Saturday, November 20, 2010

Monster Cookies

In honor of my son's birthday party, which was Sesame Street-themed, I baked some Monster Cookies. Get it? Sesame Street's full of monsters, so I served cookies named after them! Oh well, I thought it was clever.

These cookies, like so many baked goods I have made lately, are straight out of my Baked: New Frontiers in Baking cookbook. Talk about a behemoth of a cookie! This one's got just about anything I could ever ask for in a cookie: chocolate chips, oats, peanut butter, M&Ms. And they are generously sized; the recipe indicates you should scoop 2-Tablespoons' worth of dough per cookie! The result? A big, chewy, delicious, hearty cookie that will please any crowd.

Now, one quick observation I made. Along with these cookies, I also baked the Chocolate Chip Cookies out of the same cookbook. These, while also delicious, turned out a bit differently than expected. Because the recipe calls for dark brown sugar, the cookies come out of the oven so dark one might think they had burned. I mean, I am only guessing here, but I believe that the dark brown sugar is the reason for this. Once you get past the way they look, you're pleasantly surprised at how flavorful they are. Plus, this recipe actually calls for an entire bag of chocolate chips, plus nearly half of another bag! I wasn't sure I would like the cookies that loaded down with chips, but they were very yummy. If you would ever like to attempt those Chocolate Chippers, I found the recipe on the How To Eat a Cupcake blog, here.

In the meantime, though, you should absolutely try these Monster Cookies! I'm already planning on making these a part of my Christmas cookies tray this year. One final note: I thought it was strange that this recipe called for cold butter, when normally you need softened butter for a cookie recipe that requires the creaming method. However, I saw why this worked after I had added all 5 (5!) eggs and the peanut butter to the mix. These two added ingredients make it so wet, I was glad the butter hadn't been super soft when I began. Anyway, I just wanted to say that the cold butter instruction was not a typo, as I had originally thought. It does work out great that way!

Monster Cookies
adapted from Baked: New Frontiers in Baking
makes about 24-36 cookies

1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 Tbsp. baking soda
Pinch of salt
5 3/4 cups rolled oats
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 tsp. light corn syrup
1/4 tsp. pure vanilla extract
2 cups creamy peanut butter (I used half creamy, half chunky)
1 cup (6 ounces) semisweet chocolate chips
1 cup (6 ounces) M&Ms (Reese's Pieces would be a good idea here, too!

1. In a large bowl, whisk the flour, baking soda, and salt together. Add the oats and stir until the ingredients are evenly combined.

2. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter until smooth and pale in color. Add the sugars and mix on low speed until just incorporated. Do not overmix. Scrape down the bowl and add the eggs, one at a time, beating until smooth (about 20 seconds) and scraping down the bowl after each addition. Add the corn syrup and vanilla and beat until just incorporated.

3. Scrape down the bowl and add the peanut butter. Mix on low speed until just combined. Add the oat mixture in three additions, mixing on low speed until just incorporated. Use a spatula or wooden spoon to fold in the chocolate chips and M&Ms. Cover the bowl tightly and refrigerate for 5 hours.

4. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Use an ice cream scoop with a release mechanism to scoop out the dough in 2-Tbsp.-size balls onto the prepared baking sheets, 2 inches apart. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes, rotating the pans halfway through the baking time, until the cookies just begin to brown. Let cool on the pans for 8 to 10 minutes before transferring the cookies to a wire rack to cool completely. Cookies can be stored in an airtight container for up to 3 days.

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