Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Monster Cookies

About a week ago I finally got the "Baked" cookbooks that I have heard so many people rave about. Oh My Goodness! Am I in love? YES. I want to make each and every recipe in these two books. NOW. Ugh, it's so frustrating that I'll have to creep slowly through them since I am the only one that consumes what I bake (sadly it is just me and my husband, and he unfortunately does not like food). So I have actually been mailing some cookies home to offset my own personal intake a bit haha. Anyways, these cookbooks are amazing! If you like to bake and do not have these books yet, I highly recommend investing in them. 

Now on to the first recipe that I have had a chance to make from them- monster cookies! I can't believe I have gone my entire life without ever having a monster cookie... what a fun cookie! For those of you that are unfamiliar, a monster cookie is a morph of the peanut butter, oatmeal and chocolate chip cookies. It's also studded with M&Ms.  Now I have had peanut butter oatmeal chocolate chip cookies before, but these are just... they're just different! Very little flour is used in comparison to all the ingredients. It is mostly oats that are used for structure. So as a result these cookies are very hearty and nice and chewy. They're best after they have cooled because then they have a chance to set up and the oats soak up the gooeyness and become nice and tender. So try to resist the temptation to scarf one right out of the oven, especially since the recipe tells you to leave the cookies cooling on the pan for 8-10 minutes- way more than the usual 2 minutes. Listen to them. They know what they are doing. And especially listen to them when they say to refrigerate the dough- it is vital. Really though, don't be like me and try to be clever... I thought it would be a good idea to sub the regular M&Ms with pretzel M&Ms because then there would be a fantastic sweet and salty combo. Well, I had never tried the pretzel M&Ms and I certainly had never made this cookies before. So not only did I brake the cardinal rule of always making a recipe as written the first time before making changes, I added an ingredient that I had never tried. Needless to say, I didn't like the results. First of all, the M&Ms were large like peanut M&Ms (which I didn't know- dumb, duh) so each cookie only held like 1 M&M... plus the pretzel part of them wasn't even that salty and pretzel like. They were a total let down. However, the cookies themselves did not let me down! They really were fantastic. Great texture. Great flavor. Just Great.

Monster Cookies
adapted from Baked: New Frontiers in Baking by Matt Lewis and Renato Poliafito

1/2 cup flour
1 Tb 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 vanilla extract
1/4 tsp light corn syrup
2 cups creamy peanut butter
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1 cup M&M's

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 a paddle attachment, cream the butter until smooth and pale in color. Add sugars and mix on low speed until just incorporated. Do not overmix.

3. 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.

4. 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.

5. Use a spatula or wooden spoon to fold in the chocolate chips and M&M's. Cover bowl tightly and refrigerate for 5 hours.

6. 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 dough in 2-tablespoon size balls onto prepared baking sheets, 2 inches apart. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes, rotating 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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