Awesome No-Bake Chocolate Oatmeal Cookies

This is a recipe handed down to me by my mom. It’s been in my family since I was a kid (back when dirt was new). I’ve tweaked it slightly to my own satisfaction, but will also provide the original specs. I’ve yet to come across a store-bought cookie that equals them.  

  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1/3 cup cocoa
  • 3 cups oatmeal (1 minute ONLY)
  • 1/2 cup peanut butter (creamy)
  • 1/2 cup milk (or 1/2 & 1/2)
  • 1 stick butter (1/4 lb)
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract  

Place 2 cups sugar in a bowl, add 1/3 cup (loose, NOT packed) of unsweetened cocoa. Mix until thoroughly blended. Set aside. In a separate bowl, measure out three ( I prefer 2 1/2) cups of (VERY important) 1 minute (quick oats) oatmeal, and set aside.

If you have 2 measuring cups (you probably do, but I only have one, so I have to wash it out after adding the 1/2 & 1/2 to the butter), set aside 1/2 cup peanut butter (creamy only).

Melt one stick of butter, slowly, (NEVER use margarine, or you WILL be sorry you did) in a pan (I think it’s a five quart pan that I use, but I’m not positive). You don’t want the butter bubbling too much, I don’t know why, but it does something weird to the mixture.

Once it’s completely melted, add 1/2 cup milk (I use only half & half, because it makes them richer tasting, but since it’s thicker than milk, I go between 1/8 and 1/4 of an inch over 1/2 cup).

Heat to just before the boiling point, (just barely starting to bubble), then add the sugar/cocoa mix. Turn the heat up as high as it will go, (I hope you have a gas stove, electric can be a real problem here), mix until completely blended, and bring the mixture to a FULL roiling boil.

Here is where it can be tricky. If it’s not brought to a full roiling boil before you start to time it, the sugar won’t melt completely, and the cookies will have a gritty texture. Not good. On the flip side, if you boil the mixture too long, the mixture will tend to stiffen up when you go to drop them on the sheet of wax paper, and the cookies will come out on the dry side, and crumble more easily. But if you mess it up, it’s definitely better to overcook than to undercook.

Once you reach the full roiling boil point, start timer, time for one minute, then turn off the heat (you actually have about a 10 – 15 second window of leeway, as long as it’s more, and not less than 1 minute)

Add one teaspoon vanilla extract (real, not imitation – another no-no) blend in quickly, then add the peanut butter.

Here is the other point at which it can be tricky. You need to blend the peanut butter as quickly as possible, because it will cool the mixture down some, and you need it to stay as hot as possible, so when you add the oatmeal, it will absorb the mixture as much as possible. Then add the oatmeal, stir in, and drop on wax paper with a spoon.

Allow to cool for 1 1/2 – 2 hours, until completely hardened, then flip over on the wax paper for 5 – 10 minutes to let any slight moisture there may be underneath to dry

Note # 1 – try not to stir excessively at any point, as too much stirring tends to cause the mixture to stiffen up more. In fact, once it’s boiling, I only stir it a couple of times before turning off the heat, just enough to keep it from scorching on the sides of the pan. Once it’s ready to go on the wax paper, you should be able to tilt the pan to one side, and the mixture should easily flow to the top of the pan.

Note # 2  I would highly recommend using only Reynold’s wax paper, I used a cheaper store brand once, because they were out of Reynolds, and I regretted it. The cookies were much more difficult to remove from it, and I ended up throwing the rest of the roll of wax paper in the trash.

Note # 3  Perfectionism has always been a curse of mine, so these directions are as precise as I can make them for the PERFECT cookies. Having never tasted mine, you have nothing to compare yours to, so if you mess them up only nominally, you’ll never know the difference. Enjoy!

# 1 NWO Hatr

p.s. I’ll bet you all thought I didn’t know how to make anything besides trouble (for the NWO that is, in my own limited way)  :-)

8 thoughts on “Awesome No-Bake Chocolate Oatmeal Cookies

          1. Ryan & I just finished watching my all-time favorite last night (one story – 3 books/movies). The Lord of the Rings. One of the reasons I went to New Zealand was to visit some of the locations where it was filmed. 🙂

  1. My mom made these cookies when I was growing up. I was quite surprised to see them yesterday on the shelf at the local grocers. I’m sure there is no comparison to home made.

    1. I saw them too, Swifty, at Wally World (wasn’t shopping there, just killing time till the trolley came).

      They looked like mine (saw another brand about a year ago here, bought some… not even close to mine), only smaller. Didn’t buy any of those.

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