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No Bake Chocolate Oatmeal Cookies Recipe

Posted Jul 09 2009 11:58pm
No Bake Chocolate Oatmeal Cookies

No Bake Chocolate Oatmeal Cookies

N o bake cookies, such as these no bake chocolate oatmeal cookies, are on my list of favorite things for lots of reasons.

First, no bake cookies are delicious. (I try to avoid going to the trouble of making something that doesn’t taste delicious. It’s part of my lazy nature.)

Second, they’re quick, easy, and have a short ingredient list of things I normally stock in the pantry.

And third, no bake cookies don’t require use of the oven, which can be especially important during the summer months when the thought of turning on the oven and heating up the kitchen is more than I can stand.

There are lots of other great things about no bake cookies, but that’s probably enough for now. (Once I get started down a path, it can be hard to reel me back.)

This no bake chocolate oatmeal cookies recipe is an oldie but a goodie, probably dating back to the Great Depression, when no bake cookies first became really popular here in the US. There are lots of different variations of this sweet boiled candy/cookie treat. In fact, many old recipe books refer to them as boiled cookies. During my recent research into the world of no bake oatmeal cookies, I discovered peanut butter, cocoa, butterscotch, and chocolate variations.

The instructions for how long to boil no bake oatmeal cookies was varied too - with times ranging from 1 minute in many cookbooks to 4 to 5 minutes, in one of my favorite cookie baking resources, The King Arthur Flour Cookie Companion: The Essential Cookie Cookbook.

I chose a tried and true recipe from another favorite cookbook, The Yankee Church Supper Cookbook, because it called for a bit less sugar than many of the others, and made just a couple of adjustments in the name of ingredient availability. They turned out delicious, just like I remember Mom’s tasting!

I was immediately transported back to the last time I enjoyed one of these simple chocolate oatmeal no bake cookies, at a little casual restaurant in rural coastal Maine, where my Mom was working. It’s incredible how just reading a recipe can transport you back to a happy memory of another time and place, not to mention the delight of seeing, smelling, and tasting a special cookie from your past.

No Bake Chocolate Oatmeal Cookie Ingredients

No Bake Chocolate Oatmeal Cookie Ingredients

No Bake Chocolate Oatmeal Cookies Recipe

1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (I used Dutch Processed)
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
1 teaspoon vanilla
3 cups rolled oats, quick cooking or old-fashioned (not instant)

In a medium heavy bottomed saucepan over medium heat, combine cocoa, sugar, butter and milk.  Bring to a rolling boil (surface covered with bubbles) and continue to cook for 2 minutes while stirring constantly.  Remove from the heat and stir in peanut butter and vanilla until creamy and well blended. Then stir in the and oats until well combined.

Drop by spoonfuls onto a cookie sheet lined with waxed paper or a silicone mat. For small cookies, drop by teaspoonfuls. For larger cookies, drop by tablespoonfuls and then flatten them slightly with your damp fingers or the back of a wet spoon.  Let cool until set.

Makes about 40 small or 24 larger cookies.


  • Use crunchy peanut butter instead of smooth for added crunch.
  • Add a dash of cinnamon to the sugar/butter mixture.
  • Add 1/2 cup shredded coconut with the oats.
  • Add 1/2 cup chopped nuts with the oats.
  • Add 1/2 cup dried cranberries or raisins with the oats.
  • Press mixture into greased-foil lined 8-inch square pan for no bake chocolate oatmeal cookie bars.

Notes: I used old fashioned oats, since that was what was in the pantry. Many recipes specify either quick-cooking or old-fashioned. Since quick cooking oats are cut into smaller pieces they will create a less chewy cookie. I also used Dutch-processed cocoa, again since that was what was in the pantry. This helped give the cookies a darker color and richer flavor.  Be sure that your mixture is really boiling before you begin to count your boiling time.  This is probably the trickiest part of boiled cookies.  If you don’t boil them long enough, they may not set up and too long can cause them to be hard and grainy.

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