the no-bake chocolate peanut butter oatmeal “cookie”

To me, no-bake cookies come right out of old cookbooks with worn canvas covers. I’ve seen plenty of no-bake recipes while browsing through my vintage cookbook collection, but never thought to try them myself. Then I spied these no-bake chocolate peanut butter oatmeal cookies on Ezra Poundcake and something told me….Go! Now! No-bake these immediately! Well, that was last fall and I only made them a few days ago. Obviously, I’m tardy when it comes to following my gut. But no more. These are seriously the easiest cookies anyone could ever make, so what are you waiting for?

I’m actually hesitant to call this a cookie. They remind me of a chocolate haystack candy that my mom made when I was little. They were amazing and this no-bake recipe is the closest thing I’ve had since I was nine. It’s like a sweet bite of memory overload. I followed the original recipe and used tablespoons to drop the mixture onto waxed paper, but in hindsight I’d use just a teaspoon. Smaller lumps would make for better bites. Plus, these babies are sweeeeeeeeeet! Next time I’d cut the sugar and increase the peanut butter, but I’m not sure if that would screw up the recipe. Thoughts? Oh and another bonus? Easy to make vegan by switching in soy milk and soy margarine!

These cookies/candies make use of the stove top, so they are perfect for summer sweets when turning on the oven would be criminal. Plus they are delicious served cold, which makes them a refreshing bite of chocolatey goodness. I tried a keeping a batch in the freezer and a batch in the fridge for testing sake. The ones in the freezer were stickier and gooey and the ones in the fridge were almost sandy in comparison. I liked the sandier fridge chilled cookies best, but do whatchya like! Either way, they’ll go quickly.

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48 comments to “the no-bake chocolate peanut butter oatmeal “cookie””

  1. 1
    Kristin   May 17, 2009 at 2:58 pm

    Those sound just like the ones my Mom makes. When I was little I had a hard time waiting for them to set so I’d always pick at the bits that dropped between the cookies. Yum!

  2. 2
    Bijoux   May 17, 2009 at 3:13 pm

    No-bake cookies are perfect for those hot summer days when you just don’t want to turn on the oven. Peanut butter and chocolate is my all time favourite!

  3. 3
    SalGal   May 17, 2009 at 3:32 pm

    Yummers… totally gonna make that after my Sunday nap!!

  4. 4
    becka   May 17, 2009 at 4:31 pm

    Having tried these treats, I can verify that they are indeed delicious. So good cold!

  5. 5
    Martha   May 17, 2009 at 5:09 pm

    I haven’t had these in years but yours have brought back happy memories! In old cookbooks these are often referred to as boiled cookies.

  6. 6
    Katey   May 17, 2009 at 5:29 pm

    These are some of my favorite cookies! We call them Aunt Joan cookies because my great aunt Joan always made them, apparently. My grandma makes them and mails them to me every year at finals. My favorite part of making them is how long you have to stir – until you think your arm will fall off and then a few minutes more.

  7. 7
    Anonymous   May 17, 2009 at 7:16 pm

    why all the boiling? wouldn’t just melting the butter and going from there do just as well?

  8. 8
    Dawn   May 18, 2009 at 9:16 am

    those look dangerous to have around my friend…..way too dangerous

  9. 9
    eatme_delicious   May 18, 2009 at 9:45 am

    Mmmm these look stunning!

  10. 10
    thecatskillkiwi   May 18, 2009 at 10:55 am

    wow I’m not really a fan of NO BAKE cookies, but these look great!

  11. 11
    Tina   May 18, 2009 at 11:55 am

    I had forgotten about these cookies! I used to make them when I was a kid. I’m definitely going to give them another whirl.

  12. 12
    kickpleat   May 18, 2009 at 12:00 pm

    Kristen, these taste like home. Mmmm.

    Bijoux, these are dangerously good.

    SalGal, I hope you do! Let me know.

    Yay, glad you liked them becka!

    Martha, yes, they are boiled cookies…but somehow that just doesn’t seem as appetizing (which is why I always passed them by).

    Katey, I didn’t have to stir that long and they were still good!

    Anon, I’m not messing with the recipe on a first time try. I think the boiling helps with setting them…like a candy making stage. 1 minute of boiling isn’t that much.

    Thanks Stiliano!

    Dawn, these are indeed very, very dangerous. Scarily so.

    Eatme, they are!!

    thecatskillkiwi, these are great. Even my husband who wasn’t so sure on these, loved ‘em.

  13. 13
    kickpleat   May 18, 2009 at 12:04 pm

    Tina, I hope you love them! They’re great.

  14. 14
    Kelly   May 18, 2009 at 12:46 pm

    Delicious!! To me, they look like the ultimate summer treats! Another great chocolate recipe that I love for the summer is the chocolate ice cream sandwich that you can find at (under the recipes section).

