Back around Christmas-cookie-season, I wrote about Monster cookies. My friend Liz made these for the girls' holiday cookie swap, and they were amazingly good - when she told me the basic ingredients (no wheat) I was even more intrigued.
The first time I made them, I was struck by how much they tasted like one of those Quaker granola bars (which while, unfortunately, are not gluten free, my husband LOVED in his gluten-eating days). He requested that the next time I make them I try to duplicate the granola bar recipe a little more, maybe with some additional flavors. Well, winter turned into spring, spring turned into summer, and between MBA classes, a new house, and a busy work schedule things kitchen experimentation sort of fell by the wayside for a little while there. (Shame, too, because I have a kitchen dedicated to gluten free baking now!)
Well, he's working all weekend on a huge project, and while they're getting pizza for all the other people, he's not expecting to have anyone accommodate him. :-( So he brought some dinner and decided to bring some snacks in to get him through a couple of 18-hour days. I figured, this is the best time to re-visit these Monster cookies!
I used pretty much the same recipe as last time, but cut down a little bit on the sugar and added different stuff:
* 3 eggs
* 1 1/4 cups packed light brown sugar
* 1/2 cup granulated sugar (halved from last recipe)
* 1/2 teaspoon salt
* 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
* 1 12-ounce jar creamy peanut butter (I had a 40 oz jar, so I approximated this with a cup and a half - could be a little more, or a little less)
* 1 stick butter, softened
* 2 teaspoons baking soda (I didn't have any baking soda, so I used 1 tsp. baking powder and 1 tsp. cream of tartar as a substitute)
* 4 1/2 cups quick-cooking oatmeal (not instant) (And of course, gluten free!)
Instead of the chocolate (which my husband hates) and raisins, I added almost an entire package of chopped up dried apple - if I had to estimate a little more than a cup - and a large handful of chopped walnuts.
By the way, a side note/tip: Using the Slap Chop on dried apple rings? Not a great idea. Manually chopping the apple rings with a knife worked leagues better.
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, and oatmeal. 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.
I started out trying triangles, but they came out kind of roundish-squarish. They taste REALLY good though! We're going to try to freeze some of them as well. I think next time I could probably get rid of the granulated sugar completely.
Thank you, Paula Dean and Food Network for the original recipe!