Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Scary Healthy Monster Cookies

Baking is something I have really enjoyed. It is probably the first thing that I was really comfortable experimenting with to make things "healthy".  Not everything that has come out of the oven has been a wild success, but I am proud to say that almost nothing has been inedible. (so that's good)

 Cookies aren't quite as persnickety as cakes and the dough is pretty easy to adjust even if you have already baked a tray that didn't turn out quite as you like. Plus, even ugly cookies are still pretty yummy - but pretty cookies... Oh Be Still, My Heart!

This recipe doesn't make 5-6 dozen cookies like some monster cookie recipes do - That is perhaps the first thing you'll notice about the ingredients list.  Also - This is the original recipe from Sally's Baking Addiction.  I have put my changes next to the original. 


1/2 cup salted butter, softened to room temperature I like butter, not only is it delicious, but it is a natural food product - this recipe doesn't need a ton - the peanut butter will supply a lot of fat.

1/2 cup packed light brown sugar * I don't bake with "substitutes" I just feel like you can use less instead of adding chemicals and pricey ingredients that are still just "sugar"

1/4 cup sugar Use 1/4 applesauce for sweetness and bulk

3/4 cup creamy peanut butter

1 large egg

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1 and 1/4 cups all purpose flour You are welcome to use 50% Whole Wheat and 50% All Purpose - or any ratio you are comfortable with. With all the oatmeal this recipe is a good one to use all Whole Wheat flour in.

1/2 cup  quick oats* Be sure they are quick cooking - you need the thing texture to make the cookie stay soft instead of the thick texture of a steel cut or heavier oat.

3/4 cup M&Ms (any size or variety)  - There is no way around it - you can't make a healthy M&M. put them on the cookies instead of IN the cookies and you can achieve a bigger visual effect and use fewer of them.
1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup raisins


Preheat oven to 350F degrees. Line baking sheet with parchment paper or silicone baking mat.

In a large bowl, using a hand-held mixer or stand mixer with paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugars together on medium speed, about 3 minutes. 

Mix in the peanut butter, egg, and vanilla (in that order). Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed. 

Slowly mix in the baking soda and flour. Do not overmix. 

Fold in the quick oats, M&Ms, and chocolate chips. 

If the dough is very soft and unmanageable by hand, chill the dough for 30 minutes before rolling.

Rolls balls of dough, about 2 Tablespoons of dough per ball, onto prepared baking sheet. 

Press a few extra M&Ms on top for looks, if preferred. Bake for 9-10 minutes - do not bake past 10 minutes. The cookies will appear undone. I too mine out at 9 minutes, which is recommended. 

Slightly press down the baked cookies with the back of a spoon, since the cookies only slightly spread in the oven. 

Allow cookies to cool on baking sheet for 10 minutes before transferring to a wire rack. Cookies will firm up as they cool. 

Store cookies covered at room temperature for up to 1 week. Cookies freeze well.

Additional Notes:

*You may use unsalted butter in this recipe. If so, add 1/4 tsp salt with the flour.

*Please use quick oats in this recipe. You need the slightly finer texture from the quick oats in order to give the cookies a more uniform texture. Quick oats will act more as a binder in this recipe than whole oats would, since the consistency is more powdery and the oats are smaller in size.