I know a recipe is truly special when I make it repeatedly year after year. I have been baking these Monster Cookies for over 12 years (!!), which tells me just how much I love them.
I grew up with flour on my shirt and chocolate on my face, so while there are a number of recipes that have been a part of my life since I could say “more please!” I remember the first time I tasted these monster cookies especially vividly.
I was introduced to these thick, chewy monster cookies by my first ever “work friend,” which is another way of referring to a real friend who happens to have a cubical in the vicinity, Lindsey.
Lindsey brought a batch of the most perfect monster cookies in creation to the office and, as soon as I could come up for air after devouring what I told myself was three cookies but what was mathematically closer to five, I asked her for the recipe. She told me it was her mom’s and that it has been passed down for decades.
These cookies are perfect in that special way that tastes of the fine tuning of generations. Once you try them, I know you’ll be baking them for decades to come yourself.
About These Monster Cookies
While the true origin and inventor of monster cookies is unknown, I like to think that they earned the name “monster cookies” because they’re the most epic, monstrous mashup of every cookie you love in one tasty little package. Also, they’re scarily delicious!
Monster cookies are supremely ooey-gooey, thick and chewy. They’re jam-packed with bits and bites of chocolate and peanut butter in various forms (chips, candies, and straight-up PB).
They also deserve the superlative statements you throw their way. Here’s one to get us started…
Best Monster Cookies EVER.
^^Said it. Standing by it.
Lindsey’s family calls these “nutritious cookies” because of redeeming ingredients like peanut butter and oatmeal (breakfast material!). Her original monster cookie recipe does not include M&Ms, but I’ve taken to adding them for color and crunch…and because it’s hard to imagine a good reason not to include more chocolate.
I have, however, made a few tweaks over time to put the recipe above the nutritional profile of other not-so-healthy cookies (the Pioneer Woman monster cookie recipe, for example), such as using whole wheat flour.
- Butter. The key to a perfectly textured monster cookie. It’s 100% worth it to use the butter in this recipe, I promise.
- Sugar. A combination of brown sugar and granulated sugar creates just the right texture and makes the cookies moist and chewy.
- Peanut Butter. Critical to any original monster cookie recipe. Creamy peanut butter adds oodles of rich flavor and complements the oats and other mix-ins. If you need a monster cookie recipe without peanut butter, you could swap in a different creamy nut butter or try sun butter (heads up: sun butter will turn your cookies a little green).
- Pure Vanilla Extract. One of my favorite ingredients to add to any cookie recipe. The flavor is delicious here!
- Whole Wheat Flour. I swapped in whole wheat flour to make these cookies slightly better for you, and the change is imperceptible. You can use all-purpose flour instead, if that’s what you have on hand.
- Rolled Oats. Not only do the oats add a little chewy texture and nutty flavor, but they also bring in some protein and fiber. (Nutritious!)
- Mix-ins. As far as mix-ins go, monster cookies traditionally call for chocolate chips and M&M candies, but I follow Lindsey and her mom’s move of adding peanut butter chips to the mix too. The double hit of PB is the secret to making these the best, most addictive cookies you’ll try.
Cream the butter and sugars until fluffy. Beat in the peanut butter, then the egg and vanilla.
Add the baking soda and salt, then turn the mixer to low and slowly add the flour. Beat in the oats. Stir in your mix-ins, and chill the dough.
Scoop the cookies and bake at 350 degrees F for 10 minutes, until golden brown. Let them rest on the cookie sheet for a few minutes (letting them sit on the sheet to firm up a bit will make sure your monster cookies don’t fall apart). DIG IN!
Note on Cookie Size: This recipe will yield a large batch of 36-40 small cookies. I prefer baking my cookies bite-sized (so I can justify eating more of them), but if you prefer giant monster cookies, you can certainly scoop the dough larger and extend the bake time by a few minutes.
Make Ahead and Storage Tips
- To Make Ahead. You can freeze monster cookie dough. Portion the dough into balls and arrange them on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Place the sheet in the freezer until the dough is firm, then transfer to an airtight freezer-safe storage container and freeze for up to 3 months. Bake directly from frozen, adding to the baking time as needed. You’ll love yourself for having these on hand.
- To Store. Store leftover cookies in an airtight storage container for up to 1 week. (Also, how did you make them last that long??)
- To Freeze. Place cookies in an airtight freezer-safe storage container in the freezer for up to 3 months. Let thaw overnight in the refrigerator, then transfer to room temperature.
More Cookie Recipes with Fun Mix-ins
- Cranberry Oatmeal Cookies
- Chocolate Ginger Cookies
- Mint Chocolate Chip Cookies
- Peanut Butter Snickers Cookies
- Trail Mix Cookies
Recommended Tools to Bake This Monster Cookies Recipe
- Cookie Sheet. Tons of space for making big batches of cookies!
- Silicone Baking Mats. These (or parchment paper) are great for keeping cookies from sticking.
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
- 3/4 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
- 1 large egg at room temperature
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 cup white whole wheat flour or whole wheat pastry flour
- 1 cup old fashioned rolled oats
- 3/4 cup dark chocolate M&Ms
- 1/2 cup semi-sweet or dark chocolate chips
- 1/2 cup peanut butter chips
- In a large mixing bowl, cream butter, brown sugar, and granulated sugar until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add peanut butter and beat until fluffy again, about 2 minutes, scraping down the bowl as needed. Beat in egg and vanilla until combined.
- Sprinkle the baking soda and salt over the top. With the mixer on low, gradually add the flour, mixing just until the flour disappears. Slowly beat in the oats. By hand, stir in the M&Ms, chocolate chips, and peanut butter chips. If time allows, chill dough for 30 minutes or overnight.
- When ready to bake, place racks in the upper and lower thirds of the oven and preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line two cookie sheets with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat. Drop cookies onto the sheets by rounded tablespoons. Bake for 10 minutes in the upper and lower thirds of the oven, until lightly golden brown (cookies may appear underdone). Let rest on cookie sheet for 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool. Serve with a big glass of cold milk.
- Store leftover Monster Cookies in an airtight container for up to 1 week or freeze for up to 3 months. Let thaw overnight in the refrigerator, then transfer to the counter.
- To freeze unbaked cookies: portion the dough into balls and arrange on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Place the sheet in the freezer until the dough is firm, then transfer to an airtight container or freezer-grade ziptop bag and freeze for up to 3 months. Bake directly from frozen, adding to the baking time as needed.
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