A few years ago a friend of mine requested I make no-bake cookies for her bridal shower. At that point I’d never heard of “no-bakes” and had to do a little research to make sure I make the right thing.
There’s a handful of different techniques for making them, some more traditional recipes call for sugar, flour and butter, but I chose the “natural” version made with coconut oil, natural peanut butter, and sweetened with honey. This particular friend is super health conscious I knew she’d appreciate the body-loving goodness of this version.
Over the years I’ve made these cookies often and the recipe has slowly evolved from the original which I found on allrecipes.com. The recipe calls for natural peanut butter—I like to use Adams brand “crunchy” peanut butter and even more crushed peanuts and chunks of bittersweet chocolate since I love a chunky cookie!
Feel free to use whatever brand of ingredients you have on hand or whatever is available at your local store, but after several variations I’ve found that using higher quality ingredients really does make a difference. This is my philosophy with all cooking really, but I think this recipe is a great example of that.
For instance, I’ve made them with Trader Joe’s cocoa powder and grocery store brand honey many times and the cookies are still great. However, I made this batch with dark Dutch cocoa from Pete’s Coffee, and local honey from some bee-keeping friends (so cool)!
My husband, who often has a hard time differentiating ingredient quality mentioned he thought this batch was significantly better than the last. I realize most people don’t have access to fresh honey off the comb but you get the gist—better ingredients equals a better final product.
These cookies ended up being such a hit at the shower. Even our friends who are always skeptical of “healthy” desserts ravaged them. No one could tell they were gluten and dairy free, they just disappeared. Since then no-bakes have become one of my go-to desserts when I’m craving a rich and satisfying, yet healthy treat. An extra perk is how incredibly simple they are to make, hope you enjoy!
(yields 16-20 cookies, prep/cook time 10-15 minutes)
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup chopped, roasted unsalted peanuts
- 1/2 cup chopped bittersweet chocolate
- 1/2 cup cocoa powder
- 1/2 cup coconut oil
- 1 cup honey
- 1 cup natural peanut butter (crunchy)
- 1 cup unsweetened, flaked coconut
- 2 cups rolled oats
- Place dry ingredients (rolled oats, flaked coconut, chopped peanuts and chopped bittersweet chocolate) in a large mixing bowl and set aside.
- Combine honey, coconut oil and cocoa powder in a small sauce pot and bring to a boil over medium heat.
- Let mixture boil for about 2 minutes and remove from heat.
- Gently stir in peanut butter and vanilla extract until completely combined and smooth.
- Pour warm mixture over dry ingredients and stir until everything is evenly combined.
- Drop spoonfuls (I like to use an ice cream scoop) of your desired size onto a parchment lined baking sheet.
- Place in the fridge for about 20 minutes so the cookies can set. Serve immediately.
*Make sure to store these in the fridge since the coconut oil and peanut butter will soften in a warm kitchen and they’ll become a slightly gooey mess.