[Photograph: Alexandra Penfold]
During my grade school days there was little doubt in my mind as to the supremacy of Monster Cookies. We’re talking a face-sized peanut butter and oatmeal confection chock full of M&Ms and chocolate chips. Yes, M&Ms and chocolate chips. Did I mention the oatmeal and the peanut butter? Everything about these cookies was pure goodness.
These are intended to be soft cookies, so you’ll want to be careful not to overbake them. They should retain their softness for several days (by day three they’ve usually been devoured in my house). Here I used dark chocolate M&Ms to cut down on a little bit of the sweetness factor, but you’re welcome to use whatever kind of M&Ms strike your fancy. This recipe is adapted from the Soft-Baked Monster Cookies recipe on Sally’s Baking Addiction.
About the author: Alexandra Penfold is mild-mannered literary agent by day, food ninja by night. Never one to skip dessert she’s the Brownie half of Blondie & Brownie, a Midtown Lunch contributor, and co-author of the forthcoming book New York à la Cart: Recipes and Stories from the Big Apple’s Best Food Trucks. You can follow her on Twitter at @blondiebrownie.
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Special equipment: electric stand mixer, two large baking sheets, parchment paper, whisk
serves Makes 1 dozen cookies, active time 20 minutes, total time 1 hour and 20 minutes
- 1 and 1/4 cups (6 1/4 ounces) all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 10 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
- 1/2 cup (about 4 1/2 ounces) dark brown sugar, firmly packed
- 1/4 cup (about 1 3/4 ounces) sugar
- 3/4 cup creamy peanut butter
- 2 large eggs lightly beaten
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup quick oats
- 1 cup M&Ms
- 1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
Move oven rack to the center position and preheat oven to 350°F. Prepare two large baking sheets with parchment paper. In a large bowl whisk together flour, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt. Set aside.
In the bowl of an electric stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugars together on medium speed until fully incorporated. Add peanut butter and vanilla, and mix on medium speed until incorporated, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. Add eggs, mix until incorporated, then slowly incorporate the flour mixture on low speed. When just combined stir in oats, 3/4 cup M&Ms, and chocolate chips. Cover and chill the dough for 30 minutes.
Use a large spoon or ice cream scoop to scoop twelve equally sized cookies and space a couple inches apart on the baking sheets. Use the back of the spoon to press down on the cookies lightly spreading them into a circle about 2 1/2-inches in diameter. Cookies will continue to spread slightly in the oven. Lightly press the remaining M&Ms into the tops of the cookies. Bake for 12-13 minutes or until edges are light golden brown. Do not over bake. Remove from oven and cool in pan for 3 minutes then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Store in an airtight container to retain freshness.