Holiday Monster Cookies

So, remember when I was talking about my son and his fear of the crib?

Well, he decided after that night that he just wasn’t interested in sleeping in it.  At all.

After one terrible night of him getting up about seven times, I decided something else could be wrong.  I bit the bullet and took him to the doctor, preparing myself to be “that mom”  (you know, the one who takes her kids to the pediatrician anytime something might be wrong).  Since he’d hadn’t had a fever, was only a tad crankier than usual (which I assumed was due to lack of sleep), and overall seemed okay, I was totally expecting the “he’s a toddler, and he’s going to go through phases where he won’t sleep” lecture.  Instead, I found out the poor kid’s been dealing with an ear and sinus infection.  Oops.  Mystery solved.  (Maybe that was why he was trying to escape his crib: it hurt to lay down.)

One day of antibiotics later, and he was sleeping like a dream.

In the meantime, Hubs and I were planning for our annual Christmas Party.  He is always in charge of the menu – it’s his thing.  He loves preparing and entertaining for this event – and even starts planning his food in the summer.  So, I couldn’t take that away from him.  I did want to contribute in some way, so (in my then sleep-deprived head) I decided to escape from my children spend some time in the kitchen baking cookies.

We have a good friend who comes to our parties that has Celiac disease, and Hubs is great at making a full meal gluten-free.  I wanted to make sure she had a dessert to enjoy as well (as our guests are in charge of desserts).  When I saw this recipe, I thought it would be a snap to make for her (and everyone else, because, to be honest – these cookies also just plain looked good!).

The Recipe:

Monster Cookies, from Mel’s Kitchen Cafe

3 large eggs

1 1/4 c packed light brown sugar

1 c granulated sugar

1/2 t salt

1 t vanilla extract

1 1/2 c creamy peanut butter

1 stick butter (8 T), softened

1 c M&Ms (I used the red and green Christmas kind)

1 c semisweet chocolate chips

2 t baking soda

4 1/2 c quick cooking oats

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.  Line cookie sheets with parchment paper, silpat liners or lightly grease with cooking spray.

In a large mixing bowl, combine the eggs and sugars.  Mix well.  Add the salt, vanilla, peanut butter and butter.  Mix until creamy and well combined.  Stir in the M&Ms, chocolate chips, baking soda and oatmeal.  Mix well.  Roll the dough into tablespoon-sized balls and place about 2 inches apart on the cookie sheets.  Flatten the cookies slightly with the palm of your hand.

Bake the cookies for 8-10 minutes.  Don’t overbake – the cookies should just be set and very lightly golden around the edges.  Let the cookies sit for 1-2 minutes on the cookie sheet before transferring to a cooling rack to cool completely.

{Printable Recipe}

The Results:

Don’t you hate it when you have the best of intentions, and it doesn’t work out?  I’m not saying these cookies didn’t turn out to be absolutely amazing, but I am saying they ended up NOT being gluten-free.

I had thought I was being so good, too.  I double-checked that M&M’s were okay.  I even bought peanut butter that I knew was gluten-free.  Little did I know that oats (yes - oats) are not.  Apparently the oats themselves are fine, but the way they are processed can cause contamination.  Thank goodness my friend asked me beforehand if the oats were specifically gluten-free.  I would’ve hated for her to get sick from our party.

The dough was quite delicious, too!

Anyways, the recipe says that it makes 2-3 dozen, but in our case, it made about six.  Which was fine with me, as I got to decompress relax in the kitchen for a bit longer – and I got to sample, um, several of the cookies (just to make sure they tasted okay, of course.)

These cookies were chewy, slightly peanut buttery, with the sweet of the M&M’s and richness of the chocolate chips.  (And I dare you try to eat just one.  It doesn’t work, I tell you.)

Now, when I make these next time (yes, I said when not if), I think I will use some dark chocolate M&M’s instead of the milk chocolate ones.  Mostly because after five a few, they can get a little sweet (at least for me – milk chocolate is always a bit sweet for me.  If you like milk chocolate, though, no substitutions are necessary).

Now, to leave you with a final gift… a picture of some of the guests in their festive Christmas attire.

Faces are removed to protect the innocent.

(I’m the red one in front with the snow flakes – in case you were wondering.)

Now go bake some cookies.  :)

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14 thoughts on “Holiday Monster Cookies

  1. It is totally the thought that counts so you get tons of points for that!!! And I have made these cookies using gluten free oats and they are perfect, I love the combo of peanut butter and chocolate and the chewiness of them. So so good! I really really appreciate the thoughtfulness:) And the sweaters- well, they are just fabulous!

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  2. Awesome Christmas sweater party! Miss A was the same way with ear infections when she was that age – no fever, no outward signs of anything out of the ordinary other than a bit over tired and a bit cranky. And I love the went to the kitchen to “escape the kids” (or bake!). I do that all the time. Sometimes even dishes can be “fun.” Ha! ;)

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  3. Oh man, what a bummer about the oats issue. I’m glad you mentioned it since I always just assumed it was safe to use oats in gluten-free recipes. Yikes! Glad you liked the end result of the cookies, though!

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  4. So glad you solved your son’s sleep problems and he is now on his road to recovery. My son was the same with with Strep Throat, believe it or not. I would all of a sudden stop eating. No fever at first no other signs. I would go to the doctor and they would look in his throat and say, “It doesn’t look like strep and he should have a fever.” And I would be crazy, pushy mom and insist on a strep test and sure enough I was right, every time. As for the Gluten free oats, did NOT know this and so glad you shared so we can all learn from your experience so see it wasn’t for nothing…your readers still got something out of it. THe cookies look totally yummy.

    Btw: Just more proof were twins separated at birth (except I think I am about 10 yrs older than you…or more) …milk chocolate is too sweet for me. Dark is the only way to go and the only chocolate I will waste precious calories on. I won’t eat Herhseys. I get teased about this.

    The sweaters are great! Was it a crazy Christmas sweater party or are you and your friends just that festive?

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  5. Aw poor baby! I hope he’s feeling better now. These cookies sound so delicious. I’d probably even add a little more peanut butter…can’t get enough of the stuff! Oh, and those sweaters are fantastic. I need to invest in one for this year. :)

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  6. These look great! I have a recipe similar to these and my boys love them! Poor little guy, hope he feels better soon. My first two boys always had ear infections, they both had to have tubes put in their ears. My 2nd child had 7 ear infections in 6 months, I didn’t get much sleep that year.

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  7. Courtney,
    Those cookies are so colorful and full of wonderful flavor! Thank you so much for sharing with Full Plate Thursday. I am wishing you and your family a very Merry Christmas!
    Come Back Soon,
    Miz Helen

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  8. Pingback: Gluten Free Breakfast Casserole « Misadventures in Cooking

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