Monster Cookies

I went on a road trip with 3 boys.  Just got back actually.  Brave of me, huh?  On Thursday, we drove for 8 hours, from Wichita Falls to Kansas City…and today we turned around and drove back.  We saw lots of interesting things, like a state trooper trying to chase down a calf on the side of the highway.

Things can get very exciting along the Kansas Turnpike.

To make things even MORE exciting (and to ensure that the boys didn’t get annoyed with me for having to pee), I made monster cookies.

Monstrous tower of cookies.

I’ll admit it.  I basically view monster cookies as an excuse to buy a variety of candies to put inside of them.  When else do I get to buy Peanut Butter M&M’s, Pretzel M&M’s, AND Peanut M&M’s all at once?!?!  The add-in options are generally infinite…salted peanuts would be fantastic as well.  I haven’t yet reached the limit yet on how many cups of add-ins you can toss in there, but if I ever do, I’ll let you know.

The dark, moody side of monster cookies

My favorite monster cookie recipe comes from the venerable Paula Deen, and I’ve been making them for at least 6 years.  They don’t have any flour in them…all oat-y goodness.  All those oats make them sturdy enough to hold all the goodies you’re going to add in.  (Confession: I always add more goodies than the recipe calls for.  I suggest you do the same.)  I also love that this recipes makes a truckload of cookies.  Perfect for 4 hungry road-trippers…or for bringing to school…or for sustaining students during lots of studying.  OR.  You could also only bake as many cookies as you want at the time, then portion out and freeze the remaining dough.  They’ll bake up perfectly straight from the freezer.

Good with milk (that happens to be almond milk)

Also…just warning you…this cookie dough is addicting.  Don’t blame me.  Blame Paula.

Monster Cookies

Makes about 4 dozen cookies

Ingredients:
3 eggs
1 1/4 light brown sugar, packed
1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 12-oz jar (= approx. 1 1/4 cups) peanut butter (I use creamy, but crunchy would be yummy…just don’t use natural)
1/2 cup (= 1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup various chocolate candies (I used a mix of Pretzel M&M’s, Peanut Butter M&M’s, and Peanut M&M’s – a nice combo that adds some crunch and some saltiness)
1/2 cup chocolate chips or chopped chocolate (I used dark chocolate chips, but semisweet would work as well)
1/3 cup raisins (optional, but I wouldn’t make monster cookies without them…they add texture and a contrast to all the chocolate candies)
2 tsp baking soda
4 1/2 cups rolled oats (not instant)

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 350ºF with racks in the upper middle and lower middle positions.  Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper or grease them lightly.
2. In a large mixing bowls, beat the eggs and both sugars, either on medium speed with an electric mixer or with a wire whisk.  Add the peanut butter and the butter and beat until fluffy and thoroughly combined.  (At this point, I found it was much easier to use an electric mixer because it gets very thick.)  Mix in the salt, vanilla, and baking soda.
3. Using a rubber spatula, mix in the candies, chocolate chips, and the raisins.  Stir in the oats.  Drop the dough by heaping tablespoonfuls (probs closer to tablespoon-and-a-half-fuls), about 2 inches apart onto the prepared baking sheets.  Bake for about 8 to 10 minutes, switching pans top to bottom and rotating them back to front halfway through.  The cookies will be golden brown and will have started to set on the edges, but they may still be a little puffed in the middle.  Let cookies cool on sheets for a few minutes, then transfer to wire racks to cool completely.  Cookies will keep in an airtight container for 5 days.

Recipe adapted from Paula Deen on FoodNetwork

What would you put in your monster cookies?  Thanks for reading, happy baking!

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