Delicious No-Bake cookies filled with peanut butter, chocolate and oats are a perfect treat that can be made in under 20 minutes.
A quick Google search on the history of these cookies turns up several variations of the same story. “No Bake” cookies were (and still are) called Preacher Cookies by many in the south and Appalachia.
Legend goes that women living in rural homesteads could see their preacher coming to visit from far away (I guess there were no other buildings to block the view?) and they would reach for the ingredients to make these cookies, because by the time he made it to the house, they would be done.
Whether any of that is true or not (it sounds true, don’t you think?) the fact remains that these no bake cookies are insanely easy and insanely delicious. Seven ingredients and about ten minutes are all you need to make a batch of cookies that people will go nuts for at a gathering (eventually) or a bake sale. Or to just eat alone when watching TV – I wont tell if you don’t.
Technically, when you make no bake cookies (or Preacher Cookies, or Cow Pies, or No Cook Cookies or any other various name they’re known by) you’re actually making candy. Boiling together butter and sugar is a classic candy-making technique.
For a lot of people, these cookies are a childhood staple. Apparently quite a few food bloggers grew up eating these cookies regularly. I didn’t see one, or even know that they existed until my late teens. I went home with a friend from college for a weekend and her mom had these on hand, and I don’t think it’s hyperbolic to say that my life was instantly changed for the better. Okay, maybe a little hyperbolic.
I’ve been making these cookies routinely ever since. Sometimes I’ll go years between batches, sometimes days between. But since the recipe calls for simple ingredients that I almost always have on hand, there’s almost never a time that I couldn’t make these. Even though I’m not looking down a mountainside and spotting an incoming preacher, I could still have these made and ready for almost any last-minute visit from a friend. They’re always a hit for pot-lucks lunches and they complete any bake sale table.
No Bake Cookies - Ingredients
Peanut Butter - I always use creamy peanut butter. I know a lot of recipes call for crunchy, but really it’s just got to be creamy. The texture is just better in the finished cookie. And you know what they say: choosy moms choose Jif.
Cocoa Powder – you could use a fancy cocoa powder here if you choose, but honestly – Hershey’s is the way to go.
Oats – I’ve heard that regular oats work just as well as quick oats in this recipe, but my experience has always been that One Minute oats are the way to go.
Making No Bake Cookies
These cookies come together lightning quick, so you’re going to want to have everything pre-measured and ready to go before you start the no-bake process. Line two sheet pans with parchment paper or tin foil, and set aside. Measure out all your ingredients and have them at the ready.
You start by adding the butter, sugar, milk, and cocoa powder to a medium saucepan, and letting it come to a rolling boil. Once it reaches a full boil, let it boil for one full minute. You want a full boil, not just some bubbles around the edges before you start the one minute timer. After 1 minute of boiling, remove the pot from the heat, and dump in the oats, peanut butter, and vanilla. The vanilla will cause the mixture to spit and bubble a little bit, but that’s normal and will die down quickly.
Quickly, before the mixture starts to cool, scoop out spoonful’s of cookie batter onto the prepared baking sheets. Let the cookies cool for 10-15 minutes until solid enough to pick up.
No Bake Cookies
- ½ cup of unsalted butter (1 stick)
- 2 cups granulated sugar
- ½ cup milk (any kind)
- 4 tablespoons cocoa powder
- ½ cup smooth peanut butter
- 3 ½ cups quick cooking oats
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- Line two baking sheets with parchment or foil, and set aside.
- In a medium saucepan, add the first four ingredients.
- Melt it all together and let it come to a full boil (bubbles in the middle of the pan, not just the outside)
- Let it boil for one full minute.
- Remove from heat, and add in the peanut butter oats and vanilla. Stir to combine.
- Working quickly, spoon out the cookie batter onto the prepared baking sheets and let cool for 10-15 minutes.
You can use whatever kind of peanut butter you like, but I recommend smooth.