Tuesday, April 26, 2011
I wonder how recipes get such wildly weird names.
Monster cookies, hello dolly bars, snickerdoodles...
Okay, monster cookies are still within the "normal" range but what's so monstrous about them? I'm intrigued.
So I pottered about the kitchen, the Baked cookbook exposed to the dangerous elements of beaten eggs and flour, determined to unravel this mystery.
Few hours later, (there was a chilling time) and I had chubby little stacks of oatmeal cookie lookalikes. I gathered, based on the ingredients, that monster cookies are basically peanut butter oatmeal cookies with a touch of flour, and tons of chocolate add-ins. Chocolate and peanut butter? Mmm... sounds good.
Sadly, I wasn't impressed. I found myself searching for that peanut butter kick, and the cookies seem undecided- chewy or cakey? On day 1, I hate to admit it but scarfing one down was almost a chore. The oatmeal wasn't softened enough, and it tasted like undercooked oatmeal. Next.
Day 2, the texture improved alot. The oats were much softer, but the cookie fell apart easily. The third day the cookies had a cakey texture. Very much more palatable but I had to ask myself, Weren't they supposed to be chewy?
The recipe had corn syrup, but a ridiculously small amount.
Are you kidding me? For 36 cookies? The vanilla was only 1/4 teaspoon too.
And if really chewy cookies were desired, a higher proportion of brown sugar to white sugar could be used. But instead, it was a 1:1 ratio. Me, being a supporter of crunch, rather enjoyed the slightly crisp outsides but because oatmeal cookies are best super chewy or crisp all the way through, it's best to avoid letting the cookies get brown for a good chew. But the lack of browning translates to a lack of crunch too. So, bottom line is substitute more white for brown sugar.
I actually decreased the total amount of sugar by 1/4 because I didn't want to get a sugar high, especially with the chocolate chips and Reese's pieces. And yes, the recipe said m&m's but honestly, without the Reese's pieces I wouldn't taste any hint of peanut butter in these cookies at all.
Oh dear, I've spent this entire post bastardizing this recipe. I mean no harm towards the good people at Baked, but as much as I adore their cookbook, there are better monster cookies out there, I'm sure.
adapted from Baked
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking soda
Pinch of salt
5 ¾ cups rolled oats
¾ cups (1 ½ sticks) cold unsalted butter, cut into cubes
1 ½ cups firmly packed light brown sugar
1 ½ cups granulated sugar
5 large eggs
¼ tsp light corn syrup
¼ tsp vanilla extract
2 cups chunky peanut butter
1 cup (6 ounces) milk or semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 cup (6 ounces) M&M’s * or Reese's pieces
In a large bowl whisk the flour, baking soda, and salt together. Add the oats and stir until combined.
In the bowl of electric mixer with paddle attachment, cream butter until smooth and pale in color. Add the sugars and mix on low speed until just incorporated. Do not overmix.
Scrape down bowl and add eggs one at a time, beating until smooth (about 20 seconds) and scraping down bowl after each addition. Add the corn syrup and vanilla and beat until incorporated.
Scrape down bowl and add 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 and fold in the chocolate chips and M&M’s. Cover bowl tightly and refrigerate for 5 hours.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees and line baking sheets with parchment paper.
Use ice cream scoop to scoop out dough into 2- tablespoon size balls on two baking sheets – 2 inches apart. Bake for 12-15 minutes, rotating pans halfway through baking time. Let cool on pans for 8-10 minutes, then transfer to wire rack to cool completely.