May 4, 2010

Monster Cookies

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So guys. If you’re ever in the market for what to gift someone who does something epic for you–say, take your child off your hands for two nights so that you and your husband can go up to Napa for the weekend, do some socially acceptable binge drinking under the guise of “wine tasting”, and not have to pack a dozen ever-loving sippy cups (it was lovely, by the way, thank you)–then I have a suggestion for you.

Give Monster Cookies. These Monster Cookies, specifically. Actually, maybe have a nice bottle of wine on hand as a backup. Because unless you can bake these Monster Cookies and give them away in record time, they likely will make it into your face before you can gift them. With a mise en place like this, you’ll probably guess you’re totally in for it.

Oats. Chocolate chips. Peanut butter (the good, junky supermarket kind). And…wait for it…REESE’S PIECES. Because I am a peanut butter freak and swapped out the M&Ms for more peanut butter in a crunchy candy shell. Can’t say I was wrong with that call, people. Not for a second.

As with all recipes with which I become completely obsessed, there’s a twist here. These aren’t your typical mix-up-the-dough-plop-it-and-go (hey, rhyme!) kind of cookie. The magic happens with an excrutiating five hour rest of the dough in the refrigerator, during which the dough firms up and the oats become tender and plump with peanut buttery bliss. There’s no other way to get there than with lots of patience and having someone you trust chain you to something heavy.

The other thing I found totally fascinating and am now finding a way to work it into a bunch of the recipes in my regular rotation is the tiniest dab of corn syrup in the dough. With just 1/4 teaspoon in the mix you may be tempted to skip it, but the headnote warns you not to, and because I will do pretty much whatever those Baked boys tell me to, I listened. And though they don’t say why it’s so vital, I’ll venture a guess and say that the tiny bit of corn syrup here supports the irresistibly chewy quality of this cookie (like, days after they are baked) and really helps with the browning of this cookie which is largely composed of peanut butter and oatmeal, two ingredients that don’t brown all that well unless you burn ’em, which would be undelicious. But these bake up so beautifully golden, you might just shed a tear.

You may try to give all these cookies away to a deserving party. You may try to have just one with a short glass of milk. But you will be depriving yourself the beauty of such a go-big-or-go-home cookie. My advice, because I care about you: save at least a half dozen for yourself, eat them two-by-two and go for the biggest milk glass you’ve got. You’re welcome.

Monster Cookies
Adapted from Baked: New Frontiers in Baking

Now. The original recipe uses these amounts for a 3 dozen cookie yield, and that’s got to be a typo. I got 3 dozen when I halved the recipe (lightly beat one egg and measure out half for half an egg) and I even used the 2-tablespoon size scoop suggested in the recipe, so who knows? I’m calling it a cool 6 dozen with these amounts below.

Also, most monster cookie recipes use M&Ms, but like I said, I used Reese’s Pieces and am never going back. The result was fantastic.

Makes 6 dozen cookies

1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking soda
1/8 teaspoon salt
5 3/4 cups old-fashioned rolled oats (not instant or quick-cooking)
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) cold unsalted butter, cut into cubes
1 1/2 cups firmly packed light brown sugar
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
5 large eggs
1/4 teaspoon light corn syrup
1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 cups creamy peanut butter (I like Skippy or Jif for baking)
1 cup (6 ounces) semisweet chocolate chips
1 cup (6 ounces) Reese’s Pieces

In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt and oats until well-blended.

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter until smooth and pale in color, at least 2 minutes. Beat in the sugars on low speed until just incorporated.

Scrape down the bowl and add the eggs, one at a time, scraping the bowl as necessary. Add the corn syrup and vanilla and beat just until combined. Add the peanut butter and beat on low just until smooth. Add the dry ingredients on low speed in three additions until the dough is well-blended. Fold in the chocolate chips and Reese’s Pieces by hand. Cover the bowl tightly and refrigerate for at least 5 hours.

When you’re ready to bake, position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat it to 375 degrees. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats.

Scoop the dough into 2-tablespoon size balls using a small ice cream scoop, spacing them about 2 inches apart. Bake until the cookies just begin to brown, about 12 to 15 minutes, rotating the sheets halfway through baking. Cool on the pans for 8 to 10 minutes before transferring to wire rack to cool completely. Store in an airtight container for up to 5 days.