  15. 15
    stephchows   May 18, 2009 at 1:14 pm

    I agree about making them smaller. My room mate makes these and i love them… but man they make my teeth hurt lol

  16. 16
    Sarena Shasteen   May 18, 2009 at 1:22 pm

    We used to make these when I was a kid. We called them cow patties. I loved them! They are great for summertime!

  17. 17
    laura   May 18, 2009 at 2:59 pm

    Oh, yummers! I can’t wait to make a batch of these.

  18. 18
    Beth   May 18, 2009 at 3:29 pm

    Yay! The one recipe I know by heart. My mom and sister and I used to make these together. We used 1 1/2 c. sugar, 1/4 c. peanut butter, and one t. of vanilla, otherwise it was the same. We usually can’t wait for them to cool and end up eating them in bowls. :)

  19. 19
    stiliano   May 18, 2009 at 8:57 am

    Nice blog, and sweet post!!

  20. 20
    Kali   May 18, 2009 at 2:19 pm

    I remember these from elementary school! Well, on certain days that is.

    I keep meaning to make these because I recalled liking them a lot when I was a kid but never did. Thanks, kickpleat, for providing a wonderful way to go ahead and do so!

  21. 21
    hag   May 19, 2009 at 3:16 pm

    Oh, wow….what a glorious flashback and trip down memory lane. We used to make things like these all the time! I remember sitting in the friends tree and eating them while reading archie comics. They were great for kids …no oven!

    Thanks for the memories

  22. 22
    Kate   May 19, 2009 at 6:26 pm

    Oh man, I’m so glad you know what haystacks are! Everyone I know looks at me like I’m crazy when I talk about my childhood memories of eating them. I was just back home and my aunt made me a huge batch. SO good.
    I just made this recipe in 10 minutes! I didn’t have enough cocoa for the full recipe, so sadly I made a half-batch. Or, luckily? :)

  23. 23
    The Leftoverist   May 19, 2009 at 8:55 pm

    This is so funny. I haven’t made no-bake cookies in FOREVER, but was just thinking about them today before reading this. My husband just became a firefighter, so I’m trying to think of more easy treats to send with him to the station. I can’t stay up baking EVERY night! Thanks for this, and for such a beautiful blog.

  24. 24
    Jo Lynn   May 19, 2009 at 7:54 pm

    This is one of my favorite childhood treats. My mom got the recipe from a lady that worked in the lunch room at my grade school (the 70′s). We call them fudgies. They are K-I-L-L-E-R!!

  25. 25
    Bellini Valli   May 20, 2009 at 4:29 am

    I thought of haystacks as well when I first say these. Perfect for the summer months coming up.

  26. 26
    Cookie baker Lynn   May 20, 2009 at 7:36 am

    I used to make these all the time with my best friend when I was young. We didn’t have oven privileges, but could use the stovetop, so these were perfect. I’d be interested to know if it would work with reduced sugar. I think adding extra peanut butter would make it a little too gloopy.

  27. 27
    nora   May 20, 2009 at 11:28 am

    hey pal this reminds me of my grand ma. you know ven i was a kid she used to make me cookies just like this. i just cant wait to try this out. i miss her soo much :( sad that shes gone. thanx a lot for sharing this amazing recipe. m sure gonna make tmrw for my evening tea :D

  28. 28
    Jenn@slim-shoppin   May 20, 2009 at 1:58 pm

    My kids would love those!

    Thanks for posting the recipe!

  29. 29
    deede   May 21, 2009 at 11:21 am

    I live in the Mid-South, Northeast Arkansas to be exact, and we call these Mississippi Mud Cookies. A favorite around here for DECADES!

  30. 30
    kickpleat   May 21, 2009 at 12:56 pm

    Kelly, it’s a great summer treat!

    Agreed Steph!

    Sarena, I love the name!

    Kali, glad I could be of service :)

    Laura, I’m sure you’ll love ‘em.

    I love that you know the recipe by heart, Beth!

    Hag, I need to sit in a tree again.

    Yup, count yourself lucky :) Yay haystacks!

    Killer indeed, Jo Lynn.

    Thanks Sarah for the kind words, I’m sure all the guys at the firehouse will love ‘em….and they’re so easy!

    Bellini, thanks!

    Lynn, that’s my fear as well. I guess there’s no harm in trying! If it doesn’t work out, it could still be a great ice cream topper!

    Thanks for sharing, Nora. Enjoy!

    Jenn, they definitely would.

    Deede, I believe it!

  31. 31
    Erica   May 22, 2009 at 5:14 pm

    I'm allergic to nuts (I have never had a Reese's peanut butter cup. This makes some people scrunch up their faces in pity). Happily, I recently discovered soynut butter and I've been going through the whole roster of foods I missed out on as a kid — ants on a log, PB&J;, peanut butter and banana sandwiches.

    The soynut butter worked perfectly in these cookies (nom nom nom nom nom!!), so now I'm daydreaming about all the other peanut buttery desserts I need to try. Deeeeelicious.

