Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Monster Cookie Bars

These cookies are nothing new to my world.  This isn't some newfangled recipe I tried for the first time recently.  This has been one of my favorite cookies since I was a kid.  Monster cookies!  The combination of peanut butter, oatmeal, chocolate chips, and M&M's is irresistible! 

I still remember the first time I experienced the sugary bliss that is monster cookie bars.  The local small-town bank my parents used was thanking its customers by giving them a pan of monster cookies.  Unlike most cookies, these are baked in a pizza pan instead of as individual cookies.  They didn't last long in our house.  Once we had tasted monster cookies, we couldn't get enough of them!  So my mom got the recipe from a bank employee and I have been loving them ever since.

These classic cookies will always hold a special place in my heart.  They are sugary, chocolatey, chewy, peanut buttery, crunchy, and just downright amazing.  I like to use peanut M&M's to easily boost the crunch. You could instead use plain M&M's and peanuts if you want.  You just can't go wrong with monster cookies!

These are also really easy to make.  This is pretty standard cookie prep.  Start by creaming some margarine and sugar together.  I used margarine because I have always used margarine.  And it works for me.  Add egg, vanilla, corn syrup and peanut butter until it's all combined and delicious looking.
Stir in oatmeal, baking soda, salt, chocolate chips, and M&M's.  Do a requisite taste test.  And another.  And another.  Okay, don't eat it all!  Divide the dough in half and spread evenly onto 2 baking pans sprayed with cooking spray.  This can be kind of sticky.  If you wet your hands periodically during the process it will be a lot easier!  I usually use 2 disposable pizza pans, but this time I used a rimmed baking sheet.  I also just baked one and froze the other.  No word yet on how the frozen cookie dough turned out yet.  It's still hanging out in the freezer.
Bake at 350 degrees for 12-15 minutes.   Cut into bars or slices if you use a round pizza pan.
Devour.  As you might be able to tell from the pictures, I made these after Valentine's Day with Valentine's M&M's I bought on sale.  Looking at these pictures is making me want some.  Okay, I'm off to make monster cookies.  Thank goodness I have some dough in the freezer!

Monster Cookie Bars
1/2 cup margarine
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup brown sugar
3 eggs
1/2 tsp vanilla
1 tsp corn syrup
1 cup peanut butter
4 1/2 cups quick-cooking oatmeal
2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup chocolate chips
1 cup Peanut M&M's
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Spray 2 rimmed baking sheets or pizza pans with non-stick cooking spray.
In a large bowl beat together margarine, sugar, and brown sugar.  Add eggs, vanilla, corn syrup, peanut butter, and mix well.  Stir in remaining ingredients.  Spread dough onto prepared pans.  Bake 12-15 minutes.

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