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Classic No-Bake Cookies

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If you love oatmeal cookies loaded with chocolate and peanut butter, then this no-bake cookie recipe is for you! So simple to make with just a handful of ingredients, these cookies can be made in just 20 minutes.

Classic no bake cookies with peanut butter, chocolate, and oats.

These chocolate no bake cookies are the perfect, easy dessert for summer. Since they don’t require baking, they can be made in as little as 20 minutes. The ingredient list is fairly simple also.

Peanut butter no-bake cookies and cookie butter no-bake cookies are some of my favorite simple desserts. Taking either of these recipes and adding a little cocoa powder will give you a fun new spin, which is what I did with today’s cookies.

I added cocoa powder to the peanut butter version and the result is a sweet, chewy cookie that’s full of peanut butter and chocolate flavor.

The base of the cookies is made right on the stovetop. Once all the ingredients are mixed together, the cookies are scooped onto a baking sheet and left to set.

Give this easy childhood favorite a try today!


Why this recipe works

  • Quick cook oats soften quickly in the hot cookie base and offer a chewy texture to the final product.
  • Dutch-processed cocoa powder creates a smooth chocolate flavor.
  • I prefer creamy peanut butter but crunchy would be good also.

No bake chocolate oatmeal cookies are good any time of year. You simply can’t go wrong with the wonderful combination of flavors. And who can pass up a recipe that’s so easy?!

No bake oatmeal cookies on white background.

Ingredients for no-bake oatmeal cookies

My favorite thing about these cookies is the simple ingredient list. The ingredients are pretty basic and are staples in most kitchens.

  • Sugar: Use granulated white sugar. It melts to create a syrup that sets firm. This is important for the cookies to set properly.
  • Butter: Unsalted butter is what I always use so I can control the amount of salt in the recipe.
  • Milk: Whole milk is going to give you the best results.
    • However, almond milk or soy milk will also work.
  • Cocoa powder: Unsweetened Dutch-processed cocoa offers a smooth chocolate flavor. You can use natural cocoa if that’s all you have.
  • Peanut Butter: Creamy is my preferred choice but crunchy will also work.
    • If you have a peanut allergy, almond butter or sunflower seed butter are great alternatives.
  • Vanilla & salt: Pure vanilla extract and a pinch of salt add an extra depth of flavor.
  • Oats: Use quick oats! If all you have is old-fashioned oats, briefly pulse them in a food processor. Smaller oats will hold together best.

Tools I used to make this recipe

With any recipe, it is essential that you have the right equipment on hand. Below are the items I used to make these no-bake cookies.

  • Kitchen timer: Needed to time how long the mixture boils.
  • Cookie scoop: Perfect for portioning out the cookies.
  • Baking sheet: The cookies will rest on paper-lined baking sheets until set.

How to make no-bake cookies

1. Boil the mixture

Pot with sugar, milk, butter, and cocoa powder.
  1. Bring the sugar, butter, milk, and cocoa powder to a boil over medium heat.
  2. As soon as the mixture reaches a rolling boil, set a timer for 1 minute. Let the mixture continue to boil until the timer goes off.
  3. Remove from heat.

2. Stir in remaining ingredients

  1. Immediately stir in the peanut butter, vanilla, and sat. It will take a minute or two for the peanut butter to fully melt and mix in.
  2. Once the peanut butter is completely incorporated, stir in the oats until they are all well coated with the chocolate mixture.
  3. Let the mixture sit for 1-2 minutes until slightly thickened.

3. Portion and let set

Sooping no bake chocolate oatmeal cookies onto baking sheet.
  1. Use a 1.5 tablespoon cookie scoop to portion mounds of dough onto a parchment-lined baking sheet. You can use the back of the scoop to gently spread and shape the cookies if needed.
  2. Leave the cookies to sit until they have hardened. This can take about 30 minutes.

