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Holiday Baking: Monster Cookies

peanut cookies

When it comes to matters of the heart, I’m an all-or-nothing kind of gal. I know that might sound a little naive to some but that’s just how I am. Anything worth doing should be done completely, whole-heartedly. So, in this past month or two, I’ve made it my mission to drop the guard and just embrace everything. Long nights, fits of laughter, new friends. The promise of something, anything has taken over me and, suffice to say, I’ve had a lot of fun.  However, if I can be honest, it takes a certain amount of finesse and intrigue to get my heart going, to get those pesky butterflies ready to go. But, when it happens, your heart seems like it might burst. It doesn’t happen with everyone (hell, it doesn’t even happen to the ones that you wish it would happen to because they are the perfect fit) but when it does, oh lord. Hold onto your hats.

Matters of the heart, guys. Real stuff.

It’s not that I get all mooney like a Taylor-Swift teenager; those days are long gone. But, in this crazy, melting pot of a city where so many personalities clash and collide, sometimes when you find someone who not only makes you laugh but actually finds you funny and smart and cute all at the same time? You savor it. Every last minute of it. I’m old enough now to now that these moments of butterflies-flirtations-late-nights don’t last forever and they don’t come with promises. But it’s the hope that goes into each one that I refuse to lose. it’s the hope that keeps me going, bad date after bad date, awful kisses to even more awful kisses. Because, behind every bad date/kiss, you know there is an opportunity out there that is waiting. Believe in that opportunity, don’t get bogged down with the false starts and silly frustrations.

 

peanut cookies2

 

I’m just living, like any other girl out here in New York, trying to find someone who just wants to have fun and enjoy everything the city has to offer. And, when someone has a heart that’s gone a little too sweet, one needs ample amounts of wine and candy, particularly my go-to favorite, Reese’s Pieces. I’ve been known to plow through a handful (or two ) of them. They become even more tempting when I put them in cookies.  They were practically made to be baked in soft, pillowing cookie dough that has just a touch of salt. Talk about a perfect storm of sweets and chocolate. That’s why I call them Monster Cookies, because not only are they large but they are so addicting that it’s scary. Like, my pants yelp in fear when I whip them out.

This time around, I went with my classic chocolate chip cookie recipe from Martha Stewart that makes literally the best cookies I’ve ever had. I have made them every Christmas and they are always a hit. Instead of using chocolate chips, I went with, you guesses it, Reese’s Pieces. I bought a small 12-ounce bag and dumped the entire thing. To be honest, I probably could have used another bag of Reese’s Pieces but was too lazy to go out and get more. But the cookie could have used just a little more chocolate.

Monster Cookies

Monster Cookies

Yield: 18 to 20 cookies

Chewy, soft and speckled with Reese's Pieces, these cookies are bound to be holiday baking staples.

Ingredients

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 sticks (i cup unsalted butter, room temperature)
  • 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1 large whole egg, plus 1 large egg white
  • 12 ounces Reeses Pieces

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 35 degrees Fahrenheit with racks in the upper and lower thirds. Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper; set aside. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, and salt; set aside. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter and both sugars on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed.
  2. Add the vanilla, whole egg, and egg white. Beat on low speed until well-combined; scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed, about 1 minute. Add the flour mixture in two batches mix until just combined. Mix in Reeses Pieces.
  3. Shape 2 heaping tablespoons of dough at a time into balls and place about 1 1/2 inches apart on prepared baking sheets. Bake, rotating sheets halfway through, until cookies are golden brown, about 18 minutes. Transfer parchment and cookies to a wire rack to cool completely. Cookies can be kept in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 4 days.
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