How to Cook No-Bake Peanut Butter Oatmeal Cookies

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Start to Finish: 40 minutes Servings: 2 dozen small or 1 dozen large cookies Difficulty Level: Beginner

You know the feeling: Peanut butter oatmeal cookies would hit the spot, but it's far too hot to use the oven. You'd love a plate of homemade treats and a big glass of milk, but you don't have the time to bake. With a saucepan, a cookie sheet and a refrigerator you can satisfy your sweet cravings in a matter of minutes. No-bake cookies are the lazy cook's dream come true.


  • 1 stick salted butter
  • 1/2 cup whole milk, warmed
  • 1 cup sugar (baker's sugar, if you can get it)
  • 1 cup creamy or chunky peanut butter
  • 1 teaspoon real vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 3 cups quick-cooking oats

Boil Your Cookies

In a non-stick saucepan, melt the stick of butter and add warm milk.

Gradually add the sugar and bring the mixture to a boil, stirring constantly. Continue to stir and boil for 2 minutes.

Reduce heat and stir in the peanut butter until well blended.

Remove the pan from heat and add vanilla, lemon zest, cinnamon and oatmeal. Stir vigorously.

To the Fridge

Beforehand, line a baking sheet with parchment paper or wax paper.

Drop the cookies on the sheet by spoonfuls. Make them as big or as small as you want. Because they are not going to be baked, you don't have to worry about them spreading into one another.

Place the sheet in the refrigerator and chill for 30 minutes.

Store the cookies -- if you don't eat them all right away -- in an airtight container with layers separated by plastic wrap or wax paper.

Substitutes and Tips

  • Add toasted almonds to the mixture or press a walnut into the top of each cookie before refrigerating.

  • Add a handful of unsweetened chocolate chips or cocoa powder along with the peanut butter and let them melt right in.

  • After the cookies have hardened, chop them into pieces and sprinkle over ice cream.

  • Instead of forming cookies, spread the mixture in a thin sheet to make a sort of oatmeal peanut brittle. Work quickly before the mixture begins to harden.