Why do they call them Monster Cookies? I’ve made them several times and my mom used to make them occasionally when I was little, but I still don’t know the answer. Is it because it makes a monstrous amount? No – that can’t be it…4 ½ dozen isn’t exactly a monstrous amount (at least not to me). Is it because they’re large in size? Well, maybe…but I make mine in tablespoon amounts – so it’s only a monster sized cookie if you’re a dust particle.
I know the answer. It’s because when you make these, you feel like Cookie Monster. Shoving one after another of these into your face, “NomNomNom!!!” But don’t forget there are raisins and oatmeal in there! These are HEALTH FOOD!
Up this week as we cook through my stash, we have Pillsbury Christmas 2008 (dearest, FTC – this is an affiliate link…but don’t buy this book because I know you purchase cookies because you’re too busy “working” to make any). This is a really fun book to look through and it gives me great ideas! It is, however, chocked full of recipes calling for Pillsbury products and already-made convenience foods. But, for me, that just means I take the ideas and tweak them to make them work for us.
I love Monster Cookies – they’re so peanut buttery and oaty and chocolately – all the combinations of the right things. I took the Pillsbury version of this cookie and made it like my mom’s version – with good-for-you ingredients. So, actually you can call this a Health Food Cookie. And you can quote me on that. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.
I used peanut butter for this recipe. But, if you have a peanut allergy, you could use any type of nut butter. Almond butter also works great. Although I haven’t tried it, I’d bet Sunbutter would work too…or even Cookie Butter from Trader Joes (although, that it would then cease to be a health food – bummer). I stinkin’ love that stuff. I could sit in a closet alone and eat the whole jar. Point of clarification: I’d be in the closet so I wouldn’t have to share – not because I’m embarrassed. I did, after all, just confess.
I’ve been trying to let Annie help me more in the kitchen. “Trying” because that’s a hard thing for me. I like doing it all in my kitchen. Actually, I like doing it all PERIOD. I have a difficult time asking for help, which is something I am working on. But, I don’t want Annie to be 20 years old, away at college, and not know how to fry an egg or make Monster Cookies. I mean, making cookies is an essential life skill – and it will get her a husband lickety-split. The good sort – a good man loves good cookies.
I’m not a gluten-free expert, but I think these cookies could be considered gluten-free if you use gluten-free oats. There is no flour in them, only oatmeal…and I used Enjoy Life Chocolate Chips from Vitacost which are also gluten free. So, if you watch your add-ins, I think this could easily be made as a gluten-free holiday treat. Holla, all my gluten-free friends!
You need your cookie dough to be stiff, but not so stiff that you can’t scoop it out. If your cookie dough is runny or won’t hold shape if you roll it in your hands, then you need more flour/oats. Also, when a cookie recipe calls for softened butter, I’ve successfully used palm shortening in place of that with great results. Sometimes using butter in cookies can be tricky – so if you think you hate making cookies, try palm shortening from Tropical Traditions and see if that works for ya.
I really hate scrubbing cookie sheets, so when I make cookies I always line my pans with parchment paper. I can use the same sheet over and over until I’m done with cookies – and then I normally use it in the kitchen for a few more things before I toss it. I’m cheap like that. Plus, using parchment paper helps the cookies not to burn on the bottom or stick to your pan. Double bonus!
Only bake cookies until they are set around the edges. If you try to bake them until they look done in the middle, they will end up as hard as a rock and you’ll break a tooth on them. Not a very good Christmas gift to the neighbors to send them to the dentist.
An under-done cookie is better than an over-done cookie. You can quote me on that.
I either cool my cookies on a wire rack or on tea towels. Cooling them on a towel helps them stay soft…and I like soft cookies. Try to wait until they are cool before eating – Annie has a hard time here. Aw, who am I kidding?! A hot cookie is the best cookie! Just try to wait a few minutes so you don’t burn your tongue on a flaming chocolate chip.
For this recipe, I just call for 2 ½ cups of add-ins. You can use whatever you like. Anything goes! Nuts, chopped pretzels, chocolate chips, raisins, or white chocolate chips. The possibilities are endless – within reason. I likely wouldn’t use chopped pepperonis or bacon. On second thought, I think I WOULD use bacon. Bacon in cookies? Yes please!
I like giving these for gifts. You can make them and freeze them…or eat them right away. I like to put them on nice plates that I buy on clearance after Christmas and cover with plastic wrap for a nice neighbor gift. They’re also a good tummy gift – no wrapping required.
- 2 cups sugar (coconut sugar or sucanat work great – or 1 cup of white sugar and 1 cup of brown)
- 1 cup nut butter
- ½ cup butter, softened
- 3 eggs
- 4 ½ cups rolled oats
- 2 teaspoons baking soda
- 2 ½ cups add-ins (chocolate chips, chopped nuts, raisins, M&Ms, chocolate raisins, dried cranberries, coconut flakes, white chocolate chips, chopped pretzels, etc.)
- Cream butter, nut butter, and sugar in a large mixing bowl.
- Add eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each.
- Stir in oats and baking soda.
- Fold in desired add-ins.
- Drop dough by tablespoons onto parchment lined baking sheets.
- Bake 11-13 minutes at 350 or until set around the edges.
- Cool 2 minutes on the cookie sheet and then remove to racks or towels to cool completely.
Yield: About 4 ½ dozen cookies