Monster Cookies

This is one of my very favorite cookies to bake. As I told a friend of mine, they are like the “everything bagel” of the cookie world. I didn’t create these, I first saw them on Paula Deen when she shared a recipe from a fan of hers four years ago or so. However, I changed a couple of things to suit my taste. Here is my recipe:

1 cup granulated sugar

1 cup packed brown suagr

1/2 cup butter (unsalted) or butter flavored shortening

1 1/2 cups chunky peanut butter

3 eggs

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 cup chocolate chips

1 cup raisins

1 cup M&Ms

4 1/2 cups rolled oats (old fashioned or instant)

1) Cream the butter (or shortening), peanut butter, and sugars.

2) Add eggs and vanilla.

3) Stir in baking powder and soda, chocolate chips, raisins, and M&Ms until well distributed.

4) Incorporate oats 1 cupful at a time.

5) Drop by rounded spoonful on a greased cookie sheet. I use my small ice cream scoop to shape the cookies and I get 5 dozen + 5 cookies. When I use a tablespoon I get 6 dozen.

6) Bake at 350 degrees for 12 minutes, until brown on the bottom and some light browning on top.

7) Cool on cookie sheet for 5 minutes to set before removing to cooling rack.

Tasty Substitutions:

– Creamy peanut butter for chunky (may take another minute or so in baking time). I use whatever I’ve got on-hand and they always turn out great.

– Butterscotch or white chocolate chips for chocolate.

– Dried cherries for raisins, or any mixture of dried fruits.

– Chopped almonds, cashews, walnuts, or any other nut for M&Ms.

The dough and the baked cookies both freeze really well and believe it or not, they taste better the day after you bake them. There is no flour is these cookies, so make sure you cover them well to keep out the air, they stale pretty quickly if you leave them out. If I’m freezing the dough, I ball it up ahead of time, flash freeze, and then pop them all into washed-out sour cream or cottage cheese tubs (perfect size to hold a couple dozen each). The tubs are reusable, stackable in the freezer, and I like not wasting my precious (and expensive) Ziploc bags.

Once I bought the wrong size oats and had to supplement the measure with a couple of single-serving packages of Jeremy’s maple-brown sugar flavored oatmeal. The cookies still turned out fantastic and just the tiniest bit more deep flavor from the flavoring. I wonder what would happen if I used a couple of the apple-cinnamon flavored oatmeal packages. Mmmmm. I always keep the ingredients for these on-hand and they are one of my go-to recipes for taking to a potluck, get-together, or celebration. Enjoy!

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