Holiday baking is the best but it’s definitely more fun when it’s a shared experience, so I invited a friend and her 5-year-old daughter over to help me last weekend. Little Sofia was a major help in the kitchen. She deftly crushed the peppermint candies for the Double Chocolate-Peppermint Crunch Cookies, she almost mastered separating egg whites from the yolks on her first try (not easy!), and she is an expert stirrer as demonstrated below. She even came with her own apron! Love it.
One of the cookies we made were monster cookies from a recipe by the guys who run Baked in Brooklyn. Monster cookies are basically everything you could ever want in a cookie all rolled into one: peanut butter, oatmeal, chocolate chips, and M&M’s. A few years ago I made them with another friend and we experimented with pretzel pieces and marshmallows as well and both were nice additions. You should be able to have a little fun with recipes. Go nuts! (I did not intend for the pun but while on the subject I will say I’m not a fan of nuts in most desserts but those would certainly be a nice addition too, if you’re into that sort of thing.)
The resulting cookie almost feels like it’s good for you– at least that’s how I justified it as breakfast more than one morning this week… The recipe makes a lot of cookies so it’s a great one if you are participating in a cookie swap or giving them away in care packages. They also freeze well if you want to make them now and save them for later. Enjoy!
Monster Cookies (from “Baked: New Frontiers in Baking” by Matt Lewis and Renato Poliafito)
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon baking soda
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 5 3/4 cups old-fashioned oats
- 3/4 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
- 1 1/2 cups firmly packed brown sugar
- 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
- 5 large eggs, room temperature
- 1/4 teaspoon light corn syrup
- 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 cups peanut butter
- 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
- 1 cup M&Ms
In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, and salt. Add in the oats and whisk until evenly combined. In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream the butter until smooth and pale in color. Add in the brown sugar and the granulated sugar and beat until fluffy, about 2 minutes.
Scrape down the sides of the bowl and beat in the eggs one at a time, being sure to incorporate the egg fully before adding in the next one. Add in the corn syrup and vanilla extract and beat until combined.
Scrape down the bowl and add in the peanut butter. Mix gradually until just combined. Very carefully add in your oat mixture in three separate additions, so you don’t overload your mixer. Mix until just incorporated (don’t overmix).
Fold in your chocolate chips and M&Ms. Cover the bowl tightly and refrigerate for at least 5 hours. This is important for the texture of your cookies.
Preheat your oven to 375 degrees F. Line your baking sheets with parchment paper. Roll the dough into balls the size of 2 tablespoons and place them on the baking sheet about 2 inches apart from one another.
Bake for 12-15 minutes, turning the pans once through the baking time. The cookies are ready when they are set and golden. Let the cookies cool completely for 8-10 minutes on the baking sheets before removing them and placing them on a new surface to cool completely. These can be stored in an air-tight container at room temperature for 3 days.