“What are monster cookies, though?” I asked recently, with vague recollections of cookies with M&M’s in them.
“Peanut butter, chocolate, and oat cookies.”
“Well, I’m sold.”
This monster cookie recipe took me about eight tries (nine?) to get right, but they are just right.
I almost gave up on them, to tell you the truth. My fella took a batch to work and overheard his coworker say, “This is the best cookie I’ve ever had,” so I knew I was close.
Here they are, in time for a fun weekend baking project or Valentine’s treat. Let’s make some cookies!
These monster cookies are made with more wholesome ingredients than most. They have a classic bakery look and taste, and the sugar content that goes along with that. (If you’re looking for lightened-up, lower-sugar cookies, check these out, or just make half-sized cookies.)
These cookies are essentially made with peanut butter, eggs, coconut sugar or brown sugar, melted coconut oil or butter, and chocolate. They’re flourless and gluten free, as long as your oats are certified gluten free. I like to think that the nut butter and oats makes them a little more redeeming.
How to Make Monster Cookies
These cookies are seriously easy to make with basic ingredients. You don’t even need to remember to soften your butter! Here’s the rundown:
- Combine your peanut butter, sugar and melted oil or butter in a large mixing bowl, and mix well. You could do this in a stand mixer, but I hate lugging mine out. I use my beloved hand mixer (affiliate link). You can also mix these cookies with a big spoon by hand, which will take some muscle but it’s totally doable.
- Add eggs, baking soda and vanilla. Mix again. This is so easy, you might as well turn on some music and dance around while you’re working on these.
- Add your oats and chocolate. Mix again. La lalalala.
- Scoop the dough onto a parchment paper-lined baking sheet. These are big cookies that expand while baking, so I can fit six per half-sheet pan.
- Bake for 10 to 12 minutes, until they’re just starting to turn golden on the edges, then let them cool while you put the next batch in the oven. Repeat one more time and you’re done. (If you’re in a hurry, I think you could bake two sets of six cookies at the same time, with racks in the upper and bottom thirds of the oven.)
Monster Cookie Ingredient Considerations
Quick-cooking oats vs. old-fashioned oats
Quick oats disappear more into the cookies, whereas old-fashioned oats offer a more hearty and noticeable texture. Did you know that quick-cooking and old-fashioned oats have nearly identical nutrition properties? Quick-cooking oats are just cut up a little more.
Coconut oil (and other oils) vs. butter
I love using unrefined (virgin) coconut oil in this recipe because it lends a very subtle layer of complexity. I can’t really pick out the coconut flavor, but the cookies taste a little more interesting. You could use a mild extra-virgin olive oil (like California Olive Ranch Everyday) or neutral oil, such as sunflower seed oil, but those tend to be more refined.
Butter works great, too, if you’re going for a super classic monster cookie.
Coconut sugar vs. brown sugar
I like to use coconut sugar since it’s a less refined, more natural sweetener made from evaporated coconut nectar. It doesn’t taste like coconut; it’s similar to brown sugar in flavor. It has been gaining popularity over the past few years. I buy it at Trader Joe’s or Whole Foods.
Brown sugar works, too, and costs less. You might be wondering why the recipe calls for 2 1/2 cups coconut sugar or 2 cups brown sugar—they actually are about the same by weight. Coconut sugar just weighs less per cup.
Chocolate chips vs. chocolate-coated candies
Most monster cookies are made with an equal mix of chocolate chips and chocolate-coated candies (think M&M’s). The candies are fun because you can buy colors that match the seasons or holidays (red and pink for Valentine’s Day, pastels for Easter, red and green for Christmas, multi-colored for Halloween, etc.). I bought my naturally colored candies at Whole Foods, near the bulk bins.
However, I also love these cookies with all chocolate chips. I buy bittersweet chocolate chips, so they satisfy my craving for dark chocolate that way.
Change It Up
Mix up your mix-ins.
Like I said, I love these cookies with all chocolate chips (no candy-coated chocolate). You could even substitute some chopped nuts, raisins or other dried fruit for some or all of the chocolate.
Substitute other nut butters.
I can’t get enough of the peanut butter version, but you could substitute almond butter or sunflower seed butter.
Make smaller cookies.
This recipe yields 18 large cookies, which use 1/4 cup dough each. You could easily make 36 smaller cookies by using scoops of 2 tablespoons each. You cookies will bake up faster, somewhere between 6 to 9 minutes. They’re done when they’re just starting to turn golden around the edges.
Please let me know how your cookies turn out in the comments! They’re a real treat and I hope they become your new favorite cookie recipe.
Looking for more chocolate cookies and desserts?
- Amazing (Vegan) Chocolate Chip Cookies
- Coffee Chocolate Chip Blondies
- Mini Peanut Butter Cups and Chocolate Peppermint Cups
- Easy Salted Oat Fudge
- Prep Time: 15 minutes
- Cook Time: 30 minutes
- Total Time: 45 minutes
- Yield: 18 cookies
- Category: Cookies
- Method: Baked
- Cuisine: American
Truly the best monster cookie recipe! These peanut butter, oatmeal and chocolate chip cookies are perfectly crisp on the outside and tender on the inside. Recipe yields 18 cookies.
- 1 ½ cups creamy or chunky peanut butter (that’s one full 16-ounce jar minus ¼ cup)
- 2 ½ cups packed coconut sugar or 2 cups lightly packed brown sugar
- ⅓ cup melted coconut oil or 5 tablespoons melted butter
- 3 large eggs
- 2 teaspoons baking soda
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 2 ½ cups quick-cooking oats or old-fashioned oats (certified gluten-free if necessary)
- ¾ cup bittersweet chocolate chips
- ¾ cup candy-coated chocolates (like M&M’s) or additional chocolate chips
- Optional: flaky sea salt, for sprinkling
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Line tw0 large, rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone mats for easy clean-up.
- In a large mixing bowl, combine the peanut butter with the sugar and coconut oil. Use an electric mixer or a large spoon to mix until well combined. Add the eggs, baking soda and vanilla, and mix well. Add the oats and chocolate chips and mix until they’re evenly incorporated.
- Working with an ice cream scoop or ¼ cup measuring cup, drop the cookies onto the prepared baking sheets. These cookies spread while baking, so leave several inches around each (I can bake six at a time). If they are irregularly shaped at the base, gently shape them into a more rounded mound. If you’d like your cookies to look extra pretty, dot a few extra M&M’s and chocolate chips on each mound of dough before baking.
- Bake 10 to 12 minutes, until they’re just starting to turn golden around the edges. Do not overbake. Let the cookies cool for 10 minutes before transferring to a cooling rack. In the meantime, bake your next six cookies, and so on.
- If desired, sprinkle the cookies lightly with flaky sea salt. Let them cool completely before storing them in an airtight container. Cookies will keep well for several days at room temperature.
Recipe adapted from Recipe Girl.