Wednesday, October 12, 2011

The cookiest cookie of all

I am going to share with you a recipe that I didn’t think I would ever share.  These cookies are something that I make on a regular basis, and they also something that I have messed around with a lot, with varying degrees of success.  They are my favorite type of cookie to make for myself.  They are all of the things a good cookie should be – chewy, soft, sweet, and inviting.

We’re talking about Monster Cookies.

What’s a Monster Cookie?  Well, it’s basically a cookie that has all sorts of fun things added to it.  When I make these, I usually just open up my cupboard and see what I have in there.  There are certain things that I always add, things I really like to add, and things that I never add.  Usually the “never adds” are because I tried them once and was really unhappy with the results.  Here are my lists:

Always Add:
Old-fashioned oats – you can add whatever oats you want, but I like the chew and heft that the old-fashioned ones give the cookies.
Chocolate chips – whatever I have in the house, usually some mix of semi-sweet and milk chocolate.

Like to Add:
White chocolate chips
Peanut butter chips
Toffee chips
Fun chocolate-based candies (Peanut butter M&Ms are especially great)

Never Add:
Marshmallows – if you put them in the dough, they melt into the cookie by the time they are done baking, and you don’t get any marshmallow flavor or texture from them, so it’s kind of a waste.
Rice Krispies – these things turn into tiny rocks when you bake them.  No bueno.

The time I made these cookies for the ones you see in the photo, the cookies came out especially well, which is why I decided to share them.  I had friends coming over, and I whipped them up really quickly.  They were amazingly good.  I made them with the oats, a couple handfuls of semi-sweet chocolate chips, milk chocolate chips, toffee chips, and a  handful of peanut butter chips.  I went easy on the peanut butter chips, because the Hubster prefers them that way.  The things we do for love. Also, I doubled the recipe you see below, and just baked off about a dozen cookies and froze the rest.  I think I got a couple of dozen cookies out of it. Maybe more.

The dough, like most cookie dough, freezes well.  Unless I’m taking them somewhere where I know that all of the cookies will be eaten, I only bake what I need and then scoop and freeze the rest of the dough.  Also, the more stuff I add in, the bigger the scoop I use, so that I can get all of the goodness into each cookies.  The one I used for these was about an inch and a half in diameter.  When I use bigger scoops, I drop the oven temp a little and bake them a little longer.  For this size scoop, I went with 325, and about 18 minutes. 

Monster Cookies

1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened
1 cup light brown sugar
3 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 large egg
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1-3/4 cups all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1-1/2 teaspoons instant espresso coffee powder
1/2 cup old-fashioned oats
Add-ins of your choice


Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Cream the butter with the sugars using an electric mixer on medium speed until fluffy (approximately 30 seconds)

Beat in the egg and the vanilla extract for another 30 seconds.

In a mixing bowl, sift together the dry ingredients and beat into the butter mixture at low speed for about 15 seconds. Stir in the espresso coffee powder. Mix in oats and other add-ins by hand, using a rubber spatula

Using a scoop (mine is about 1.5-inch in diameter), drop cookie dough onto a parchment-lined cookie sheet about 3 inches apart. Bake for 15-20 minutes, until golden brown and delicious. Cool on the sheet pan for a few minutes and then transfer to a cooling rack to finish cooling completely before eating or storing.

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