No-Bake Peanut Butter Cookies

no-bake peanut butter cookies

The Spruce / Leah Maroney

Prep: 10 mins
Cook: 3 mins
Cool: 30 mins
Total: 43 mins
Servings: 12 servings
Yield: 24 cookies
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
368 Calories
17g Fat
49g Carbs
7g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 12
Amount per serving
Calories 368
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 17g 22%
Saturated Fat 7g 33%
Cholesterol 21mg 7%
Sodium 131mg 6%
Total Carbohydrate 49g 18%
Dietary Fiber 3g 12%
Total Sugars 30g
Protein 7g
Vitamin C 0mg 1%
Calcium 43mg 3%
Iron 1mg 8%
Potassium 211mg 4%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

No-bake peanut butter cookies are insanely easy to make and there’s no oven required! The cookies are creamy, chewy, a little crunchy, and are the perfect midday treat or dinner snack. Most no-bake cookies involve chocolate, but these let the flavor of peanut butter shine, making them a great alternative to other no-bake cookie recipes. Not only are they easy to make, but they’re also egg-free and gluten-free (if you use certified gluten-free oats), so they’re a great cookie option for those with intolerances. 

These cookies are crazy easy to make, but only if you follow the directions closely. Make sure the mixture comes to a rolling boil for exactly one minute in order for the cookies to set up correctly. And let them cool completely so they can properly harden before serving.

Make these no-bake peanut butter cookies on a hot summer day when you’re not looking to heat up the oven. They’re perfect for all your summer picnics and potlucks as they store super well and will be gobbled up quickly.

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, cut into cubes

  • 1 1/4 cups granulated sugar

  • 1/2 cup brown sugar

  • 1/2 cup milk

  • 3/4 cup creamy peanut butter

  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

  • 3 1/2 cups quick-cooking oats

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients. Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper.

  2. Combine the cubed butter, sugar, brown sugar, and milk in a small saucepan and heat on medium-high heat. Stir with a wooden spoon until the butter has melted.

  3. Stop stirring and let the mixture come to a rolling boil. This means active bubbles around the edges and in the center of the pot. Once it comes to a complete rolling boil, set a timer for 60 seconds.

  4. Stir with the wooden spoon once or twice to prevent burning. Once the timer goes off, immediately remove the saucepan from the heat.

  5. Stir in the peanut butter, vanilla extract, and salt until the peanut butter has melted and is incorporated into the butter mixture. 

  6. Fold in the oats until they are completely coated with the peanut butter mixture.

  7. Using a cookie scoop, drop scoops of the batter onto the prepared baking sheets.

  8. Flatten the top of each cookie slightly with the back of the scoop. Allow the cookies to cool on the counter for about 30 minutes, or until firm and set up. Enjoy.

How to Store and Freeze

  • These cookies can be stored in an air-tight container on the counter for up to six days. 
  • You can also freeze no-bake cookies. Wait until they are completely cooled and place them in a plastic freezer bag in one or two layers. They can be frozen for up to six months. Thaw when you are ready to eat; they will defrost on the counter in about 15 minutes.

Recipe Tips

  • Make sure to use quick-cooking oats. If you don’t have access to quick-cooking oats, simply put rolled oats in the food processor and pulse a few times. This makes the texture of the cookies more delicate. 
  • The best peanut butter to use is a regular creamy, no-stir name brand. Don’t try and use a natural peanut butter as the cookies may not set up properly. 
  • Make sure the entire mixture comes to a rolling boil. If only the edges are boiling when you start the timer, the cookies will not set up properly.
  • Instead of lining baking sheets, you can just line your countertop with parchment paper. You can only do this if you have a heat-proof counter like granite.
  • If you need the cookies to set up quicker or your kitchen is too hot, simply put the tray of cookies in the refrigerator to speed up the process.

Why Didn’t My No Bake Cookies Set?

There are a few reasons why no-bake cookies fail to set-up:

  • You didn’t boil long enough. Make sure it’s a rolling boil for a full 60 seconds. 
  • You didn’t wait for a rolling boil. Make sure it’s a rolling boil. Just the edges boiling is not enough. 
  • Your kitchen may be too warm or humid. Pop them in the refrigerator to help them finish setting up. 
  • You didn’t measure your ingredients properly. Make sure to use exact measurements
  • You used natural peanut butter. Use regular peanut butter that does not need to be stirred or refrigerated.