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No Bake Oatmeal Cookies

No Bake Oatmeal Cookies
No bake oatmeal cookies are the classic no bake cookie you remember, made with or without peanut butter—even with or without oats. Naturally gluten free!

Inside: No bake oatmeal cookies are the classic chocolate no bake cookie you remember, made with or without peanut butter—even with or without oats. Naturally gluten free!

This is how to make perfect gluten free cookies…even if you can’t bake!

Recipes for no bake oatmeal cookies made with butter, milk, sugar, cocoa powder and oats have been around forever. Maybe your grandmother even made them, or your mother.

No bake oatmeal cookies are the classic no bake cookie you remember, made with or without peanut butter—even with or without oats. Naturally gluten free!

Christy Jordan has a version that her mother made for her that calls for boiling the sugar mixture until it reaches the “softball stage,” which is approximately 240°F. Trying my hand at a family recipe like that can be dangerous territory, since people tend to be rather protective of their way of doing things. (Everybody knows you do it like this, not like that!)

But as I went down the rabbit hole of Internet recipes for no bake oatmeal cookies (or chocolate or fudge no bake cookies, if you call them that), I noticed one thing for sure: whatever the recipe, whatever the proportions, there was always no shortage of readers who swore that the recipe, as written, simply didn’t work.

I believe that this is because of both a significant difference in people’s stoves (are you using electric or gas? does your stove run hot or cold?) and in people’s cooking equipment (are you using a heavy-bottom saucepan? how large is it? how evenly does it heat?).

And since this isn’t a recipe that you can use an objective measure to determine readiness (like a candy thermometer that reads 240°F, for example), it was hard to guarantee success. Until now. (you knew that was coming, right?)

No bake fudge cookies are the classic no bake cookie you remember, made with or without peanut butter—even with or without oats. Naturally gluten free!

I believe that my recipe for no bake fudge cookies will be successful every single time. And here’s why: I add no-bake insurance to my recipe in the form of … chopped chocolate.

When you are making anything that is no-bake, you need at least a portion of the recipe to be solid at room temperature. If you were cooking the sugar mixture to 240°F, you’d certainly have that. Against my better judgment (I knew it wouldn’t work!), I did try cooking the sugar mixture to that temperature.

And the moment I added the oats to the mixture, I had a bunch of unappetizing, crumbly candy. Just as I had suspected. In the most traditional recipe of this kind, if you overcook the sugar, the mixture is crumbly.

Undercook it, and the cookies won’t set up. But add chopped chocolate, and you’ve got yourself some insurance. Chocolate will always be solid at room temperature. See? Chocolate insurance is the very best kind of insurance anyway. Don’t you think?

No bake fudge cookies are the classic no bake cookie you remember, made with or without peanut butter—even with or without oats. Naturally gluten free!

If you’re partial to making these cookies with some peanut butter, you can add about 1/4 cup (64 g) to the recipe when you add the chopped chocolate. It adds nice flavor to these no bake cookies.

If you’re avoiding oats, even (yes!) gluten free oats, I have also made these cookies with 3 cups (90 g) puffed brown rice cereal in place of quick-cooking oats. It’s really a different cookie, but it does work!

Now, the recipe does call for quite a bit of sugar, so I tried making it with 1 1/2 cups, instead of the traditional 2 cups. The cookies did set up, but they were a bit softer at room temperature.

A few minutes in the refrigerator, though, and they were fine. If you’re looking for quick and easy, chocolatey, chewy no bake fudge cookies that never fail you, go for the 2 cups of sugar. And don’t forget that chopped unsweetened chocolate. You can never have too much insurance!

