Digital Access

Digital Access
Access and all Shaw Media Illinois content from all your digital devices and receive breaking news and updates from around the area.

Home Delivery

News, features, sports, opinion and more!

Email Newsletters

Sign up for MyWebTimes email newsletters and stay in the know.

Keep that oven off with no bake cookies

Summer’s here and so starts a busy season if you’ve got kids. Your time is not your own with sports and other activities. And I don’t know about you but warm weather makes me think of easy ways to make meals that don’t involve an oven. So, I’m always looking for recipes that allow me to look like I’m a great chef, even if I’m short on time.

My grandmother was the one who taught me the joys of ovenless cookies. Many a summer afternoon, my sister, brother and I would relish those cookies that looked like little haystacks — peanut butter, dry chow mein noodles, chocolate chips and peanuts combined into what we always thought was a special treat. We’d sit outside, gobble them down and thank our lucky stars grandma was such a great cook!

Later, when I discovered how easy those cookies were to make, I still thanked my grandma. She taught me how to pull off a great feat – make everything you make delicious, and if it looks like it took hours to make? You’re a kitchen star!

Great for lazy summer days, no bake cookies can be simple treats or delicious desserts. My recipe boxes (I have at least four with handwritten recipes from the 60’s, including a lot from my grandma and Aunt Helen) have a no bake category. Those cards get a lot of use when humid days hit.

It may be miserable outside but on a hot sleeples night, cold milk and a no bake turtle cookie works wonders!

No bake cookies can satisfy almost anyone’s sweet cravings.

Perfect for those lazy summer weekends, no bake cookies are the best of the best when it comes to no bake desserts. These no bake cookie recipes have something for everyone — from peanut butter to chocolate and chocolate mint, from oats to caramel and almond butter.

Whatever your mood, these no bake dessert recipes will curb your craving with virtually no effort — imagine that!

We’ve all had those dangerous late night cravings for a little something sweet. The best way to satisfy those sweet treat urges is with some super easy no bake cookies.

These classic chocolate no bake cookies have been one of my favorite sweet treats since I was a little girl. I remember standing as close as possible at the stove when Mama would make these, just so I could help in any way possible. From pouring in the oats, to carefully stirring as I got a little older. And then, when they were ready to drop onto the parchment paper, I was always eager to have that job

No Bake Cookies come together in a matter of minutes. With just a handful of ingredients you’ll create a quick and delicious cookie recipe the whole family will love.

When I was a kid, I remember my mom whipping up batches of chocolate-peanut butter no bakes cookies for my brother and me, and chocolate chow mein noodle cookies for my dad. We always referred to them as haystacks.

Do you remember those?

They’re also great for the holidays when you need something quick to make for that last minute cookie exchange party. Maybe you like your cookies shaped in the traditional round way, or perhaps you’ve been known to like cookie bars a bit better. Regardless of the shape, if they deliver in taste, we’re all about that.

The great thing about no bake cookies is that they require just a handful of ingredients that you probably already have in your fridge and pantry — butter, milk, peanut butter, oats and cocoa are all you need. I prefer creamy peanut butter, but you can definitely use crunchy for a little added texture

Even though these cookies mix up quickly, you definitely need to make sure that you bring the mixture to a full rolling boil for at least 90 seconds, or the cookies won’t set up properly.

They’ll still taste delicious, but you’ll be left with crumbly bits of dough instead of actual cookies.

Remember these cookies the next time you’ve got a major craving for something sweet and absolutely no desire to turn on the oven. They’ll cure any hankering you have, and you’ll only have one pot to clean.

You’ll also look like a major culinary rock star when you take them to your next potluck.

I call that a win-win.


Makes 30 cookies
Time: 10 minutes

1-1/2 cups granulated sugar
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup unsalted butter
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
3/4 cup peanut butter (smooth or crunchy)
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3 cups quick cooking oats  

Line 2 cookie sheets with parchment paper. In large saucepan over medium heat, combine sugar, milk, butter and cocoa. Stir until butter is melted. Bring mixture to full boil for 90 seconds. Immediately remove pan from heat. Add in peanut butter and vanilla. Stir until peanut butter is melted. Add oats and stir to fully incorporate. Using medium cookie scoop (about 1 1/2 tablespoons), drop cookies onto prepared baking sheets. If desired, use spoon, or the bottom of glass to slightly flatten and shape into round cookies. Allow cookies to set before serving.    


Makes 36 cookies
Total time: 10 minutes

1-3/4 cups granulated sugar
3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 cup milk
8 tablespoons butter cut into large pieces
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
3 cups quick cooking oats  

Add sugar and cocoa powder to medium heavy-bottomed saucepan. Whisk until thoroughly mixed. Add milk and butter; cook over medium-high heat. Bring to rolling boil; boil for 1 minute. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla, salt, peanut butter and oats. Drop cookies by tablespoons onto parchment paper. Allow to dry for about 10-15 minutes until firm.  


Makes 2-1/2 cookies
Total time: 15 minutes  

1 package vanilla cookies (such as Nilla Wafers)
1-1/3 cup powdered sugar, divided
2 teapoons lime zest
1/3 cup fresh juice
2 tablespoons light corn syrup
3/4 cup sweetened flaked coconut, toasted  

Process the cookies and 1 cup powdered sugar in food processor (or blender) until finely ground, 1 to 2 minutes. Add lime zest, lime juice, and corn syrup. Pulse until mixture just begins to come together, 2 to 3 times. Add coconut, and pulse until mixture comes together completely. Shape dough into about 30 (1-inch) balls. Place remaining 1/3 cup powdered sugar in shallow bowl. Roll each ball in powdered sugar until coated. Serve immediately, or store in airtight container at room temperature for 4 to 5 days.    


Makes 24 cookies  

1/2 cup unsalted butter (1 stick)
2 cups granulated sugar
1/2 cup cocoa
1/2 cup milk
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla
3 1/2 cups oats (I used quick oats)
2 1/2 cups shredded coconut
3/4 cup dulce de leche (see recipe in post)
24 pecan halves
1/4 cup chopped chocolate or chocolate chips
1 tbsp milk  

Line 2 baking sheets with wax paper and set aside. In large pot, combine butter, sugar, cocoa, milk, salt and vanilla. Place over medium-high heat and bring to boil, whisking often. Boil 1 minute, add oats and coconut. Stir until combined. Drop by tablespoon onto prepared baking sheets. Flatten tops slightly. Allow to cool and set ( you can speed this up in the refrigerator or freezer). Once set, spread each cookie with spoonful of dulce de leche and top with pecan half. Melt together chopped chocolate and milk and stir until smooth. Drizzle over cookies and allow to set at room temperature or in the refrigerator. Store cookies in the refrigerator or freezer.

Loading more