Finally, here they are! The last few weeks have been full of visitors from both sides of the family and we’ve had a lot of fun… but it didn’t leave much time for baking or blogging. It was challenging enough trying to find the time to get my work done around sailing, kayaking, multiple farmer’s market trips, and touristy things in general. I haven’t been able to kayak regularly in years – although luckily my family is making good use of my 17′ baby while I’m away – so I’d have to say the four hour kayaking trip was my favorite.
But let me tell ya, folks, these cookies are totally worth the wait! Wow. I had a feeling I would prefer them over the First Lady’s White and Dark Chocolate Chip Cookies based simply on the fact that they contained both oatmeal and peanut butter (how can you go wrong, really?) and – unfortunately for Michelle – I really do. The Obama’s will continue to have my admiration and support, but Ann Romney has swept this contest for me. In case there was any doubt: the dozen and a half I brought in to the office last week were gone by noon. Not even a crumb remained. Which cookies serve equally well as breakfast or dessert? These babies.
Ann Romney’s M&M Cookies
(makes about 3 dozen cookies)
1 C granulated sugar
1 C packed light brown sugar
½ C unsalted butter (1 stick), softened
1½ C crunchy peanut butter*
1 T light corn syrup
½ t vanilla extract
4½ C old-fashioned rolled oats
2 t baking soda
6 oz. chocolate chips
2/3 C regular M&M’s
* Note: For baking, I like to use peanut butter brands that have nothing but peanuts (no added salt, oil, sugar, etc.) because it’s easier to judge the sugar and salt content. If you do the same, just remember to add a pinch of salt to the dry mix! I usually remember, but forgot on my second batch and it really is amazing what a little salt can do for flavor…and how forgetting it can make them lackluster.
1) Preheat oven to 325°F. Cream sugars, butter, peanut butter, and corn syrup in a large bowl on high speed until creamy. Beat in one egg at a time at low speed until just combined. Beat in vanilla extract.
2) In a separate large bowl mix together oats and baking soda (and salt if using unsalted PB!). Slowly stir into peanut butter mixture and keep working it until well combined – it’ll be tough, but you can do it. Add in M&M’s and chocolate chips and stir until evenly distributed.
3) Scoop dough onto parchment paper-lined cookie sheets one heaping Tablespoon at a time. Gently press heaps into flat disks with the back of a spoon or your fingertips (if using fingertips you may want to dip them in a bit of water beforehand to prevent sticking) and bake until the entire cookie is a light golden brown – a few minutes more than you would traditional chocolate chip cookies, about 15 minutes. Let cool a few minutes on the sheets before transferring to a rack to cool completely. Excellent warm with vanilla ice cream or cool as a breakfast bar.
These cookies were my biggest crowd-pleaser yet and they certainly won me over. I couldn’t help myself and did reduce the white sugar in my second batch, but in my defense I also used mini M&M’s and mini chocolate chips to pack even more candy into the dough – which certainly made up for it. Both batches disappeared in record time. In conclusion, the winner of my personal Presidential Cookie Bake-off is: Ann Romney! Give both recipes a try a tell me what you think; White and Dark Chocolate Chip Cookies or these oatmeal/peanut butter beauties?
Overall Enjoyment: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