Tips for Making the Perfect “Preacher Cookie”

P1040047Yes, the cookie with the most names. Many know it as the Preacher Cookie, we called them Fudgies  when I was growing up, some people call them No-Bake cookies, and my husband always called them Chocolate Oats– which is the name that has stuck with my family.

These are probably one of his very favorite things to eat ever- and my kids are right behind him. In fact, they “Chocolate-Oat” me to death! How about some variety, people? Nope- these are what they want.

So, seeing as I make these so frequently, I have discovered some tips that make these no-bake treats absolutely perfect.

Now, I know there are many different preferences when it comes to this popular cookie. But, I have found many versions end up sticky, or dry, or do not set properly.

In my world, the perfect Preacher Cookie will be:


  • soft
  • fudgey
  • moist
  • glossy
  • set up in 10 minutes
  • still taste good the next day

So- here are some tips.


NOTE: these tips are applicable when using BUTTER- not margarine. I had this recipe down pat using margarine, but when I switched to butter- it changed it all up! I kept getting dry and crumbly results- uggg! But, after a few trial and error runs making changes, I do now have the perfect method!

  • 1/2 cup (one stick) unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup cocoa
  • 2 cups sugar
  • pinch of salt
  • 1/2 cup peanut butter
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 2- 2 1/4 cups old-fashioned oats

On medium heat- melt the butter in a large saucepan. When melted- add the milk and stir. Add the cocoa and stir. Pour in all the sugar and stir immediately. Add the pinch of salt. Turn the heat up to medium-high. Continue to stir constantly until the chocolate mixture begins to bubble.

TIP: I have found that if it takes too long for this mixture to come to a boil- the cookies will not set properly. There have been several occasions when I have made these cookies somewhere other than my kitchen- and was using pots and a stove I wasn’t used to, and and they did not “set”. This happened on several occasions before I finally noticed that the pots I was using these times were slightly warped. If the pot does not sit flatly on the burner- especially a smooth-surface burner, it takes the mixture too long to boil, and they just don’t set up. SO, you want the mixture to come to a boil within 1-3 minutes.

Once it begins to bubble- set your timer for about 90 seconds and allow it to continue to boil- stirring constantly. When the 90 seconds are up- remove from the heat.

At this point, quickly add the peanut butter and vanilla. Stir until the peanut butter has melted in.

Now you can add the oats.

TIP: I think this is the step that can make or break this cookie. I think there is a very fine line between just enough oats and too much. Too much oats makes the cookie dry, hard, and crumbly. I have learned to stop adding oats right before I think I should stop. So, you might be tempted to add more. But don’t. The mixture should remain somewhat ‘saucy’ after the oats are added. This is what helps them to get that fudgey texture. 

So, start by adding in 1 cup of the oats- stir. Add another cup. Stir. At this point, if the mixture still seems way too soupy, add the additional 1/4 cup.

Using a large spoon, drop spoonfulls of the mixture onto a cookie sheet or even just a sheet of wax paper or foil.

TIP: The cookies should look glossy and shiny. If they look glossy and shiny- you know you are going to have a winner. If they look more dull- colored, you have added to many oats.


They should also spread out slightly. (see the picture, below) If they stay in a thick ‘heap’- you have added to many oats. 

Allow them to cool and set for at least 10 minutes.

Once set, you can remove with a metal spatula. They might “crinkle” a little bit when you remove them from the pan- but that’s absolutely fine.

When made right, these cookies will still taste delicious, moist, and soft the next day!






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2 thoughts on “Tips for Making the Perfect “Preacher Cookie”

  1. D Baker October 10, 2013 at 7:34 pm Reply

    My attempt wasn’t successful. I realize many of the errors: I used quick-oats instead of old-fashioned oats. Seems like old-fashioned oats wouldn’t work as well as it takes about 5 mins to cook according to its container vs. one minute for quick-oats, left out salt accidentally, and I think I boiled it longer than 90 seconds (couldn’t get timer to set properly). The butter, milk, sugar mixture looked like a gravy, is that right? I will try it again with hopefully better results.

    • makeithomemade October 10, 2013 at 7:52 pm Reply

      I’m sorry to hear it didn’t work out for you! What did not work out? Were they too dry? Did they not set up? Let me know what the biggest problem was, and that will help me figure out the possible fix.

      Really, I have used both quick and old-fashioned oats. You will probably just need to use a little more oats if using the “quick” variety.

      I don’t feel like leaving out salt would affect it to much.

      The boiling time is a big factor and also how quickly it begins to boil. If boiled too long or not long enough, the cookie may not turn out.

      The sugar mixture should be glossy and thickened (though not as thick as a fudge sauce for instance)

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