Serves a Crowd

No Bake Chocolate Oatmeal Cookies

September 30, 2010
2 Ratings
  • Makes approximately 15 cookies
Author Notes

My husband won't complain if I pack him a salad for lunch as long as one of these cookies makes it into his lunch sack. I grew up eating these sweets at my grandmother's house in Michigan and, though they are humble, they have a few big things going for them: they don't require an oven and there's only 20 minutes between me and a powerhouse combination of chocolate and peanut butter. Think chubby mounds of chocolate-y oats shot throughout with the rich flavor of peanut butter. Plus, they have plenty of oat texture and just enough richness to go with a glass of cold milk. I've made a few adaptations to Grandma's recipe, the most important being that I use a candy thermometer to get the texture right. I also sub old fashioned oats for quick cooking oats, dial down the sugar and up the salt. Finally, I add the cocoa powder to the hot liquid -- more chocolate flavor this way. —halfasiangirl

What You'll Need
  • 1 1/2 cups old fashioned oats
  • 1/4 cup natural peanut butter (100% peanuts preferred, creamy or crunchy are both fine)
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup milk (1% or 2% both work)
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter
  • 1/8 teaspoon sea salt (may omit if your peanut butter is salted)
  • 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • cold milk, for drinking
  1. Add the oats and the peanut butter to a large mixing bowl. Set aside.
  2. Set out an area for the cookies to cool: a sheet or two of waxed paper or a silicone baking mat big enough to hold 15 2-inch cookies.
  3. In a small saucepan, combine the sugar, milk, butter, cocoa powder and salt over medium heat. Stir to combine with a wooden spoon or silicone spatula. Place a candy thermometer in the saucepan and, stirring frequently, bring the mixture to 235 degrees Fahrenheit. The mixture will boil vigorously and become foamy and glossy. Watch the thermometer closely and, once the mixture reaches 235-240 degrees, take it off the stove immediately. On my stove, this process usually takes between 4 and 6 minutes but will vary depending on your stove. (I know it feels like it is taking forever but it's better not to step away from the stove during this step. Wait it out.)
  4. Pour the cocoa mixture into the mixing bowl containing the oats and peanut butter. Stir well to thoroughly combine the ingredients, working fairly quickly, so the mixture does not begin to set in the bowl.
  5. Drop cookies by the tablespoonful onto the wax paper or silicone baking mat you set out earlier. Let cool until firm, approximately 5-10 minutes. The outer surface of the cookies will go from glossy/shiny to matte looking. I love eating them when they are still a little shiny but they will hold together better if they are matte. Store covered. These cookies keep for a day or two but are best eaten immediately.
Contest Entries

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Lizzie Deroy
    Lizzie Deroy
  • suziqcu
  • Lynn Greeson Langston
    Lynn Greeson Langston
  • Shannon Friedmann Hatch
    Shannon Friedmann Hatch
  • Sagegreen

14 Reviews

Dianne J. February 12, 2023
These cookies should be hard to mess up, but this recipe doesn’t work. It calls for cooking the chocolate mixture far too long, leaving the cookies dried out and crumbly, and without the sheen they should have. It would also be better with quick oats.
Duane December 12, 2018
I have made these cookies ever since I was a kid. Occasionally they wouldn't set up as solid as I preferred so when I saw this recipe which mentioned using a candy thermometer I thought that might insure a perfect cookie so I just finished using it. I followed the recipe and directions exactly and all I ended up with was a big crumbly mess that wouldn't even hold together enough to form a cookie. Something isn't right. I'm going back to my childhood way. It usually worked out well anyway. They never in 50 years turned out like this.
Lizzie D. June 19, 2016
Thank you so much for posting this recipe. I've made these cookies several times already. They always turn out well, even though I veganize them by replacing the butter, milk, and sugar with, respectively, coconut oil, coconut milk, and coconut sugar. I let mine set in the fridge.
suziqcu June 15, 2015
Wondering if I can use coconut oil instead of butter and if they'll still be delicious? I used to make these as a kid and would like to try this way, but not sure.
Amanda D. August 22, 2014
I doubled the ingredients and put less oats and they came out perfect remember these work out best if u have a candy thermometer
Lynn G. November 11, 2013
I have made these twice. They are so good. To avoid them being crumbly. When it starts to boil, let it boil for three minutes stirring constantly. Remove and place on paper. It will take them longer to dry out. But they have better texture.
Dona C. September 8, 2013
I also ended up with a crumbly mess!
Kashy March 25, 2013
I just whipped these up. Have not tried them, but judging by the licking of the spoon after spooning out the last cookie, I know they will be fabulous!
Slowvehicle June 17, 2012
Shannon: sounds as if the chocolate mixture got too hot...or, perhaps, got some water splashed in it (wet bowl? wet spoon?). These usually go together fairly easily...
Shannon F. June 17, 2012
Has anyone else made these? I followed the recipe exactly and my chocolate siezed up. Crumbly mess. Maybe the cocoa shouldn't be added to the hot sugar mixture, but instead to the oats and peanut butter.
Sagegreen October 1, 2010
We grew up eating these as well, but not with the peanut butter. What a great addition. Thanks for this recipe.
halfasiangirl October 1, 2010
Thanks TiggyBee, let me know how you like them!

Chinapans, judging from the number of recipes on the internet, these cookies are super popular!
chinapans September 30, 2010
I grew up eating these! My mom made them all the time. Definitely a favorite.
TiggyBee September 30, 2010
I love the sound of these...I'll be taking them for a spin soon!!