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The Classic No Bake Cookie Recipe: aka Preacher Cookies

This classic No Bake Cookie recipe is the granddaddy of all no bake cookies.

If you’re from the southeast (or more specifically Appalachia), you call them Preacher Cookies. You could put them together in just a few minutes and be ready to serve them in the time you spotted the preacher coming up the mountain until the moment he knocked at your door.

If you’re from Texas, you may call them Poodgies (don’t know why). If you live on a farm, you may call them Cow Patties (no explanation needed.)

Most of us simply call them No-Bakes.

They’re simple. They’re quick. They call for basic ingredients you have in your cupboard right now.

The Classic No Bake Cookie Recipe from The Cookie Elf

Prep time: less than 10 minutes

Chilling time (optional): 15-30 minutes

Makes about 16-25 bars or drop cookies


½ cup (1 stick) margarine or butter

½ cup milk

2 cups granulated sugar

½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder

½ cup peanut butter

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

3 cups quick oatmeal

Directions for this Classic No Bake Cookie Recipe

  1. Line an 8 x 8 or 9 x 9 baking pan with foil, allowing the ends of the foil to drape over the ends of the pan. Spray the foil lightly with cooking spray.
  2. In a medium saucepan, combine butter, milk, sugar, and cocoa, stirring constantly. Bring the mixture to a boil. Once it reaches a rolling boil (in which the mixture does not stop boiling even as you stir it), cook for 1 ½ minutes, continuing to stir.
  3. Remove from the heat. add peanut butter, stirring until is melted. Add vanilla and mix again. Add oatmeal and stir well until all ingredients are combined in the mixture.
  4. Pour mixture into the prepared pan. Spread the mixture evenly.
  5. Allow cookies to sit for 30 minutes to set. You can place the pan in the refrigerator 15-30 minutes or longer to speed up the process.
  6. Place a cutting board across the top of the baking pan. Flip pan over. Peel back the foil. Use a sharp knife to cut the no-bakes into squares.
  7. Store bars in an airtight container in the refrigerator with waxed paper in between layers. The cookies will keep several days at room temperature and up to a week in the fridge (if they last that long.)

Special Baking Tips for this No Bake Cookie Recipe

Have peanut butter, vanilla, and oatmeal measured and ready to add to the mixture as soon as you remove the saucepan from the heat.

Use the back of a greased spoon or a piece of waxed paper to press mixture into the pan (rather than coating cookie sheets with no-stick spray.)

Use this No Bake Cookie recipe to create drop cookies, rather than bars, by dropping teaspoonfuls onto waxed paper … hence the name Cow Patties. 

Check out more inspiration on our No-Bake Cookies Pinterest board.

More No-Bake Cookie Recipes from The Elf

Birds Nest Cookies: Easy No-Bake Cookie Recipe for Kids ...

Chex Scotcharoos: No Bake Cookies, Either as Bars or Drop Cookies ...

Christmas Wreath Cookies Recipe: easy kids Christmas cookie recipe ...

Coconut Snowballs: Easy No-Bake Christmas Cookie Recipe ...

Crock Pot Candy: No-Bake Chocolate Confection ...

No-Bake Holly Cookies: easy kids Christmas cookie recipe ... 

No Bake Oatmeal Cookies: easy, healthy, just 5 ingredients!

No Bake Peanut Butter Chocolate Cookies ...

No-Bake Reese's Bars: a Clone of America's Favorite Treat ... 

No-Bake Samoa Cookies: Just 6 Ingredients!

Oreo Balls: a double dose of chocolate ...

Oreo Krispie Treats: easy no-bake cookie recipe ... 

Peanut Butter Krispie Balls: a Rice Krispie Treats variation ... 

Peanut Fandangos: both a no-bake cookie and a gluten-free cookie ... 

Rainbow Rice Krispie Treats: fun and easy no-bake cookies ... 

Rocky Mountain Snowdrops ...

Smores Bars: easy, no-bake cookies, fun for kids ...

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