No-Bake Chocolate, Peanut Butter and Oatmeal Cookies (aka PMS Wranglers)

Chocolate, Cookie, Desserts, Originals / Wednesday, October 29th, 2008

Usually, I have no problem waiting for things to bake and cool. Even chill for a few hours. Usually, I love the process as much as the end result, and I can hum along as the little animated bird on my shoulder sings while as I stir, roll out my dough and bake in pure, unparalleled bliss.

Then there’s That Time.

That special, magical time when hormones are coursing through my veins, and I will shove anything and everything chocolate or chocolate-like into my mouth. Times when I WANT THE CHOCOLATE NOW OR I WILL LINE THE STREETS WITH THE BODIES OF MY ENEMIES.

When I feel myself turning into the Raging Pink Hulk, I make these No-Bake Chocolate, Peanut Butter and Oatmeal Cookies. Your mom probably made them. Mine called them Cow Patties. I call them PMS Wranglers, because they’re one-pot fast, drop-them-on-wax-paper easy, and eating them is like mainlining chocolate and peanut butter. Thank God, the oatmeal requires chewing, or I’d inhale the batch in a PMS-stupor.

One warning: when it’s humid, these cookies might not set up. Then you must follow the time-honored tradition of eating them with a spoon. If you’ve never leaned on the counter and spooned these up, you have missed out on one of life’s Top 100 pleasures.

Chocolate. Peanut butter. Oatmeal. Guaranteed to keep the Raging Pink Hulk at bay. So, indulge, knowing that you are doing something good for mankind. And the streets will remain free of the bodies of your enemies. At least for one more month.

No-Bake Chocolate, Peanut Butter and Oatmeal Cookies

By Rebecca Crump (Ezra Pound Cake)

  • 3 1/2 cups dry quick-cooking oats, divided
  • 1/2 cup peanut butter
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1 stick (8 tablespoons) butter, cut into pieces
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 4 tablespoons cocoa
  1. Place several sheets of wax paper on your counter or kitchen table.
  2. Measure 3 cups of oats, the peanut butter and the vanilla into a large heatproof bowl. Set aside.
  3. Place the butter, sugar, milk and cocoa in a small saucepan. Give them a quick stir. Turn the heat on high, and leave the mixture alone. (No more stirring.) Bring the mixture to a full, rolling boil, and let it boil for exactly 1 minute. Remove immediately from the heat, and pour the chocolate mixture over the oats and peanut butter.
  4. Use a large wooden spoon to quickly stir the ingredients together. (If the mixture seems runny or it’s a very humid day, stir in the remaining half-cup of oats.)
  5. Working with two spoons or a small ice cream scoop, drop the mixture by tablespoons onto the wax paper.
  6. Let the cookies cool until set.

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81 thoughts on “No-Bake Chocolate, Peanut Butter and Oatmeal Cookies (aka PMS Wranglers)

  1. these are my go to cookies. the hubs doesnt like them and they make so happy when I am down. got to love them!

  2. […] 1/2 cup butter; 2 cups sugar; 1/2 cup milk; 4 tablespoons cocoa; 1/2 cup peanut butter; 3 to 3 1/2 cups dry quick- cooking oats; 2 teaspoons vanilla. Add the first four ingredients into a 4-quart sauce pan. … No-Bake Chocolate, Peanut Butter & Oatmeal Cookies (aka PMS Tamers) […]

  3. I have stood over a counter with a spoon and eaten them.

    I have mainlined them, I have inhaled them, and I have hidden them so on one else could eat them.

    Rock on Pink Hulk!

  4. You made them! These are the ultimate in teaching young boys to cook! We require two spoons to drop them, mine dropping cookies and Logan eating the batter off of his. And then the liquid magma of eating one before they’ve cooled… ah, heaven.

  5. I would have figured these rated as the doublewide of cooking. Not that there’s anything wrong with a doublewide, but Pineapple Habenero sauce they are not.

  6. It is great to have a go-to no-bake cookie in the arsenal. Just for emergencies. Your cookies look great.
    That time of the month, I tend to crave salt. And wine. Lots of wine.

  7. You know, that hormone surge through my body brings the ONLY chocolate cravings I ever get. I’m right there with you… give me chocolate… give it to me now!

    Funnily enough, I have BLISTERED my mouth trying to eat a spoonful of this “Chocolate Oatsie” goodness. Oh, Lord that hurt!


  8. I remember making these in my middle-school home ec class. The teacher let us spoon up what was stuck to the inside of the pan. I’ve pretty much been hooked ever since.

  9. These were totally my childhood comfort food. I think we called the Missouri No-Bake Cookies…I have no idea where that name came from. I wish they were healthier, because I could easily mainline a whole panful of these babies.


