“No bake cookies” might sound like a paradox. But this isn’t just shaped cookie dough. No bake cookies are a super easy way to make something sweet and crunchy.
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These cookies are full of sugar and chocolate. So, while they might be uncooked and slightly healthier, they aren’t a healthy option (But that definitely still a delicious option).
The best thing about these cookies is just how easy they are to make. So, if you’re keen for cookies but short on time, follow these simple steps for making no bake cookies.
Making Cookies Without Milk
Some recipes call for milk for their no bake cookies. But this really isn’t necessary. So don’t worry if you don’t have any milk. (Or just don’t have any to spare for this recipe.)
This recipe does call for other dairy products. So it isn’t suitable for those with lactose intolerance or who are vegan. But, these can be easily swapped out for dairy free alternatives.
If you prefer the consistency of no bake cookies with milk but don’t want to use dairy, you can easily swap it out for a dairy free alternative milk. But, you can even leave milk out entirely. The recipe below doesn’t call for any kind of milk.
No Bake Cookies Without Milk
- 1 cup oats (quick cooking is best, but any will work)
- 1/2 cup honey (swap out for agave to make it vegan)
- 1/2 cup butter (swap out for dairy-free butter or margarine to make it vegan)
- 1 tbsp Cocoa powder
- 1/2 cup dairy or vegan peanut butter (smooth or crunchy)
- 1 tsp Vanilla extract or fresh
- 1 tsp Maple syrup
- 1/4 tsp salt
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
In a saucepan, add in the honey, maple syrup, peanut butter, vanilla, salt, and butter.
Mix on a medium heat until completely combined.
Pour in the cocoa powder and oats.
Mix until all ingredients are combined.
Spoon out the mixture onto the cookie sheet.
Place in the refrigerator or freezer for 30 minutes or until firm enough to eat.
And that’s it! This process is super easy and takes no time at all. The only downside to this method is that it cannot really be made with children. But they will definitely appreciate it!
Extra Chocolatey No Bake Cookies
To make these cookies even more decadent, you can add some melted chocolate. Simply melt the chocolate in the microwave or in a bain Marie.
A bain Marie simply means a pot placed over or in water. To melt chocolate, add an inch or so of recently boiled water to a saucepan. On top of the pan, place a heatproof bowl. Add the chocolate to the bowl and heat on a low heat. The chocolate will slowly melt.
A bain Marie is the best way to melt chocolate. It reduces the risk of burning as you can watch the chocolate as it melts. Make sure to remove the saucepan from the stove while you add it to the cookies.
Don’t worry about it solidifying. Even if placed in the refrigerator, the chocolate will take a very long time to solidify back to its original level of hardness.
You can add the chocolate in whichever way you want. But here are our three favorite methods.
If you only want chocolate on the tops of the cookies, simply hold them by the base and dip the top into the chocolate. Twist the cookie slightly and then pull it up.
This will make a nice swirl on top. But also makes the chocolate less likely to drip. Then place it back on the baking sheet to harden.
If you want the cookie to be completely covered in chocolate, place the cookie straight into the bowl. Taking a fork, move the cookie around and flip it over until it is completely covered. Once covered, lift them onto the baking sheet.
It’s best to use a fork for this. This is because the melted chocolate will run through the prongs. If you use a spoon, then the chocolate will pool in it, so the coverage won’t be as even. A fork will also be longer and easier to maneuver.
Taking a fork or teaspoon, dip it into the chocolate and then flick the chocolate over the cookies. This is super easy.
And it doesn’t matter if you’re messy. It will still look pretty and professional.
We have mentioned some possible dairy free and vegan substitutes in the ingredients list above.
But let’s go over them in more detail. Just so you can choose the perfect ingredients for your own delicious no bake cookies.
This is a little controversial, even in plant-based and vegan communities. This is because veganism is technically an ethical lifestyle. It goes beyond just not eating meat, dairy, and eggs.
A plant-based diet will generally allow for honey. But an ethical vegan will avoid it as it is most commonly produced by farmed bees. Even when collected from wild bees, many ethical vegans will not eat honey.
This is because it is produced by bees as food. So taking the honey means taking their food supply.
An easy vegan alternative is agave. This is a syrup made from the agave plant. It has an almost identical texture, consistency, and flavor to honey. So much so that anyone doing a blind taste test will find it difficult to differentiate between the two.
