We bake and blog (and eat). Though baking takes up a lot more of our life than blogging.
March 14, 2013 / By Matt
If left alone in the candy aisle for too long, I am certain to walk away with a few ridiculously large bags of M&M’s and maybe one or two Kit Kat bars. [Ed Note: Can we stop referring to mega-portioned food-stuffs as “family-sized”? That naming convention makes me feel inadequate and lonely and shameful since I have no problem claiming a “family-sized” bag all for myself.] My relationship with M&M’s (mostly plain, or peanut) is simple, uncomplicated and passive. They are just always with me. I am not fanatical about them. I can make it through a day (or even a short weekend) without a bag, but 99% of the time, I have some form of M&M’s on my person (imperative for stalled subways and delayed flights) or hidden away in my cupboard. I am M&M’s and M&M’s are me (this is probably a tad dramatic, but you get the idea).
Weirdly, M&M’s do not infiltrate a lot of my baked goods. I have attempted to add them to all manner of cakes, brownies, and cheesecakes, but they always seem out of place…a little lost and confused amongst the butter, flour, and sugar. However, they do shine, and shine brightly, in our old reliable Monster Cookie.
The Baked Monster cookie has been kicking around for almost as long as Baked has been kicking around (oh, and the original recipe is in our first book, Baked: New Frontiers). Though it is not our most popular cookie at the bakery, it does have a cult of serious admirers. The M&M’s are essential in this cookie. They make the monster a true “Monster”. Without them, you have a fairly amazing peanut butter, chocolate chip, oat cookie…but with them…with the M&M’s….your cookie is just happier (chalk it up to the perfect compliment of candy coated crunch).
Halfway into making this batch of cookies, I realized I was out of peanut butter (OMG…the horror), but I was able to substitute all-natural almond butter (stir well before using) and it was just as lovely (and maybe healthier??). Alas, I was also lacking chocolate chips, so I just chunked up some good dark chocolate (chocolate chips appeared in the original). Perfect. Well, 99.9% perfect. Ideally, I probably would have added two to three more ounces of M&M’s, but that is just me.
A few Monster Cookie notes:
-I only bake off cookies in small batches (for that fresh warm-from-the-oven experience) and I store the leftover dough, pre-scooped, in the refrigerator (that is what is going on in the orange-handled pan pic above).
-For a super-easy, no occasion necessary gift: throw a bunch of cookies in a Weck jar and deliver promptly – it is bound to make someone’s day brighter.
MONSTER COOKIES adapted from our book Baked: New Frontiers in Baking
½ cup all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking soda
pinch of salt
5 ¾ cups rolled oats
1 ½ sticks cold unsalted butter, cut into cubes
1 ½ cups dark brown sugar, firmly packed
1 ½ cups granulated sugar
5 large eggs
¼ teaspoon light corn syrup
¼ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 cups all-natural almond butter (smooth)
6 ounces dark chocolate, cut into chunks
6 ounces M&M’s (feel free to add 2 extra ounces)
In a large bowl, whisk the flour, baking soda, and salt together. Add the oats and stir until the ingredients are evenly combined.
In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with 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, add the eggs (one at a time), beating until smooth and scraping down the bowl after each addition. Add the corn syrup and vanilla and beat until incorporated.
Scrape down the bowl and add the almond butter. Mix on low speed until combined. Add the oat mixture in 3 additions, mixing until incorporated. Remove the bowl from the mixer and fold in the chocolate chunks and M&M’s. Cover the bowl tightly and refrigerate the dough for at least 5 hours.
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Use an ice cream scoop with a release mechanism to scoop out the dough in 2-tablespoon sized balls onto the sheets (2 inches apart, these guys spread). Bake for 12 to 15 minutes (rotate halfway through bake time), until cookie begin to brown. Let cool on the pans for 8 to t10 minutes before transferring the cookies to a wire rack to cool completely. Store in an airtight container for up to 3 or 4 days.