single no bake cookie on white background
Cookies & Bars, Desserts, Recipe Video

No Bake Cookies

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In just 10 minutes and a couple of pantry staples, you’ll have perfect No-Bake Cookies ready to devour! And I’ll share with you my #1 tip for getting them to turn out perfectly every single time!

No Bake Cookies. Man. I love you.

I have a long history with this recipe. This is my mom’s recipe she made us growing up and I have a weakness for these chocolatey peanut buttery bites of heaven.

I know this recipe by heart. It feels like it is a part of me in some way. I made this for my 4H project in 6th grade, I literally can’t even tell you how many batches of these I have made for my high school track team over the past 10 years ( close to 100 batches I am sure). And everyone I have ever made these for can’t just have one. I meannnnnn, God did give us 2 hands….to hold one cookie in each. ?

picture of no bake cookie recipe card inside  cabinet door

I don’t know if it is the chocolate peanut butter combo – because you can never go wrong with that. Or the rich chewy texture. Or that they are made with so much love. Regardless. No Bake Cookies are a comforting classic sweet treat that always brings a smile to my face (and belly).

Ingredients Needed for No Bake Cookies

  • Old fashion oatmeal
  • Creamy peanut butter
  • Butter
  • Sugar
  • Milk
  • Cocoa powder
  • Vanilla
cocoa powder, oats, butter, peanut butter, sugar, milk and vanilla on white table top

How To Make No Bake Cookies

  1. In a large bowl combine oatmeal and peanut butter.
  2. Combine sugar, cocoa, butter, milk, and vanilla in a medium saucepan on the stove.
  3. Turn stove on medium heat. Stir to combine everything.
  4. As the butter melts, the chocolate mixture will start to combine. Keep stirring to make sure it doesn’t burn or scorch on the bottom of the pan.
  5. Once you see a couple bubbles in the middle of the pan, start the timer for ONE full minute (exactly). You do not have to stir at this time.
  6. Remove from heat immediately after the timer goes off and pour the hot cocoa mixture in the oatmeal bowl and mix well until peanut butter is melted and all ingredients are mixed together well.
  7. Spoon quickly onto wax or parchment paper (ice cream scoop works best) and let cool for 10 minutes to set up.
  8. ENJOY!
no bake ocokies on a baking sheet with parchment paper

My #1 Secret Tip for Making Perfect No Bake Cookies Every Single Time!

It all comes down to the cooking time for the chocolate mixture on the stove.

Overcook for even 10 seconds and you’ll end up with dry, crumbly, dull cookies.

Don’t cook long enough and they will never set up.

The trick is to know excatly when to start your timer.

Once you see a couple of small bubbles start to pop up in the middle of your pan (right before it goes into a full boil) set your timer for ONE MINUTE. You want to cook for one minute exactly from this point.

If you wait till the chocolate mixture is at a full boil, then start your timer – you have waited too long and will end up with dry crumbly cookies.

If you start your timer right when you see bubbles around the edge of your pot, then you have started too soon and they will never set up all the way.

The secret is to wait for those first couple bubbles in the middle of the pan, then start your timer for one minute. Remove from the heat immediately after the one minute is up. This will result in perfect, shiny, set up no bake cookies every single time.

What Type of Oats Can You Use?

I prefer and always use old fashion oats. It is what the original recipe calls for and they provide a nice chewy texture and cookie.

But, quick-cooking oats can be used if needed. They will look a little different, as quick-cooking oats are cut into smaller portions – but the taste will be the same. If quick-cooking oats are all you have on hand, go ahead and use them!

I would not recommend using steel cut oats.

single no bake cookie with platter an dmilk in the background

Why Are My No Bake Cookies Not Setting Up?

You didn’t cook the chocolate mixture long enough.

If you start your one-minute timer right when you see tiny bubbles around the edge of your pot, then you have started too soon and they will never set up all the way. The chocolate mixture needed just a little bit longer (like 10-20 seconds) to cook on the stove.

