Saturday, December 29, 2007

Wanna see my cookies?

This year for Christmas, I decided to do something I have never done before. Bake some cookies! But where do I start on this venture? What kind of cookies should I bake? Should I bake more than one kind of cookie? Sure, I have eaten enough home baked cookies to have a handle on this. But could I do it without them coming out of the oven as bland, rock hard coasters? And would they be Christmasy?I decided to jump in with both feet and bake several kinds of cookies. Of coarse it would be totally un-american to not include Chocolate Chip cookies in the mix. I'll admit that yes, on my first outing into cookie baking, I took the easy route and used the Toll House recipe. While not the absolute best choice, but the recipe does turn out decent but run-of-the-mill cookies. I did make one small change to make them a little more festive. I used M&M's instead of chocolate chips. Not enough of a change to showcase them here, but they did lead me into making something great: Peanut Butter and Oatmeal cookies with M&M's!

The other cookies I made were: Shortbread cookies with Heath bit's and Rice Krispies cookies. While they all came out pretty good, it was the Peanut Butter and Oatmeal with M&M's cookies that really got the raves. Although I really think that I need to come up with a better and/or shorter name for them.

While making the regular M&M cookies, I decided that cookies made with M&M's with Peanuts would be pretty good. After a Google search turned up nothing of greatness, I took a little detour. What better to go with the peanut M&M's, than Peanut Butter cookies? So back to the search. After finding many close but not good enough recipe's, I ended up on this recipe by Michele at The only changes I made to the recipe were the additions of Almond extract and Peanut M&M's. They were definitely a hit with everybody that tried them.

Oatmeal Peanut Butter Cookies


½ Cup Shortening

½ Cup Butter, softened

1 Cup packed Brown Sugar

¾ Cup White Sugar

1 Teaspoon Almond Extract

1 Cup Peanut Butter

2 Eggs

1 ½ Cups All-purpose Flour

2 Teaspoons Baking Soda

1 Teaspoon Salt

1 Cup Quick-cooking Oats

1 Cup Peanut M&M's, plus enough to stick onto tops of cookies


1. Preheat oven to 350°F.

2. In a large bowl, cream together shortening, margarine, brown sugar, white sugar, peanut butter and almond extract until smooth.

3. Beat in the eggs one at a time until well blended.

4. Combine the flour, baking soda, and salt; stir into the creamed mixture.

5. Mix in the oats until just combined.

6. Put M&M's into a baggie. Using a hammer or rolling pin, break up M&M's into irregular pieces. Don't make the pieces too small. Striking each M&M just once or twice should make them the correct size.

7. Gently mix M&M's into cookie dough.

8. Drop by teaspoonfuls onto ungreased cookie sheets.

9. If desired, push 1 or 2 M&M's into the top of each cookie.

10. Bake for 10 to 15 minutes in the preheated oven, or until just light brown. Don't over-bake.

11. Cool on cookie sheets for a couple minutes, then move to a wire rack to cool completely.

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