These Hearty and Chewy Monster Cookies are packed with seed or nut butter, oats, M&M’s and chocolate chips. Easy Monster cookies are customizable for anyone with food allergies, and they’re sure to be a huge hit with family and friends.
I LOVE making cookies, partly because everyone likes eating them so much. These Monster cookies are especially great, because by simply changing the ingredients a little, I can make them into Halloween cookies (like these) or Christmas cookies (by using lots of red and green M&M’s). Want other cookie inspiration? Try these Dark Chocolate-Dipped Paleo Matcha Shortbread Cookies, Raisin-Sweetened Oatmeal Cookies – Gluten-Free, Almond Flour-Carob Pinwheel Cookies or Almond Flour Dark Chocolate Chip Cookies – GF!
These monster cookies are easy to mix together, quick to bake, and so adaptable to whatever favorite mix-ins you decide to add to them! And since they are top-8 allergen-free, they are a healthy alternative to conventional cookie recipes.
By choosing your ingredients you can make this recipe top 8 allergen-free, or simply omit ingredients that don’t work for you. You can make them gluten-free, dairy-free, nut-free and more. Choose the add-ins that work for you – and encourage kids to help with this easy recipe!
What you will need for Monster cookies
- All-purpose flour blend (I used Bob’s Red Mill GF)
- Rolled oats. Old-fashioned rolled oats give a pleasant texture to these cookies. Not all oats are gluten-free; check the label if you need them to be.
- Butter. The butter allows the cookies to spread out evenly. As alternatives, choose ghee, coconut oil or other solid cooking fat.
- Sugar. Use white, brown or coconut sugar or a mixture. Reduce the amount of sugar for a less-sweet cookie or if your mix-ins are mostly sweet ones. The amounts listed here are for a conventional sweetness; our preference is to use half this amount.
- Seed or nut butter. In case of a nut allergy, sunbutter is great in these cookies. If nuts are safe for you, almond butter works great. If you eat peanuts, use peanut butter.
- Milk. Choose whatever non-dairy milk or dairy milk is safe for you. We most often use almond milk or coconut milk in baking. Oat milk is a nut-free option. I tend to add a little more when I am baking with GF flour, which absorbs more liquid than wheat flour.
- Add-ins of your choice. In these cookies I used M&M’s for their bright colors, chocolate chips and candy eyes. Other options for add-ins include raisins, coconut, or pretzels. It may seem as though they won’t all stay in the cookies, so you may need to tuck them into the cookies as you form them.
Steps in making Monster cookies
- Preheat your oven to 350 F and line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. Combine all your dry ingredients in a bowl.
- In another bowl, beat all the wet ingredients until smooth.
- Add the dry mixture to the wet and mix on low speed until it al resembles coarse crumbs.
- Add the milk and vanilla and mix until the dough makes a ball.
- Gently fold in the mix-ins.
- Shape the mixture into cookies and bake about 10-12 minutes.
- Let the cookies cool for 2 minutes, place candy eyes on them, if using, and remove to a rack.
Monster Cookie Variations
The beauty of this recipe is that almost any one of the ingredients can be varied depending on the eating needs and preferences of your family. Here are some ideas:
Mix-ins: For low-added-sugar options, mix in dried fruit, seeds like sunflower or pumpkin, and cacao nibs.
Sweeteners: We now use coconut sugar over white or brown sugar because we like the flavor and it’s a little less sweet. You can use honey or maple syrup instead of dry sugars, but expect the cookie dough to be wetter. Sprinkle in additional flour by tablespoons to balance the extra liquid. The dough just needs to stick together, but cookies made with honey may spread out more.
Oats: Quinoa flakes are a terrific substitute for rolled oats, and they are gluten-free. They are more expensive than oat flakes, but have a delicate texture and taste. If they are not available near you, Thrive Market carries them. Substitute quinoa flakes 1:1 for oats.
See more alternatives in the ingredients section above.
Monster Cookie FAQ
Monster cookies were developed as peanut butter oatmeal cookies with chocolate chips and M&Ms. According to the authors of the recipe, they are called monster cookies because they are the Frankenstein’s monster of the cookie world – a mashup of different components.
No, quick cook oats will become mushy when mixed with the other ingredients and won’t give the chewy texture that makes these cookies great. Steel-cut oats need much longer cooking than the 12 minutes these take, and will come out tough in a cookie. Old-fashioned rolled oats work best in this recipe.
Once the cookies have cooled they can stay on the counter in an airtight container for the first day. After that, store them refrigerated, to avoid mold growth. The refrigerated cookies will lose some of their crispness but will still have lots of flavor.
Yes, these cookies will freeze well. Defrost them in the refrigerator in their covered container, which will keep them from becoming soggy.
Best tools for making Monster Cookies
Baking Sheets (Stainless Steel)
I shared this monster cookie recipe with Tiffany at the Chef Free Club. If you haven’t come across this great resource yet, let me tell you: run, don’t walk to her website! And consider subscribing to the monthly Chef Free Club with its kits designed for children, with three themed recipes in each kit, fun seasonal activities and important tips about food allergies and substitutions.
All of the recipes featured on the Chef Free Club are vegan and top-8 allergen-free.
Want more GF and Paleo recipes? Try these!
Monster Cookies – GF
- 1 1/2 cups safe-for-you all-purpose flour blend I used Bob’s Red Mill GF
- 3 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder aluminum-free
- 1/2 teaspoon salt pink sea salt
- 1 cup safe-for-you butter at room temperature
- 1 cup brown or coconut sugar or less if mix-ins are sweet
- 1/4 cup sugar or less if mix-ins are sweet
- 1/4 cup seed or nut butter alternative like sunbutter
- 4-5 tablespoons safe-for-you milk may need more for GF flour
- 1 tablespoon vanilla
- 1 1/2 cups add-ins of your choice chocolate candies, chocolate chips, raisins, coconut, pretzels, etc,
- Preheat oven to 350º F (180º C). Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Combine flour, oats, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a bowl. Set aside.
- Using an electric hand mixer or a stand mixer, beat the butter for about 30 seconds. Add the sugars and beat for another 30-40 seconds until creamy. Then beat in the nut butter until incorporated.
- Reduce the speed to low and add the flour mixture; mix until it resembles coarse crumbs. Add the milk and vanilla, and mix until the dough comes together into a big ball.
- Gently fold the M&M’s and other add-ins (except for the candy eyes) into the cookie dough.
- Use a small cookie scoop (1.5 tablespoons) to measure out the dough. Roll each into a ball and place about 2 inches apart on the cookie sheet. Gently flatten the balls lightly with your hand.
- Bake for 10-12 minutes, until barely golden brown around the edges but still soft in the middle.
- If you are adding candy eyes, do so now, right after baking.
- Cool on baking sheets for 2 minutes; remove to wire racks to cool completely.
From learning to cook at the age of 13 to teaching food chemistry to high school students, I love preparing and enjoying new and familiar dishes. Whether it’s baking, sauteing or making a salad from farmer’s market finds, food gets my creativity going. I hope you find many recipes you enjoy on A Meal In Mind!