My Prize-Winning No-Bake Cookies

Look. There are a lot of no-bake cookie recipes, and you could argue they have basically the same ingredients. Whatever. Years ago, I worked on some version of the classic recipe with my mom. We made it better.  (My mom made everything better.)

And I’ve made the no-bake cookie recipe even a little more better since then, I think. (Improper grammar intentional.)

↓ Scroll right past these FAQs to get to the Best Ever No-Bake Cookies. ↓

I won’t be offended.




  1. Can I use creamy peanut butter? No. And might I suggest that you delve into your psyche to see what you have against crunchy peanut butter. I understand if you don’t have it on hand in your pantry, but until you do, just wait on this recipe. The no-bake cookies might taste good, but they won’t be the BEST. And for THIS recipe…EXTRA crunchy, full-fat peanut butter. Stop avoiding it.

  2. Can I use quick oats? If you must. But instead of reading over one of the other two million no-bake cookie recipes on blog posts and recipe books the whole world over, you are here. So you gotta ask yourself…how much do you want to compromise? The old-fashioned oats give these classic cookies a distinct texture I think is missing in other no-bake cookie recipes.

  3. What’s with all that vanilla? Look, if you’re not really sloshing vanilla in recipes like there’s no tomorrow, you’re missing out on the greatness of vanilla. Extra points for extra-strength vanilla if you can get it. 

  4. Did you really win a prize with this recipe? Yes. I’m not a liar. I won second place in a workplace contest, like, 25 years ago. I would have probably won first place if there had been a separate dessert category, but I was up against main-meal foods. It was harsh. 



Captain Mom’s No-Bake Cookie Recipe

A simple & scrumptious dessert, these no-bake cookies will be ready to scoop out onto a pan in about 20 minutes. Extra-crunchy peanut butter, old-fashioned oats, and plenty of vanilla help make these the absolute best.
Prep Time 12 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings 6 people


  • 2 heaping cups sugar Yes, heaping. These are COOKIES. And it's quite fine if you want to use raw sugar for a 1/4 (or more) of this total. AS LONG as its the full sweet kind.
  • 1/4 cup cocoa
  • 1 stick butter Yes, actual butter.
  • 1/2 cup whole milk I guess. But anything below 2% is unacceptable.
  • 1 good pinch salt Make sure you can feel the bump of the salt.
  • 1/2 cup extra crunchy peanut butter
  • 2-3 tablespoons vanilla, extra-strength if you have it Don't get chintzy with the vanilla.
  • 3 cups oats (preferably old-fashioned)


  • Combine sugar, cocoa, milk, and butter in saucepan over low to medium heat.
  • When the mixture STARTS to boil, put the lid on, reduce the heat, and cook for ONLY two minutes (this melts down the sugar from the sides of the pan). Remove from heat.
  • Add vanilla and salt. Mix well. think you should use a wooden spoon for this.
  • Add peanut butter. Mix really well.
  • Stir in oats.
  • Drop the mixture by spoonful on waxed paper, parchment paper, or cookie sheets. You'll be tempted to also drop this in your mouth. (I encourage and support this, but wait a bit until it cools so's you don't burn your tongue.)
  • Let stand for several hours until cookies hold together. If you made 'em right, the cookies are probably going to set well ahead of several hours. But you should tell your family it will take a while so they won't eat them all up, leaving you with the crumbs.
Keyword chocolate, cookies, no-bake cookies, simple cookies