our favorite monster cookies

Over the past few years, I've read through what feels like a million monster cookie recipes. They are always just a little bit different than one another but typically have a similar list of ingredients: oats, peanut butter or peanut butter chips, chocolate chips, m&ms and sometimes nuts. Well in this house, monster cookies are one of my favorite go-to desserts, especially for entertaining. They are so easy to make and always a crowd pleaser. Plus, you can match the m&ms with the season -- what's more festive than pink + red m&ms for Valentine's Day?

My dear friend, Natalie, came over last week and we whipped up a batch of these beauties.
It was her first time making them and she loved them right away, just as much as I have for years. Being that they were so delicious and that Valentine's is right around the corner, I had to share my recipe!

Yield: ~2 Dozen FULL SIZE // ~3 dozen MINI MONSTERS

1/4 cup butter, softened (Half stick)
1 cup sugar
1 cup + 2 TBSP brown sugar
2 cups CRUNCHY peanut butter
3 large eggs
1 tsp. corn syrup
1/4 tsp. vanilla
4 1/2 cups rolled oats (certified GF if necessary)*
2 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
1 cup M&Ms + extra for topping
1 cup chocolate chips
Baking sheets + Parchment Paper
Wire Cooling Racks

D I R E C T I O N S 
1. Preheat oven to 350°

2. Combine butter, sugar and brown sugar at medium speed with an electric mixer until smooth. Add peanut butter, eggs, corn syrup and vanilla; mix until just combined.
3. Stir in oats, baking soda & salt using a wooden spoon. Gently add M&Ms and chocolate chips until well-combined.
4. For FULL SIZE monster cookies, drop 1/4 cup portions of dough about 2-3 inches apart on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper; for "mini monsters," use TBSP size portions
(If desired, place a few extra M&Ms on top before baking)
5. Bake at 350° for 12-15 minutes or until lightly browned (less time for a chewy cookie, more time for a crunchy one); I under bake mine slightly because I like them extra soft + chewy
6. Let cookies cool for 5 minutes on the baking sheets then transfer cookies to a wire cooling rack to cool completely (just be sure to enjoy at least one while they're still warm!)

*These cookies are naturally gluten free as long as the oats are certified GF

Have you tried other monster cookie recipes that have been a hit? I'd love to hear about them and give them a try!

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