Make No-Bake Cookies (Peanut Butter)

What do you do when you don’t feel like baking cookies? Make no-bake cookies! They’re a cookie that you make in a saucepan on the stove, and were a staple of my childhood in the 80s. I haven’t seen anyone else in blogland post about them, so I don’t know if they are just WAY out of fashion, or if nobody knows about them, but I am sharing the top-secret recipe with you today.

One of the great things about these cookies is that you can use all kinds of mix-ins to make them unique (and also to use up leftover bits in your pantry). I added coconut, Cheerios, and raw oatmeal to mine, but you can use any kind of cereal, pretzels, nuts, or whatever you have on hand.

My mom makes a family recipe book every 10 years or so (which is highly-sought after and prized, by the way!), and this recipe comes straight outta the 1980s version of the cookbook.

Peanut Butter Drops (No Bake)

  • 1-1/2 cups sugar
  • 1/2 cup butter or margarine
  • 3/4 cups flour
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 2 to 2-1/2 cups puffed wheat
  • 2/3 cup peanut butter
  • 1/2 cup chopped nuts
  • 1/2 cup coconut
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

In a saucepan, combine sugar, butter, flour, and milk. Bring to a full boil. Boil for 3 minutes (be sure it’s a full three minutes – 30 seconds more might be better), stirring constantly. Remove from heat; add remaining ingredients. Drop by teaspoonful onto waxed paper. Cool. Makes 60.

Notes about making this recipe:

  • Prepare the mix-ins in a separate bowl while the butter is melting in the pan. It should be completely ready to dump in the saucepan at the moment the candy-coating is done boiling.
  • Put out the waxed paper/aluminum foil to drop the cookies onto before you mix everything together, too.
  • Be sure to boil for the full 3 minutes (or a tad longer – about 3-1/2 minutes). You’re basically making candy, so you want to be sure it reaches the right temperature to set properly. If you don’t boil it long enough, the cookies will never harden. If you boil it too long, they’ll be a little dry.

To substitute dry ingredients: you’re basically adding 3 to 3-1/2 cups of dry ingredients (puffed wheat, nuts, coconut as listed in the recipe), so just make sure your dry ingredients add up to about 3 cups or so, and you should be fine. Any cereal-like ingredient will work, as will dried fruit, nuts, etc.

Sorry, my photo isn’t appetizing. I tried to make them pink with food coloring, then I added sprinkles to further the insult! :) Craftfail, maybe, but they tasted good!