No Bake Chocolate Oatmeal Cookies

No bake chocolate oatmeal cookies are one of my favorite treats to fix for the Crew.  They are easy to make but will turn out dry and crumbly or so soft you have to eat them with a spoon if you are not careful. (The crew always eats them no matter how they turn out!)

The best part about these cookies – they are fairly healthy!

No Bake Chocolate Oatmeal Cookies

peanut butter, oatmeal, cocoa, No bake chocolate oatmeal cookies

peanut butter, oatmeal, cocoa

2 cups sugar
1/2 cup milk
1 stick (8 tablespoons) butter
2 or 3 mounded tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
3 cups quick oats
1 cup smooth peanut butter
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract

sugar, butter, milk, No bake chocolate oatmeal cookies

sugar, butter, milk

Before you start:

Making No bake chocolate oatmeal cookies is very easy, but only if you prepare everything you will need before you start cooking.

You will want to clear a space large enough to lay two to three feet of wax paper out on a counter or table.  Now go ahead and place the wax paper before doing anything else. (this is IMPORTANT!  You can do it while holding a hot pan, but its hard)

Pour the quick oats and the cocoa into a medium-sized bowl and place it within arms reach of the stove.  Pack the peanut butter into a cup and keep the spoon handy. (I like using a small coffee cup)  And finally, place the stick of butter in a medium sauce pan, pour in the sugar and milk.  You are now ready to get started.

The final process: 
Begin Stirring, No bake Chocolate Oatmeal Cookies

Begin Stirring

After you have all of your ingredients measured out and within arms reach, place the sauce pan with the butter, sugar, and milk on one of the front eyes of the stove.  Turn the heat to high and be prepared to stir constantly. I like to use a large plastic spoon to cut the butter into small pieces so it will melt faster.

This next part will require some guess-work until you have made these cookies a few times. Most recipes for no bake chocolate oatmeal cookies will say to boil this mixture for one minute exactly. I will tell you this does NOT work consistently! Differences in the sauce pan you are using and even how fast you stove heats up will change the time you need to boil. Plus how do you know what counts as a boil?

Stir continuously as the mixture melts and become a creamy liquid.  Watch for small bubbles to start forming; this is what I call a boil.  If you must, start timing for one minute. The bubbles will continue to multiply and start becoming a lighter yellow.  I have done this so many times that I can recognize what the mixture should look like before removing the pan from the heat. (practice makes perfect)  I usually only boil for about 45 seconds but this does vary.  If you over cook this mixture your cookies will be dry and crumbly.  If you under cook it, the cookies will be soft and never solidify.  (Don’t worry, I have never had to throw out a single cookie!  The kids will eat them with a spoon if they turn out too soft.)

Boiling Cookie Mixture, no bake chocolate oatmeal cookies

Boiling Cookie Mixture

Remove the pan from the stove eye.  At this point you should stir in the vanilla extract and then start spooning in the peanut butter.  Scrape the cup as best you can to get as much of the peanut butter as possible.  Keep stirring the mixture until it becomes a smooth creamy peanut colored liquid.

Cookie mixture with peanut butter, no bake chocolate oatmeal cookies

Cookie mixture with peanut butter

Now, slowly stir in the rest of the ingredients and continue stirring until all of the oatmeal is coated in the chocolate-peanut butter mixture.  You will already start see how your cookies will turn out as they cool in the pan.  Spoon the cookies onto the wax paper while the mixture is still warm.  These can be any size you want, just remember the larger the cookie, the longer it needs to cool before you get to enjoy the fruits of your labor.  Most of the time, this will make 30 – 40 cookies.

No Bake Chocolate Oatmeal Cookies

No Bake Chocolate Oatmeal Cookies

This recipe can be altered to make peanut butter oatmeal cookies.  Just leave out the cocoa.

I hope you enjoy.

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