Chocolate-Peanut Butter No-Bake Cookies

Desserts | Kid Friendly | Other

Recipe Scoop Chocolate-Peanut Butter No-Bake Cookies

Cooking Notes

We use only smooth peanut butter, not reduced-fat or crunchy, but some of our readers do make them with crunchy and they say the cookies turn our great. Let us know if you try it!

Use only “quick 1-minute” oats, not old-fashioned oats or instant oatmeal.

Can use 1-percent, 2-percent or whole milk.

Chocolate-Peanut Butter No-Bake Cookies

2 2/3 cups uncooked “quick 1-minute” oats*
1 stick butter
1 3/4 cups granulated sugar
1/2 cup milk*
1/4 cup baking cocoa
Pinch of salt
1/2 cup smooth peanut butter*
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Place 2 sheets of wax paper about 18 inches long on the counter. Measure out oats and set aside.

Cut butter into 4 pieces and place in a 2 1/2 to 3-quart (not larger) saucepan over medium heat. When butter starts to melt, add sugar, milk, cocoa and salt. Raise heat to medium-high. Stir, breaking up any cocoa lumps, until mixture just comes to a boil, about 2 to 3 minutes.

Set a timer for 2 minutes. Keeping the mixture at a moderate boil, cook and stir exactly 2 minutes. Immediately remove pot from heat and, working quickly, stir peanut butter until melted and completely incorporated. Stir in vanilla and oats, and stir until oats are thoroughly mixed in and covered with chocolate.

Use a cookie dough scoop or a tablespoon to drop the cookie mixture onto the wax paper. (Size can vary, but we use about 2 tablespoons for each.) Let stand at room temperature until firm, about 30 minutes, depending on the ambient temperature and humidity.

Chocolate-Peanut Butter No-Bake Cookies

Beverly: My elementary school cafeteria served these cookies, and so did my Mom. Once I even found them for sale at a gas station along a country road just off the Interstate. When we published the recipe in our column years ago in response to a reader's plea, I even got fan mail from a state penitentiary.

“I just wanted you to know I’ve been making your chocolate-peanut butter oatmeal cookies, and everyone here is crazy about them,” said an inmate who worked in the kitchen. “Thanks for the recipe.”

Sadly since the cookies contain peanut butter, today’s elementary tykes (and inmates?) may never experience this treat en masse. Peanut allergy is a real problem, I know, but that doesn’t stop me from mourning the fact that kids will never get to love these cookies unless parents of the un-allergic everywhere unite and make them.

This cookie is a one-pot wonder -- a bit like fudge only with oatmeal. Gotta love it, right?! So did anyone else out there grow up with this cookie?

Chocolate-Peanut Butter No-Bake Cookies

Approximate Values Per Cookie: 127 calories (40% from fat), 6 g fat (3 g saturated), 8 mg cholesterol, 2 g protein, 18g carbohydrates, 1 g dietary fiber, 28 mg sodium


From Nedra - February 11, 2010

Walmart sella a cookie similar to this. I'm sure this one would be healthier for a person since there is not any High Fructose Corn Syrup in it.

From Cindy - April 24, 2010

The instructions are a bit confusing! It states to add ALL ingredients EXCEPT oatmeal. That would include the peanut butter; however it then states to remove from heat and stir in PEANUT BUTTER(?!) then oats. And what is the need for a candy thermometer if no temperature requirement is stated [e.g. cook to soft ball or cook to 160 degrees on thermometer). Do the instructions need correcting?

From Cindy - April 25, 2010

Thanks for the clarification. Yes, they are terrific! They go quick.

From Laura - September 15, 2010

I read the recipe and 10 minutes later, the cookies are cooling in the kitchen. Thanks!

From Laura - September 15, 2010

If you do make them, Beverly, be aware that the uneven edges of these cookies make it easy to pull off little bits without "actually" eating a cookie ... yes, mine are all accounted for but they have amazingly uniform rounded shapes now ...!

From Laura - September 15, 2010

Absolutely! They are perfect! (And now, nearly gone!) My kids love them, too. I'm going to make a new recipe from this site every day. I've been a fan of yours since the "Perfect Baked Potato" days grin

From Pam - December 02, 2010

I liked the story from the artical in the new's paper that went with the recipe... Added such a nice personal touch.... My mom had sent this to me years ago. Its still great.

From Zale - July 17, 2011

Could almond or sunflower seed butter be substituted for the peanut-allergic? I suspect there are suppliers who guarantee no peanuts.

From namasaya - February 21, 2012

<a href="">good job for having written this article</a><br />

From Candace - August 12, 2012

Hey thanks for clarifying how long to boil the first half of the mixture. I've had these cookies since i was young, but we had gotten away from making them and i've been searching for one that makes the cookies from my childhood, rather than lumps of GOO that never really set right. Thank you again for the specifics you set to the side of the recipe too, I am so glad you have been so thurough! Now, to go make my favorite cookies. . .

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