A Recipe: Charlie Browns


Charlie Browns, boiled cookies, chocolate oatmeal cookies, so many names for such a quick and easy tidbit. This is one of those treats that my grandma and my mom made for us many, many times when I was a child.

Charlie Browns
2 cups sugar
2 TBSP cocoa
1/2 cup milk
1 stick oleo (margarine or butter)
2 1/2 cups oatmeal
1/2 cup peanut butter (The Husband likes chunky)
1 teaspoon vanilla

Combine first 4 ingredients in a medium saucepan. Bring to a rolling boil. Boil one minute — exactly one minute — no more, no less. Remove from heat and add oatmeal, peanut butter and vanilla. Mix well and drop by heaping teaspoon onto wax paper or parchment. Let sit until set and cool. Eat.











  • August 22, 2008 - 3:20 pm | Permalink

    Oh the peanutty goodness…I bet they tasted soooo good.

  • August 24, 2008 - 7:21 pm | Permalink

    Jessica, I love those things. Can’t have them anymore since I found out about my peanut allergy. Your grandma used to make the best ones! I think I am going to make some for Shannon when he comes back home and surprise him. I will tell him he has you to thank for it!

  • gesikah
    August 24, 2008 - 8:50 pm | Permalink

    Tell Mr. Shannon he’s welcome. ;)

    I was thinking about the peanut allergy thing today (since now there are so many of us that are allergic I can’t keep up with all of them). I wonder if there is another “butter” that could be substituted, like almond or cashew or even sunflower seed.

  • MIchelle
    August 25, 2008 - 12:08 pm | Permalink

    I was wondering about nutella…. if thats how you spell it!

  • August 26, 2008 - 7:06 am | Permalink

    Please NOT almond…that would be worse for me. But maybe a nice Hazelnut butter??? We will have to check into it.

  • August 26, 2008 - 7:11 am | Permalink
  • October 22, 2008 - 8:40 pm | Permalink

    You are not going to believe this! I googled “Charlie Browns oatmeal cookies”, and your recipe was at the top of the list! While I was making the cookies (which turned out perfect, by the way), I noticed Michelle’s message about her husband Shannon. I thought, well surely, this is NOT Michelle Whitaker, but I clicked her name and learned it was. A few minutes later, I thought about who “gesikah” might be, so I looked at the photos on the wall in one of your living room pictures, and sure enough, it was YOU! Isn’t that crazy-out of the gazillion google possibilities, I find the recipe of someone I know personally! No wonder the Charlie Browns are awesome– I got the recipe from the same person who bakes the most beautiful cakes!

    Congrats on the remodel! Looks awesome! And thanks a bunch for the recipe…

  • gesikah
    October 22, 2008 - 10:06 pm | Permalink

    Haha, that’s hilarous! Small world..errr…internet! ;)

    And I can’t take credit for the cookies entirely, they were Nonnie’s recipe. I am so glad they came out well for you.

    I will have to remember to show Mom your comment, she just got back from England, so she’s pretty tuckered out.

    Great hearing from you! I will try to post some more recipes for you to try out. :)

  • Ashear
    February 9, 2010 - 12:14 am | Permalink

    I was looking for this recipe for a while and i loved the simplicity. But when it was finished and cooled, the oats were still hard and it tasted like sandy. Is it because we didn’t boil everything not long enough? Any suggestions?

    • gesikah
      February 9, 2010 - 9:32 am | Permalink

      Hi Ashear!

      About the oats being hard, you might try using instant oats. They will tend to be less chewy in the final product. I personally like them either way, but I can see how someone might not.

      As to the sandy texture, it could be several things. I am going to try and append this recipe at some point to be more specific, this is how I got it from my grandma and it’s actually one of the more detailed ones from her. ;) Could be that your temperature was too high, I think I usually start on medium to medium high heat. I am trying to remember if I stir it the whole time…I am thinking I stir it quite a bit, but you do have to be careful not to overwork it after you have taken it off the heat. And don’t scrape the side! Since you don’t mention them being dry, I am thinking you probably didn’t overcook them, but you also have to make sure that you don’t start timing the minute until a good boil is going.

      Or it was humid that day, or not humid enough, or the sugar gods were displeased. ;) Honestly, even my grandma who made these all the time for about 25 years that I know of, had batches that just didn’t work out. Ranging from we got to eat them off the wax paper with a spoon to you could chip a tooth on them. As someone who grew up with them, when a batch goes south it’s kinda of nostalgic, but I can see how it would be incredibly frustrating for someone making them for the first time. When I update the recipe I will try making them with a candy thermometer, I am sure having the proper temperature would help, but I have never made them that way and have no idea what the proper temperature would be.

  • Francis Lee
    July 12, 2011 - 5:36 pm | Permalink

    I have been looking for this for a while! My husband loves this and I remember my mom making them when I was a young child. Thank you so much for Charlie Browns Recipe!!!!! Can’t wait to make them Again!!

  • gesikah
    July 12, 2011 - 6:04 pm | Permalink

    Hi Francis!

    So glad to be of help!

  • Ashley
    August 31, 2012 - 11:07 am | Permalink

    hey is it possible to make these without a whole stick of butter?
    without changing the amount it makes?

    • gesikah
      August 31, 2012 - 12:58 pm | Permalink

      Ashley – I have never experimented myself, but I highly doubt it would be possible to make them without the full amount of either butter or margarine without it negatively effecting the texture and taste. A smidge less might not have disastrous results, but I would imagine using..say…half and you would end up with just a mess. But again, I haven’t ever tried it myself.

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