Weeknight Cooking

No-Bake Cookies

July 29, 2019
5 Ratings
Photo by James Ransom
  • Prep time 5 minutes
  • Cook time 6 minutes
  • Makes 12
Author Notes

Chocolate and peanut butter were made to be BFFs. Just ask Reese's Peanut Butter Cups, or buckeyes. In these classic no-bake cookies, chocolate and PB join forces and invite oats, butter, cocoa powder, milk, and some other pals to the party for a nostalgic treat. Like their name suggests, they come together in a matter of minutes, right on the stovetop—no need to turn on the oven, here. A few non-negotiables? Make sure to use sweetened, creamy peanut butter (like Skippy’s!) and quick-cooking oats, so they set up just-right. Use chocolate chips or a chocolate bar with a flavor and depth that you love on its own—it'll feature prominently. (We love something in the 50-65% cacao range.) The end result's perfectly balanced, deeply chocolate-y, and has a tiny flaky salt sprinkle that doubles as the perfect foil to the cookies' sweetness, and a very fun hat. Sharing is, of course, totally optional.

(Psst: Ready for a history lesson while your no-bake cookies cool? These chocolate-peanut butter champs are thought to have originated (in spirit, anyway) around the Great Depression, with the recipe category growing during the 1950s. They also go by the names "preachers cookies," "cow pies," and "peanut-butter delights." What do you call them?) —Ella Quittner

What You'll Need
  • 6 tablespoons (85 grams) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1/4 cup (57 grams) whole milk
  • 1/2 cup (100 grams) granulated sugar
  • 3 tablespoons (16 grams) Dutch-process cocoa powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup (132 grams) sweetened, creamy peanut butter, like Skippy’s
  • 4 ounces (113 grams, about 3/4 cup) semi-sweet or dark chocolate chips, or chopped-up bar (50-65% cacao)
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2 cups (176 grams) quick-cooking oats
  • Flaky sea salt, like Maldon
  1. Line a plate or baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone mat, and place a timer set for one minute or a clock with second hands nearby.
  2. In a medium saucepan over medium-low heat, melt the butter. Add the milk, sugar, cocoa powder, and salt, and whisk together. Continue whisking until the sugar dissolves and the contents of the pan come to a rolling simmer throughout (not just at the sides). At this point, use your timer or clock to let the mixture bubble, uninterrupted, for exactly one minute.
  3. When the timer rings, immediately cut the heat and add the peanut butter, chocolate chips, vanilla, and oats. Stir with a wooden spoon until the chocolate and peanut butter melt and everything’s fully combined.
  4. Use a 2-tablespoon scoop (or two spoons) to make little mounded cookies on the wax paper. If you like these flatter, use the back of your scoop to gently press them down at this stage. Sprinkle the middle of each with a small pinch of flaky salt, and let sit out on the countertop for about an hour or stick in the fridge until they’ve firmed up.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Carrie Szako Hodges
    Carrie Szako Hodges
  • Ella Quittner
    Ella Quittner
  • Emily
  • judy

4 Reviews

Carrie S. July 23, 2020
note to other readers...this is NOT the Food 52 Genius recipe. this one is good, but not as sweet as old school southern boiled cookies.
Emily August 23, 2019
My grandma called these "galaxy globs"! Excited to try this slightly fancier recipe (there was no flaky sea salt in the no-bake cookies of my youth :).
judy August 12, 2019
Well, this is about my basic recipe for no-bake cookies. EXCEPT sweetened peanut butter. The added sugar in the recipe is sufficient sweetness. There may be merit in the consistency of the sweetened peanut butter for the overall consistency of the cookie, but not enough for me to use it. I make endless varieties from chocolate orange to Black Forest with dried cherries to chocolate coconut with almonds. Easy to make so many variations--don't forget oatmeal raisin. Thanks for publishing this good basic recipe.
Ella Q. August 20, 2019
Hi Judy,

Dried cherries sound like an excellent addition! We'll have to try that.