Peanut Butter Monster Cookies

We go through tons of peanut butter in our house. I am seriously considering buying those giant gallon-sized containers of it because it disappears so quickly. My main PB consumer is Daniel, our oldest son who just turned 13. He eats peanut butter on EVERYTHING, even really weird stuff that kind of grosses me out**. So, for his birthday I made these cookies in lieu of cake this year.

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Imagine your basic Monster cookies (which I love just a little too much) with Reeses Pieces instead of M & M’s.

Peanut butter cookie dough with chocolate and peanut butter pieces added in.

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Yup, it’s good stuff.

These got gobbled up pretty fast, so I guess they were well liked.  I may have had one actual baked cookie out of the batch, but I can testify that the cookie dough was awfully tasty.

Here’s the recipe for these guys:

2 cups flour

2 1/4 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp salt

1 cup softened butter

1 cup peanut butter

1 cup white sugar

2/3 cup brown sugar

2 eggs

1 tsp vanilla

1/2 cup rolled oats

1/2 cup peanut butter chips

1/2 cup chocolate chips

1/2 cup Reese’s Pieces

Mix all ingredients in a large mixing bowl. Chill dough for at least 1/2 hour. Bake at 350 F for 12-15 minutes.

**Moms–Do not, I repeat Do NOT watch a 12 to 13 year old boy eat pretty much anything. You will quite possibly be disgusted and nauseated. Yes, make your kids great food and love them to bits, but be ready to turn away when they are ready to actually eat/inhale it. Consider yourself warned.


Tips for Baking Cookies

Tis the season for baking cookies!

In fact, just this past Saturday my Mom, sister-in-law, and I baked bunches of Christmas cookies. The day after that we had a baked goods auction at our church to benefit the youth group. In addition to that there are other various cookie exchanges, parties, and school events that lots of people need to bake cookies for in the next couple of weeks. With this in mind, I rounded up a bunch of cookie-baking tips that I had in mind and that I have found out through different venues.

*Read your recipe carefully beforehand. Yes, I know this is a no-brainer, but I have started in on recipes with gusto before realizing that I had to chill the dough for an hour or do something else that I hadn’t originally planned on. If you’ve had any baking experience, I’m sure you’ve also had those “whoops” moments.

*Make sure you have ALL the ingredients before starting. This is like the above tip. Be prepared ahead of time. This way you don’t have to make trips to the store at the 11th hour buying random ingredients.

*Preheat your oven adequately before baking.

*Don’t add too much flour. Your cookies won’t come out with as nice of a texture, so go easy with the flour. When scooping it out, make sure not to pack it in the measuring cup!

*Add eggs one at a time. I used to think that it didn’t really matter, but apparently it helps with the emulsification process if you really do follow this step.

*Allow butter to soften. In other words, don’t try to speed up the process and microwave it. If you use completely melted butter, your cookies may pool out when they bake. (I am speaking from experience on this one for sure!)

*Salted vs. Unsalted Butter?? Has this ever confused anyone else besides me? From my research, you can use either for baking. However, if you use salted, don’t skimp on still adding salt to the recipe. Aim for half of what it calls for.

*Mix dough a day ahead of time. In fact, most cookie dough can be refrigerated for up to a week before baking off. It may even taste better! So, if you’re pressed for time or are planning to do up a bunch in one day, feel free to mix some up the day before. (We just did this for our annual cookie-baking day and it worked well.)

*Use parchment paper. It works wonders–you don’t have to grease anything and it really helps with clean up.

*Don’t overbake!! This is probably one of my favorite tips. We like our cookies to be chewy, not crunchy, so I pull mine out of the oven before they are really browned at all. Works like a charm!

*Let cookies rest on baking sheet 2-3 minutes before transferring to a cooling rack. They are less likely to break apart that way.

*Allow baking sheets to cool before placing more dough on to bake. If they are still hot and you add dough, they spread out too much.

*Let cookies cool before decorating.

*To help keep cookies soft, add a 1/2 slice of bread to your storage container. This tip comes from my better half and it works great!

Happy Baking:)