Introduction: No Bake Choco-Oatmeal Cookies

Picture of No Bake Choco-Oatmeal Cookies

These rich chocolate cookies are great straight out of the refrigerator. They have been around a long time and go by many names. They can be easily adapted for gluten free or dairy free diets and are naturally egg free.

You need:
1/2 cup butter or margarine
2 cups sugar
1/2 cup milk
4 tablespoons cocoa
1/2 cup peanut butter (creamy or chunky)
3 1/2 cups quick cooking oats (If preparing gluten-free, use a certified variety of gluten-free oats, like Bob's Red Mill)
2 teaspoons vanilla

WARNING: These are simple to make but they really do turn out better when making them on a dry day because the sugar mixture binding together the oats is more like a cooked fudge and candy is very humidity sensitive. If they turn out a bit soft, they are still good--just refrigerate or freeze them to make them more solid.

Step 1: Cookie Sheets

Picture of Cookie Sheets

Line two cookie sheets with waxed paper. Do this before assembling the cookies because you need to scoop them out kind of fast so don't wait until the last minute to line the trays.

Step 2: Assembly

Picture of Assembly

In a 4 qt. saucepan (medium saucepan), add the butter, sugar, milk, and cocoa powder. Cook over medium high heat stirring occassionally until the liquid is mixed. Bring the mixture to a full rolling boil and boil for 1 minute. Don't start timing until you've reached a full-out boil!

Remove from heat. Stir-in peanut butter, oats and vanilla. Drop by tablespoons onto wax paper.

Cool until set. I like to store them between layers of waxed paper in the refrigerator. Makes about 3 dozen.


kbrooks14 made it! (author)2016-03-16

Super Delicious !! Wasn't the recipe that I normally use but I am glad I tried it. Yummy !!!!

jhair1 (author)2015-01-25

my family always make them for years! one of the holiday's best desserts

JanetS5 (author)2015-01-17

My grandmother made these, and hers were really gooey and might even stick to your fingers if you didn't let it cool long enough. I've made them time and again (and again) trying to figure out her recipe. I suppose our Mississippi humidity may have played into it, but I will have to try the no-boil method next time and see how close it comes. I'll also have to try reducing the amount of oats (because it seemed to have a gloss as I stirred them in but then the gloss was gone and it was dry and crumbly).

If anyone knows any other tips for making them more gooey and less crumbly, I would love to read them.

peterman921 (author)2015-01-15

my mom called these beaver huts

donna.h.hatcher (author)2014-12-09

I have made these for years! My old recipe used more peanut butter and less butter, then I found the recipe that is the same as this one.
They call them Preacher Cookies in the Roanoke Va area. A quick treat to make when the preacher comes to dinner unexpectedly lol.
My aunt used to make then when I was a kid (I'm 68) and I don't know if they didn't have quick oats back then or what but my Mom hated them!! She called them "those darn raw oatmeal cookies your aunt makes" lol. I'm still making these for my grown kids who love them and for the grandkids too.

Delete_ (author)2013-12-23

I have an allergy to peanuts.:( So me and my mom made this but substituted peanut butter with Nutella and it worked out great

moskiii13 (author)2013-07-05

Omg I loooooove these! My grandma used to make them. <3 gooood memories

thmart253 (author)2012-01-27

"Doo Doo" Cookies are our favorite and I made them for my brother for every special occasion. I did find out how sensitive these cookies were. You have to use butter made for baking otherwise they will not set up (too much water in margarine) also the weather has a lot to do with the turnout. Another thing I have found is that if I do not use a wooden spoon they will not set up as good. Once the rolling boil starts...count 120 seconds and immediately pull from heat. Another great tip is to have your oats, peanut butter, butter sliced and ready and vanilla all in one bowl ready to dump!
I label mine at parties as "Doo Doo" cookies and watch as people turn their nose up at first and then ask for the it and them!

mojodonut (author)2011-06-13

Love it, love it, love it. I've made a few versions of this cookie - whole milk, evaporated, more or less oats - and what I've found to be the magic boiling window in all versions is 90 seconds. Start timing at the rolling boil, and boil one and a half minutes - no more, no less - for the perfect, gooey-yet-firm cookie consistency. All the versions I've made use peanut butter, and maybe it's my New York State climate / altitude / attitude, but that is what works for me. Yumyum!

