Chocolate Peanut Butter Oatmeal No-Bake Cookies

Chocolate Peanut Butter No-Bake Oatmeal Cookies

These are probably my wife’s favourite cookies. And they’re really, really easy to make.

My daughter has also discovered, through various attempts, that it’s also really easy to create things that do not resemble cookies through carefully not measuring things or quadrupling the amounts of one ingredient. It’s really just best not to ask about those.

But for the record, quadrupling the amount of cocoa powder results in a substance that almost resembles fudge. Almost. It was … uh … interesting.

You start out easily enough, with sugar, butter, cocoa powder, and milk in a saucepan over medium heat.

Stir continuously while it comes up to a boil – making sure to get out any lumps of powder as the butter melts.

After it is at a full rolling boil for about a minute and 15 seconds, pull it off the heat, add a splash of vanilla, the peanut butter, and once that’s stirred in, the oatmeal.

Combine it all well and drop it on a sheet of parchment paper to cool and firm up.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Oatmeal No-Bake Cookies

Any little bits (like that one in the middle of the photo) are pretty much instantly fair game to snack on while the rest of them cool and firm up. And that’s the tricky bit.

If you didn’t boil your mixture quite enough, they will stay gooey forever. You’ll need to leave them out on the counter overnight, or refrigerate, maybe even freeze them to get them to firm up. Trust me, we’ve been there.

If you boil your mixture too long, they will start to seize up almost faster than you can scoop them out of the pan and on to the parchment paper. These cookies will be very dry and crumbly. Trust me, we’ve been there.

In both cases, they’ll be tasty, but they will not be the soft, firm, moist cookie you’re aiming for. The batch in the photo went 1:15 from the time it started to rolling boil and came out perfect. We’ve done the 90 seconds from the original recipe and had them turn out dry. It may take you a few batches to find the perfect consistency.

My wife found the recipe for these at Spicy Southern Kitchen, who posted it from the book Bless Your Heart: Saving the World One Covered Dish at a Time. So, shout out to them for posting it!

Chocolate Peanut Butter No-Bake Oatmeal Cookies

Quick and easy to make – but watch the clock when your hot ingredients are boiling. That minute and a bit is critical to the end results.
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time5 mins
Total Time15 mins
Course: Dessert
Keyword: butter, cocoa, cookies, milk, oatmeal, sugar, vanilla
Servings: 20 cookies
Author: Chris Pollard

Equipment

  • Sauce pan
  • Large spoon
  • Measuring cups (1c + ½c)
  • Parchment paper

Ingredients

  • ½ cup butter cut into small cubes for faster melting
  • ½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • ½ cup milk
  • 3 cups quick-cooking oats
  • cup creamy peanut butter
  • tsp vanilla extract

Instructions

  • Lay out about two feet of parchment paper on a counter top. It's usually a good idea to put small weights on the corners so it doesn't curl up on you.
  • Add sugar, cocoa powder, butter, and milk to a large saucepan.
  • Stir steadily and bring to a boil over MEDIUM heat.
  • Once a rolling boil is achieved, set a timer for 75 seconds. (1 minute 15 seconds) Continue stirring the mixture.
  • Remove from heat and stir in the vanilla and peanut butter. Stir until the peanut butter has incorporated into the rest of the mixture.
  • Add the quick-cooking oats and stir to fully coat and combine.
  • Take the mix over to your counter and drop heaping tablespoons of it on the parchment paper.
  • Once all of your mix is out of the pan and on the paper, wait. Your cookies should firm up within 20 minutes or so.

Notes

I use a big serving spoon instead of a tablespoon, and always leave mine a bit oblong, like the photo shows.  If you want a more traditional ’round’ shape, that’s totally up to you. I’ve never met anyone who cared about the shape while eating them.
Timing the rolling boil really is everything for these cookies. We’ve had batches that never fully set up from not boiling long enough to batches that started to seize up before we finished scooping them out of the pan and onto the parchment from boiling a bit too long.  Strangely, neither scenario resulted in cookies that didn’t get eaten.  But the gooey ones are more pleasant than the super dry and crumbly ones.

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