No-Bake Cookies – A Summertime Low-Heat Treat

Make cookies in the summer when it’s an oven outside? Who want’s to turn the oven on inside?!

Here’s how to make some yummy chocolaty cookies when it’s too hot to bake.

Cookies are Fun!

fourth of july picnic on savor the southwestThese are perfect for a Fourth of July picnic – so I am posting this now, so you can make sure you have ingredients on hand. I made these back in 2016 for a friends annual Fourth of July picnic, and I have been asked to bring them every year since (with that Covid blip in there somewhere).


Acorn flour and honey made these a cookies a foragers delight! This recipe could use honey – and sadly is not in our cookbook, but many other fine recipes are.

Here’s The Cookbook!

savor-honey-bookMay we suggest our dandy little cookbook?   Using Honey in New and Savory Ways offers 36 pages of tips for using honey in your cooking, as well as in all manner of dishes. A steal at only $6!

We hope you will help support some local Southwest folks!
From the review:
“Honey is for more than desserts and this book can help! Using honey in cooking savory dishes helps engage all your taste buds and adds a layer of added flavor to everyday dishes – plus holiday fare.”

Beekeeper?  We offer volume discounts – because if you sell honey in local markets you might want to offer some of these books as well.

Flour Options

I do love these no-bake cookies made with acorn meal. Indeed, the acorn combined with peanut butter is a great flavor and I prefer it without the chocolate, but maybe with some cinnamon flavoring. Acorn foraging season is September and “Oaktober.”  yes, we have two articles on foraging acorns and using acorns.savor-the-southwest-mesquite

I have made these cookies with a variety of gluten-free flours. If there are tree nut allergies in the house, you can’t use almond flour or the chocolate in the recipe, so have some fun experimenting.


Mesquite is a bean (legume) and not a nut, thus most folks with tree nut allergies have no problems with mesquite. BUT! People that have soy allergies should test their tolerance to mesquite flour. Also, recent reports share that perhaps people with peanut allergies should have care with mesquite, but since this has peanut butter in it, I guess that is a moot point.

I have also made these cookies as a coconut treat – with coconut oil, coconut flour, coconut milk, and coconut flakes instead of half the oats. Yummy.

sample of various gluten free flours on savor the southwest-
This is easily made with gluten free flours.

I did try batches of these cookies with two specialty gluten-free flours from Pereg foods. I tried their teff flour, with a nutty and rich result. The banana flour was a very mildly banana-y flavor and truly wonderful with the chocolate and peanut butter.

No-Bake Cookies

makes 3 to 4 dozen

1/4 pound butter (to go vegan – see below)
4 ounces baking chocolate (can simply omit if tree nut allergies)
1/2 cup liquid – milk, cream, half and half
1 cup brown sugar or mesquite honey (not molasses with chocolate)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup peanut butter
1 cup flour or acorn meal or mesquite flour or meal
(densities vary - you might need a little more)
3 cups fine cut oatmeal

making no bake cookies on savor the southwestStep 1. Start with the Right Pot

Use a 3 or 4 quart pot to melt the butter and chocolate in. Large – yes! But you will use this pot as your mixing bowl. Unless you like doing dishes.

Step 2. Melt the Meltables

Over medium to low heat, melt the butter and chocolate.
Stir continuously to avoid burning.

making no bake cookies on savor the southwest

Step 3. Mix the dough. Get Your Arm Muscles Ready.

Remove from heat and the add liquid ingredients.
Blend together.

Add sweetener, salt, and vanilla.
Blend well to dissolve sugar if you are using it.

Add peanut butter while mix is still warm. Stir in until the whole blend is a creamy soup.

Add meal or flour and stir in well.making no bake cookies on savor the southwest

Add oats and get them coated with the “soup.” Except the soup is going to go away as you mix – until now you have something more the consistency of library paste. Too young to know about that? Think standard chocolate chip cookie dough.

oatmeal for no bake cookies on savor the southwest
Use the finer oats. Coarse oats make a crumbly mix.

If the mix is still too creamy and soupy, you may need to add more meal or flour. This is important so that the cookies will set up, otherwise you have a sort of dessert soup – which is tasty but not the cookie you want.

Step 4. Time to Roll the Balls

making no bake cookies on savor the southwestI like to roll my cookies into walnut-sized balls. If you don’t live off grid and do have a fridge, you could drop by spoon-full onto a cookie sheet an place in the fridge.

At first the balls might be somewhat sticky. Soldier on, this will change as the mixture cools and the flour slowly absorbs the moisture and oils out of the mix.

Roll the balls and space apart from each other on a cookie sheet. This allows the air to help dry them out further.

Usually by the time I get to the bottom of the pot, the mix has cooled enough and the flour soaked enough up that the balls are somewhat crumbly. Just make the balls smaller to get them to stay together.

cinnamon for no bake cookies on savor the southwest

Step 5. Embellish

If you have cocoa and have gone the chocolate route, place a little cocoa in a tea strainer and sprinkle over the finished no-bake cookie balls.
Or you could sprinkle them with cinnamon sugar.

To Make These Cookies Vegan

Make these two changes and you have a vegan cookie.
Use coconut oil instead of butter (but it needs to be a solid sort of oil).
Use almond milk, coconut milk, or oat milk.

grating nutmeg to add to cookies on savor the southwest

Optional Flavor Changes

Use dark rich espresso coffee instead of milk, especially if you use mesquite flour – it complements the mesquite well.

Add 1 teaspoon cinnamon and a touch of nutmeg to combine with the mesquite flavor nicely. Do keep the vanilla, it helps enhance all the flavors.

Legal Note

© Article copyright Savor the Southwest // Jacqueline A. Soule. All rights reserved. You must ask permission to republish an entire blog post or article. Okay to use a short excerpt but you must give proper credit. You must include a link back to the original post on our site. No stealing photos.


The authors of this website have researched the edibility of the materials we discuss, however, humans vary in their ability to tolerate different foods, drinks, and herbs. Individuals consuming flowers, plants, animals or derivatives mentioned in this blog do so entirely at their own risk. The authors on this site cannot be held responsible for any adverse reaction. In case of doubt please consult your medical practitioner.

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