What’s better than a cookie that requires no baking? Not much. Recipe developer and food blogger Angela Latimer of Bake It With Love has quite a few no-bake cookie recipes that she enjoys making on a regular basis. In fact, her classic no-bake cookie is one of the first things she made by herself as a child. These no-bake graham cracker cookies feature the favorite biscuit and ratchets up its snack power with a few additional ingredients, such as quick-cooking oats.
While rustling up the dish takes just five minutes, you’ll have to wait 30 minutes to an hour while the delicious two dozen cookies set. The hardest work in this simple dish does require you to crush the graham crackers into crumbs, although you can cheat and use the pre-packaged variety. However, Latimer does find "that the uneven sizes of hand-crushed graham crackers are more appealing in these cookies."
If you think s’mores when graham crackers appear on the table, you can swap in cinnamon graham cracker cereal and marshmallows and create a no-bake s’mores version of this recipe, Latimer tells us. Or make both. Then you’ll have more to enjoy. Too many cookies is never a problem.
Gather your ingredients
Are you ready to make some cookies (two dozen, as a matter of fact)? Good — this is what you’ll need from your kitchen: sugar, a stick of salted butter, milk, cocoa powder, vanilla extract, and quick-cooking oats. What’s nice about this recipe is you probably keep these ingredients around in the pantry, so any time you get a hankering for cookies, you are good to go. The star component, of course, are those crushed graham crackers. You’ll typically use about 8 graham crackers, according to Latimer, who points out there are often 9 per sleeve. Feel free to toss in that lonely one, if you like.
Latimer suggests breaking the graham crackers by placing them into a plastic freezer storage bag and crushing them using the flat side of a meat tenderizer. "A food processor makes short work of them, too," she offers. While the recipe calls for salted butter because the seasoning heightens flavors, if you’re sensitive to the salt content in foods you can try the cookies with the unsalted version.
Boil the sugar, cocoa, milk, and butter
This dish requires a little stovetop cooking, but it is an essential step. First, add the sugar, butter, milk, and cocoa powder to a saucepan over medium-high heat to make a syrup. Stir frequently while the butter melts, and then bring the mixture to a boil.
Here’s the secret to this recipe: it is important to reach a full rolling boil. If your see your mixture about to boil over, reduce the heat slightly. Once you find that solid, rolling boil, set a timer and boil it for one minute. "The biggest thing to nailing no-bake cookies every time is finding your rolling boil and literally timing it," emphasizes Latimer. "Over one minute and you have hard, dry no-bakes. Under one minute and your cookies are unlikely to set."
What’s a rolling boil? Look for a consistent bursting of bubbles without the syrup boiling over. Adjust the heat up if the bubbling looks more like a simmer, or if the bubbling is only around the saucepan edges. You should also alter the heat to prevent boiling over. "If someone were to have that point where the syrup is boiling too rapidly and threatening to boil over, [a rolling boil is] JUST below that point (after the heat is reduced slightly)," explains Latimer.
Add the graham crackers and oats
Once you mastered the rolling boil, everything else in this recipe is super easy. It’s just a matter of stirring the ingredients until your cookie batter fully forms. You’ll remove the saucepan from the heat and then stir in the vanilla extract. Next comes the quick-cooking oats and those crushed graham crackers. Keep your spoon busy until the dry ingredients are well coated and the dish resembles a cookie dough. This is the last of your preparation — the rest of this dish just requires portioning the cookies and (the hardest part) waiting for them to be ready.
Arrange cookies on parchment paper
Place a sheet of parchment paper (waxed paper and aluminum foil will also work) on a baking sheet or working surface, then drop the cookie mixture in spoonful amounts onto it. Use your fingers to round the cookies or slightly flatten them, if you prefer that style. And extra bonus if that’s you: level cookies tend to set more quickly.
Now, comes the hard part. Leave the no-bake graham cracker cookies alone for 30 minutes to an hour before serving, or the texture won’t be right. And you want to get that correct since good, well-set no-bake cookies store well at room temperature for up to two weeks in an airtight container, according to Latimer. "You can use parchment paper between layers," she suggested, although she has never needed to do so. You can also freeze the cookies for up to three months. So the cookies taste good, now or later!
- 2 cups sugar
- ½ cup salted butter
- ½ cup milk
- 4 tablespoons cocoa powder
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 2 cups quick-cooking oats
- 1 cup crushed graham crackers
- In a saucepan over medium-high heat, add the sugar, butter, milk, and cocoa powder.
- Stir frequently while the butter melts, and bring the syrup to a rolling boil. Once you have a solid, rolling boil set a timer and boil the syrup for 1 minute.
- Remove the saucepan from heat and stir in the vanilla extract.
- Add the quick-cooking oats and crushed graham crackers. Stir until the dry ingredients are well coated.
- Place a sheet of parchment paper on a baking sheet or work surface, then drop the cookie mixture in spoonful amounts on to the parchment paper. Use your fingers to round the cookies or slightly flatten them if desired.
- Allow the no-bake graham cracker cookies to set for 30 minutes to an hour before serving.