Sunday, October 23, 2011

Halloween Monster Cookies

Out on my morning shopping run the other day, I stopped short, transfixed by an unfamiliar M&M's package.  Candy Corn M&M's?  Well, that's new!  So, always a sucker for novelty, I bought a bag.

I got them home, took them out and opened them up.  As it turns out, Candy Corn M&M's are white chocolate in candy corn-colored shells.  They were a bit overly sweet to eat out of hand much.

Now what was I going to do with them?  Then I remembered a recent post on one of my favorite blogs, The Sweet Adventures of Sugar Belle.  In this instance, she had made Halloween themed monster cookies using colored M&M's and candy corn.  Inspiration struck!
I used a combination of the Candy Corn M&M's, Kraft Caramel Bits, and chocolate chips in MY version.  The balance of salty/sweet/chocolate came out just right, I think.

Here's my variation on the classic:

1/2 c. butter, softened
2 c. packed light brown sugar
3 eggs
1 Tbsp vanilla
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
12 oz jar creamy peanut butter
4 1/2 c. gluten-free quick cooking oats
3/4 c. Candy Corn M&M's
3/4 c. semisweet chocolate chips
1/2 c. Kraft Caramel bits

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.  In a medium bowl (or a stand mixer) cream together butter and sugar until light and fluffy.  Add eggs, beating well.  Beat in vanilla, baking powder, and salt, then add peanut butter.  Continue to beat mixture 2 minutes until smooth and creamy.  Add oats and mix on low until thoroughly combined.  Stir in candies and chips by hand, very gently.  Using a 2 oz disher, place 6 scoops of dough on a baking sheet.  Bake for about 12 minutes, until set and slightly golden.  Don't let them get crispy!  Remove from oven and cool on sheet 3-4 minutes before transfering to a wire rack to cool completely.  (The two baking sheets allow you to have one in the oven and one cooling at any given time).  

This batch of cookies was a big hit with the girls.  They're appropriately colored for the season, and full of stuff kids like.  A note on the oats:  Even gluten-free oats can be a problem for some celiacs.  Consult your physician before consuming oats if you are unsure whether you can tolerate them.

It's been a busy baking weekend for me, but at least there are lots of lunchbox treats for the girls for the upcoming week!

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