    All right, now that I’m coherent again…embarrassing story: once, when I was young and foolish (ok three months ago), I tried to make these with steel-cut oats. I figured that since steel-cuts aren’t precooked, I’d have to cook them before making the cookies. Guess who ended up with a massive amount of extremely fatty, peanut buttery, chocolately, slimy oatmeal in her fridge? :/

  11. Ah, it’s been too long my friend no-bake chocolate cookies, far too long…

    Thanks for reminding me of how to get (almost) instant chocolate gratification when I will need it most. And the oatmeal in these totally make them healthy – guilt free glutony always works for me!

  12. raging pink hulk? oh, how i laughed. ironically, i grew up calling these “preacher cookies.” interesting association, wouldn’t you say? :)

  13. I always put these in the freezer to set up, rather than letting them cool. There is something special about the outside being half frozen and the inside being warm….mmmmmm

  14. Growing up these were camping cookies because you could make them on a camp stove. My mom called them “snickerdoodles” which led to considerable confusion as to what actual “snickerdoodles” are. Both yummy, but chocolate wins every time!

  15. These cookies remind me of my great-grandmother. She made these for me and I’ve only known them as “Great Grandmama Cookies.” Growing up in Houston (humid city) made it nearly impossible for me to recreate. More often than not I ate them with a spoon. Thanks for bringing back sweet memories.

  16. I love no bake cookies and I really love them when Aunt Flo is in down with the PMS twins! Thanks for making me laugh this morning..Pink Hulk..HA!

  17. Hi Rebecca,

    Me again… I’m giving you an award… you can find it at:

    If you don’t want to do all the rules stuff, no prob… I just wanted you to know I enjoy your blog :)

    P.S. I tried these cookies and they rocked! I used old-fashioned oatmeal since that’s all I had. I cooked the mixture for about a minute over low-low heat after mixing in th PB and oats because I was worried the oats would be too stiff… and it worked out fine, they tasted great! Thanks for a yummy recipe.

  18. Oh man – I loved these when I was a kid. They were the first cookies I ever made on my own (and aside from a dreadful chocolate fondue attempt that ruined one of my mom’s pots – Hey, who knew you had to do more than just turn the burner on high?! Tee-hee).

    I tried them earlier in the week as a treat for my Mark, but they never quite set up right. I whipped a second batch up this morning and oh! They’re perfect. They won’t last the night at our house!

  19. My oven is, very sadly, broken. So I made a batch of these today. I had a hell of a time exercising some restraint with these, because they’re just too freakin good.

  20. These are a great childhood memory for me. I learned to make them in the Midwest and when I moved to a more humid climate I found that they would not “set”. No problem…just boil them a little longer. Here in Central TX it takes 2 minutes. My gal-pal in New Oreans has to boil hers for 3 minutes to get them they way they should be–but hey, even if they don’t set up, they are still yummy!

  21. I love these cookies and so does my husband. Thing is I try to make them and they never set up. So I haven’t made them in months now, so i try tonight and same thing, wont set. I get so irritated, so I check receipe and yeah I did it right, but I let boil 3 minutes(times On microwave) and then added my stuff, so can ya’ll tell em what am I doing wrong? One receipe I read said if you boil too long, they are dry and crumbly, and if you don’t boil long enough they won’t set. Does the type of pan make a difference? If anyone can help, please send me soem info. I make them and yes they are good gooey, but I’m the only one who will eat them and I end up throwing them out. Please help!! Thanks.

    1. Well the recipe says to boil the mixture for 1 minute in bold letters, whether 3 minutes in the microwave is interfering with the set up

  22. yobudee: Usually, one minute works for me, but the more humid the weather, the longer you need to boil the cookie mixture. Also, I’ve never tried it in the microwave, just in a saucepan on the stove.

  23. if you dont have a candy thermometer boil it 5 minutes AFTER it comes to a complete rolling boil. Never had them not set up and your oats should be one minute or quick cooking, not instant or regular-

  24. Whoopeeeee! So I was feeling especially like a chocoholic tonight, so I thought to myself, “I’ll double the recipe.” I now have 4 1/2 dozen cookies cooling… might have overdone it a bit. :) Also, I noticed how wonderfully shaped yours were, and not to be outdone, I spent almost 10 minutes patting and shaping them…

  25. I just stumbled on your site, after googling these. Guess I was pretty desperate to make them. Didn’t really realize it, though, until I read your well-written little piece here on why we make them. So desperate was I, even with 3/4 teaspoon vanilla (too bad I was out!) and old fashioned oats instead of quick-cooking ones (a little more toothsome), that they still met me in my time of need. Just in time for the kids to walk in the door off the bus! Hello, milk.