Jen’s Best tips

  • Make sure to measure all the ingredients and have them ready to use. This recipe moves fast and you will not have time to measure as you go.
  • The cookies should take around 30 minutes set up at room temperature. But, if you live in a hot or humid environment, you may need to put the cookies in the refrigerator to help them harden.
No bake cookies on white plate.

Storing & Freezing

Nothing beats a no bake cookie recipe that can be made in advance!

To store: The cookies will keep for up to 3 days stored at room temperature in an airtight container. Or up to 1 week in the refrigerator.

To Freeze: The cookies will keep for up to 3 months stored in the freezer. Thaw in the refrigerator overnight. Bring them to room temperature before serving if desired.


Frequently asked questions

Why did my cookies not set?

The number one reason no bake cookies fail to set is that the mixture didn’t boil long enough. Make sure to allow the mixture to come to a rolling boil before setting the timer.

If your cookies still didn’t set, you can try boiling the mixture for 13-30 seconds longer the next time you make them.

Can you use substitutes or add mix-ins?

Yes! You can customize your no-bake cookies any way you like.
– Use Nutella or chocolate peanut butter instead of peanut butter.
– Stir in ½ cup shredded coconut or chocolate chips.

This recipe is the only no-bake cookie recipe I will ever use. It’s lightly sweet, peanut buttery, and perfectly chewy.

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Classic no bake cookies with peanut butter, chocolate, and oats.

Classic No Bake Cookies

Yield: 26 cookies
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 1 minute
Additional Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 16 minutes

Classic no-bake cookies need only a handful of staple ingredients. They're loaded with peanut butter, chocolate, and oats - and they take less than 30 minutes to make!

Ingredients

  • 1 ½ cups (300 g) granulated sugar
  • 10 tablespoons (137 g) unsalted butter, cut into pieces
  • ½ cup (120 ml) milk
  • ¼ cup (21 g) unsweetened Dutch-processed cocoa powder
  • ½ cup (120 g) creamy peanut butter
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 2 ¾ cups (245 g) quick-cooking oats

Instructions

  1. Measure out all the ingredients and have them ready to use. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside.
  2. In a medium saucepan, bring the sugar, butter, milk, and cocoa powder to a boil over medium heat. Stir occasionally as it's warming up. Let the mixture boil for 60 seconds.
  3. Remove from heat and stir in the peanut butter, vanilla, and salt until melted and combined. Add the oats and mix until well combined. Let the mixture sit for 1-2 minutes until the oats have softened and thickened slightly.
  4. Use a 1.5 tablespoon-sized cookie scoop to drop mounds onto the prepared baking sheet. Use the back of the scoop to spread and shape the cookies if needed.
  5. Cool the cookies for about 30 minutes or until they've hardened.

Notes

Butter: Salted butter can be used if needed. Make sure to omit the additional salt from the recipe.

Milk: Whole milk will taste the best but low-fat milk, almond milk, or soy milk will work.

Cocoa powder: Natural or Dutch-process cocoa powder will work with this recipe. Dutch-processed has a smoother chocolate flavor.

Oats: Oats labeled "quick-cooking" are necessary for this recipe. If you can't find them, you can pulse old-fashioned oats in a food processor 4-5 times so they are finer.

Make sure to measure all the ingredients and have them ready to use. This recipe moves fast and you will not have time to measure as you go.

Make ahead tip

  1. The cookies will keep for up to 1 week stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
  2. Freeze the cookies for up to 3 months. Thaw in the refrigerator overnight. Bring them to room temperature before serving if desired.

Recommended Products

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Nutrition Information:
Yield: 26 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 147Total Fat: 6gSaturated Fat: 3gUnsaturated Fat: 2gCholesterol: 12mgSodium: 2mgCarbohydrates: 19gFiber: 0gSugar: 13gProtein: 1g

The nutrition information provided is for convenience and as a courtesy only. It is not guaranteed to be accurate because nutrition information can vary for a variety of reasons. For precise nutritional data use your preferred nutrition calculator and input the exact ingredients you used in the recipe.

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