An Easy No-Bake Cookie Recipe for the Sweet Tooth Out There

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What are no-bake cookies?

These mounds of oatmeal coated in peanut butter and chocolate deliver an experience that’s the perfect combination of fudgy and chewy. They require no time in the oven, and they require minimal effort to make. 

If they were part of your childhood, you’re bound to feel nostalgic after biting into these cookies. Perhaps you’ll want to share that tradition with your own family or introduce them to a friend who grew up without such a tasty treat. 

If that friend happens to be you, it’s never too late for such a delicious surprise. 

No-bake cookies are excellent year-round, but those who know them will tell you they’re incredibly fantastic in the summer months when no one feels like turning on the oven.

In this article, we’ll walk you through how to make classic no-bake chocolate peanut butter cookies via a simple recipe with tips and variations. We’ll also answer some FAQs to help you get started.

What you’ll need

Baking sheet

Parchment paper or a silicone baking mat

Large saucepan

Wooden or metal spoon

Cookie scoop or tablespoon

How to make no-bake cookies

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This recipe makes 30 cookies, takes 10 minutes to prepare, and five minutes to cook, for a total time of 15 minutes. The cookies will take around 30 minutes to set before they’re ready to eat.

Ingredients

1/2 cup butter

1/2 cup milk

2 cups sugar

1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

1 teaspoon vanilla

1/2 cup creamy peanut butter

3 cups quick oats, not old-fashioned or steel-cut

Directions

  1. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat.
  2. Measure out all the ingredients, so they’re ready to use.
  3. Heat the butter, milk, sugar, and cocoa powder over medium-high heat in a large saucepan.
  4. While constantly stirring, bring the ingredients to a boil. You may need to adjust your temperature as you go, but the goal is to bring it to a rolling boil without the mixture boiling over. 
  5. Once the contents of the saucepan reach a consistent rolling boil, set a timer for one minute and keep working until it sounds.
  6. Working quickly, remove the saucepan from the heat and stir in vanilla and peanut butter until combined.
  7. Add the oats and stir until the mixture coats them evenly.
  8. Using a cookie scoop or tablespoon, drop heaping amounts of the mixture onto the lined baking sheet, spacing them about an inch apart.
  9. Let them sit at room temperature for 30 minutes before enjoying.

Nutritional values per cookie

Calories: 138

Carbohydrates: 20 grams

Protein: 2 grams

Fat: 6 grams

Saturated fat: 3 grams

Cholesterol: 9 milligrams

Sodium: 49 milligrams

Potassium: 73 milligrams

Fiber: 1 gram

Sugar: 14 grams

Tips for the perfect cookie

  • Because the mixture sets rapidly, quickly scoop the cookies onto the baking sheet.
  • Remember to line the baking sheet first so that it’s ready to go once it’s time to scoop.
  • Measuring your ingredients ahead of time will ensure a smoother cooking process.
  • Allow the mixture to boil thoroughly before setting your timer to ensure it cooks enough.
  • Creamy peanut butter is the popular choice for this recipe, but you can also use crunchy.
  • You can use almond milk in place of regular milk if you prefer. The measurements are the same.
  • Use quick-cooking oatmeal for these no-bake cookies, as rolled or old-fashioned oats result in a less tender cookie.

Variations for no-bake cookies

  • Espresso: For an extra pop of flavor, add a half teaspoon of espresso powder.
  • Shredded coconut: Swap out 1/3 cup of oats for the same amount of shredded coconut.
  • Nut butter: If you want to make these no-bake cookies without peanut butter, you can swap it with any nut or seed butter for a different flavor.
  • Nuts: Toss in 1/2 cup of nuts for extra flavor and a bit of crunch.
  • Chocolate chips: To make your cookies extra chocolatey, add 1/2 cup chocolate chips. As they cool, they’ll also help to harden the cookies.
  • Sea salt: Sprinkle the tops of your cookies before letting them set for a sweet and salty finish.

No-bake cookie FAQs

kellyvandellen – stock.adobe.com

What can I use if I don’t have wax paper for no-bake cookies?

Silicone baking mats are useful because you can wash and reuse them instead of running to the store for more. They also make for a cost-effective and sustainable solution. If you’re out of wax paper and you own a baking mat, they’re helpful outside of the oven as well and work exceptionally for no-bake cookies. You can also use parchment paper, but avoid using tinfoil as pieces of it may stick to the bottom of the cookies.

How long are no-bake cookies good for?

You can store your no-bake cookies in an air-tight container on the counter or in the fridge for up to four days. You can also store them in the freezer for up to two months, a perfect solution for single folks or couples who would struggle to eat 30 cookies in four days. No matter how you store them, make sure they’ve entirely set before stacking them.

Can you put no-bake cookies in the fridge?

Yes, you can. If you find your cookies have not set after 30 minutes on the counter, it may be that your kitchen is too hot or humid. Try placing them in the fridge to help them set. You can also store them in an air-tight container in the refrigerator to help them stay set.

Why did my no-bake cookies not set?

This is disappointing, but it happens to even the most experienced home cooks. If your kitchen is not overly hot or humid, it may be because the boiling time was cut too short. To prevent this, start your timer once the mixture reaches a consistent rolling boil and not when it’s simply bubbling. But if you’re looking to fix the gooey mounds already on the baking sheet, try sticking them in the fridge to see what happens. They might not be perfect, but they’ll most likely taste OK.

Are no-bake cookies healthy?

You can find recipes for no-bake cookies that swap out sugar for honey or butter for coconut oil. Still, cookies are cookies. Unless your diet is restricted, you can enjoy any dessert item in moderation as part of a healthy diet when you’re mindful of portions. Think of them as a treat instead of a snack. While cookies may not be the most nourishing food item, they are an excellent pick-me-up.

Ready in minutes

If you’re craving cookies, the ingredients to make these no-bakes are likely already waiting for you in your pantry. If you find you’re missing something, you can order it in seconds and have it at your door in minutes with Gopuff. They also deliver cookies, which may even make it to your door before these no-bake cookies can fully set. But trust us, you’ll still want to make them nevertheless because they really hit the spot.

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