    Like your site,


  26. WHOO!!!!
    PMS Wranglers, here i come!
    Its 11:14 at night, and chocolate & oatmeal cravings are killing me. Ahh thank you for this! :D

  27. I have been looking for this receipe . My mom used to make them at the lake and the kids would devour them.

  28. I love this classic no bake cookie. In old cookbooks, they are often called boiled cookies. Yours make me want to head to the kitchen and whip up a batch right now.

  29. […] my all-time favorite Hot Fudge Pudding Cake. The one I make when it snows or when my PMS (aka the Raging Pink Hulk) makes me crave an intense chocolate punch in the […]

  30. Oh man! I used to make these cookies with my college roommate. We seriously ate them for breakfast, lunch and dinner until they were all gone! Now I remember why, they're sooo addictive!
    I just came across your site and I love it! I don't think I have enough paper to print out all the recipes I want to try (as if I need to add anymore recipes to my "to try" stack)!


  31. Hey, girl, how DID you get these to look so pretty in a photo? I swear I tried making them once and photographing them. And hm. Not so good.
    Well done!

  32. My no bake cookies are too dry. They won't set. They just look like chocolate powder and oatmeal. Suggestions?!

    1. OK, let’s figure this out. Did you make any substitutions to the recipe, like using a low-fat version of an ingredient or steel-cut oats?

    1. I’ve read that Lactaid curdles at a lower temperature than regular milk, so the 1 minute of boiling is probably the issue. There usually aren’t any problems with substituting it for regular milk in baking or cooking, but this recipe seems to be the exception.


  34. I haven't had these since I was in like 5th grade and my friend's mom used to make them for us. I was so happy to find your recipe and it was perfect!! Just like I remembered!

  35. We had "hot lunches" at our school growing up and our cooks always made these cookies. They called them chocolate macaroons so I was really surprised when I learned what REAL macaroons were – LOL! These are THE BEST COOKIES EVER!!!! I've also heard them called "Michigan Wonders" and my sister in law and her twin brother have called them "Poop on the table" ever since they were little kids. You can figure that one out I think!! THE BEST COOKIES IN THE WORLD!!! LOVE THEM LOVE THEM LOVE THEM!!!!!

  36. These cookies are awful. I tried making them and they didn't set. A complete waste of time. I even put them in the freezer after an hour of letting them set and this morning they're still goopy.

    1. Hey, Kate. I'm so sorry the cookies didn't set up for you. By any chance, was it humid and/or raining when you tried making them? Mine won't set up when it's raining outside.

  37. Don't get me wrong, I really love these cookies and will definitely be making them again. They are so convenient and are ready in a matter of minutes!

    I followed the recipe exactly and found that 2 cups of sugar is WAY TOO SWEET. I think that I'll be able to get away with much less sugar, and will experiment with this next time.

    Thanks for the recipe! :)

  38. I really want to try these, but I have one question. The recipe calls for 4 tablespoons cocoa – what exactly does that mean? Thank you so much! -Kaitlyn

  39. These cookies are to die for. Not only are they my favorites because they're sinfully delicious and super easy to make, but they always leave my husband in a good mood too. These are his #1 pick for tasty cookie treats, and he loves just about anything with chocolate and peanut butter :)

  40. I, like Deb, grew up calling these "macaroons" – minus the peanut butter, of course. I've never seen them with peanut butter, although I imagine the addition makes them all the yummier! "Macaroons" came in oatmeal or coconut varieties (you never saw them mixed together in the same cookie), and the oatmeal variety was always chocolate, although you do see "blonde" versions of the coconut macaroon. They're popular enough that they sell them at grocery stores ("supermarkets") here (Fredericton, New Brunswick, Canada).

    I've also heard them called "frogs" here, but not until I was an adult.

  41. Made your yummy recipe with a few changes. Replaced a small part of the oats with flaxseed meal and wheat germ to add a few different grains. Have also made them with Quaker Oats Multigrain "oats" too. Both work great. Even added a few drops of peppermint. Or roll in wax paper, freeze and slice for a slicker look for a party.
    It was the first recipe my kids made and now make with their kids. Thanks.

  42. I have made these twice, and they didn't last long in my house either time. I'm going to share this recipe with my readers. Thanks for your humor (and of course, the excellent recipes).

  43. […] treat sure to turn any guest’s stomach. This concoction is really just a fun spin on a recipe for no bake-cookies. These treats are easy to make, but be sure to watch the temperature of your mixture. The gross […]

  44. […] flaming river of death. And sometimes, after both of those, I have to deep-clean the house and eat these cookies out of the bowl with a […]

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