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Prep time: Cook time: Yield: 24 cookies

Ingredients

3 cups (330 g) certified gluten free quick-cooking oats* (or regular oats if you don’t need to be gluten free)

1/4 cup (20 g) unsweetened cocoa powder (natural or Dutch-processed)

8 tablespoons (112 g) virgin coconut oil or unsalted butter

2/3 cup (5 1/3 fluid ounces) milk (any kind, just not nonfat)

1 1/2 to 2 cups (300 to 400 g) granulated sugar

1/8 teaspoon kosher salt

4 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped

*To make the equivalent of quick-cooking oats, I pulse certified gluten free old fashioned rolled oats in a blender or food processor a few times. I have also made this recipe successfully with 3 cups (90 g) puffed brown rice cereal in place of quick-cooking oats. Just be sure to cool the sugar mixture for at least 10 minutes or until no longer hot to the touch before pouring it into the cereal, or the cereal will taste stale as the cookies cool.

Directions

  • Line large baking sheets with unbleached parchment paper and set aside. In a large heat-safe bowl, place the oats and cocoa powder, and toss to combine. Set the bowl aside.

  • In a medium-size, heavy-bottom saucepan, place the coconut oil or butter, milk, sugar (if you use 1 1/2 cups of sugar instead of 2 cups, the cookies just won’t set up as firmly) and salt. Whisking frequently, bring the mixture to a rolling boil over medium-high heat. The mixture will bubble quite a lot. Just continue to whisk. If you used butter, continue to boil for approximately 90 seconds. If you used coconut oil, allow the mixture to boil for a full 2 minutes.

  • Remove the saucepan from the heat, add the chopped chocolate and mix until the chocolate is melted and the mixture is smooth. Create a well in the center of the oats in the large bowl and pour in the sugar mixture. Mix to combine well. The mixture will be thick but soft. Allow it to sit at room temperature for about 10 minutes.

  • Using a medium-size ice cream scoop or two spoons, scoop the cookie dough in 2 tablespoon portions onto the prepared baking sheets, about 1-inch apart from one another. Spread each gently into an approximately 2-inch round. Allow the cookies to set at room temperature. After about 30 minutes, you should be able to peel them off the parchment paper. If you used less sugar, place the baking sheets in the refrigerator to help the cookies become firm. Store the finished cookies in a sealed glass container at room temperature or in the refrigerator.

  • Originally published on the blog in 2016. Recipe unchanged, some new photos, video new, text changed a bit.

Love,
Nicole

Comments are closed.

  • Natalie
    March 16, 2017 at 11:55 AM

    Have you tried with coconut milk? Would I need full fat in the can?

    • Nicole Hunn
      March 16, 2017 at 2:00 PM

      I would recommend unsweetened almond milk for a more neutral flavor profile, and the proper consistency.

  • Emilie
    March 14, 2017 at 6:21 PM

    Mine didn’t set up in fridge (30 minutes, 1 3/4 c. sugar). Can I bake them? Also, the oats weren’t cooked so I’m guessing I should’ve pulsed a bit more :/

  • Emilie
    March 14, 2017 at 2:27 PM

    What should the rolled oats look like in the processor? I pulsed a few times but there are still whole flakes in there.

  • Emilie
    March 14, 2017 at 12:12 PM

    Ok, Thanks! Sorry I posted twice. Trying them this afternoon during our snow storm :)

  • Emilie bruno
    March 14, 2017 at 12:07 PM

    Does coconut oil make them taste coconut-y? My kids don’t like the flavour.

  • Emilie
    March 13, 2017 at 6:40 PM

    Does using coconut make it taste like coconut? My kids don’t like the taste.

    • Nicole Hunn
      March 13, 2017 at 6:44 PM

      You don’t use coconut, Emilie. It’s just coconut oil. Virgin coconut oil has a mild coconut taste. Feel free to use butter as directed in the recipe instead.

  • Joanne
    March 12, 2017 at 1:47 PM

    If your family likes coconut, you can sub some of the oats for it.

  • Rita
    March 6, 2017 at 9:22 PM

    Can you make these with a sugar substitute i.e. Stevia, Truvia?

