might be doing wrong?? Thanks!


    • Maggie the Cat on February 13th, 2011 at 11:30 pm

      They need to boil longer than 1 minute. If it’s humid in your area or it’s a rainy day these cookies will be “fussy”. I live in a fairly humid part of the country and if I don’t boil these for about 5 minutes they just don’t set up. I see many recipes that say to boil for 1-3 minutes, and that’s still not enough.


  13. Patty on January 24, 2011 at 1:04 pm

    We ( four daughters) and myself make these cookies quite often. We love to eat them along with a bowl of warm salty popcorn.


  14. Sherri on February 2, 2011 at 10:33 pm

    I have a twist to this recipe from our school lunch lady! A Blonde No-Bake!
    Omit the cocoa and substitute 1 1/2 cups white sugar and 1/2 cup brown sugar
    in place of the 2 cups of white sugar. The only other difference in my recipe is 1 tsp vanilla instead of 2 tsp. vanilla and add a dash of salt. So Yummy!! Love your site.


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  16. tara on February 17, 2011 at 9:53 pm

    Just to let everyone know, you can use almond milk, stevia, and any nut butter of your choice and they come out great- and super healthy. I add coconut and ground up nuts to add more nutrition and protein. Hope this helps!


  17. Tina on February 19, 2011 at 12:41 pm

    The Lunch Ladies in grade school made the BEST no-bake cookies ever….haven’t had them since, but wiull surely try your recipe….just wish the pictures would print along with the recipe. Thanks!


  18. Sean on February 20, 2011 at 4:32 pm

    Here’s my “perfected” version of this recipe. I LOVE THESE THINGS!

    Half-size Recipe:
    3.3 tablespoons butter, organic
    .5 cups sugar, Raw organic Turbinado cane sugar (less sugar, but still very sweet)
    ¼ cup milk – Goat milk, of course!
    2¾ tablespoons cacao powder (Dagoba organic) – extra choco!
    .4 cup peanut butter, bland tasting, organic creamy or chunky (a little too much makes cookies crumbly/coarse tasting and PB overwhelms chocolate flavor. PB has to be melted well into the choco)
    1 heaping teaspoon vanilla, organic
    1.25 cups oats, organic (more will make the cookie too dense and dilute the goodness)

    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 1.5 minutes.
    3. Remove from heat.
    4. Stir in the peanut butter and vanilla until smooth, KEEP WARM, then stir in the oats.
    5. Drop by heaping tablespoons onto lightly oiled (sunflower, tasteless) glass plate.
    6. Pop in the fridge.


    • VIOLAA on July 18th, 2011 at 8:00 am

      where are you from ? how to convert decimel point to cup or tbs measures


  19. Sean on February 20, 2011 at 4:35 pm

    CORRECTION: that’s supposed to be .2 cups of peanut butter.


  20. Diana on March 18, 2011 at 2:11 pm

    This is a very old recipe, I’m a senior citizen now and we had these fabulous cookies as a child, a friend of mine is older than me and she said her family used to call them “boiled cookies” I guess because they are boiled and not baked. Whatever you call them they are the easiest, best cookie EVER


  21. PeggyPoo on March 20, 2011 at 7:48 pm

    Love these! My Mema always called them “Lazy Housewife Cookies” LOL!


  22. Kathy on April 1, 2011 at 11:00 pm

    My husband makes them often and calls them –” Kids Love Cookies” Cookies– He sometimes adds raisins which makes them chewier .


  23. Ally Lynn on April 16, 2011 at 6:03 pm

    These cookies are delicious!! We’ve had almost the exact recipe in my family for YEARS. I think my great-grandmother got this recipe somewhere and has been passing it down…

    I used to have a problem overcooking the sugar, butter, etc. mixture. Now I use a candy thermometer and letting it get up to between 226-228 degrees F makes the cookies come out perfect!

    I’m looking forward to trying your version of this old classic. :-)


  24. Denise on May 12, 2011 at 8:38 pm

    When I was a little girl (I’m now 55) my neighbor, Mrs. Young (I still call her Mrs. Young even though she was widowed for years and eventually became Mrs. Troy), used to make these cookies. I could never get enough of them! Nothing tastes better than these cookies, warm and freshly made, along with a great big ice cold glass of WHOLE milk. Sometimes I used to eat so many that I would wind up with a stomachace, but oh so worth it!


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  26. khadijah on May 16, 2011 at 2:21 pm



  27. GINA fLORENCIA on May 30, 2011 at 9:56 pm

    HI, I’ll like to try this recipe but we’re no a peanut butter kind of people (wierd ) what you think we can use insted? thanks for your help….Gina


    • Michelle on May 31st, 2011 at 10:32 pm

      Hi Gina, You could use any type of butter – almond butter, cashew butter, even sunbutter (made from sunflower seeds).


