Classic Chocolate No Bake Cookies (Microwave Recipe!)

Rich, decadent, and delicious classic chocolate peanut butter no-bake cookies are the perfect summer dessert. Make on the stovetop, or use the microwave to keep your home cool!

Classic No-Bake Cookies | Homan at Home

This is another recipe I can’t make too often, because I will eat the entire thing in one sitting. For those who aren’t familiar, classic no-bake cookies are a fudgy, peanut-buttery wonderland of melt-in-your-mouth goodness. And the best part: they’re also a fantastic way to sate that sweet tooth without heating up your home. With temperatures reaching 100 last week, that’s a real plus for us! This is one of my favorite cookie recipes of all time!

The standard way to make these cookies is over the stove top in a saucepan. It’s sweaty work in the heat, which means that these cookies were out of reach in the summertime for me. However, after much experimentation, I’ve found a microwaving technique that gives you that same fudgy goodness without any of the sweaty stirring! This makes them one of the easiest cookie recipes I know how to make! I’m looking forward to applying this new technique to some other no-bake favorites, like these avalanche cookies, or these scotchies.

What do I need?

​These cookies come together with just a few simple ingredients: 

  • Cocoa: I love Hershey’s Dark Cocoa powder, which lends a decadent depth to these cookies. If you’re not a dark chocolate lover, any cocoa powder works here.
  • Butter or margarine: These can be used interchangeably, but be aware that there will be a difference in the consistency of your cookie. Butter has a little bit less water in it, and will give you a thicker cookie. I recommend unsalted butter in this recipe. If you choose salted butter, omit the pinch of salt! Margarine makes a more spread-out cookie. You can fight that tendency a bit by leaving the batter in the fridge longer before spooning it into cookies, and then put the cookies back into the fridge to set up.
  • Oats: The kind of oats you use will change the consistency of the cookies. Instant oats are finer, and have less chew to them in the final cookies. In fact, quick oats almost disappear into the rest of the ingredients. Old fashioned oats are going to be less chewy and more obviously there in your cookies.
  • Creamy peanut butter: This is the glue that holds the cookie together. You want something like good old Jif. I use the cheap Great Value creamy peanut butter. Do NOT use any natural peanut butter that separates and has to be stirred. It doesnt have enough “stick” to create a solid consistency, and you’ll end up with goopy cookies that never set up. Almond butter, cashew butter, and sun butter can work as substitutes here, but make sure you get a brand that is thick!
  • Granulated Sugar: White sugar adds structure to these cookies and keeps them from drying out. You can also sub up to 1/2 of the granulated sugar for brown sugar or cane sugar.  
  • Milk: You can use any kind of milk you’d like here. I’m a fan of whole milk, but you can sub 1%, 2%, and even plant-based milks like oat or almond milk!
  • Vanilla Extract: Pure vanilla extract tastes amazing in this easy cookie recipe. You can also use artificial vanilla extract. Almond and butter extract change the flavor of your cookies, but they also work and create a delicious variation! 
  • Salt: Salt acts as an intensifier in a recipe. It brings out all of the flavors. If you’re using salted butter, omit the salt — you’ve already got it in the butter!

How do I make no-bake chocolate oatmeal cookies?

Step 1 | Heat the ingredients

Normally, you’d do this on the stovetop, bringing the sugar, butter/margarine, milk, and cocoa to a boil and boiling it for 3 minutes. However, in the new, improved microwavable version, you can mix all 4 ingredients together in a large microwave-safe bowl. Then you microwave for 2 minutes, stir everything really well to make sure it’s completely combined and microwave again for 2 minutes. That’s it. You get a full rolling boil in 4 minutes flat. That’s all the heating you have to do. It’s much faster than the classic recipe!

Step 2 | Mix in the Rest and Let It Rest

Add the peanut butter, oats, and vanilla in to the chocolate mixture. Then, you let the batter rest for at least 15 minutes. I put mine into the fridge to start to set up. I also will leave it for longer so that my cookies are thicker, with the perfect texture, like in the pictures. If you like the thinner ones (like these), you can start scooping sooner!

Step 3 | Scoop and Set

Once the cookie dough has thickened a bit, scoop it onto a wax paper or parchment paper lined cookie sheet. Then, you’ll let the cookies set up completely, which can take an hour if you leave them on the counter, but as little as 30 minutes if you put them in the fridge.

Did you know?

  • This simple dessert has many names, including preacher cookies, no bakes, mud cookies, cow patties (ew!), and boiled cookies! 
  • No-bakes became popular during World War II, due to rationing of baking soda and eggs. 

​Variations

This recipe is so versatile — there are tons of delicious variations you can make with just a few adjustments. Here are a few of my favorites!

  • Chocolate Coconut No Bakes: Add 1/2 cup shredded coconut to the batter before scooping. 
  • Rocky Road No Bakes: Sub almond butter for the peanut butter. Add 1/2 cup mini marshmallows and 1/2 cup chopped almonds into the batter before scooping. 
  • Chocolate Mint No Bakes: Sub mint extract for the vanilla extract.
  • Salted Caramel No Bakes: Add 1/2 cup caramel bits to the batter before you microwave. Top the finished cookies with flaky salt. 

FAQs

My cookie mixture is too dry. What should I do?

If your cookie mixture is too dry and crumbly, try adding a little more peanut butter or butter to help bind the ingredients together. Alternatively, you can add a splash of milk to moisten the mixture

My cookie mixture is too wet. What should I do?

If your cookie mixture is too wet and doesn’t hold its shape when dropped onto the pan, try adding more oats until you achieve the desired consistency. You can also refrigerate the mixture for a few minutes to help it firm up.

How should I store the cookies?

Store the cookies in an airtight container at room temperature for up to a week. You can also refrigerate them for longer shelf life, especially if your kitchen is warm.

Can I freeze the cookies?

Yes, you can freeze the cookies in an airtight container or freezer bag for up to 3 months. Let them thaw at room temperature for about 15-20 minutes before serving.

Classic No-Bake Cookies | Homan at Home
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Classic No-Bake Cookies

Rich, decadent, and super easy, these peanut-butter and chocolate cookies are a summer dessert worth having!
Prep Time 10 minutes
Resting Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 10 minutes
Servings 24
Calories 192kcal
Cost $5.00

Ingredients

  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • ¼ cup cocoa
  • ½ cup milk
  • ½ cup butter or margarine
  • 1 cup peanut butter
  • 2 cups oats
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • pinch salt

Instructions

  • Combine sugar, cocoa, milk, and butter in a large microwaveable bowl.
    2 cups granulated sugar, 1/4 cup cocoa, 1/2 cup milk, 1/2 cup butter or margarine
  • Cover and microwave for 2 minutes.
  • Remove from microwave and stir until combined completely.
  • Cover and microwave for 2 additional minutes.
  • Add peanut butter, oats, vanilla, and salt to the heated mixture and stir until combined.
    1 cup peanut butter, 2 cups oats, 1 tsp vanilla, pinch salt
  • Allow to rest for 15 minutes.
  • Scoop the batter by rounded spoonfuls onto wax paper.
  • Allow batter to set up for 30 minutes to 1 hour.
  • Enjoy!
Tried this recipe?Mention @homanathome or tag #homanathome

Nutrition

Calories: 192kcal | Carbohydrates: 23.9g | Protein: 3.5g | Fat: 10g | Saturated Fat: 3.7g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1.6g | Monounsaturated Fat: 3.9g | Cholesterol: 10.7mg | Sodium: 85.4mg | Potassium: 93.5mg | Fiber: 1.2g | Sugar: 18.1g
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