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No-Bake Peanut Butter Oatmeal Cookies

No-Bake Peanut Butter Oatmeal Cookies are old-fashioned favorites made with a short list of ingredients. These gooey, chewy cookies are a long-time favorite!

No-Bake Peanut Butter Oatmeal Cookies on a white pedestal

No-Bake Peanut Butter Cookies

These classic No-Bake Peanut Butter Oatmeal Cookies commonly make appearances on lists of all-time favorite cookies. We’ve all likely made some variation of this recipe that I’m sure many of you are being hit with a wave of nostalgia right now. They are so simple and just so good that they’ve been around in some form for many years.

You may have also enjoyed these with the addition of chocolate to the batter. While I love that version, too, my inner peanut butter lover is always beyond thrilled to enjoy a couple of these little guys.

overhead view of no bake peanut butter oatmeal cookies on a white pedestal

In many ways, these sweet, gooey cookies are more candy than cookie. These cookies aren’t baked, but are rather made on the stovetop. If you can melt things and stir, you’ve got this. Seriously, these are amazingly easy to make!

What You’ll Need

There are only 7 ingredients for this recipe and you probably already have everything! Here’s what you’ll need. Be sure to scroll down to the recipe card for specific amounts.

  • Brown sugar – You can use light or dark brown.
  • Unsalted butter
  • Milk – Any kind of milk will work.
  • Creamy peanut butter – I prefer regular peanut butter (like Jif, Skippy, etc.) vs natural peanut butters.
  • Vanilla extract
  • Salt – I use enough to make these cookies fall into the “salty and sweet” category, so you may want to reduce the amount of salt if you want more sweetness and less saltiness.
  • Old-fashioned rolled oats – Not instant oats.

How to Make No Bake Peanut Butter Cookies

No bake cookies are about as easy as it gets when it comes to dessert. Here’s how to make them:

  • Prep your tools. Line baking sheets with parchment paper. Set aside.
  • Place the brown sugar, milk, and butter in a large saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the butter has melted. Increase the heat to medium-high, and bring to a boil. Boil for 1 minute.
  • Add peanut butter, vanilla, and salt. Remove the pan from the heat, and stir in the peanut butter, vanilla, and salt. Stir until smooth.
  • Stir in the oats.
  • Shape the cookies. Drop by tablespoonfuls onto the prepared pans, leaving about an inch between cookies.
  • Refrigerate 1 hour, or until set.

Tips for Success

  • Measure all ingredients before starting. You’ll need to move fairly quickly making these cookies, so it’s a great help to have everything measured and ready to go. That includes having the lined pans ready, too.
  • Use a large saucepan. You’ll need plenty of room for the bubbly mixture and for stirring the ingredients. I use a 3.5 quart heavy saucepan like the one linked below the recipe.
  • Use a cookie scoop to portion the batter. It will speed up the process and also make the size of the cookies consistent.
  • Don’t skip the chilling time. These gooey cookies need that stint in the refrigerator to set. You may want to store them in the refrigerator as well, especially during the warmer months.
  • Use natural peanut butters with caution. There’s quite a bit of variation among natural peanut butters, so it’s tough to say how well they would work in these cookies. Use regular peanut butter for the best and most consistent results.
  • Add more oats if you like. If you want these to be a bit more chewy and a little less gooey, then add up to another cup of oats.
  • Want to add some chocolate? Try melting some dark chocolate and drizzling on top of the cookies.

How to Store

As you might expect, these no bake cookies are a little sticky. Be sure to let them set well before serving, but you still may want to store them in the refrigerator to help them stay sturdy. They will keep in the fridge for up to 1 week in an airtight container.

No-Bake Peanut Butter Oatmeal Cookies on a white plate and pedestal

I have to admit that these No-Bake Peanut Butter Oatmeal Cookies are one of my weaknesses. I just love everything about them, from their ease of preparation to their sweet and salty goodness. They’re such a quick and fun kitchen project, too. These cookies definitely deserve a spot on my favorite cookies list!

No-Bake Peanut Butter Oatmeal Cookies

Yield about 4 dozen cookies
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Additional Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 15 minutes

These old-fashioned cookies are wonderfully quick and easy to make and amazingly delicious, too!

No-Bake Peanut Butter Oatmeal Cookies on a white pedestal

Ingredients

  • 1 & 1/2 cups (300g) firmly packed light or dark brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup (113g) unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup (118ml) milk
  • 1 cup (255g) creamy peanut butter
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon salt*
  • 3 cups (297g) old-fashioned rolled oats

Instructions

  1. Line baking sheets with parchment paper. Set aside.
  2. Place the brown sugar, milk, and butter in a large saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the butter has melted.
  3. Increase the heat to medium-high, and bring to a boil. Boil for 1 minute.
  4. Remove the pan from the heat, and stir in the peanut butter, vanilla, and salt. Stir until smooth.
  5. Stir in the oats.
  6. Drop by tablespoonfuls onto the prepared pans, leaving about an inch between cookies.
  7. Refrigerate 1 hour, or until set.

Notes

*These cookies definitely fall into the sweet and salty category. If you prefer a less salty flavor, reduce the salt to suit your tastes.

Recipe adapted from several sources, including Southern Living and Wilton.

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    17 Comments on “No-Bake Peanut Butter Oatmeal Cookies”

  1. Can you substitute Nondairy butter and milk to make these?

    • Hi, Josie. I’ve not tried that, so I can’t say for sure how well it would work. These cookies are sensitive to temperature and boiling time, so my guess is that if it can work, you’d need to do some experimenting with the cooking and/or the other ingredients.

  2. Sounds great. I’m interested in how many carbs and sugar. I’m a diabetic! Thanks

  3. Thank you for uour amazing recipes. As im a diabetic i would like to know if there any diabetic friendly recipes that people with my condiyion can enjoy. Thank you once again!

  4. Can you substitute corn flakes in this recipe? I grew up with this no bake delight with cornflakes instead of oatmeal. Thanks!

  5. Thank you SO much for this recipe. Im type 2 diabetic on 2 insulins and these ingredients are everything i put in my favorite post workout breakfast (minus the salt). I substituted a diabetic sweeter for the brown sugar. Delicious!

  6. Can I use crunchy peanut butter?

  7. Going to make these later, not with mostly crunchy pb as. That’s what I got. I read other recipes online that use crunchy and my grandma used to as well so I’m comfortable with outcome. I like your recipe because it uses brown sugar and less sugar other recipes. I’m wondering if I could get away wit h adding some of my chocolate protein powder or even coco powder, hmm I may have to research the recipes that utilize that ingredient and make sure I don’t need to offset it with more milk or something. Will update when I’ve completed my trial.

  8. Iv made them for a client and yes for diabetic receipts you can use Stevia which is a better sugar substitute when baking than most others. They even have a brown sugar substitute that works great so I always use 1/2 of each to make the amount called for in a
    receipe . ALICIA

  9. If brought to a full rolling boil for one minute and fifteen seconds, the cookies will be firm and not so sticky and “gooey”. The second time I made them I used one minute oats, and they were easier to chew. I love them.

  10. How would you know that the no bake Peanut butter cookies last for a week in the refrigerator?

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