How To Harden No Bake Cookies That are Too Soft and Did Not Set Up

If you didn’t boil the chocolate mixture on the stove long enough and your no bake cookies aren’t set up all the way (meaning you cannot pick up the cookie with one hand like a normal cookie. They are too soft and fall apart), no worries. It can be mended!

Good news is, they will still taste great!

Pop the cookies (still on your parchment or wax paper and on a cookie sheet) into the refrigerator or freezer. The chilling will help them set up a little more. They will never be quite solid, and if they set out at room temp they will soften once again. But chilling will help set up enough to enjoy without falling apart.

You want to make sure and store these in the fridge until they are all eaten. Otherwise, they will go back to their soft state at room temp.

platter of no bake cookies with milk in background

Why Are My No Bake Cookies Crumbly and Dry? Why Are They Not Shiny Like the Pictures?

You have over boiled/cooked the chocolate mixture.

Unfortunately, you’ll be able to tell if this is the case right away. If you have over boiled, then as soon as you pour the chocolate mixture over the oats and start to stir, they will begin to set and get hard within 30 seconds or so.

If bad enough, it will not be possible to scoop out because they will just be crumbles.

This can happen by over boiling even by 10 seconds. It can be super tricky to get it just right. But remember my secret tip to getting perfect no bakes every single time:

The secret is to wait for those first couple bubbles in the middle of the pan, then start your timer for one minute. Remove from the heat immediately after the one minute is up. This will result in perfect, shiny, set up no bake cookies every single time.

What Can I Do with My Cookies If They Are Dry and Crumbly? Are They Completely Ruined?

Depends. I have had batches that I have messed up so bad it was not worth saving them. They were too grainy and dry.

Luckily, this recipe calls for just a couple of ingredients, all of which are easy to find and inexpensive. If they ae really bad – just start again.

If you don’t want to waste them, put them in a gallon-size freezer-safe zip-top bag and store in the freezer. You can use them as an ice cream topping! ?

Can These Be Frozen?

Yes!

If you want to store them in the freezer for a later time, then follow the recipe below and let them cool and set completely.

Store in a freezer-safe container or bag and place them in the freezer for up to 6 months.

You can eat them frozen or set out to come to room temp (or set in the fridge for 24 hours) until thawed out.

Are No Bake Cookies Gluten-Free?

YES!

I had a runner on my track team who was gluten-free and this was the only cookie of mine that he could eat and enjoy (and asked for them all the time!).

Oatmeal is gluten free.

However, if you are super sensitive to gluten, be sure to check the label of your oats to see if they were made in a factory next to gluten.

close up shot of a no bake cookies on a cookie sheet

Want More Delicious Cookie Recipes?! I Know You Will Love These!

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single no bake cookie

No Bake Cookies


  • Author: Heather
  • Total Time: 10 minutes
  • Yield: 30 cookies 1x
  • Diet: Gluten Free

Description

In just 10 minutes and a couple of pantry staples, you’ll have perfect No-Bake Cookies ready to devour! And I’ll share with you my #1 tip for getting them to turn out perfectly every single time!


Ingredients

Scale
  • 3 Cups Old Fashion Oatmeal
  • 1/2 Cup  Creamy Peanut Butter*
  • 2 Cups Sugar
  • 1/2 Cup Cocoa Powder
  • 1 Stick of Butter
  • 1/2 Cup Milk
  • 1 Teaspoon Vanilla

Instructions

  1. In a large bowl combine oatmeal and peanut butter.
  2. Combine sugar, cocoa, butter, milk, and vanilla in a medium saucepan on the stove.
  3. Turn stove on medium heat. Stir to combine everything.
  4. As the butter melts, the chocolate mixture will start to combine. Keep stirring to make sure it doesn’t burn or scorch on the bottom of the pan. This will take around 5-7 minutes before the next step begins.
  5. Once you see a couple bubbles in the middle of the pan, start the timer for ONE full minute (exactly). You do not have to stir during this time.
  6. Remove from heat immediately after the timer goes off and pour the hot cocoa mixture in the oatmeal bowl and mix well until peanut butter is melted and all ingredients are mixed well.
  7. Scoop quickly onto wax or parchment paper (ice cream scoop works best – but a large spoon can b used as well) and let cool for 10 minutes to set up.
  8. ENJOY!