  32. 32
    lyndsay   May 22, 2009 at 10:53 pm

    OH DANG I LOVE THESE THINGS. dangerous to me. kryptonite, practically!

  33. 33
    Amanda   May 24, 2009 at 7:14 am

    Oh my gosh! My mom and I used to make these, with a bit of coconut thrown in for good measure. I remember eating them from my lunchbox at recess!

  34. 34
    Katie   May 25, 2009 at 12:22 am

    These sound wonderful. Not tried cookies like these before.

  35. 35
    Wheeler's Crew   May 26, 2009 at 2:51 pm

    Ezra Poundcake, what a cute name for a cookbook. Have you tried these with dairy substitutes? I’d like to make a vegan version.

  36. 36
    katrinka   May 26, 2009 at 10:03 pm

    I know I’m late in reading and commenting on your post, but was so excited to see you write about these! I love reading about everyone’s memories. These are a regular feature in our family’s Christmas cookie repertoire. For some reason, we only make them at Christmas time – probably a good thing considering how dangerous they are. My grandma started making them when my mom was a kid, and we still make them now. They are lovingly referred to as ‘dog dumps’ in our family – name courtesy of my grandpa!

  37. 37
    Ernmas   May 27, 2009 at 9:01 am

    This is a family recipe that I got from my Grandmother. I love these and my kids do too…only we call them “Boiled Cookies” since that is what you do with them!

  38. 38
    kickpleat   May 27, 2009 at 5:40 pm

    Erica, I’m glad you were able to find a worthy sub for pb!

    Lyndsay, it definitely is kryptonite!!

    Amanda, if I had coconut, I would have thrown it in. Next time for sure!

    Katie, give them a try. They’re amazing.

    Wheeler’s, I haven’t tried a vegan version but I would imagine the subs would be very simple: non-dairy milk, soy margerine, vegan sugar! I bet they’d be great.

    Haha, I love that your family called them “dog dumps”!!! Too funny.

    Ernmas, glad I could stir up old memories.

  39. 39
    Jamy   May 28, 2009 at 10:05 am

    Yo, hot snack but I too am highly skeptical about applying the label “cookie” to these treats, however potentially delectable they may be.

  40. 40
    stacie   May 29, 2009 at 3:35 pm

    These are so much better than the recipe I tried before. I changed it to 1.5 c sugar 1/4c sunflower butter (son is allergic to dairy and nuts) and we used rice milk and his butter. They are awesome, I am having trouble waiting for them to set!I cant wait to have him try them. Thanks for posting

  41. 41
    Jena   May 29, 2009 at 11:45 pm

    My sisters were always fans of these, but they were never a favorite of mine. I do, however, love making myself a dish of peanut butter chocolate oatmeal for a breakfast treat. And it’s healthier–no butter, way less sugar…

  42. 42
    kickpleat   June 3, 2009 at 1:22 pm

    Jamy, yes, let's settle for candy and be done with it.

    Stacie, hope you loved them!!

    Jena, not a fan of pb in oatmeal….granola, definitely!

  43. 43
    Bill   September 17, 2011 at 12:38 pm

    If you don’t boil it for a minute, they will end up as goo cookies. Same for boiling too long. They may be called cookies, but you’re really making candy

  44. 44
    Lynne   December 17, 2011 at 2:06 pm

    Just like the ones my sister-in-law used to make. She called them “boiled cookies”. Very, very good.

  45. 45
    sakaera   March 14, 2013 at 7:58 pm

    kickpleat… I found this recipe on another site, and everything except the sugar and the oats was the same. The sugar was only 1 3/4 cups, so reducing it a little isn’t a problem. The difference with the oats is it called for quick oats. I’ve made the recipe with the quick oats and they were quite yummy. I’ll be making it with the old fashioned ones tomorrow to see the difference, I’m betting there isn’t going to be much of one. Oh, and if you can keep away from them, they set up fine on the counter as well. I made them after work a couple weeks ago, to take to a meeting I had to go to 2 hours later and they set up perfectly to pack in a tupperware container, separated by parchment paper.

  46. 46
    claude   May 26, 2013 at 3:25 pm

    Ive tried making these cookies several times. They never set up and get hard. any suggestions would be apreciated..

  47. 47
    kickpleat   May 27, 2013 at 11:40 am

    Hi Claude, did you reduce the sugar? If so, I hear they won’t set up as well. You also need to boil for one full minute, though you can also boil for a smidge longer without any ill effects. Maybe you’re in a very humid area? I’d set them up in the fridge or freezer, not on the counter, but it depends on where you live. I’ve made these cookies a couple times since this post and I haven’t had any issues. Good luck!!

  48. 48
    Oryx   November 14, 2013 at 2:12 pm

    The point of boiling is so the sugar dissolves completely so it doesn’t leave the cookies grainy.

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