Monday, January 28, 2019

NYT Monster Cookies

Morsels with M&Ms, Reese's, oats & nuts 

Sometimes, you need a January Saturday where you pull the comforter out into the living room, plop down to binge Netflix for nigh 12 hours, do face masks, eat chili, drink bloody marys in the morning & hot toddies in the evening, and break only to bake a sweet smackerel. 

These monster cookies from the New York Times are great because they come together easily and always turn out super yummy — a little crisp, a little chewy. And they're big. The addition of nuts and oats give some great texture, and cute, colorful candy pieces are, in my opinion, good mental therapy for a dreary winter's day. Like Winnie the Pooh said, "Nobody can be uncheered with a balloon." I say, nobody can be uncheered with a monster cookie. 

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(makes 12 hefty cookies)

1 cup flour
1/2 tsp baking powder 
1/2 tsp salt 
1 cup rolled oats 
9 TBS butter, at room temperature (I used 5 TBS salted, 4 TBS unsalted, because that's what I had)
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar 
1 large egg 
1 tsp vanilla 
3/4 cup chopped pecans (I used walnuts in a pinch) 
1/2 cup M&Ms 
1/2 cup Reese's pieces (you can do just one candy or the other, but I prefer the mix) 

1. Heat oven to 350 degrees. In a small bowl, combine flour, baking powder, salt, and oats. Set aside. 

2. In a larger bowl, beat together butter and sugars until creamy. Add egg and vanilla and beat again until smooth. 

3. Add flour mixture to butter mixture and beat until smooth. By hand, fold in nuts and candy pieces. 

4. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper, or grease it. Using a measuring cup, scoop out 1/4-cup balls of dough. Place on the prepared baking pan, then flatten slightly into fat disks, about 1/2-inch high. Bake six cookies at a time to give them room to spread. 

5. Bake until very lightly browned, 14–20 minutes (I took mine out at 14, so start checking then). Let stand a few minutes to harden a bit, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. The bottom of the cookies should have a nice soft golden color. 

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I originally tried making these cookies smaller than the recommended 1/4-cup size, which turned out to be a mistake. The ratios of nuts and candy are simply better in a bigger cookie! So feel free to go big. I also love how you can adapt these for most any holiday by using festive M&Ms. But who needs a holiday? Winter in Wisco needs all the festive feelings we can get. Stay happy, stay warm, bake something! 

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