The other day, I wanted to use up some semi-sweet and white chocolate chips we had sitting around, and cookies seemed like the best answer. :) I had two recipes in mind when I created this batch - one being the classic monster cookie recipe, which I had handwritten on a notecard from my dear high school friend, Mandy. It is a GIANT recipe, calling for two pounds of brown sugar, plus all the other ingredients. My poor Kitchenaid mixer just can't hold up to that, so I divided everything by three to make it more manageable. The other recipe that I drew inspiration from is a cranberry oatmeal chocolate chip cookie that my grandma often makes. The result was really quite wonderful!
Here are the major modifications I made:
Honey instead of corn syrup
White sugar and molasses instead of brown sugar
Dried cranberries instead of M&Ms
A mixture of almond butter and peanut butter instead of only peanut butter
and a white chocolate drizzle for the heck of it.
Some of these changes have made the cookies "healthier" than your standard monster cookie, hence why I've named them Mild-Mannered Monsters. :) Honey is a preferable sweetener because it's not so highly processed as corn syrup. Dried cranberries add flavor to the cookie without artificial coloring like M&Ms. Lastly, I substituted half of the peanut butter with homemade almond butter. I didn't want a overwhelming peanut butter taste to conflict with the cranberries. And as an added perk, it means half the amount of hydrogenated oils that are found in store bought nut butters.
For the cookies
3 1/3 C. white, granulated sugar
3 Tbsp. molasses
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 tsp. honey
1 1/3 tsp. baking soda
1/3 C. butter, softened
1/2 C. almond butter
1/2 C. peanut butter
3 C. quick oats
5 oz. (a heaping cup) dried cranberries
5 oz. semi-sweet chocolate chips
White chocolate drizzle
2-3 Tbsp. milk
3 oz. white chocolate chips
Beat eggs well, then add the rest of the ingredients in order. Mix for a few seconds after each addition.
Use an ice cream scoop to measure out dough for each cookie, and plop on an ungreased cookie sheet. (There's enough oil in this dough to keep it from sticking to the pan, don't worry!) You can press down each scoop a little bit to ensure that they will spread properly when baking.
Bake at 335 ⁰F for 12-15 minutes, rotating the pans halfway through to ensure even browning.
Allow to stand about 5 minutes before removing from cookie sheet.
For the drizzle, heat milk in a microwave-safe bowl for about 15 seconds, until just steaming. Dump in the white chocolate chips and allow them to soften in the hot milk for ~1 min. Begin stirring until chocolate is melted and fully incorporated. If needed, heat in microwave another 10 seconds to reach drizzling consistency. Remember: don't overheat chocolate or it will seize and become unworkable!
Use a fork to flick the melted chocolate back and forth across the tops of the cookies. Let the chocolate cool and set before packing up the cookies.
Yield: approximately 2 dozen
And there you have it! A (somewhat) healthier monster cookie with a unique flavor combination of cranberry and chocolate. A perfectly cozy fall treat to be enjoyed with a hot cup of coffee!
'Til next time,