1HappyHermit (author)2011-06-11

great memories with this recipe! =)

When I was going through school (all of the 80s decade), No Bake Cookies were a "special" dessert treat offered in the cafeteria about once a month. They were SO good - plans were always made to acquisition as many through "trades" or outright money purchases from fellow classmates! LOL

By the time we got into the high school years, my best friend's mom had the recipe and one of our favorite weekend starters was stirring up a big batch of No Bake Cookies, leaving in said pot, and watching professional wrestling while eating the cookies with spoons.

I didn't make the recipe myself until I had my own child some years later. He loves them and prefers them made the same way laminae posted earlier - gooey and poured into a bowl to be eaten with a spoon (maybe he inherited my high school habit somehow?) I make the cookies, pour into bowl and let sit - either at room temp or in fridge (if son is in hurry to eat it). A glossy top forms on the surface and cracks when spoon is inserted. After cooling they have the same consistency (typically) as the properly prepared recipe for the drop cookie style.

My recipe has changed over the years to accommodate my son's preferences as well as to experiment with different flavors and ingredients to stir in once cooked:

My Son's Favorite No Bake Cookie

1 stick salted butter
2 cups white sugar
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 cup evaporated milk

Stir ingredients together in a 3 qt sauce pot then bring mixture to full rolling boil over medium heat, stirring constantly to prevent scorching. When mixture reaches full rolling boil, keep stirring continually for 5 minutes.

Remove from heat and stir in:

1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
2 cups oats
1 tsp pure vanilla

I beat (by hand) the mixture until glossy, just as with fudges.

Pour into individual serving bowls and cool to desired temperature and consistency or drop by tablespoonfuls onto waxed paper and allow to fully cool at room temperature before storing in air tight container up to one week.

Though I've been making this recipe for many years, I still have batches turn out a little too dry or too soft. You are absolutely right about being aware of the humidity level in the kitchen when preparing, which is a good point for almost all confections-making in general. It may sound a bit hokey, but I also strongly believe the cook's emotional state/mood effects the outcome of the recipe. Preparing food is a labor of love and conveys your emotions to the receivers enjoy the yummy creations =)

linzi_sparxxx (author)2011-06-10

Mine came out so dry, I had to double the liquid section.

I am going to try them once they cool off. Hope it doesn't suck. First time ever making these, so I may have boiled too long. Not really sure. I did research on other recipes and they add way less oats and twice as much peanut butter. Oh well. Practice makes perfect.

hammer39 (author)2011-04-16

I started making these when I was 8 years old. I memorized the recipe 40 years ago. Some changes I have made are to drop to 1/3 cup milk and 1/2 cup less of oatmeal. This makes them harden faster so spoon them out fast. This makes them dull in color but will not stick to you fingers or each other and they taste great. My wife does not like chocolate so I make them with out the cocoa powderand and they become a great peanut butter cookie. Also, have you ingredients measured out. As a note 4 Tbs. = 1/4 cup. I learned it as 4 Tbs. and for a long time I fumbled and spilled cocoa all over the place. When I learned measurements and found that out it became a lot easier and cleaner dealling with the cocoa. Ifyou can't tell I love these cookies. When I make them there is no refrigerating, my family eats them up.

Ortzinator (author)2011-04-15

I've found that if they turn out too soft, you can usually let them sit out overnight and they will firm up. No need to refrigerate.

Also, we call them "busy day cookies". It's interesting to see how many different names there are.

karossii (author)2011-02-01

As others have commented, I've been enjoying these cookies for 30+ years! They are one of, if not my all time, favorite recipes! I recommend adding in either some peppermint bark or a touch of mint flavor during the holidays - it really adds a bit of zing that makes them even more memorable!

cepedigo (author)2010-08-04

Tried these today and they worked perfectly! Very good

-Noah (author)2010-07-27

Would oatmeal be good enough for the "Oats"

beanzorela (author)2010-07-21

Delicious! Although it was humid here. Thanks for the treat.

starshipminivan (author)2010-07-07

Oats don't contain gluten themselves but there is a really big chance of cross-contamination because of where they are grown and/or processed. That said, there are some Gluten Free oats on the market which are grown and processed in contamination-free areas, including Bob's Red Mill's Gluten Free Oats.

starshipminivan (author)2009-06-02

I just made these as no bake Butterscotch Oatmeal Cookies. I reduced the sugar to 1 1/2 cups sugar and did not use cocoa. I omitted the peanut butter and stirred in 1 cup butterscotch chips instead. They set-up great and the butterscotch flavor was really strong--almost too rich.

