Preacher Cookies

Cookies, Brownies, Bars, Southern Desserts

You’ll love how easy and tasty these preacher cookies are. When you need to whip up something quick, these are the go-to cookie. They’re the perfect no bake cookie!

These cookies are an old recipe of the South. It’s said that these might have been named “Preacher Cookies” because you can fix a batch quickly, so if the preacher were to drop by for a visit, he could be served right away.

The recipe does require boiling some of the ingredients, so you’ll need a stovetop. But you won’t need to bake these cookies at any point.

Other Names for These Cookies

So… these look familiar, but you don’t call them preacher cookies? This dessert goes by a few different names.

My family has always called them “no-bakes”. That’s probably the most common name for these cookies.

Preacher cookies are also known as “cow plops” and “cow pie cookies”. Maybe you can guess why! If you want to pretty up these cookies a bit, leave out the cocoa and drizzle melted chocolate on them instead. Or, add dried cranberries to the tops after forming the batter into balls.

Substitutions and Additions to Preacher Cookies

There are many more ways to spice up these cookies; here are a few ideas to pick from:

Try adding butterscotch morsels to this recipe, or use them in lieu of the cocoa. Stir them in after the boiling step.

Drizzle melted caramel and sea salt on top.

Shredded coconut is a tasty addition; stir a quarter cup (or more per your liking) into the batter.

Substitute crunchy peanut butter for the creamy peanut butter if you’d like some extra crunch.

M&Ms or Reese’s Pieces can be stirred gently into the cookie batter.

Double up the chocolate flavor by stirring in white, milk, or dark chocolate chips after the boiling step.

Other Tips for Preacher Cookies

Brown sugar can’t be used as a substitute in this recipe, or your cookies aren’t going to properly set. Sticking closely to the recipe should give you the best results. I haven’t tried this recipe with other types of nut butter. If you try it out with almond butter, which is usually thinner than peanut butter, you may need to use less.

For the boiling step, boil for exactly one minute. No more, no less. Timing this step accurately will help your cookies set perfectly.

Be sure to use quick cooking oats or instant oats. Old fashioned oats (also called rolled oats) won’t work well for this recipe. The Spruce Eats has a helpful guide to the different oat types.

Once you’re done dropping your cookie batter onto your cookie sheet lined with waxed paper, pop the cookie sheet into the fridge if you want to hasten the setting process.

preacher cookies

Try our other cookies as well!

Chocolate Chip Peanut Butter Oatmeal Cookies – so many yummy ingredients that you’ll find in the Preacher Cookies are in this easy-bake cookie recipe.

Carrot Cake Cookies – if you love carrot cake, these will be your new favorite cookies!

We hope you’ll enjoy our no bake Preacher Cookies recipe!

Preacher Cookies

You'll love how easy and tasty these cookies are. They are a no-bake delight! When you need to whip up something quick, these are the go-to cookie.
4.34 from 3 votes
Prep Time 10 minutes
Setting Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 10 minutes
Course Dessert
Cuisine American, Southern
Servings 24
Calories 150 kcal


  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1.5 cups white granulated sugar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 4 tbs unsweetened cocoa powder regular or dark
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup smooth peanut butter
  • 2.5 cups quick oats


  • On your stovetop, melt the butter, milk, sugar, cocoa, and salt together at medium heat.
  • Turn up the heat to bring the mixture to a rolling boil, and boil for 2 minutes. Remove from heat.
  • Stir in the vanilla extract. Then mix in the peanut butter until completely mixed in. Lastly, mix in the quick oats.
  • Using a tablespoon or cookie scoop, drop spoonfuls onto a baking sheet lined with parchment or waxed paper. Let sit for an hour, or until completely set.


Calories: 150kcalCarbohydrates: 20gProtein: 3gFat: 7gSaturated Fat: 3gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 11mgSodium: 110mgPotassium: 86mgFiber: 1gSugar: 13gVitamin A: 123IUVitamin C: 1mgCalcium: 15mgIron: 1mg
Keyword chocolate, oats, peanut butter
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!


  1. Peggy Sue Ross

    5 stars
    Thank you for the recipe – one of my all-time favorites! I have two questions if you might know: First (the easy one) can these be made into bars? I just made some oatmeal no bake bars and I thought, hey, if I can make these as a bar cookie vs as a dropped cookie that takes up every available inch of counter space, I’m in heaven! Second, the sugar I use is the golden sugar and I made these once and it didn’t seem to dissolve all the way. Is there a substitution? I saw that brown sugar was a ‘no’ but I was wondering about Corn Syrup? Has that ever been tried?

    • Avatar photo

      Hi Peggy Sue. Glad you love this recipe! I haven’t tried making bars out of this recipe, although I imagine it should work just fine. Probably will take just a little longer to set. I also haven’t experimented with other sugars, since the setting process can be a little finicky with changes to the ingredients. If you try it, please let us know!

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