These are perfect for those times when you want a chocolate chip cookie, a peanut butter cookie, and an oatmeal cookie all at once, with a healthy dose of M&Ms thrown in, because who could possibly object to M&Ms?
Well, Jeff kind of objected, saying something like "they got lost" in these cookies. I disagree. If you look at the cookies pictured above, what do you notice? I see two things:
1. golden brown cookie goodness
2. the colorful, lighthearted whimsy of M&Ms sprinkled throughout.
They need to be there if only to visually warn the eater that this is no ordinary oatmeal/chocolate chip cookie. More stuff is going on, all of it awesome, and what the heck, I can find and tell the difference between an M&M and a chocolate chip, can't you?
This recipe is from Baked: New Frontiers in Baking, a.k.a. the first Baked book. It's by Matt Lewis and Renato Poliafito, and I got it for Christmas, a year after I received its sequel as a gift. The sequel is a blockbuster, and several of its recipes have become true favorites and have received accolades such as "this is the best thing you make." So I was eager to tackle more recipes by these guys, but the ones in B:NFIB didn't scream MAKE ME NOW OMG. I'd eat any of them in a heartbeat, sure, but they're labor-intensive, and the amounts of butter required for most is daunting. Baked recipes are nice to think about, but putting three or four sticks of butter into cake that two people will eat in a few days is downright irresponsible.
But this recipe is a little different. Let's do some math.
It calls for a stick and a half of butter and makes 36 cookies. I followed the directions exactly and managed to squeeze 46 regulation-sized balls of cookie dough out of the recipe. I baked 6 and froze the rest. SO. Each cookie contains .26 tablespoons of butter per cookie. So if you cut a tablespoon of butter into 4 tiny cubes, one of those is in each cookie. Manageable!
Sure, the recipe asks for two cups of peanut butter, and chocolate probably contains dairy products, too, but I feel less guilty about those. The psychological damage and heartache I experience when I put two or more sticks of butter in anything is much, much worse.
But let's talk about how they taste.
OH THEY TASTE GREAT
You've got to freeze the vast majority of them. Having a copious stash at the ready is so comforting. They're kind of big, and I can only fit six on a sheet. Unless you've got a bake sale coming up or a bunch of kids eating you out of house and home, there's no way you would need this many cookies all at once. It's also a great way to pace yourself.
Note: the frozen dough is delicious, except for the hard, cold chocolate chips, which might as well be pink pencil erasers (totally correct eraser comparison by Julie Klausner on her podcast today--she was referring to c.chips in frozen yogurt). So eating the dough right out of the freezer is a waste of time and resources.
I made the monster cookies in my stand mixer--hope you like scraping sides down!--right up until the M&Ms went in. They're super easy, but do follow the instructions exactly.
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 5 3/4 cups old-fashioned rolled oats <--tons!!
- 1 1/2 sticks cold butter, cut into cubes <--the "cold" here seemed odd to me, but I do what I'm told
- 1 1/2 cups firmly packed light brown sugar
- 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
- 5 large eggs, at room temperature
- 1/4 teaspoon light corn syrup <-- The recipe said, "don't leave out the corn syrup--it's integral for the cookie," and I laffed and laffed in disbelief but put it in anyway.
- 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 cups creamy peanut butter
- 1 cup chocolate chips <--semi-sweet
- 1 cup M&Ms
In a large bowl, whisk the flour, baking soda and salt together. Add oats and stir until combined.
Place cubes of butter into the bowl of a stand mixer and beat until pale and smooth. This takes some time and periodic side-scraping. Add the sugars and mix on low speed until incorporated. Avoid overmixing. They don't say why.
Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl and add eggs, one at a time, beating each for about 20 seconds and scraping down the bowl after each. Mix in corn syrup and vanilla extract.
Scrape the bowl again and add peanut butter. Mix until smooth and add oat mixture in 3 intervals. Mix on low speed until incorporated.
Remove bowl from the stand mixer and lightly stir in the chocolate chips and M&M's with a rubber spatula. Cover the bowl tightly and refrigerate dough for 5 hours.
Five hours of hellish waiting!
When ready to bake, preheat oven to 375 degrees and line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. Eh, just do 1 sheet. Scoop out dough using a large ice cream scoop (about 2 tablespoon-size balls), placing them about 2 inches apart.
I did this using a measuring spoon--2 T per cookie. The tablespoons were non-heaping but it was too messy to be super accurate here. I rolled them into balls and froze most.
Bake for 12-15 minutes, rotating the pans halfway through the baking time. My single pan of possibly-smaller-than-normal(?) cookies took 10-11 minutes. They'll take11 minutes if the dough is frozen--I squashed them gently before popping them into the oven.
The cookies are done when they begin to brown. Cool the cookies on the cookie sheets for about 10 minutes before transferring them to a cooling rack to cool completely. Or eat immediately.
The cookies can be stored in an airtight container, at room temperature, for 3 days. They get softer (but are still chewy) after about a day.