  28. Jill on June 10, 2011 at 10:07 pm

    I came for the PB&J bar recipe, but ended up making these. Thank you for such wonderful memories, because growing up these were always my favorite.

    I hadn’t realized until using this recipe that you actually boiled the sugar, butter mixture, as before I’d just melted everything and put it in the fridge to firm up (poorly written hand me down recipe, I’d used before) Anyway, this is a much yummier cookie.


  29. Emely on June 23, 2011 at 7:15 am

    This looks amazing i will make them this weekend cant wait to try them :)


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  32. Charles on July 14, 2011 at 3:44 pm

    I have to say these cookie are amazing! My friends and family went nuts over these tasty treats!


  33. christel lambert on July 20, 2011 at 1:45 am

    Hi there I wwas just wondering can these no bake cookies be made sugar free??
    I have a 5 year old with some teeth problems and I hate to deprive him of some sweet treats every once in a while but I try suger free items so is there any way it can be done and they still turn out ok? Or if anyone has done the splenda version of it please let me know before I try to do it and it turns out like my splenda rock candy (all screwed up LOL!!)


    • Michelle on July 20th, 2011 at 10:33 am

      I have not experimented with a no-sugar version, but I do think you would do just fine with a Splenda substitution here. I’d love to hear your results!


  34. Nici on July 22, 2011 at 10:28 pm

    I’ve also been making these since I was old enough to stand at the stove and stir! We, however, always call them cow patties, since well, that’s basically what they look like! I love the ideas of adding pretzels and marshmallows, thanks for the tips!


  35. Ally on July 28, 2011 at 4:54 pm

    I made these for my friends last night & they wanted to take the rest home! Fabulous recipe. Rave reviews were shared! xo


  36. Mariel on August 7, 2011 at 4:36 pm

    It’s a no-bake cookie kind of day! :-) Yum!


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  38. Pene Fedro on August 16, 2011 at 2:41 pm

    The recipe for No Bakes that I like uses coconut. Does anyone have that recipe?


    • Maggie the Cat on August 16th, 2011 at 5:57 pm

      No, but I want it! Coconut sounds delish in these!

      Also, I’ve tried these w/rice krispies instead of oats but they were just weird. The rice krispies turned chewy in the cookie. Am I doing something wrong?


  39. Tonya on August 22, 2011 at 11:35 pm

    Mama always called these preacher cookies. She said when the preacher would call and say he was on his way over, you had time to whip up these cookies with what you had in your pantry by the time he got to the house.


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  41. Jessica on August 28, 2011 at 9:48 pm

    I made these tonight and they were fantastic! The whole family loved them.


  42. Jessica on September 1, 2011 at 2:01 pm

    I made these earlier this week for my kids and I. They are AMAZING!!! I chilled them in the refrigerator so they would be so messy for the kids. I was thinking about seeing how they would taste with Rice Krispies instead of Oats also. Kind of like a Star Crunch. I love your website! I am always on here looking for new things to try. One day I plan to make a cookbook of all my baking/cooking creations and favorite recipes for my friends and family.


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  45. Dana on September 7, 2011 at 8:37 pm

    These look great! But what’s a rolling boil?


    • Michelle on September 8th, 2011 at 6:17 pm

      Hi Dana, Basically, a full boil, not just simmering with little bubbles – big, bubbling bubbles of a boil 😉


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  47. Bandit on September 12, 2011 at 5:42 pm

    These are Sara’s Candy Cookies, according to my mom’s recipe card. I never knew who Sara was but we sure loved her cookies. Her recipe called for chunky peanut butter, which adds a nice crunch. Try it!


  48. Nicki on September 20, 2011 at 3:13 pm

    I grew up on these cookies and still love them to this day!! My grandmom always made these at Christmas time, and I’m proud to say continuing the tradition! These definitely are a staple in my cookie bin! :-)


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  50. Lyssayn on September 22, 2011 at 9:17 pm

    I just stumbled across your website while searching for sugar cookie and royal icing recipes; I noticed this no-bake recipe in the sidebar and decided to check it out. I realized I had all of the ingredients in the kitchen, this would take only minutes to make, and I had nothing else in the house for dessert. I ran into the kitchen during a commercial break (OK, plus a few minutes), whipped up a batch, grabbed a couple of warm but firm cookies and threw them at hubby (gotta be nice!), grabbed a couple more for myself, and was back in front of the TV without missing a beat. Awesome, and thank you for the stellar recipe! I know the sugar cookies are going to take me longer, but my success on this recipe will carry me through!


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