Classic no bake cookies are ready in less than 20 minutes. Just 7 simple ingredients and no oven needed!
Plus, most of the ingredients are probably already in your pantry. These no bake cookies are quick, easy, and deliciously addictive.
Easy No Bake Cookies
These no bake cookies are one of the very first cookies I made growing up. And they’re still one of my all-time favorites.
The peanut butter and cocoa powder make for a deliciously fudgy combo. And let’s face it… who can resist peanut butter and chocolate!?
It’s an old-fashioned favorite that never gets old around our house.
These no bake cookies are perfect for those nighttime munchies. An after-school snack. Or pretty much anytime you’re craving something simple and sweet.
Honestly, it’s hard to go wrong when you mix peanut butter, cocoa powder, milk, sugar, and quick oats.
No-Bake Cookie Ingredients
No fancy ingredients needed for these no bake cookies! I always have these pantry staples on hand.
- Quick Oats. The oats give this classic cookie that chewy texture that makes the recipe oh so good. I recommend quick oats, but you can also use old-fashioned. Just keep in mind it will create a chewier, thicker texture.
- Crunchy Peanut Butter. You can use crunchy or creamy. But I think the crunchy creates a perfect texture. A little crunch in every bite. But again, let your taste buds (and personal preference) lead the way!
- Unsweetened Cocoa Powder. This gives no bake cookies that delicious chocolate flavor.
- Sugar. This recipe uses white sugar. But you can also change it up by using half white sugar and half brown sugar. In fact, for a completely new twist, I also really like just using all brown sugar. Takes this cookie to a whole new level.
- Milk. I use and recommend whole milk for these classic no bake cookies. But you can also use 2% milk, skim milk, or even almond milk. Again, mix and match to suit your tastes or dietary needs.
- Butter. I recommend that you use salted butter. But if you only have unsalted in the refrigerator, simply add 1/4 teaspoon of salt in with the butter.
- Vanilla Extract. This seems to be a requirement in nearly every dessert. The same is true for this one. You can never go wrong with a teaspoon of vanilla extract.
How to Make No Bake Cookies
Before you get started, I recommend that you gather all your ingredients and measure them out. This makes the entire recipe super smooth and simple.
Just a few minutes of prep work can make all the difference in the kitchen.
In a medium saucepan, bring the cocoa, sugar, milk and butter to a boil over medium heat. It’s important to bring these to a boil verrrrry slowly. Once they reach the boiling point, boil for 60 seconds.
2. Add the oats, PB, and vanilla.
Pull the saucepan off the heat after boiling. Add in the oats, peanut butter and vanilla. Mix well.
Allow the mixture to cool for 1 minute and then drop by teaspoonfuls onto wax paper.
No Bake Cookie Tips & Tricks
- Patience is key. Don’t spoon the mixture onto the wax paper while hot! Allow it to cool so the cookies will be easier to form.
- Speed up cooling with a quick chill. Refrigerate the mixture for 10 minutes to speed up the cooling process.
- No margarine allowed – real butter only. Margarine will leave your cookies tasting strange.
- Rainy days ruin cookie dreams. This tip may seem strange, but it’s 100% legit. Don’t make these cookies when it’s raining! The pressure in the atmosphere prevents the cookies from setting properly.
- Cut the sugar for a healthier treat. You can reduce it by up to half if you don’t want it to be too sweet.
- Get crazy with almond extract. Try it instead of vanilla for an even more interesting flavor.
- Go nuts with chopped nuts! They’ll give the cookies more dimension and crunch.
- Quick oats = tender; rolled oats = chewy. You can use either depending on how you like your cookies.
- Stir like your cookies depend on it. Stir the mixture constantly as you cook.
- Boil mixture fully. Make sure the mixture reaches a full rolling boil before removing it from the stove. This ensures that the no bake cookies set properly.
- Overcooking = desert-like disappointment. Do not overcook the mixture – doing so will cause dry cookies.
- Coconut shreds = tropical vibes. Coconut has a unique flavor that goes well with oatmeal, peanut butter, and chocolate!
- Use creamy peanut butter. Doing so will give you … well… creamier cookies!
- Looking for a healthier version? Use coconut oil instead of butter and agave instead of sugar. Your cookies will taste like an Almond Joy.
- A pinch of salt = flavor explosion. Sprinkle some over the cookies for the perfect finish.
- Experiment with ingredients. For instance, if you don’t have butter, try using cream cheese instead. These will give your cookies a nice, creamy flavor.
- Add some raisins. These will give your cookies extra chewiness.
How Long Do No Bake Cookies Last?
No Bake cookies will last for about a week when stored at room temperature. No need to refrigerate. But I do recommend putting them in an airtight container.
If you prefer to refrigerate them, you certainly can! In fact, I love my cookies right out of the freezer. Which leads us to our next question.
Can You Freeze No Bake Cookies?
Absolutely. In fact, these cookies will last up to 3 months in the freezer.
I put mine in a couple small Ziploc bags and pull them out whenever I want a little treat.
Can You Use Old-Fashioned Oats Instead of Instant Oats?
Yes. You can use either. I prefer the quick oats because they have a great texture. But it all comes down to personal preference.
The old-fashioned oats are a bit chewier and thicker. But if you only have old-fashioned on hand – you’ll be fine!
Why Are My Cookies Dry and Crumbly?
If your cookies turned out dry and/or crumbly it’s most likely because they boiled for too long or the heat was too high while cooking.
It’s very important to bring these to a boil slowly. I know it can be tempting, but keep these at medium heat.
I’ve been guilty of turning the temp up on recipes to get things boiling faster, but that can quickly ruin these cookies.
Patience is important during the boiling process. I promise it’s worth the wait.
Why Did My No Bake Cookies Not Set Up?
If your cookies did not firm up, most likely they did not boil long enough.
The humidity can also affect how the cookies turn out. For example, if you make these on a humid day, you might need to boil them a little longer.
But here’s a quick trick.
If your cookies did not set properly (or they seem a little too wet after you’ve let them cool for 20 – 30 minutes) place them in the refrigerator. This should help them firm up.
If that doesn’t work, here are a few more tips to make sure your no bake cookies harden.
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