    • Nicole Hunn
      March 7, 2017 at 5:50 PM

      I haven’t made these cookies with a sugar substitute, so I’m afraid I really don’t know. Generally, I only like Swerve granulated sugar replacement in baking. Maybe you can try that.

    • Ella
      March 12, 2017 at 1:15 PM

      Xylitol is an excellent substitute for sugar and works wonderfully in the recipes I’ve made.

    • Nicole Hunn
      March 12, 2017 at 1:21 PM

      I’m glad you’ve had a good experience with xylitol, Ella, but the sugar in this recipe is cooked and there is quite a lot of it. I don’t believe that xylitol would be an effective substitute here.

  • Theresa
    March 6, 2017 at 8:00 PM

    LOVE the video! Thanks for that! Visual learner here! =D

    • Nicole Hunn
      March 6, 2017 at 8:29 PM

      Excellent, Theresa!

  • Jennifer S.
    March 6, 2017 at 1:51 PM

    So after reading this through… I think this is the frosting that my mother used to make and pour it over chocolate cake… wow. wow. wow. I’ve been trying to look for it for years. I’m going to try it out soon.

    • Nicole Hunn
      March 6, 2017 at 8:31 PM

      I know the sort of boiled sugar frosting you’re talking about, Jennifer. I don’t really know that this is it. I think that’s more of a Texas Sheet Cake-style frosting. I have a very old, rather sad recipe for that. I’m too embarrassed to link you to it, but you’ll find it by using the search. 😘

  • Fran
    March 6, 2017 at 1:17 PM

    Oops. Unsalted butter!

    • Nicole Hunn
      March 6, 2017 at 1:29 PM

      😊
      You could also use nonhydrogenated vegetable shortening, by weight, Fran, if you prefer.

  • Fran
    March 6, 2017 at 1:15 PM

    Allergic to coconut. Is there another oil I could use? Thank you!

  • ChefMelissa
    March 6, 2017 at 12:20 PM

    Have you tried with almond milk by any chance? Dairy free here, wondering if that would still work.

    • Nicole Hunn
      March 6, 2017 at 1:15 PM

      Yes, Melissa. I have, actually! I prefer an unsweetened almond milk, but that’s just a matter of preference. But I can tell you for sure that they work with almond milk. I have that around all the time, as my kids eat that in their cereal. :)

  • Cathie Webber
    March 6, 2017 at 12:03 PM

    Is it possible to use coconut sugar in place of the regular sugar?
    I love all your recipes btw 😀

    • Nicole Hunn
      March 6, 2017 at 12:11 PM

      Hi, Cathie,
      I haven’t tried that, but I’ve thought about it. My hesitancy is that coconut sugar tends to be quite grainy and I’m concerned that it wouldn’t dissolve completely. I guess it’s worth a shot, but I’d try a half batch in case it doesn’t turn out/set up.

  • Mare Masterson
    April 20, 2016 at 2:13 PM

    Nicole, you state “place the milk, sugar (if you use 1 1/2 cups of sugar instead of 2 cups, the cookies just won’t set up as firmly) and salt.” and then further down you state “Whisking frequently, bring the mixture to a rolling boil over medium-high heat. The mixture will bubble quite a lot. Just continue to whisk. If you used butter, continue to boil for approximately 90 seconds. If you used coconut oil, allow the mixture to boil for a full 2 minutes.”; but you don’t clue us in on when to add the butter or coconut oil.

  • Sylvia Moore
    April 20, 2016 at 2:13 PM

    Made these tonight as soon as I saw the recipe. Yummy! Not sure if there will be any left for the kids in the morning! Used milk chocolate as I didn’t have any unsweetened chocolate.
    I presume you add the butter to the sugar and milk.

    • April 20, 2016 at 2:17 PM

      Yes, Sylvia. Thanks for catching that! I fixed the recipe now to include adding the butter with the milk and sugar. So glad you enjoyed them (already!). :)

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