Thursday, March 25, 2010

Monster Cookies

I took my comprehensive exam last week. What is that? Don't matta. Actually, it does. So, I presented my research to my thesis committee. Like a progress report. And, it is required/expected that you bring refreshments. Although, this is not in any rules, it is just the tradition. If you have it in the morning, you need to bring breakfast. If it is over lunch time, bring some sandwiches. Mine was in the afternoon, so I brought cookies, lemonade and tea!

I had big plans for the menu. I wanted to make these monster cookies and the raspberry shortbread bars. Well, I kind of ran out of time. And ended up not making the shortbread bars and having Scot make these for me. No one probably cared or noticed but me. Actually, everyone really liked Scot's cookies. He got lots of praise.

I have made these several times. And the first time, I made them for no reason, which I never do. And it was a huge mistake. Because I am obsessed with these cookies. I literally can't eat just one. I like to make these mini too. I actually measure out each one using a tablespoon. Scot made them a little bigger, maybe 1.5 tablespoons. Here are mine, that I made back in Dec. for the Clutch (hang on) fundraiser, Rev (the rest of the pics are from Scot's batch):

I do adjust for high altitude on occasion and this occasion is one of them. Of the occasions. I used to make these huge monster cookies whenever we went camping with friends in college in Minnesota. Everyone loved them. Then, I made the same recipe when I moved here, and they were hard, crunchy, crumbly messes. I thought I lost my touch. Then, I started thinking about excuses and like my friend, Tim always says, "it must be the altitude!"

Therefore, I did a little experiment. I found this new recipe (I don't know why I didn't use the old one, but whatever). Then, I made it as is, according to the directions. I baked one cookie. It came out SO flat, hard, nasty. Then, I did a high altitude adjustment...added 1 cup of flour. There are several suggestions for high altitude for cookies and other baked goods, I just randomly chose that one. Baked another cookie, and it came out amazing! It was soft, chewy, puffy.

Now, if someone at sea level could do the same experiment, that would be great! Why? Well, I think it would it would fully prove whether it is the altitude or not. Because there are two possibilities:

1. The original recipe was bad in the first place. Although, if you go to original recipe, it has really good ratings. And it seems like plenty of people made them without flour and had great results. But there are plenty of people who needed to add flour, were they all at high altitude? Some said they were at high altitude, some just seemed confused and mad. I am wondering if people just have different tastes?

2. Maybe adding flour or having flour in oatmeal cookies always makes them better??? Regardless of altitude.

Those two possibilities now seem the same. But it is too late to erase now.

UPDATE: Mother-in-law did this experiment here!

Last note: it says raisins (optional) in the recipe below. They should really be forbidden. There is a time and place for raisins, and these cookies are not it. These cookies aren't going to get any healthier just by adding some raisins.

Last note^2: The recipe below is adjusted for high altitude. If you aren't at high altitude, don't add the flour. Or do.

Monster Cookies
courtesy Donna Haney as adapted by Paula Deen and foodforscot

3 eggs
1 1/4 cups packed light brown sugar
1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 12-ounce jar creamy peanut butter
1 stick butter, softened
1/2 cup multi-colored chocolate candies
1/2 cup chocolate chips
1/4 cup raisins, optional
2 teaspoons baking soda
4 1/2 cups quick-cooking oatmeal (not instant)
1 cup flour

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line cookie sheets with parchment paper or nonstick baking mats.

In a very large mixing bowl, combine the eggs and sugars. Mix well. Add the salt, vanilla, peanut butter, and butter. Mix well. Stir in the chocolate candies, chocolate chips, raisins, if using, baking soda, oatmeal, and flour. Drop by tablespoons 2 inches apart onto the prepared cookie sheets.

Bake for 8 to 10 minutes. Do not overbake. Let stand for about 3 minutes before transferring to wire racks to cool. When cool, store in large resealable plastic bags.

(Servings: 36, Prep time: 30 min., Cook time: 1 hr., Difficulty: Easy)


  1. this makes me extremely hungry and they look delicious! thank you for recipe!