Guittard butterscotch chips are supposedly GF (of course, double-check the latest info on this for yourself), for the gluten-free among us who have adapted this recipe to meet their needs.

starshipminivan (author)2010-06-28

This is just silly. I eat gluten free! People who eats gluten free knows to use GF oats, butter-like substance, vanilla, cocoa, etc.. I keep my comments nice. If i have real problems with people's stuff, I give them the benefit of the doubt and send them private messages so they can correct themselves or address my questions directly.

emjayg (author)2010-01-21

Aren't the instructions a bit sketchy? when do the P'nut butter & vanilla go in? Do they get cooked? Do you mix them in after cooking? In the hot liquid, or cool it first?

starshipminivan (author)emjayg2010-01-21

"Remove from heat. Stir-in peanut butter, oats and vanilla. Drop by tablespoons onto wax paper."

You do it in those steps, as described 1, 2, 3 without waiting.  If it were supposed to cool or you were supposed to wait, the instructions would say so.

(Notice, the part that says "Cool until set" comes afterward.)

Pechenuka (author)2010-01-11

I like this cookies!

MattGyver92 (author)2010-01-08

GAH! These are my favorite cookies EVER! =P

Jimbobobo (author)2009-12-22

These are my favorite.. thanks for recipe, I couldn't find a cocoa box with it, lol. :)

gateon (author)2009-11-20

they're also known by the name of "Mulligans stew" one of my favorite snacks so far.

Yerboogieman (author)gateon2009-12-22

Sweet picture.

celticht32 (author)2009-12-15

we call them cow pie cookies... nummy!

grannyjones (author)2009-10-13

I first made these cookies about fifty years ago from a recipe in the Betty Crocker cookbook.  they were called Chocolate Drop Quickies.  This recipe has longevity.  Makes me all misty.

Ashtronaut (author)2009-08-02

Some tips to make things easier (from a long time bakery manager): Stir together the cocoa powder and sugar BEFORE you add the milk, and your cocoa powder won't float in little balls on top of the milk. If your cookies turn out too soft, you're probably not letting them come to a ROLLING boil before timing them. I don't time them until the boil covers all but an inch in the middle of the pot. If your cookies are too dry, you're probably boiling them slightly too long. You may be able to take the boil time down to 45 seconds as long as you started timing at a ROLLING boil. I always have the microwave oven's timer SET before I start the burner, so that I can simply push START as soon as the boil starts. Nice job on the recipe!

laminae (author)2009-06-19

My mom learned from her mother in law (my grandma) and made them for as long as I can remember. I've been making them for 16 years now. My tip. Don't bring to a boil. Just warm it up enough for the sugar to mostly disolve. They turn out gooey this way, and are way better in my opinion. We've always called em "doo doo cookies". I pour mixture into a dish, refridgerate, and spoon out whatever I want.

starshipminivan (author)laminae2009-06-19

I don't know what her proportions are like. My experience: undercooking this ratio of ingredients is not advisable--it is too soft to set-up. The weather on the day of preparation does impact these too, as they are more like candy than a cookie.

laminae (author)starshipminivan2009-06-20

This is the way I like them. You have to eat them with a spoon. You can't cut them into coookies. We just spoon out a portion onto a plate or whatever, and enjoy, especially with cold milk. I think I'll go see if I have the ingredients.

celticht32 (author)2009-06-01

I have made these for years and so has my mom... we call them cow poop cookies =D

cheesebum (author)celticht322009-06-11

why not cow pies lol

erochelle (author)2009-06-05

Can I use a dark chocolate instead? I want to try this tomorrow because I don't have anything to do. It is a rest day. :)


syrain (author)2009-06-03

I pour them into a cake pan and then cut them into squares.

dwightsangel (author)2009-06-03

I forgot all about these! I'm going to make some now. Hubby will be happy for sure. Thanks!

biggy smalls (author)2009-06-02

these are the best! my mom has made these for us since we were little(minus the peanut butter, never heard of that).

kmcclary1114 (author)2009-06-01

these are amazing! my mom has made these for years, but she adds coconut. they were my favs growing up

canida (author)2009-06-01

Mmmm, I'm a huge fan of this type of cookie! They're not the most beautiful, but extremely easy and tasty.

starshipminivan (author)canida2009-06-01

I agree on the beauty remark. One of my kids' friends calls them "Alligator Cookies" which seems to be perfect for them.

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