Monster Cookies for two very special care packages

20 Sep

We all have special people in our lives and want to show them our love in special ways. If you’re reading this blog, you probably like to make food for those you love. For me, I wanted to show my two younger brothers just how much I care about them while they are away from home serving our country.

When deciding which cookie to bake for my military brothers, naturally I leaned toward the classic chocolate chip. But after some research, I found that Monster cookies are a better choice because: 1) they are sturdier for shipping and 2) you can easily swap out the chocolate chips for M&M’s, which don’t melt as much in the hot weather overseas.

Also, my brothers were little monsters when they were growing up (Oh, do I have stories) so it seemed fitting, but we don’t have to share that with them… okay? Okay.

Monster cookies—everything cookies or kitchen-sink cookies, as some of you may know them—remind me of childhood. I remember making them with my mom and always throwing in lots of extra M&M’s… in the batter, sure, but mostly in my mouth. :)

I hope the Monster cookies will remind my brothers of home and let them know how proud I am of their service and bravery. Plus it’s my one brother’s birthday soon, so I wanted to surprise him with a homemade treat.

What’s great about this cookie dough is you can mix-in whatever you like and create separate batches with different mix-ins. You could try nuts, various types of chocolate chips, or other candies. Be creative, but be sure to half the mix-ins or else it will be all treats and no cookie (yes, that is a bad thing in this case!).

I made two separate batches: one for the birthday boy overseas with a ½ cup regular M&M’s and ½ cup peanut M&M’s (no chocolate chips due to the warm climate) and another for the brother in the States with a ½ cup regular M&M’s and ½ cup chocolate chips.

I doubled the recipe making about 140 cookies or almost 11 baker’s dozen. That’s a LOT of cookies.

140 cookies = one large container plus several small baggies for each care package + PLENTY of leftovers to snack on for the week and freeze for future cravings, which I wasn’t complaining about…

Obviously!!! ;)

Ingredients

Recipe adapted very slightly from Paula Deen on FoodNetwork.com (Note: almost every Monster cookie recipe I found was virtually the same base dough)

Makes 6 dozen cookies (*Supposedly; it yielded almost 11 baker’s dozen for me with a cookie scoop)

LoftyBites’ Notes: This cookie is on the sweeter side, so you may want to reduce the sugar by ¼ or ½ cup. You can refrigerate the dough (for a few hours or overnight), which made it easier to scoop, took less time to bake, and produced a “puffier” cookie. Also, remember the cookie baking tip of allowing the cookie sheets to cool between batches to prevent spreading.

  • 6 eggs  (room temp)
  • 2 ½ cups packed light brown sugar
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 24-ounce jar creamy peanut butter (28 oz. jar minus ½ cup)
  • 2 sticks butter, softened (room temp)
  • 4 teaspoons baking soda
  • 9 cups old-fashioned oats or quick-cooking oatmeal (almost a full 42 oz. container)
  • 1 cup regular M&M’s
  • 1 cup chocolate chips (or peanut M&M’s)
  • ½ cup raisins

Directions

Preheat the oven to 350°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.

By hand, stir in the baking soda, oatmeal, and mix-ins: M&M’s, chocolate chips, and raisins. (Note: if you want to do different batches, just stir in the baking soda and oatmeal; then divide the dough evenly into separate bowls, and stir in desired mix-ins).

Drop by tablespoons or cookie scoops 2 inches apart onto the prepared cookie sheets. Bake for 8 to 11 minutes. Do not overbake. Let stand for about 3 minutes before transferring to wire racks to cool.

Tips for shipping cookies in a care package (overseas or domestic):

  • If the temperature is warm where you’ll be shipping, freeze or refrigerate the cookies until ready to ship. Remember to replace chocolate chips with another candy that won’t melt as easily, like M&M’s.
  • If the package will take a while to reach the recipient (like shipping overseas), underbake the cookie by a minute or so. The cookies will keep longer this way. I baked the cookies for 10 mins. and they were still a bit underbaked.
  • For packaging, I put a layer of paper towels on the bottom of a plastic container, in-between each layer of cookies,  and on the top. I used two rubberbands to secure the lid. Use bubble wrap, plastic bags or other packing supplies to make sure the cookies don’t move around in the shipping box. Test it out by shaking the cookies (and then the package) to see if you hear anything moving around and add more cushion if needed.

Sending big hugs and cheer: My thoughts and prayers are with the brave soldiers currently deployed overseas, and with the service men and women in the States who are protecting our freedom. Show support for our troops!

Question: What cookies do you like to ship in care packages? What tips have you found?

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12 Responses to “Monster Cookies for two very special care packages”

  1. Sweet and Savvy September 20, 2011 at 6:01 PM #

    Ful! These sound wonderful!! I’m sure your brothers will be so thankful! :)

    • loftybites September 20, 2011 at 7:20 PM #

      Thanks! These cookies are delish and I hope they like them!

  2. Taylor September 20, 2011 at 6:53 PM #

    I bet your brothers will love the cookies! Monster cookies were one of my first baked goods I ever made so they have a special place in my heart too…when I send care packages they are usually to my friends who are scattered all over the country. I don’t have any amazing tips except I usually send things like cookies or bars that keep well for a bit longer than say, cup cakes.

    • loftybites September 20, 2011 at 7:23 PM #

      Hi Taylor! Thanks for reading. Glad to hear Monster cookies are special to you too :) I’m sure your friends love the care packages you send as well.

  3. Bluejellybeans September 20, 2011 at 7:23 PM #

    Hi! I love your post, because of the recipe of course, but also because of your brothers. I’m sure they are going to love these and their sis for making them. Thanks for sharing.

    • loftybites September 20, 2011 at 7:27 PM #

      Hi Giovanna! I appreciate the kind words. Fingers crossed the packages get there quickly (and the cookies don’t crumble)!

  4. Louise September 21, 2011 at 9:39 AM #

    I am so proud of the boys, and of course you too!! What a kind & caring sister they have in you! This recipe brought back fond memories to me of your childhood. I hope when they receive them it will have the same warm loving effect on them!! Your cookies look much better than ours did back in the day =) They seem to be puffier, more uniform, not as crumbly as the ones we used to make. Next time I make them, I will have to try all your tips & hints!

    • loftybites September 21, 2011 at 10:57 AM #

      Thanks Mom! I found the key to the uniform cookies is the cookie scoop, key to being “puffier” is refrigerating the dough before baking, and key to not being as crumbly was not overbaking. You taught me all I know, so glad I can return the favor a bit :)

  5. sandboxromance September 21, 2011 at 9:09 PM #

    These look absolutely delicious! I can’t believe you made 140 of them, haha. That’s epic.

    • loftybites September 21, 2011 at 9:20 PM #

      I can’t believe it either! It turned into a 2 day affair, but well worth it!

  6. Bake Your Day September 23, 2011 at 9:07 PM #

    This is so sweet. Everyone is loving monster cookies lately. I need to give them a try…delicious!

    • loftybites September 24, 2011 at 2:13 PM #

      Monster cookies are so delicious! You must try them. (And p.s. my one brother in the States got the cookies and said they were so good! YAY!)

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