Welcome to recipe #6 in my Christmas cookie palooza. And let me tell ya, it’s a winner. Do I say that about every recipe I share? Dessert lover problems.
Not only are we in the middle of a Christmas cookie celebration, today we’re also celebrating Sally’s Baking Addiction’s 3rd birthday. I can’t believe that I’ve been at this for three years! In the past three years I: got engaged, quit my job, started a business, moved 3 times (remember the flood?), wrote a cookbook, met readers, and got married. I started my blog two weeks after my grandmother passed away. She’s to whom my cookbook is dedicated and the main source of my inspiration.
And to all of you? I just want to say hey, thanks for reading my blog. =)
There are three reasons why I made today’s cookies:
1) My first post on Sally’s Baking Addiction includes peanut butter, so it seems only natural to celebrate my blog birthday with
peanut butter the best flavor on earth.
2) Last year during my Christmas Cookie Palooza, I shared an absolutely ridiculous peanut butter stuffed cookie. Let’s make it a yearly tradition.
3) My peanut-butter-oatmeal-cookie-loving friend just turned 30 and I made desserts for her surprise party last weekend. We celebrated at a bar nearby with friends and family, lots of good food, wine, balloons, and a sugar overload. I made two batches of these, one pan of these, and a batch of today’s monster cookies. The cookies were the first dessert to disappear.
So there is always a reason (or three!!) to make peanut butter cup surprise monster cookies. I bet if you think real hard, you can find an excuse to make them too. Like, it being Thursday. And/or that you love M&Ms. And that peanut butter cups rule the world. And/or because your love for peanut butter cups runs deep.
The concept for these stuffed cookies is simple. Start by making the easiest peanut butter cookie dough. Guess what? There’s no mixer required. This oatmeal cookie dough can be mixed by hand. And it gets better: there is no dough chilling required either. The quicker you begin, the quicker you’ll be eating these.
This peanut butter cookie dough is a little different from my original monster cookies. It’s actually quite similar to my peanut butter cup oatmeal cookies. Instead of two sugars, however, I use all brown sugar in this particular cookie recipe. The reason for that? Softer oatmeal cookies. Brown sugar makes cookies extra soft because of all its moisture. Without the presence of granulated sugar, I noticed that these cookies didn’t spread as much. That’s one of granulated sugar’s jobs– to induce cookie spreading. I didn’t notice much of a taste difference using all brown sugar, but that’s only because there is so much peanut butter flavor. It overpowers everything else! A good thing, for sure.
To this peanut butter oatmeal cookie dough, add mini M&Ms. Regular size M&Ms are cool too. But I like the mini ones because you get more M&Ms in each monster bite. Traditional monster cookies include chocolate chips, but I didn’t add any to this recipe since there’s a chocolate treat hidden inside. Speaking of..
Stuffing them is easy. Grab some cookie dough, pat it down to flatten, place peanut butter cup on top, mold more cookie dough on top and around peanut butter cup.
Like I mention above, the cookie dough only spreads slightly in the oven. So, I suggest gently pressing down on the stuffed cookie dough balls to slightly flatten them (as best you can!) before baking. This gives them a little spreading “push.”
At first sight, they look like regular oatmeal M&M cookies… BUT it’s when you take that first bite when you notice all the peanut butter flavor and the hidden peanut butter cup surprise inside. These chewy, soft, overloaded oatmeal cookies will leave everyone begging for more. If heaven were a cookie, this would be it. ↓
Peanut Butter Cup Surprise Monster Cookies
- 3/4 cup (95g) all-purpose flour (spoon & leveled)
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 cup (115g) unsalted butter, melted
- 1 cup (200g) packed light or dark brown sugar
- 1 large egg, room temperature preferred
- 1/2 cup (125g) creamy peanut butter (not natural style)
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 2 cups (160g) quick oats1
- 1 and 1/4 cups mini or regular size M&Ms
- 18 Reese's miniature peanut butter cups, unwrapped
- Preheat oven to 350°F (177°C). Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats. (Always recommended for cookies.) Set aside.
- Toss the flour, salt, and baking soda together in a large bowl. Set aside.
- In a medium bowl, whisk the melted butter and brown sugar together until no brown sugar lumps remain. Whisk in the egg, then the peanut butter until combined. Finally, whisk in the vanilla. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and mix together with a large spoon or rubber spatula. The dough will be very soft and slick. Fold in the oats and the M&Ms. Allow the cookie dough to sit for 15 minutes-- the oats will absorb some moisture, making the dough easier to work with.
- You can use the photos above as visuals for this step. Take 1 Tablespoon of dough and slightly flatten out on the prepared baking sheet. Stick a peanut butter cup on top, as shown above. Top the peanut butter cup with 1.5 Tablespoons of cookie dough and seal down the sides so that the peanut butter cup is securely stuffed inside. You can pick it up and roll into a smooth ball if needed. Slightly flatten down the top as best you can (it can't be totally flat because of the peanut butter cup inside). Repeat with the rest of the dough and peanut butter cups.
- Bake the cookies for 12-13 minutes. The cookies will look very soft. They will continue to bake on the cookie sheet. Remove from the oven and lightly press down on each cookie to slightly flatten (if they didn't spread much in the oven). Allow to cool on the cookie sheet for 10 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.
Make ahead tip: Cookies stay soft and fresh for 7 days at room temperature. Baked cookies can be frozen up to 3 months. You can freeze cookie dough balls by assembling as directed. Then chill in the refrigerator until firm and ready to pick up (you're doing this because the cookie dough is so sticky). Once firm, freeze dough balls in ziplock bags. Bake as directed for 1-2 extra minutes, do not thaw.
- I do not recommend using old-fashioned style oats (aka whole oats) in this cookie recipe. They are the large-cut oats. You need quick oats, which are more finely ground (and smaller) whole oats. I often only buy old-fashioned (whole oats) from the store. So for this recipe, I simply pulse whole oats in a food processor a few times to cut them down to "quick oat" size.
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More peanut butter stuffed stuff: Peanut Butter Stuffed Brownies