Kitchen Fun: Ghoul Scout Cookies

You NEED these cookies, and so do all your friends.

Everybody loves monster cookies. Apparently everyone also has a recipe for monster cookies. I make a monster-esque cookie that can’t rightly be called a monster cookie, since it contains flour. Also, mine call for at least one thing you’ve never put into cookies before.

I’m calling them “Ghoul Scout Cookies” because they have more ingredients than a (dedicated) girl scout has badges. I’m also not going to call them monster cookies, because, as promised, you’ve never had a cookie like these before. So, this rather punny title is the result of the blend.

Remember, experimentation rules the roost in my kitchen. Shove your measuring cups in the back of the drawer, wash your hands with soap, and get ready to dump some stuff in a bowl.

You’re gonna need:

softened butter

dark brown sugar

white sugar

peanut butter (smooth or crunchy, I don’t care)

two large eggs

pure vanilla extract

almond extract (real is nice, but artificial will get the job done)

all purpose flour

table salt

baking soda

flaked coconut (larger flakes are ideal)

rolled oats

semi-sweet chocolate chips

roasted peanuts

smarties (or M&M candies if you don’t live in Canada)

Golden Grahams cereal (yes, really)

I’m going to use my Kitchenaid mixer today because my hands don’t work quite right and I don’t have the stamina to mix these bad boys by hand. If you want to make this happen with a wooden spoon and sheer determination, go for it.

Start with two fingers’ worth of butter (be aware that I have really small hands). If you’ve read my other food posts, you know I rarely measure. This is a kitchen, not a scientific laboratory.

This is baking, not rocket science.

Add a lump of peanut butter about the size of your loosely closed fist and give it a whirl with the butter until they’re smoothish. Then, add another fist-sized lump of brown sugar (I’m using demerara sugar today) and two palmfuls of granulated white sugar. Turn the mixer on medium and let it go for a bit. You want to let it mix until it’s pale and fluffy, stopping a few times to scrape the sides down. If you’re using a gritty dark brown sugar, the result will still be a bit grain and flecked, which is just fine.

My handful of white sugar.

Add the eggs, a big splash of vanilla, and a wee splash of almond extract. Fire up your mixer and let it run until your goop looks smooth and happy. It’s also going to smell fantastic: this is aromatherapy I can get behind.

Add a two big handfuls of flour. On top of the flour, sprinkle three pinches of salt, and some baking soda. Mix it all in. We want to add the coconut and oats now, or they won’t mix in nicely after the dough gets stiffer. I use a heaping palmful of coconut and two palmfuls of rolled oats. Mix it all in.

Baking soda on the left, salt trying to sneak away between my fingers on the right.

Now, add flour a small handful at a time, mixing between additions, until your batter starts to come together into a soft lumps around the mixer blade and around the edges of the bowl. After you’ve got the lumps, add two more palmfuls and mix it up to finish.

Now we get to the fun part. Pour in a big palmful of chocolate chips. I’m using the itty bitty ones because I like the texture against the rest of the ingredients. Pour in about the same amount of roasted peanuts and mix until it’s pretty even. When you’re happy with the rest of it, mix in two big handfuls of Smarties and two big handfuls of Golden Grahams. Try to keep your mixer at a low enough speed to mix these in gently with minimal breakage of the Smarties. There are times for horsepower, and this isn’t one of them.

If you’re short on time, this dough can be kept in the fridge overnight, and you can save the magic for tomorrow. I feel like magic right now. Preheat your oven to 325 degrees.

These are designed to be big, chunky cookies. Remember all that fun stuff we dumped into the mixer? Exactly. I usually put twelve cookies to a pan when I’m making anything else, but for these badboys, I only get nine on a sheet. They are big. Remember wagon wheel treats from childhood? About that big. If you didn’t eat wagon wheels as a kid, make each raw cookie about the size of a small Christmas mandarin orange.

We want these to be really thrown together looking, so don’t roll them around in your palm or squish the dough tightly together. You might want to pop a smartie on top of the ones that don’t naturally luck out to keep everybody looking spectacular. Get them laid out on the ungreased pan looking funky, like so:

Big, gorgeous cookies. Bake them for someone you love.

I tend to press them slightly with a fork to help them cook, since there’s just so much delish in these things that the bottoms can scorch before the centres are cooked. Note that we’re just trying to make them a little bit flatter. Don’t make your cookies look like roadkill, pretty please.

Bake them for about eight minutes, but watch them really closely. We are at a high risk for burning because of all the peanut butter. They should still look a little moist on top of the centres when you pull them out of the oven. Let your cookies rest for about five minutes on the pan, and then lift them gently to a wire rack to finish cooling. If you find you’ve let them bake too long, be extra careful and put them on the rack right away to stop them from burning more on the bottoms.

Trust me about the cereal. I promise you'll be pleased.

These are extra nummy with a cold glass of milk, I’m told. Being me, I’ll probably chase my cookie with another cookie. Enjoy, and come back soon to see what’s going on around here.

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