Treat Your Family to Great No-Bake Cookies Recipes

article image
Photo By iStockphoto/Diane Labombarbe
Boiled Oatmeal Cookies are the quintessential no-bake cookie, and they taste great, too.

As the temperatures start to rise, we begin looking for ways to stay cool, and that goes double for kitchen duty. Your family may clamor for cookies, but you would really prefer to not turn on the oven. What do you do?

No-bake cookies are the answer. Some call them preacher cookies, or no-bakes, or cow patties, or poodgies, or … well, you get the idea.

Many variations exist, though the main no-bake recipe contains cocoa, peanut butter, oats, sugar, butter, vanilla and milk. For another example, those puffed cereal squares your children love to make and eat are the epitome of no-bake treats.

No-bake cookie recipes do not contain flour or eggs, and they usually contain some type of fruit or nuts, held together by a sugar like honey or a fat like peanut butter. The mixture is then either pressed into a pan, cooled and cut into squares or bars, or dropped by the spoonful onto a sheet of waxed paper spread over a jellyroll pan, and then refrigerated or frozen. Some, like Boiled Oatmeal Cookies, are cooked on the stovetop, mainly to dissolve things, then cooled before eating.

It’s difficult to trace the history of such a novel yet simple cookie. Early recipes date back to the 1930s, while the concept — but no recipes — may be traced back to ancient Middle Eastern cooks, who put together various concoctions of seeds, nuts, dried fruit and sweeteners for travelers to carry during their journeys.

The idea of no-bake cookies is as simple as the cookie. It’s a recipe that can be thrown together in a hurry for unexpected guests or short-notice get-togethers. The story behind the name “preacher cookies” says it was so named because a housewife, upon looking out her window and seeing the preacher coming up the mountain on his horse, could quickly whip up a batch of cookies to be cooling when the preacher arrived at the door.

Whatever you call them, we hope these no-bake confections are a big hit in your house.


Belle Warden, Granite City, Illinois, would like a variety of recipes for no-bake cookies to help her rebuild her recipe collection.

No-Bake Oatmeal Cookies Recipe
No-Bake Fruitcake Cookie Recipe
No-Bake Orange Juice Cookies Recipe
Dinosaur Food Becomes a No-Bake Cookie Recipe
No-Bake Cornflake Cookie Recipe
Chocolate Bird Nests Recipe
Chocolate-Dipped Pretzel Rods Recipe


Evelyn Williams, Norfolk, Virginia, found a clipping from a 1946 article in Capper’s Farmer in her grandmother’s old recipes. The clipping talks about Corned Steak, but the recipe section was missing. She would like the recipe if at all possible.

Our recipe archives don’t include recipes from the old version of Capper’s Farmer. An online search turned up two possibilities. Have a look at the relaunched version of Capper’s Farmer.

Homemade Corned Beef Recipe Made With Round Steak
Flank Steak Turns Into Home-Corned Beef


When she attended Clarks Hill Elementary School in Clarks Hill, Indiana, Charlene Clark enjoyed the school cooks’ version of pizza burgers. She hopes someone has a similar recipe. 

Pizza Burger Recipe Is School Lunch Favorite
School Cafeteria’s Pizza Burger Recipe


Jeana Johnson, Bemidji, Minnesota, writes that her Auntie Bev used to make water pie. She thinks it was a Depression-era recipe and contained sugar, water, butter and cinnamon, but she’s not sure if it included anything else.

Water Pie Recipe from the Depression Era

Senior Associate Jean Teller loves reading old recipes, though the ingredients on occasion make her raise an eyebrow.

If you’ve been looking for a long-lost recipe, or can provide one, please send an email to, or write to Recipe Box, c/o GRIT and CAPPER’s, 1503 S.W. 42nd St., Topeka, KS 66609. Email is our preferred method of communication, and requests and submissions will be more likely to be answered in a timely fashion if sent electronically. Please include your name, address and daytime phone number. Recipes cannot be returned; we will forward the first 10 recipes to the person who made the original request, and then file the rest for possible online or print publication. Addresses are not printed to allow us the opportunity to publish recipes before sending them on to the requestingparty.

How Recipe Box Works

On any correspondence — whether you are requesting a recipe or responding to a request — please include your full name, full mailing address and telephone number. We publish only names, cities and states; the other information is for fact-checking or future contact.

When you send in a request, please give us as much information about the recipe as you can remember: name of the recipe, ingredients, era or publication in which it was found, any possible ethnic connections, etc.

When you respond with a recipe, please include the source and era in which it was found (if known), and any tidbits from your personal experience with the recipe. Does your family love it? How easy is it to prepare? Do you make any substitutions and why? Any tips on making it turn out just perfect? Also, if you are responding to more than one request, please place each recipe either in a separate email (with the name of the recipe and the name of the person who requested it in the subject line) or on separate pieces of paper. On every recipe, please indicate who it is for and from which issue you found the request.

Our preferred method of communication is via email, but we still welcome letters. The first 10 responses to a request will be mailed to the requester as soon as possible. We will then hold all other responses for possible publication either in the magazine or on our website. You will find all of our contact information in the Help Wanted box at the end of this article.

Thank you for helping to make Recipe Box a success!

Need Help? Call 1-866-803-7096