Monday, February 25, 2013

Frankenstein's Monster Cookies

Monster cookies with dark chocolate chips, smoked peanuts, bacon bits, and bacon meringue crumbles.  Crazy?  Not until you taste them!  So, you know from my earlier post that I had some left over bacon meringue crumbles (crumbs, whatever).  I put a lot of sweat and tears into those babies, so I wasn't about to just throw them out!  It just so happened that I had a jar of peanut butter that my kids didn't like so much (the texture wasn't smooth enough), so I was thinking monster cookies.  Also, I didn't have enough peanut butter, so I added a little bit of this chocolate almond spread I picked up at Trader Joe's.  Don't be fooled: it's not Nutella.  I don't prefer the flavor as much, so I'll be using it up in some baked goods or maybe a frosting in the coming months....but I digress.  Because the peanut butter I was using was natural, which tends to be oilier and looser than more processed peanut butters, I did add a little bit of flour, so you may quibble that this is not a true monster cookie.  But you can get over all of that, especially when you take a bite of these bad boys.

Now, if you don't have bacon meringue crumbles, by all means, just use bacon bits and call it a day. I happened to have both, so I put both in.  No sense in doing things half-assed, am I right?  Also, you can leave the nuts out if you want, or just use regular peanuts or almonds.  I happened to have some smoked peanuts (which I mixed with plain roasted almonds) that I wanted to use up as well (are you sensing a theme??), so in the dough they went!  But really and truly, these were tasty!  Chewy, with a sweet/savory/salty thing going on that was heaven!

If you've never made monster cookies before, the real key is to not overbake them.  They will look a little under done when you pull them out, and it's essential to let them sit on the baking sheet about 5 minutes before you take them off.  Honest. Then you take them off the cookie sheet and let them cool all the way on a cooling rack.

This is what it looks like when you combine the eggs and sugars.  It's very loose, but just wait, things will tighten up when you add the peanut butter:

And after you add all of the dry ingredients, the cookie dough becomes really stiff.  I had to sort of knead in the chips, nuts, and bacon bits.  This is what the finished dough looks like:

Here's a shot of the finished product while they are still cooling on the sheet pans.  You will definitely need to line the pans with a silicone mat or parchment paper.

Frankenstein's Monster Cookies

4 eggs
1 1/4 granulated sugar
1 1/2 cups brown sugar
3/4 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla
12 oz natural peanut butter
3 oz. Trader Joe's cocoa almond spread
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, room temperature
3.5 cups oats, not instant
2/3 cup flour
2.5 tsp baking soda
1 cup chopped smoked almonds and/or peanuts
1 cup dark chocolate chips
1/2 cup bacon bits (or 1/2 cup bacon meringue crumbs)

Beat sugars and eggs together thoroughly.  Add butter, salt, vanilla, peanut butter and cocoa spread.  Cream all together. Add flour and baking soda. Mix until combined, then stir in nuts, chocolate chips and bacon.  Dough will be stiff.

Drop by rounded tablespoons onto parchment-lined large baking sheets. Flatten each cooking down slightly. Leave 2 inches of space, because they will spread a bit. I could only fit about 10 on a large sheet pan.

Bake 10-12 minutes at 350.  The cookies should still look a little puffy and only lightly browned when you take them out. Let them cool on the pan for at least 5 minutes before taking them off the baking sheet and finishing cooling on a cooling rack. You do not want to overbake these cookies so that they'll stay chewy and delicious.

Makes a lot -- 4 dozen or so.

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