Dear Boys, For years I searched for a peanut butter cookie recipe I liked. They were always too dry and crumbly for my taste. Then I stumbled upon the monster cookie. It’s a cookie with all kinds of things in it – peanut butter, oats, chocolate chips, raisins, nuts, M&Ms. One early recipe I saw had a dozen eggs in it and yielded 40-50 cookies. It’s the monster-sized batch of so many yummy things that gives them their name I think. The first time I tried them I didn’t have any M&Ms, so I kept it simple. Without all the extra goodies, I felt it unfair to call it a monster cookie. I just consider it my favorite peanut butter cookie recipe. You’ll need one stick of butter. Put it on the counter a couple hours before you make the cookies if you think of it. If not, just put it in a glass or jar and microwave for 10-15 seconds. You don’t want to melt it, just get it softened. Place in mixing bowl. Next you’ll need 1 and 1/2 cups peanut butter. Either creamy or crunchy is great! Whichever you like most. Add to the mixing bowl. Add one cup white sugar and one cup brown sugar. You are also supposed to add 1 teaspoon vanilla extract. In all honesty, I was out and chose to keep cooking and not go to the grocery. The cookies would have been a little better with the vanilla, but you can live without it if you have to. Mix with an electric mixer until blended. Now is probably a good time to turn the oven to 350 and let it preheat. Break 3 eggs into the bowl and mix just until blended. Measure and add 4 and 1/2 cups oats. I’ve used the quick-cooking variety, as well as the whole grain. Both work just fine. Also add 2 teaspoons baking soda. Now it’s time to mix. You may have to take a spatula to scrape the sides in order to incorporate all the ingredients well. The chocolate chips are next. Minis are my favorite right now. They ensure some chocolate in every bite. You’ll need 1 12-oz. bag semi-sweet chocolate chips. Mix until blended. Form the dough into balls and place on a cookie sheet. These were made using a table spoon (not the measuring one, the one in our silverware set). It’s the one just bigger than the one we use for eating cereal or ice cream. The dough is very sticky and doesn’t feel like typical cookie dough since it has no flour in it. I didn’t roll it in my hands but rather just used my fingers to shape the balls. Bake 10 minutes at 350 degrees until they look like this. Leave them on the pan for five minutes more to finish cooking. Then place on a wire rack to cool. It helps to keep two pans going. You can make the dough balls while one pan is in the oven and swap them out when it is finished baking. By the way, it was a glorious day here today! Baby leaves on the trees, the scent of flowers on the air, warm breezes on our skin. It was the kind of day that begs one to partake of it, to play hard or work hard, and then stop for a little snack. I love you, Mom
P.S. You can reheat a cookie or two in the oven the next day, and they’ll taste like you just made them.