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Peanut Butter No-Bake Cookies

Peanut butter no-bake cookies are chewy and full of peanut butter flavor. They take just a few minutes to make and are great for when you don’t want to turn on the oven!

stack of four peanut butter no-bake cookies on a wire rack with a bowl of peanut butter and jar of milk behind it

One of my favorite treats ever is my cookie butter no-bake cookies. They’re a fun spin on classic no-bake cookies. I decided it was time to make a peanut butter version and I couldn’t be more pleased with the results!

I used my cookie butter recipe and swapped the cookie butter for peanut butter. I thought I would need to make a few adjustments considering peanut butter contains more oils and is a lot less sweet than cookie butter. But, the results were perfect.

These no-bake peanut butter oatmeal cookies are soft and slightly chewy with so much peanut butter flavor. And surprisingly, they are not cloyingly sweet.

This recipe is so incredibly simple to put together and perfect for times when you need a quick dessert. You only need seven ingredients and 15 minutes of prep time to make them.

Why this recipe works

  • Quick-oats are used so the texture of the cookie is softer but still slightly chewy.
  • Just the right amount of peanut butter is used so there is a ton of flavor.
  • The cookies aren’t overly sweet so you can enjoy more than one without getting a toothache.
overhead view of peanut butter no bake cookies scattered on a wire rack next to a bowl of peanut butter and light blue-green cloth

The ingredients for no-bake oatmeal cookies are standard and you most likely have them on hand. Let’s go over them.

  • 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.
  • Peanut butter: Use a commercial brand creamy peanut butter like Jif or Skippy. All-natural peanut butter doesn’t work as well because it tends to be oilier.
  • Vanilla: I like to add a dash of pure vanilla for extra flavor.
  • Salt: A pinch of salt helps balance the sweetness in the cookie.
  • Oats: Quick-cook oats are best for no-bake cookies.

Can I substitute the butter?

If you only have salted butter, that is fine to use. Simply omit the additional salt from the recipe.

I’ve not used vegan butter with this recipe so I can’t say if it will work the same.

Do not use oil of any kind. It will not work.

Can I substitute the milk?

It is fine to use low-fat milk or milk substitutes like almond milk. Keep in mind the cookies will not be as rich in flavor.

Can I substitute the oats?

I don’t recommend using anything other than quick-cook oats. Steel-cut oats are cut too big and will make the cookies extremely chewy. Old-fashioned oats are also whole oats that will make no-bake cookies chewier.

One option is to pulse whole oats in a food processor until they are slightly broken down.

front view of a peanut butter no bake cookies with bite taken out sitting in front of cookies on a wire rack and bowl of peanut butter

How to make peanut butter no-bake cookies

This is one of the easiest recipes you’ll ever make! It’s also a fun one to do with the kids.

Step 1: Boil

Add the sugar, butter, and milk to a medium saucepan and bring to a boil over medium heat. Stir occasionally while it’s heating up.

Once the mixture begins to boil rapidly, set a timer for 60 seconds and allow it to boil without stirring until the timer goes off.

ⓘ Helpful tip: The cookies will not set properly if the mixture doesn’t boil long enough before you add the rest of the ingredients. Don’t set the timer once you see a few bubbles popping up. Instead, wait until the mixture reaches a full rolling boil. Then let it continue to boil for 60 seconds.

butter, sugar, and milk in stainless steel pot with light blue-green cloth next to it

Step 2: Mix

After the mixture has boiled for 60 seconds, remove it from the heat and immediately stir in the peanut butter, vanilla, and salt.

Stir until the peanut butter has fully melted and the mixture is smooth.

Add the oats and stir until well coated with the peanut butter mixture.

Let the mixture sit for 2 minutes. This allows time for the oats to soften and thicken slightly.

process shots showing mixing of peanut butter no bake cookies in a pot

Step 3: Let set

After the mixture rests for two minutes, use a 1.5-tablespoon scoop to drop mounds onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.

I like to use the back of the scoop to gently spread and shape the cookies.

Let the cookies rest for about 30 minutes until they’ve hardened. You can pop them in the refrigerator to speed up the cooling if needed.

I think you are really going to enjoy these old-fashioned no-bake peanut butter cookies.

scoop dropping peanut butter no bake cookies onto a baking sheet lined with white parchment paper

Why do my no-bake cookies turn out gooey?

Gooey no-bake cookies are a result of not letting the mixture boil long enough. The sugar mixture needs to reach soft ball stage in order for the sugar to “set” as it cools. This is what keeps the cookies from being gooey.

If you continue to have issues with runny cookies, try boiling the mixture a little longer.

How do I get my no-bake cookies to harden?

If you’ve cooked your mixture long enough, the cookies should harden upon cooling. If for some reason they are taking a while to set, you can pop them in the refrigerator.

angled view of peanut butter no bake cookies scattered on wire rack

Storage tips

Keep peanut butter no-bake cookies stored in an airtight container for up to 1 week in the refrigerator.

Or freeze them for up to 3 months. Thaw in the refrigerator overnight. Bring them to room temperature before serving if desired.


If you like peanut butter, you’ll love these other cookie recipes:

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overhead view of peanut butter no bake cookies scattered on a wire rack next to a bowl of peanut butter and light blue-green cloth

Peanut Butter No Bake Cookies

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

Peanut butter no-bake cookies are chewy and full of peanut butter flavor. They take just a few minutes to make and are great for when you don't want to turn on the oven!

Ingredients

  • 1 ½ cups (300 g) granulated sugar
  • 10 tablespoons (137 g) unsalted butter, cut into pieces - SEE NOTE 1
  • ½ cup (120 ml) milk - SEE NOTE 2
  • ½ cup (120 g) creamy peanut butter
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 2 ¾ cups (245 g) quick-cooking oats - SEE NOTE 3

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, and milk 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

  1. Salted butter can be used if needed. Make sure to omit the additional salt from the recipe.
  2. Whole milk will taste the best but low-fat milk and almond milk will work.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.

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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

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet. Since different brands of ingredients have different nutritional information, the values shown are just an estimate.

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Hannah

Thursday 21st of January 2021

Hello! These sound delicious! Just wandering if this recipe can be halved?

Jen Sobjack

Thursday 21st of January 2021

I've not attempted to halve the recipe so I'm unsure if it will work out the same.

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