  • Holy cow, those look awesome. Reese's pieces are one of my favorite candies- smart idea!

  • I absolutely LOVE monster cookies. the cook in my fraternity used to make them about once a month, and I would consume criminal amounts of them.

    I found a recipe online a year or so ago and while it was close, I wasn't too happy with it. The flour content was suspect. I look forward to trying this.

    As a variation, I suggest emptying out your pantry. Chocolate chunks, toffee chunks, peanut butter chips, chocolate chips, raisins, anything and everything is acceptable in a monster cookie. Don't be shy!

  • Looks good!! I've made monster cookies once, and they came out really heavy. This recipe may be just what I need!!

  • OOOOOoooo I wonder what peanut butter M&Ms would be like in these!?? Chocolate AND more peanut butter 🙂 Yum! These look great!

  • I love this recipe and I actually make mine with Reese's, too! Great minds think alike. 🙂

  • Now I know what I'm making for the Hubby on Father's Day!! He adores peanut butter and chocolate combos, and he adores cookies, so can we just say HOME RUN with this one….he's a baseball fan, too. 😉

    Now there's the perfect balance between sweet and salty!

  • These are some good cookies, aren't they?!
    I made them a while back (of course I did) but used Monster trail mix from Target instead…Reeses Pieces are a great idea, though…way to one-up me! 😉

  • Oooh. I want to bite into a few of these right now but just realized I'm missing some ingredients. I guess I'll be out the door faster than you can say "monster cookie". Great recipe!

  • CQ–The texture here is really something; I think the long rest is what keeps all that oatmeal from baking up leaden. Hope you try it and report back!

    MAC–They would be a PERFECT dude cookie for Fathers' Day! I am stealing this idea, I think.

    Wendy–The answer is AWESOME.

    C&C–I love the idea of trail mix here, yum.

  • I cannot wait to make these! I am a peanut butter fanatic, and I looooove Reese's Pieces. Unfortunately, I live in the Netherlands, a country bereft of Reese's Pieces and corn syrup. Sounds like I now know what I'll be blowing my money on during the next insanely expensive trip to the American Store.

  • I've always been a BIG monster cookie fan. Love the modifications you made to make these even awesomer than the ones I remember as a kid! (+ Resse's Pieces YUM.)

    These days I make mine all adult-like and quasi-healthy with honey, dark chocolate chunks, pecans, candied ginger, candied citrus peel… like Morisseau I use whatever exciting bits I have around.

    Thanks for sharing your wonderful recipe, pics, and technique!

  • I LOVED monster cookies growing up, I can't believe I forgot about them. I'm so making these this weekend. And not sharing.

  • Ahh yumm! I can only imagine what a great texture these must have, with the corn syrup!

  • In an effort to procrastinate studying for my finals, I baked a batch of these last night for my class. I might just be the most most popular kid in dental school now!

  • I made the dough last night and let it rest in the fridge overnight. I baked them up this morning and they were excellent. I made the entire recipe and just froze the leftover cookie dough for a future use/craving.

  • I made these over the weekend, and they are seriously one of the best cookies I have ever made. I used mini Reese's Pieces baking chips and chocolate chips – pure heaven. Thanks so much for posting. I love your blog.

  • These went over fabulously!

  • I just landed on your blog on a sick day last week… and I'm in awe of all the recipes. Today I introduced my Mom to your blog as well. She made the mint sqaures today and I made these Monster Cookies – not sure how I will wait the 5 hours!!!

    Anyway, thanks for all the recipes.
    Cheers from Nova Scotia, Canada.

  • Holy macaroni! These monster cookies look so so good. Cannot (possibly) wait to try and make them myself. Yum!

  • I made these over the weekend, and they may be my new favorite cookie.

  • after a good, large and carefully study of the ingredients, I agreed with you in the name of this cookies, definitely the name is perfect.

  • Hey Shauna! I absolutely LOVE these cookies! I’m just wondering if I could use natural peanut butter instead?

    • Hi! You know, I haven’t tried it with this recipe, but I will say that natural peanut has a tendency to dry things out. I love the chewy quality of these cookies, so I personally wouldn’t try it here! Hope that helps!

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