Preacher Cookies Recipe: Easy No-Bake Treats with Cocoa, Peanut Butter, and Oats

Preacher Cookies Recipe: Easy No-Bake Treats with Cocoa, Peanut Butter, and Oats

Preacher cookies originated in the Southern United States. The simple recipe quickly spread due to its ease, requiring no baking and few ingredients. During the mid-20th century, they became a household staple, particularly in rural areas where ovens and electricity might not be readily available. With their rich flavors of cocoa, peanut butter, and oats, preacher cookies quickly gained popularity, especially among families looking for quick, satisfying treats.

Why They Are Called “Preacher Cookies”

The name “preacher cookies” stems from an old tradition. When a preacher made an unexpected visit, a quick dessert was necessary. These no-bake cookies could be prepared rapidly, allowing the host to serve a homemade treat without the need for oven time. The preacher would often arrive unannounced, and these cookies offered a solution, ensuring that the preacher felt welcomed and the host appeared prepared. This swift preparation time, coupled with their delicious taste, solidified the name and the tradition.

Key Ingredients

Standard Components

The primary ingredients essential to making Preacher Cookies include cocoa powder, sugar, butter, peanut butter, milk, and oats. Cocoa powder gives the cookies their rich chocolate flavor. Sugar sweetens the cookies, balancing the bitterness of the cocoa. Butter adds a creamy texture. Peanut butter delivers a nutty taste, enhancing the overall flavor profile. Milk helps to combine the ingredients smoothly. Oats provide texture and add a wholesome element, making the cookies satisfying and filling.

Optional Variations

You can customize Preacher Cookies by adding various optional ingredients. Vanilla extract boosts the flavor complexity. Chopped nuts, like pecans or walnuts, introduce a crunchy texture. Shredded coconut adds a tropical twist. Raisins or dried cranberries give a chewy, fruity element. For a gluten-free option, use gluten-free oats. Experimenting with different types of nut butter, such as almond or cashew, can also modify the flavor while maintaining the signature creamy texture.

Step-by-Step Recipe

Preparation Techniques

To make Preacher Cookies, gather all ingredients before starting. You’ll need cocoa powder, sugar, butter, peanut butter, milk, and oats.

  1. Mix Butter and Sugar: Melt ½ cup of butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Once melted, add 2 cups of sugar and stir until well combined.
  2. Add Cocoa and Milk: Incorporate ¼ cup of cocoa powder and ½ cup of milk. Continue stirring until the mixture reaches a rolling boil.
  3. Cook to Boil: Hold the mixture at a rolling boil for 1 minute. This step is crucial for the cookies to set correctly.
  4. Combine Remaining Ingredients: Remove the saucepan from heat and promptly stir in ¾ cup of peanut butter and 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract. Mix until smooth.
  5. Add Oats: Stir in 3 cups of quick-cooking oats until evenly coated with the chocolate mixture.
  6. Shape Cookies: Drop spoonfuls of the mixture onto wax paper or a silicone baking mat. Flatten slightly to form cookie shapes.
  7. Cool and Set: Allow the cookies to cool and set for about 30 minutes. Once firm, they are ready to enjoy.

Cooking Without an Oven

Cooking Preacher Cookies doesn’t require an oven, making it ideal for quick treats or when appliance access is limited.

  • No-Bake Process: The no-bake method relies on stovetop cooking, melding ingredients at the right temperature for proper consistency.
  • Timing: Watching the boil time ensures the cookies set properly. A minute of boiling combines the ingredients without over-cooking.
  • Cooling: Properly cooling the cookies on a flat surface aids in the setting process, solidifying the cookies’ shape and texture.
  • Adjusted Ingredients: Experiment with substitutes like almond milk and gluten-free oats for dietary preferences, ensuring these alternatives don’t affect the setting process.

By following these steps, you can create delicious Preacher Cookies with minimal equipment and effort.

Nutritional Information

Caloric Content

Each serving of Preacher Cookies contains approximately 200 to 250 calories. The caloric value can vary based on the specific ingredients and portion sizes. A typical cookie comprises oats, peanut butter, sugar, and cocoa powder, contributing to the overall energy content. By adjusting the quantities or substituting some ingredients, you can lower or increase the calorie count.

Health Considerations

These cookies provide a source of energy from carbs, fats, and proteins. Oats contain fiber, which aids in digestion, while peanut butter offers healthy fats and proteins. The sugar and butter contribute to the flavor but add saturated fats and sugars, which should be consumed in moderation. If you’re looking for healthier alternatives, consider using natural sweeteners like honey or maple syrup and opting for unsweetened cocoa powder. Additionally, you can incorporate nuts or dried fruits to enhance nutritional benefits.

Serving Suggestions

Best Occasions to Serve

Serve Preacher Cookies during casual gatherings or unexpected visits. These cookies are perfect for potlucks, picnics, and family get-togethers. Use them as quick treats for school events or office parties. They’re ideal for holidays when you need a fast dessert. Offer them during cozy movie nights or as after-school snacks.

Pairing with Beverages

Pair Preacher Cookies with milk, coffee, or tea. Their rich cocoa and peanut butter flavors go well with cold milk, providing a classic combination. Serve them alongside hot coffee for a morning or afternoon pick-me-up. Complement them with herbal tea for a lighter option, enhancing the cookies’ sweetness. Enjoy them with hot chocolate during colder months for a comforting treat.


Preacher Cookies offer a delightful blend of simplicity and flavor, making them a beloved treat in many households. Their no-bake nature and customizable ingredients mean you can whip up a batch quickly for any occasion. Whether you’re hosting a casual gathering or looking for a quick snack, these cookies are sure to impress. Pair them with your favorite beverage and enjoy the perfect combination of taste and tradition.

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