Notes

  • *Natural peanut butter should not be used in this recipe
  • The secret is to wait for those first couple bubbles in the middle of the pan, then start your timer for one minute. Remove from the heat immediately after the one minute is up. This will result in perfect, shiny, set up no bake cookies every single time.
  • Prep Time: 3 minutes
  • Cook Time: 7 minutes
  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American

Nutrition

  • Serving Size:
  • Calories: 139
  • Sugar: 14.2 g
  • Sodium: 98.4 mg
  • Fat: 6.1 g
  • Carbohydrates: 20.7 g
  • Fiber: 1.4 g
  • Protein: 2.4 g
  • Cholesterol: 8.2 mg

Keywords: No Bake Cookies

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Disclosure. Some of the links below are affiliate links, which means that if you click on a product link, I may receive compensation. This compensation comes at no additional cost to you, and as always I only recommend products I trust!  Heather Bilyeu is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.

An Updated Post

This post was updated on April 9, 2020. This recipe was one of the first recipes I posted to FSS back in the fall of 2017. It holds a special place in my heart. I wanted to keep a record of the stories I originally wrote with this post because a part of me really misses telling the stories behind each recipe. So this is for me to document and keep forever. Also to remember I started from the bottom in my food photography and thank goodness have come a LONG WAY! ?

I have been coaching high school track and field for 8 years this spring (um….that sounds crazy, I didn’t realize it has been that long until I typed it. I feel like I just graduated college….where does the time go?!) It never fails to amaze me the metabolism of teenage boy distance runners. Well teenage boys in general, but especially distance runners. They are pretty much bottomless pits and it’s hopeless of them ever being “full”.

I like to bring cookies for the team throughout the season. Sometimes at practice just because I needed an excuse to bake. Sometimes for a special occasion to celebrate a birthday, regionals and always for the state meet. I now get requests and it is expected…and I love that!

This season was defined by No Bake Cookies. I don’t think I could ever get you to comprehend the amount of oatmeal and peanut I bought to keep up with the demand for my sweet and HUNGRY student-athletes!

Justin and I have hosted a pre-state pasta dinner at our home the past couple of years for the team. We practice then everyone heads over. I make a couple of pounds of pasta, salad, set up the corn hole boards and pack our home with hungry and excited teenage runners. It is one of the highlights of the season for me. This year’s dessert request was No Bake Cookies. I made 4 batches of these cookies. Yes 4, thinking that would be plenty. Nope. Not at all. They were devoured before everyone even got there. It was pretty unreal.

Most of them were consumed by 1 boy individually. This one particular boy, who will remain nameless, consumed 10 that night by himself. 10! Plus an amount of pasta that would feed a small family. I prepared adequately for the state the same week and prepared the same amount. Luckily this time they weren’t consumed *as* fast as the dinner as seeing they preferred not to throw up while running. This one said boy though is the exception to the rule. He downed 2 for good measure before he dominated in the daunting distance triple (3rd in the 1600m, 14th in the 800m and 4th in the 3200m AND being a member of the 4x400m men’s team–a total of 6,000 race meters–aka 15 race laps around the track that night). An absolutely mind-blowing and impressive feat. He then promptly celebrated by consuming 7 no bakes after it was all said and done as an appetizer to our yearly post-state ritual of Dairy Queen. Basically, I am claiming that my chocolate and peanut butter cookie skills attributed to the many medals he wore home that night. 🙂

He continues to be fueled by cookies when he comes over to the house to run with my husband, guzzling a handful or two, running 4 miles, then promptly coming back in the front door to grab 10 for the road. I love this kid. I love these cookies. Love how they fuel distance runners! Happiness all the way around (especially the track 🙂 ).

Whip up this easy classic recipe up the next time you need a quick dessert for someone or if you know a hungry male runner in need in your life.

 

2 Comments

  1. steve preston

    I love No-bakes, but don’t like them with big oats. And I found out why you never use steel-cut. It’s like using Grape Nuts cereal. Oats end up tough and hard to chew.

     

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