So, I told him I'd make him birthday cookies. Oatmeal is Jonah's favorite cookie, so I began searching through my recipes for oatmeal cookies. However, none of them seemed special enough to warrant birthday cookie status. So, I hopped online and began poking around.
Nearly immediately, I ran into a Donna Haney recipe that had been adapted by Paula Deen for something she was calling Monster Cookies. That sounded intriguing, so I read on.
These babies called for candies, chocolate chips, raisins, and peanut butter. No wonder they're called monster cookies! After seeing literally hundreds of rave reviews, I decided to adapt the recipe myself and give it a try.
What emerged from my oven has got to be the best, most naughty, over-the-top oatmeal cookies I've ever tasted. Jonah heartily agreed. What else would you expect from Paula Deen, right? Best of all, the recipe was easy to adapt and made 4 dozen cookies, half of which went home with Jonah. Happy birthday!
So here's my version of monster cookies with some additional notes at the end.
Vegan Monster Cookies
- 3 tablespoons ground flax seeds
- 1/2 cup + 1 tablespoon water
- 1 1/4 cups packed light brown sugar
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 1/2 cups organic, creamy peanut butter
- 1 stick (4 oz., 115 g, or 1/2 cup) vegan margarine, softened
- 3/4 cup chocolate chips
- 1/2 cup raisins
- 2 teaspoons baking soda
- 4 1/2 cups rolled oats (I like Bob's Red Mill Organic Rolled Oats)
- Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. Line cookie sheets with parchment paper or nonstick baking mats.
- Combine ground flax seeds and water in a food processor and whirl until the liquid becomes viscous and thick, about 1 minute.
- In a very large mixing bowl, combine the flax mixture and sugars. Mix well. Add the vanilla, peanut butter, and margarine. Mix well. Stir in the chocolate chips, raisins, baking soda, and rolled oats. 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.
- That "let stand for about 3 minutes before transferring to wire racks to cool," part is important. Don't try to remove them from the baking sheet before then or they'll just mush up on you.
- Instead of 3/4 cup chocolate chips and 1/2 cup raisins, the original recipe called for 1/2 cup multi-colored chocolate candies, 1/2 cup chocolate chips, and 1/4 cup raisins. I couldn't find a vegan substitute for the multi-colored chocolate candies, however, so I split the difference between the chocolate chips and the raisins. But if you know where to get vegan multi-colored chocolate candies, give it a try. And let me know where to get them, too!
- I think this recipe would be fun to experiment with. I'd like to try using other nut butters, adding nuts, using vegan white chocolate chips, swapping the raisins out for a different dried fruit, and maybe even trying other rolled grains like quinoa to replace the oats.