D.I.Y.convenience foods dessert freezing

Monster Cookies

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Big cookies are chock-full of goodies
Cookie dough is shaped and closely spaced for freezing.

Everything about these cookies is over-the-top.  They are big and bursting with goodies.  Hubby Sam loves over-sized cookies, so these are a favorite of his, but the kids like them just as well.  I sometimes bake a few smaller cookies using just a tablespoon of dough for me.  The dough can be formed into discs, frozen in an unbaked state for up to a month, and baked a few at a time as desired for oven-fresh cookies on demand.  This technique works well with many types of cookie dough.

1 1/4 cups brown sugar 3/4 cup sugar 1 cup creamy peanut butter 1/2 cup butter, softened 2 tsp baking soda 1 tsp salt 1 Tbs vanilla 3 eggs 4 cups quick oats 1/2 cup whole wheat flour 1 1/2 cups unbleached all purpose flour 1 cup m&m candies 1 cup chocolate, white chocolate, or butterscotch chips 1/2 cup salted peanuts Lightly grease a large baking sheet, or line it with parchment paper if you plan to freeze some cookies to bake later. Cream sugars, peanut butter, butter, baking soda, salt, and vanilla in a large mixing bowl.  Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.  Add oats, whole wheat flour and all-purpose flour. Stir in m&ms, chocolate chips and peanuts; mix gently and thoroughly.  Let dough rest 10 minutes to allow the grains to soften.   Dough will be crumbly.  Using a quarter-cup measuring spoon or muffin scoop, shape dough into quarter cup mounds and place on prepared cookie sheet about 4 inches apart.  (Up to eight cookies fit on a large baking sheet if you stagger them.)  Gently flatten them with the palm of your hand and garnish with a few extra m&ms and chocolate chips. Yield: 24 big cookies

Baked Monster Cookies, photo by Miriam Surgeon

Bake Now: Bake 15 – 18 minutes in a preheated 325 degree F oven.  Cookies are done when edges are lightly browned and centers are golden and puffy.  Cool 5 minutes on cookie sheet, then remove to a wire rack to finish cooling. Freeze Now & Bake Later: Place tray of shaped, unbaked cookies (they may be placed quite close together) in the freezer and freeze, uncovered, until solid.  When solid, roll the parchment paper up with the unbaked cookies inside and place it in a zipper-top freezer bag.  Alternatively, you may layer the unbaked cookies in a freezer container with sheets of parchment separating the layers.   To use, decide how many cookies you “need” and place the desired number of unbaked cookies on a greased cookie sheet.  Allow 20 – 60 minutes to thaw, depending on the temperature in your home.  Bake as directed above.

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