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Confessions of a No Bakes Failure

Confession: I have failed batch after batch of of No Bakes. Are they suppose to be easy since they don’t go in the oven?

During the summer, I have an unannounced No Oven Policy – unless there are desperate cravings. Thus, we gave No Bakes another try and finally achieved success.


  • 2 cups white sugar
  • 3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/2 cup margarine
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 3 cups quick cooking oats
  • 1/2 cup peanut butter
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract


  1. In a saucepan bring sugar, cocoa, margarine, milk, and salt to a rapid boil for 1 minute. THIS IS THE KEY STEP: You must wait until the mixture comes to a good boil (not just a couple of bubbles), then boil for one minute.
  2. Add quick cooking oats, peanut butter, and vanilla; mix well.
  3. Working quickly, drop by teaspoonfuls onto waxed paper, and let cool.

9 comments to Confessions of a No Bakes Failure

  • This made me laugh because my first tries at no bake cookies were epic fails! The instructions said to boil for 1 min 30 sec. If I went over or under that time by even a couple seconds they were ruined. They are yummy…but seriously fickle.

  • Your blog almost always makes me hungry. =) I think I might have to whip up a batch of no-bakes tonight!

  • Sara Eggers

    Our friends here in just returned from 5 years teaching China. I am guessing the no oven in the summer rule is due to the lack of constant a/c? They tell us stories about sweating all summer and freezing all winter. They did push-ups to keep warm.

  • Ann

    sounds yummy! I have a huge bag of quick cooking oats that I have been at a loss as to what to do with…. Now, I know! Thanks!

  • Charis

    I actually tried to make No Bakes about 2 weeks ago and totally failed! I will have to give your recipe a try. 🙂

    • The secret is to get them to a full boil before you start the one minute clock. Hope you’re No Bakes are delicious. Hope you’re having fun in NY! I loved your post today about all you were doing US Open, MTV awards, etc. You guys are so well connected! ha ha.

  • Erica

    I love no bakes… sometimes I drop it onto wax paper for little cookies – and other times when I am in a hurry I just spread it all on a cookie sheet and then go back and cut it later… It took me like 3 tries to get them right, but since then they have always turned out. Our recipes look about the same…

  • Gloria

    they don't do good if it is humid

  • Update: I finally broke down and made these cookies at 7:30 am while I was getting ready for work. Your secret worked like a charm – I am munching on a no-bake treat right now (and hoping the rest of our staff partakes so I don’t end up eating 10 more!?). =) Thanks for sharing!

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