Santa’s Favorite Chocolate Cookies

One of my favorite Christmas traditions is making several batches of no-bake chocolate/oatmeal/peanut butter cookies a week or two before Christmas and distributed them to all the hungry little elves who are slaving away trying to make Christmas good for everyone.   They are always a crowd-pleaser at pot-lucks too.   I don’t know what they are called, but I inherited the recipe from a sister-in-law back in the eighties so we refer to them as her cookies, but you could call them Santa’s favorites.  

Chocolate cookies

I don’t make them any other time of year, just at Christmas, although with the chocolate they would be suitable for Valentine’s Day too.   It’s hard to justify the calories, but they do contain some good-for-you ingredients, like oatmeal (for lowering cholesterol), milk (source of calcium), peanut butter (for protein) and cocoa (source of antioxidants), even if there is a fair bit of sugar in the recipe.   I find good old-fashioned grocery store Fry’s cocoa works best, as the one year I tried a fancy imported French brand, they were way too chocolaty, so I needed to add less.   (Note: some versions of this recipe only use 1/4 cup cocoa but I’ve always used 1/3 cup of Fry’s, so you could adjust to your taste if you have a richer cocoa.)    

Fry's Cocoa


1/4 cup butter

1/2 cup Peanut Butter 

2 cups white sugar

1/3 cup cocoa  

1/2 cup milk

3 cups oatmeal (rolled minute oats)

2 tsp (10ml) vanilla

Mix sugar and cocoa in a pan.  Add butter and milk and bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring constantly.    When it starts to boil, boil 1 to 1 1/2 minutes exactly.   This is a full boil, not just a few bubbles.   Do not under boil as the mixture will not set properly after you add the other ingredients.

Chocolate cookies

As the chocolate mixture has to be boiled in a pan on the stove, these cookies are not suitable for kids to make.   Santa’s little helpers could help measure the ingredients though. 

Remove from heat and stir in vanilla, peanut butter and rolled oats in that order.    I use Crunchy peanut butter as that’s what I buy, but Smooth is okay too.

Chocolate cookies

Once you have added the peanut butter to the boiling chocolate mixture and whisked it through, and then added the oatmeal, you have to work quickly to scoop out the mixture before it sets.   Drop by teaspoon onto wax paper or non-stick baking pans.   Let cool thoroughly.   Makes 24 cookies.    Keep them in an airtight container.   If they dry out too much after a few days, you can zap them in the microwave for ten seconds to make them moist again. 

Chocolate cookies

Some batches turn out drier than others, depending if I have let it boil too long, but it doesn’t affect the overall taste.   It’s all good.   They can be stored at room temperature or in the fridge, or frozen for later.    

I usually keep a batch in the freezer and defrost when needed, even it it’s just one cookie as a treat with a cup of tea before bed.   Heating them up in the microwave for about ten seconds makes them even better as there’s nothing like a warm chocolate cookie.   Don’t forget to leave some out for Santa!  

Christmas mug with cookies       



28 thoughts on “Santa’s Favorite Chocolate Cookies

  1. Anne says:

    They look and sound yummy. Your advice about bringing the mixture to a full boil is good: I had to scrape the white chocolate ‘ganache’ off the gingersnap base last night as it simply wasn’t setting and reboiled it WELL – what a difference that makes! I like your Christmas mug and plate.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. ruthsoaper says:

    I have been making these for years. Everyone loves them! We always have called them no-bake cookies. I tend to make them a lot during the summer because I don’t have to turn the oven on and heat up the house. Recently I started using Hershey’s Special Dark cocoa. Oh So Delicious!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Joni says:

      Oh no, allergic to chocolate!!! It’s one of my favorite food groups! I don’t know how it would turn out, with just the oatmeal and peanut butter, but I suspect the chocolate/sugar mixture is what makes them stick together?

      Liked by 1 person

    • Joni says:

      I had to make a second batch yesterday as they went fast, but it’s nice to freeze some and just take one out when I’m craving chocolate. They’re so sweet usually I don’t want more than one.

      Liked by 1 person

      • lindasschaub says:

        The perfect treat … I got some treats for myself for Christmas and then was pretty wound up from work and went into most of them … I’m not getting more – I put the rest of them away so they were not as handy. wat

        Liked by 1 person

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