Agave might even be a better option than honey. This is because it doesn’t solidify as honey does. While solidified honey is still fine to eat, it is much more difficult to spoon out and mix with other ingredients.
Butter is the most obviously dairy and non-vegan ingredient. But dairy-free butter or even margarine will work just as well. Margarine and dairy-free butter are usually much softer than dairy butter. But this won’t make much of a difference.
It will only cause the ingredients to melt and combine more quickly.
This won’t be an issue in terms of texture or the consistency of the cookies. It just means that you will need to keep a closer eye on the saucepan than with dairy butter. In fact, dairy-free butter or margarine will usually be a healthier alternative to dairy butter.
If neither of these alternatives appeal to you, coconut oil is another option. This also melts down easily. But it has a slightly different consistency than dairy or dairy-free butter and margarine.
But, once melted down and combined with the other ingredients, this won’t make much of a difference. It will give the cookies a slightly coconutty taste, however. Depending on your preferences, this might not work particularly well with the peanut butter flavor.
Peanut butter is one of the easiest ingredients to swap out. There are tonnes of different vegan peanut butters around. The peanut butter in your grocery store might even be unintentionally vegan.
This is because dairy-free butter or margarine is a much cheaper ingredient than dairy butter. Plus it can be stored more easily and for longer.
The choice between smooth and crunchy peanut butter is entirely up to you. When the ingredients are combined, they will begin to melt down. But they will still be thick.
They will then become thick and stick together when you add in the cocoa powder and oats. So the presence of chunks of peanut won’t be an issue.
Generally, if you enjoy crunchy peanut butter on your toast, then you should use crunchy peanut butter in your cookies. If you prefer smooth peanut butter, then you should use smooth.
Crunchy peanut butter will make the cookies crunchier. But, this will be fine if it’s your preference.
If you don’t particularly like peanuts, you can swap it out for any other kind of nut butter. The only thing to consider is the consistency. This will need to be relatively close to the consistency of peanut butter.
This one is slightly different from the ingredients above. Maple syrup is a vegan ingredient. But it is also an alternative. Maple syrup is often used as a healthier alternative to sugar.
This is because maple syrup is not refined as sugar cane or beet sugar is. But it definitely cannot be considered a healthy option.
If you don’t want to use maple syrup (or you just don’t have any around) you can use sugar. Although we recommend adding in a little extra butter to help this to dissolve. Otherwise, your cookies might become crunchy like cookie dough.
Now you know everything about what you should include in your no bake cookies.
To help you make them as perfect as possible, here are some top tips for making no bake cookies.
Use an ice cream scoop
This is a top tip for making any kind of cookie. Ice cream scoops are perfect for dishing out exact portions. Plus, they are much easier to use than a normal spoon. Especially if they have a button to push the ice cream out.
This can be used to push the cookie dough out. So you won’t have to awkwardly scrape two spoons together to get the dough off.
Don’t use your hands
When making cookies, especially chocolate chip cookies, it’s common to just dig your hands in and roll the dough. But this definitely isn’t advisable with these cookies. Even once the oats and cocoa powder have been added in, the dough will be hot.
This can burn your hands. So make sure to use a spoon or another kind of utensil.
Play around with flavors
The recipe above is very basic. But you can easily add in your own flavors or extra ingredients. Any kind of flavor extract will be delicious in these cookies.
Alternatively, you can leave the dough to cool a little. Then add in some berries, nuts, or chocolate chips.
Decorating is easy
We’ve already told you the best ways to add melted chocolate. But you can add lots of other decorations too. Unlike sugar cookies, no bake cookies don’t need any kind of artistic skill to decorate.
If you only want to add the berries, nuts, or chocolate chips as decoration, just press them into the middle. This will create a dip in the middle.
Make sure to do this once the cookies have cooled a little but not before they are solid. This will make sure that the toppings stick to the cookies but don’t melt.
You can easily make these cookies seasonal. If you add enough cocoa powder to the mix, you can make them a dark brown color. Then, take some chocolate eggs or bird decorations. Press a finger into the middle of the cookies.
Then add in the eggs or birds. This will make a perfect Easter nest cookie. This takes very little effort. But will look delightful at any Easter gathering.
No bake cookies are super easy to make. But, they do require some specific ingredients and adult supervision. So they aren’t the type of cookie you can make with your kids.
But, they are the perfect cookie for making in a rush.
Plus, they can be eaten a lot sooner than normal cookies can. So they are definitely the best type around.
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