Boiled Oatmeal Cookies (Preacher Cookies)

Total Time
1hr 5mins
Prep 5 mins
Cook 1 hr

Simple, quick, easy, good cookies can be prepared with a minimum of fuss and bother, and ready to eat in an hour. I've seen them called Preacher cookies, because they could be made quickly if you found out the preacher was coming to call on you.

Ingredients Nutrition

  • 2 cups sugar (white, brown or a combination of the two)
  • 3 cups oats, dry- sometimes takes a bit more (old fashioned, or quick cooking)
  • 12 cup milk (evaporated, buttermilk, any kind but I wouldn't use sweetened, condensed. That would be too sweet)
  • 23 cup cocoa, unsweetened
  • 14 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 12 cup butter
  • 12 cup peanut butter
  • 12 cup nuts, coarsely chopped (walnuts, pecans, coconut.)


  1. Put oats in a large bowl.
  2. In a small saucepan over medium heat bring to a full boil: butter, milk, sugar, and cocoa. Reduce heat and simmer for 3 minutes. Remove from heat. There is a knack to this. Boil them too long, they will be dry and crumbly, too short and they will be runny.
  3. Quickly add peanut butter, salt, vanilla.
  4. Mix liquid into oats. Add more oats as necessary until it has a moist doughy consistency.
  5. Quickly put in buttered cake pan or quickly drop by the teaspoonful onto wax paper. Let them stand at room temperature for one hour.
  6. Variations: Add 1/2 cup coarsely chopped nuts, or Coconut. Replace 1/2 the oats with coconut. Use less cocoa and more peanut butter.
Most Helpful

These are my and my family's favorite cookies. The secret to making sure they harden is to make sure that they boil for 2 minutes. They are delicious and make the house smell wonderful! I give them as gifts and use them for cookie exchanges. I don't add nuts, use only 2 Tbsp peanut butter and only 2 cups quick oats--any more and they will be dry.

Fluffysmomtoo November 17, 2009

I made these tonight for a cookie exchange party. I was dissappointed they never hardened. They stayed in a spoon drop shape but were mushy. Maybe it was because our humidity today was very high for Dec. The flavor was good and they were super easy to make. I loved not having to turn my oven on. I do not know if I'll make then again though.

dianninaustin December 20, 2008

Just made these cookies and cut the recipe in half because I only had a 1/2 stick of butter to use up. The cookies are DELICIOUS! I couldn't wait one hour so I had three so far...! There are enough left for my dd and dgds to have :) Will be making more as soon as I can get to the store for more butter. Thanks for posting a great recipe!

Mavis S. July 27, 2008