I’ve been making Monster Cookies since I was a kid (like 8 years old – really – I remember pulling out a bowl almost as big as me to mix up 18 cups of oatmeal!) Most of the original Monster Cookies recipes are GIANT recipes – thus the name.
I’ve adapted this recipe significantly over the years. Our favorite recipe tweak has been to add leftover Halloween candy! Not only do 3 Muskateers get gooey in the oven – and Milky Ways become melty caramel, but Tootsie Rolls become totally edible! (I’m not a Tootsie Roll fan unless it’s in Monster Cookies!) Tootsie Rolls become chocolate melty caramel!
My kids and I have experimented and found the very best Halloween candy to mix into these cookies:
🍫 Butterfingers melt in the oven into golden crispy toffee!
🍫 3 Musketeers turn into ooey-gooey pools chocolatey nougat.
🍫 Surprisingly, Tootsie Rolls melt into the best chocolatey caramel!
🍫 Snickers…well, melted caramel peanuty 🥜 Snickers, need we say more?!
But the best part of adding Halloween candy to cookies it makes some of our gobs of Halloween candy disappear – PLUS it makes that candy into a somewhat ‘healthier’ treat! The addition of whole grain oats, good-fats packed peanut butter makes a snack that’s now got the added nutrition of some fiber (oats) and protein (peanut butter).
Here are some of the other healthier changes I made:
- Cut back on the white sugar and brown sugar. But they are still plenty sweet! I also kept both brown and white sugar as that ensures that the cookies stay soft and chewy for almost a week
- Cut the fat and swapped out some butter for canola oil. With the addition of oil, the amount of sugar and fat can be reduced without sacrificing the incredible chewy texture that makes these cookies a favorite.
- Removed the flour. These cookies are now gluten-free – for all your gluten-free friends. Just make sure to use gluten-free mix-ins if you’re delivering them to friends.
- Added cornstarch. Yes, only the small 1 1/2 teaspoon amount makes a BIG difference in the texture. Again, we’re looking for puffy, chewy here. The cornstarch does need a bit of time to do its magic. So chill the finished dough for a few minutes
- Chill for at least 15 minutes. This time in the refrigerator has two purposes. First, it helps keep the cookie dough from spreading too quickly on the sheet pan in the oven. We like puffy, thick cookies, not flat pancake cookies. Secondly, the rest time in the fridge helps the cornstarch do its magic. Chill for 15 minutes before scooping up the first baking sheet of cookies. Then, chill between scooping out each batch.
- Add the MOST FUN mix-ins! Big wads of leftover Halloween candy to add to the cookie batter are the best.