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No-Bake Cookies: A No-Oven No-Brainer

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Just because you can bake fancy cookies with 10,000 layers of pastry and sugared violets doesn’t mean you have to. Sometimes, I just want to self-medicate with a good cookie, and I don’t want to run the oven. Since I was 12, the answer to many of the world’s problems has come in the form of no-bake cookies.


I’ve had other peoples’ no-bakes, and (my least favorite) purchased no-bakes, but mine are really the best. They are also quick and easy to make, and (unless you need the cookies because your offspring are driving you nuts) they are a great thing to make with kids. Here goes:

No-Bake Cookies

  1. 2 cups sugar
  2. 1/4 cup butter
  3. 1/2 cup milk
  4. 1/3 cup cocoa powder (Not Dutch Process)
  5. 1/2 cup creamy peanut butter (I’ve used crunchy, but if you go this route you should use a little more peanut butter overall, maybe 1/3 cup more).
  6. 1 teaspoon vanilla
  7. 2 1/2 cups “Quick” oatmeal

Place sugar, butter, milk and cocoa in large saucepan, and bring to a boil, stirring occasionally. Boil for exactly one minute.

Remove from heat and stir in peanut butter and vanilla until peanut butter melts. Stir in oatmeal.

Drop by the spoonful onto waxed paper or a silicone baking mat, and allow to cool. Enjoy!!!!!


17 responses »

  1. Those look good. I haven’t made no-bake cookies since my nest became empty.

    My daughter used to make some similar to yours (maybe the same recipe…not sure) a LOT. They were her specialty. With two younger brothers also in the house, the cookies didn’t last long.

    I bet your recipe would go over well with my grandaughter. I will try some on her next visit.

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  3. wow these cookies are AMAZING! we made them for my brother-in-law and he LOVED THEM! thanks for the recipe! 🙂


  4. tara, I’m so glad you enjoyed them. Its kind of amazing that something so easy makes people so happy. 🙂

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  6. I used to make this when I was a kid, all the time. Maybe the beginning of my baking. Not sure if it was exactly the same measurements, but I’m pretty sure it’s the same ingredients. Yum. I however, have become allergic to peanuts. I wonder how this works with soy milk . . .

  7. Michelle, I think the only thing you HAVE to keep in this recipe is the boiling and cooling of the sugar, which is what makes the cookies firm up. I am pretty sure you could sub any liquid for the milk, and that you could use any kind of protein butter for the peanut butter. I’m thinking I might actually like these better with soy milk and almond or cashew butter…..

  8. Hi, I accidently come across this site whilst searching around online as I’m researching some material on wall ovens!. It’s a very interesting website so I have bookmarked your site and intend to revisit soon to allow more time for a proper browse when I’m more free.

    • Hi, Liza! Thanks for reading; I hope you don’t get put off when you hit the point in the blog where I stopped being a food blogger.

  9. Very yummy! Best I’ve had so far! Thanks!

  10. I tried the recipe, but the cookies won’t stick. 😦 After I placed it on the mat to cool, it remained gooey even after a few hours… 😦

    • I’m so sorry – I can think of two possible causes. If the sugar didn’t boil long and hard enough, that might do it. It’s also possible that the consistency of your peanut butter is thinner than mine, or that you used a different kind of oats. If all else fails, and I know this isn’t optimal, they will harden in the fridge (if you need to save a runny batch). If you are certain that you cooked the sugar correctly, I’d try again and add more oatmeal. Let me know if it works?

      • I actually tried this recipe twice. At the first try, I could actually smell the sugar giving off a slightly burnt smell (does that mean I boiled it for too long? cos it didn’t seem like the mixture was boiling) The end product was still all gooey.

        On the second try, I brought the milk+cocoa poweder to boil first before adding in the sugar. But then, it suddenly seemed like all the sugar dissolved into the mixture. I was even using more sugar and less milk and the end product still turned out gooey. Took your advice and refrigerated it for 24 hours. It doesn’t run anymore, but it’s still sticky and soft. Like a soggy granola bar, or oatmeal cookies that had been dunked in water. Not the kind I can peel off and drop into sandwich bags to bring out for a picnic.. 😦

        I used Skippy’s creamy peanut butter (i emptied almost half the bottle), Nestle’s Instant Oats and Cadbury Drinking Chocolate powder. But I’m actually using Brown Sugar and Lactose free milk (cos my mum’s lactose intolerant). Could that be a cause?

  11. JW, I think your ingredient changes are probably the cuplrit. You want baking cocoa, not drinking chocolate, which has dried milk in it and thus adds much more milk to the mixture. The brown sugar shouldn’t change the consistency, but will change the flavor because it contains molasses to make it brown and change the taste. I don’t know if the lactose-free milk could be a problem. Maybe get some real cocoa powder and try it again changing only that, and let me know if it works.

  12. Can you use the quick oats? The instant only comes in individual packages.


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