I’ve already bored you with stories of our fall camping trips, now let’s move to early summer. Most years growing up, our first two weeks of summer break were spent in the Sierra Nevadas. As a very young child, we would camp in an incredibly remote area called Jackass Meadows. This was boil-your-water use the outhouse sort of camping. It was called Jackass Meadows because of the wild horses. And the campers. At some point my parents switched to Twin Lakes. Often during these trips family and friends would join us. And always, there were lots of kids. We’d roam the woods, rivers and lakes like a troupe of scabby-kneed outlaws, our parents providing only one set of instructions: return at dusk. Not before.
On such adventures, we’d stuff a couple of monster cookies in our pockets. You know, provisions. I have no idea why monster cookies have such a scary name, perhaps because they are often big. Maybe they are the jabberwokcky’s baked good of choice.
A couple of years ago I asked my mom for the recipe. She claimed to no longer have it. So, I did some experimenting. I failed. And pretty much forgot about it. Until a couple of weeks ago when I was thinking about those trips (and how many bears there were…and how stupidly unafraid of them I was).
So I tried another recipe.
Don’t let the oatmeal and peanut butter fool you. The dough is just really a candy-delivery mechanism.
Hearty, stick to your ribs, good energy for afternoon-long games of ditch.
So, I finally figured out the secret to great monster cookies. You need to let them rest on their parchment until cool before attempting to remove. Otherwise, they fall completely apart.
Beastie Boys. Yes, I realize I’m just like everyone else.
Paula Dean (I felt bad for taking a jab at her in last week’s post)
- 3 eggs
- 1 1/4 cups packed light brown sugar
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 12-ounce jar creamy peanut butter
- 1 stick butter, softened
- 1/2 cup multi-colored chocolate candies
- 1/2 cup chocolate chips
- 1/4 cup raisins, optional
- 2 teaspoons baking soda
- 4 1/2 cups quick-cooking oatmeal (not instant)
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line cookie sheets with parchment paper or nonstick baking mats.
In a very large mixing bowl, combine the eggs and sugars. Mix well. Add the salt, vanilla, peanut butter, and butter. Mix well. Stir in the chocolate candies, chocolate chips, raisins, if using, baking soda, and oatmeal. Drop by tablespoons 2 inches apart onto the prepared cookie sheets.
Bake for 8 to 10 minutes. Do not overbake. Let stand for about 3 minutes before transferring to wire racks to cool. When cool, store in large resealable plastic bags.
These also freeze incredibly well!