The hubby is still off canoodling and conferencing on his extended Nerdapalooza tour 2013 but before he went winging off I made a treat for myself that somehow found its way into his carry-on (?!). I think I must’ve been a golden retriever in a former life or maybe a beagle cuz I love peanut butter. Just the smell can make me smile and even though it may look like mud, the golden hues make my mouth think of that round rich nutty flavor that would make you hyperventilate if you weren’t too busy inhaling crunchety crispety slightly chewy chocolatey cookies. The chocolate M&Ms here are a nod to my childhood cuz M&Ms seemed to make even mediocre and dry cookies taste good. I’ve modified a recipe from Sunset quite a bit as it had a lot of sugar (1 cup each of granulated and brown sugar!!) and chocolate (2 cups of chocolate chips) and yes, you can have too much chocolate in cookies cuz you want to have some bites of chewy crispy golden dough, right? I’ve also opted to skip the cocoa powder and spice things up with some cinnamon and cardamom which I find always complement rolled oats well. And after all that waxing poetic about peanut butter, I also decreased the peanut butter by 1/4 cup and skipped the entire cup of chopped peanuts cuz it’s really already very peanutty with just 1/2 cup (you’re just adding 1200 extra calories at that point) and the candy shell from the M&Ms add crunch as well as festive color. Oh, and I also melted the butter to get a better spread giving a flatter, crispier cookie. Okay, even I’m rolling my eyes but the reason why I
adulterated chose this recipe is because it had good bones. The ratio of flour, oats, and eggs was good, I like the addition of rolled oats which add texture and a nutty oatiness, and the higher oven temp of 375F is spot on. So instead of a 288 calorie cookie [shudder] you get a spicy peanut buttery colorful crispety cookie that weighs in at a mere 174 calories. Not something that you should make often, but often enough 🙂
2 c all-purpose flour
1 1/2 c rolled oats
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp sea salt or 1/4 tsp regular salt
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp cardamom
16 tbsp (1 c) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
1 c packed light brown sugar
1/2 c granulated sugar
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 large eggs
1/2 c unsalted, unsweetened peanut butter
1 c chocolate M&Ms
1/2 c semisweet chocolate chips
If using peanut butter out of the refrigerator, soften by microwaving at full power for ~20-30 seconds.
Preheat oven to 375F. If not using a silicone baking mat grease baking sheets and set aside.
In a large bowl whisk together flour, oats, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and cardamom.
In another large bowl cream together butter, sugars, and vanilla till well combined. Beat in eggs one at a time till well combined. Mix in peanut butter then add M&Ms and chocolate chips and mix till combined. On low speed mix in flour mixture till just combined (no white lumps or streaks visible), the dough will be fairly thick.
Using a medium-sized cookie scoop (1 1/2 tbsp) or a large spoon scoop dough onto baking sheets 2-3 inches apart as the cookies will spread when baked. (And yes, this is photographic evidence of the hubster baking, or at least scooping out cookie dough. Apparently, the cookie scoop is so much fun to use he even volunteers to help fill the baking sheets :)) Wet fingers and gently smush dough so that mounds are ~3/4-inch thick and bake till cookies are golden brown ~9-12 minutes. With 8 cookies per baking sheet, a silicone mat, convection it takes me 10 minutes. Makes a little over 3 dozen 3-4 inch cookies.