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
(85 grams) unsalted butter, at room temperature
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.
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.
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.
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.
Ella Quittner is a contributing writer and the Absolute Best Tests columnist at Food52. She covers food, travel, wellness, lifestyle, home, novelty snacks, and internet-famous sandwiches. You can follow her on Instagram @equittner, or Twitter at @ellaquittner. She also develops recipes for Food52, and has a soft spot for all pasta, anything spicy, and salty chocolate things.