It started more than 20 years ago when my daughters Kristina and Danyell were both experiencing their first day of school, 2nd grade and Kindergarten respectively. I was most certainly in the group of mothers who, while very proud, got all mushy when letting go of my child’s hand and seeing them walk into that new context of independence without me. Now they would both be gone all day!
Needing a distraction, I decided to bake a batch of our favorite cookies. We call them “monster cookies” for two reasons, first because of the large assortment of goodies that go in the mix, and second because I make them for my little monsters. That day I made another reason to call them “monster” cookies. I wanted to have an extra surprise for the girls when they came home so I made them each a special giant monster cookie using an 8” round cake pan as a mold. The big as your head monster-monster cookies were a “huge” hit and instantly became an annual family tradition on the first day of school. Of course, over the years their friends got wind of the massive treats and I had to be sure to make a large enough batch to create enough individual monster cookies for the inevitable entourage of friends and neighbors that would appear at the house every September right after Labor Day when school began.
Having mouths filled with sweet teeth, Kristina and Danyell never failed to begin the chant for monster cookies all through grade school, middle school, high school and yes, even college! Even now as they are both in their late 20’s they want those symbols for themselves of school starting somewhere for someone. I have been employed by the school district for many years and the kids call me on the first day of school. Their questions go something like this: “How was your first day back and did you make the monster cookies yet?”
I was diagnosed with celiac disease in 2003 so we took a careful look at the monster cookie ingredients and realized that the only adjustments needed to make to them Gluten Free was to choose certified GF Oats and find GF butterscotch chips. So the fun continues!
Gluten Free Monster Cookies Recipe
Ingredients: 6 eggs, 1 pound brown sugar, 2 cups sugar, 1-1/2 tsp. vanilla, 1-1/2 tsp. corn syrup, 4 tsp. baking soda, ½ pound butter, 24 oz peanut butter, 9 cups Certified GF Oatmeal, ½ pound chocolate chips, ½ pound M&M candies, ½ pound Hershey’s butterscotch chips (Hershey’s and Kroger’s are GF according to Celiac.com, Nestlé’s is not.) Remember to always read labels when purchasing anything for your Gluten Free diet.
Instructions: In a very large bowl mix the first 8 ingredients. When well mixed, add the remaining. (It’s going to get thick so be ready strong arm it using a heavy spoon). Drop by using a table spoon or ice cream scoop onto an ungreased cookie sheet. For the “monster” monster cookie, use a pie tin or cake pan whatever size you want, but keep the thickness to about ¾” so that it cooks properly.
Bake at 350 degrees 8-12 minutes. Do not over bake, the cookies should be chewy.