Baked Sunday Mornings: Monster Cookies

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Sometimes I’m wrong about cookies. This could be a good thing, or a bad thing, depending on the cookie situation at hand. I was not especially excited to make these Monster Cookies for this week’s Baked Sunday Mornings recipe; not that there was anything wrong with them per se, but they just didn’t speak to me. Now that I’ve tasted them, I can’t really fathom where my lackluster enthusiasm came from, but for some reason, the combination of oats/peanut butter/chocolate chips/M&Ms elicited no more than a meh. I even (*hangs head in shame*) considered making a half-batch.

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Clearly, this is a case where being wrong about cookies was a very good thing! I’m truly enjoying the journey through BAKED: New Frontiers in Baking— revisiting all the classic BAKED recipes has been such a fun trip through some of the ones that I first made when I was just learning the baking ropes a decade ago. But these cookies, I never made. Because I was ridiculous. Now I’m no longer ridiculous because I realize how awesome they are.

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I think it’s the M&Ms that turned me off– baked good with candy generally do not appeal to me. And I can sometimes take or leave peanut butter- and/or oat-based desserts. So yeah, I guess that’s why these didn’t make me shout with joy at first glance. But these cookies are described in the recipe intro as “Frankenstein” cookies: one part each chocolate chip cookie, peanut butter cookie, and oatmeal cookie. Who am I not to embrace such innovation in the cookie world?? Also, I appreciated the charming blog post that Matt Lewis of BAKED wrote on the bakery’s website, which was something of an ode to M&Ms. He speaks of his undying love for the iconic candy, which he often carries on his person. I can’t say I share the same affinity for this particular item, but I can relate in my obsession with Oreos. Were it physically feasible and calorically non-destructive, I would probably sew Oreo pockets into all my clothing for anytime-snacking of my most favorite sandwich cookies. (I should probably look into creating a meta-cookie: crushed Oreo cookies folded into cookie dough!)

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Anyway, these are very easy to pull together, as are most chocolate chip, oatmeal, and peanut butter cookies. The dough follows the typical creaming method of combining the butter with brown and white sugars, though you only beat them together until they’re just combined. This step took a good few minutes because there’s a high ratio of sugar to butter, so it needed some time to blend into the butter. You’ll then add the eggs, followed by vanilla and corn syrup.

A word about the corn syrup: I initially thought there was an error in the recipe, which calls for ¼ teaspoon corn syrup. That is not a quantity I’ve ever heard of for corn syrup; I mean, how much impact does a thimbleful of corn syrup make in any recipe? I wondered if it was a typo and should’ve read ¼ cup, but I did a Google search for other publishings of the recipe, and not one of them had adjusted the quantity, so I went with it. (This was, in fact, how I came upon the blog about M&Ms.)

Anyway, after those additions, you’ll add a hefty 2 cups of smooth peanut butter, followed by the dry ingredients (flour, oats, baking soda, salt) to form a thick dough. Finally, you’ll dump in a glorious quantity of chocolate chips and M&Ms and carefully fold them into the dough. I always advocate for mini mix-ins to increase the ratio of cookie dough to mix-ins; in this case, I used mini chips and although I couldn’t find Mini M&Ms here in Israel, I did find an Israeli brand of the same type of candy (and prettier colors if you ask me!), so I used those– AND they didn’t bleed. Pleased was I.

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We are instructed to chill the dough for 5 hours and scoop it right before baking, but I always portion out the dough and then chill it. The dough is very soft at first, so I was glad I didn’t increase the corn syrup!

The cookies are supposed to bake for 12-15 minutes at 375°F, but I found that in my tiny Euro-style oven, they browned too quickly, so I turned the oven down to 350°F and only baked the cookies for 10 minutes. They came out beautifully golden with crags and crackles all over, and colored candy flecks peaking out through the crisp exterior.

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Not only were they pretty, they were also utterly delightful to bite into! The cookies are chewy, crunchy, sweet and salty, and filled with milk chocolate, so basically these are 100% goodness. Despite this clear and irrefutable evidence, I was still surprised by how much I liked them. I had thought this would be a one-and-done recipe that I was simply making for BSM, and I’m glad that I was completely, totally, downright wrong.

Since you obviously want to make these now, I’d strongly recommend rushing over to Baked Sunday Mornings for the Monster Cookies recipe (and take a look at the other bakers’ cookies as well). My tasters, both at work and at my cousin’s house, went bonkers over these, particularly the teen and young adult set. These are a new favorite in my kitchen– what a brilliant find from one of my favorite classic cookbooks! 🙂

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© Dafna Adler & Stellina Sweets, 2018.

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