Monster Cookies

A couple of weeks ago, my daughter Mara asked if we could make something special for a friend of hers that was not feeling well. I acted casual and of course the answer was yes, while inside, my heart did a flip, because I don’t get to do much with Mara these days – she is busy being a senior in high school, you know. And it meant a lot to me that she wanted to bake something special with me.

My baking companion.

So we found out that her friend likes monster cookies. I had never heard of them before, but once I looked up recipes for them, I realized that I had seen them at bake sales and at the grocery store… you know, those craggy, crispy-chewy cookies with M&M’s? I have always liked them when I tried one, but they don’t ever come to mind when I think of what kind of cookie to make. Maybe it’s because I don’t normally have M&M’s in my cupboard. And maybe it’s because I don’t usually make cookies that have candy in them.

The “share size” is perfect for one batch of cookies!

So we got to work. Turns out that in addition to M&M’s, these cookies have oats and peanut butter in them, as well as regular chocolate chips… they are filled with all the things. We did a little research, and decided to use this recipe. Mara suggested we put some M&M’s on top of each cookie before we bake them, to make them look extra pretty, which I thought was a great idea. They were a big hit with Mara’s friend, so it was perfect.

Slightly flattened, decorated, and ready to bake.

The next day, my daughter Millie asked me if these monster cookies were going to be my next phase (meaning a recipe that I tweak over and over again to get it just right). I told her absolutely not. But the truth was, I did feel like making them again, because there were things that I thought just weren’t right. Like, they were way too sweet! And they were a little dry, too. So after several more batches, here is my version. I upped the salt, reduced the oats a bit, increased the peanut butter, added more semi-sweet chocolate chips, and reserved the M&M’s just for decorating the tops of the cookies. I actually tried making a few without M&M’s because they are so sweet, but found that the crunch of the candy coated chocolate is essential to the character of these cookies. Maybe you’ll need to run to the corner grocery store and get some M&M’s?

Monster Cookies

(Adapted from Tastes Better From Scratch)

  • 1 cup (120 grams*) all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup (100 grams) old fashioned rolled oats
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt (Reduce to 3/4 tsp if using salted butter or if you are concerned about the cookies being too salty. I like the salt to balance out the sweetness.)
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter at room temperature
  • 3/4 cup (~150 grams) lightly packed brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup (50 grams) granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons (160 grams) peanut butter (I use chunky, Jif or Skippy)
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 3/4 cups (260 grams) semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • ~ 3/4 cup (89 grams) M&Ms – one “share size” package does the trick
  1. Preheat oven to 360° (yes, that’s right, 360°)
  2. Line two large cookie sheets with parchment paper and set aside.
  3. In a medium bowl, mix flour, oats, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
  4. In a large bowl, beat the butter until fluffy, then add the sugars and beat again until light and fluffy… a minute or two.
  5. Add the peanut butter to the butter/sugar mixture and beat well, then beat in the egg and vanilla.
  6. Turn mixer to slow and add the flour/oat mixture to the wet ingredients. Mix just until blended. Stir in the chocolate chips with a spatula.
  7. Scoop the cookie dough into 1 1/2 tablespoon balls (a cookie scoop makes quick work of this) and place them on prepared cookie sheets two inches apart. Flatten the balls a tiny bit with your hands, making chubby discs. Top each cookie with three M&Ms, pressing them in firmly**.
  8. Bake on center rack in preheated oven, one sheet at a time, until the edges are starting to brown and the tops are still light in color. In my oven, this takes about 11 minutes. If your oven runs hotter, it will take less time. Keep an eye on those cookies because if they are over-baked they will be dry.
  9. Let cookies cool on cookie sheet for a solid 10 minutes before transferring to cooling rack. If you try to transfer them too soon they will fall apart. Let cookies cool completely. These cookies are best at room temperature, and are NOT good straight out of the oven; trust me.  Makes approximately 2 1/2 dozen cookies.


*I have included weights for just about all of the ingredients, and here is why: there were very mixed reviews for the original recipe, with lots of complaints about the cookies being dry, not spreading, being too sweet, etc. So I’m hoping you will not have that experience. If you are careful about how you measure your ingredients, and if you do not over-bake your cookies, they should come out perfectly!

**You may have noticed in the pictures that many of the M&Ms have cracked during baking. If you would like your M&Ms to look perfect, wait until after the cookies are baked before you add the M&Ms. When the cookies come out of the oven and are still very hot, carefully press in the M&Ms.

***Tip: if you end up with the last of the dough that is not enough to make another decent sized cookie, divvy it up into small bits and tuck one bit underneath each of the scooped out cookies. Waste nothing! I know, you might just want to eat that extra bit, but for those of you that don’t like eating raw cookie dough…

****I did some additional experiments, which included not pressing down some of the cookies. You can see below that the three on the left I didn’t flatten, and the six on the right I flattened slightly.

The three on the left not flattened before baking.

And here is how they looked, straight out of the oven. The three on the left are more dome-like.

Three on the left are more dome-like, straight out of the oven.

I then gently pressed M&M’s into the tops of the cookies while they were hot. They were very soft and fluffy, so this was easy to do. The cookies do end up sinking back down a bit, and the end result is very good! This might be my preferred way to do this, as I believe the cookies bake up nicely without the M&M’s on top. Also, I just might like the taller cookies better, as they are more gooey inside. But either way, these cookies are slightly crispy on the outside, and gooey chewy on the inside, with a little M&M crunch for the final touch.

The ones on the left are taller, but still spread enough to look like cookies.

All of them are good!!! If you make these, please let me know how you like them.

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4 Responses to Monster Cookies

  1. Jill G. says:

    Thank you for publishing this! I’d like to say, once more, how grateful I am for your time, patience and effort to come up with recipes that are perfect every time! Also, I’m liking that you reminded dolts like me that 1/2 cup of butter is ONLY ONE STICK! DOH!

  2. It’s good to train those baking companions!

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