Peanut Butter Oatmeal M&M Cookies

Peanut Butter Oatmeal M&M CookiesIt’s less than 2 months away from Operation TFD—Total Fair Domination. Last year was the first time I’d entered anything in the Ohio State Fair. Until then, I’d only thought of the Fair as a place for farm animals, fried food, and the Butter Cow (literally a cow sculpted from butter). But after realizing there was a whole world of baking competitions involved, I was hooked. Everything from cookies and cake to breads and pies. How could I not enter? And nothing fuels my competitive spirit like knowing that the exact same people are placing in more than 5 different categories over and over. Every. Single. Year. (Seriously. Just take a look at how many times some of those names appear.) They’re the Fair elite. The bakers at the top of their game. They’ve probably got more ribbons and awards than Elvis’s Trophy Room. And I want more than anything to be one of them. To see my name on that list numerous times. I want the fame and fortune that comes with winning! Er… really, just a sweet collection of blue ribbons would be nice too, since I doubt there’s a lot of fame or fortune involved in being a winning Fair baker. But you get the idea. I don’t want to just knock them down; I want to take their throne. I want to be the elite. I want to win it all. I want Total Fair Domination.

Since I’m not overly confident in breadmaking, I’ve never made an actual pie crust, and I’m down right embarrassed at my cake decorating, I’m striving for cookie perfection with my entries. First up—Peanut Butter Cookies. I had a recipe I was dying to try out, but it called for milk chocolate chips. They HAD to be milk chocolate. Definitely not semisweet because it would “taste bitter against the peanut butter.” Well, guess what I didn’t have. And after paying $150 that I definitely didn’t have to get my car fixed 2 weeks ago, I’m B-R-O-K-E, so there has been no grocery shopping lately for anything other than milk. (Okay, maybe there was a tiny one for more oil to fry donuts.. but we’re not going to tell anyone about that. Or that I finally broke down and bought some more brown sugar.) It’s been weeks of clearing out the pantry, using what I have, which means a whole lot of Hamburger Helper meals, without any hamburger because, of course, I’m out of that too. And the same goes for my baking. Use what I have. So instead of risking the chance that my cookies would taste bitter and disgusting, I decided to go for a different recipe altogether. I’ve got a whole lot of oatmeal, so why not try out the Oatmeal Cookie category first!

Peanut Butter Oatmeal M&M CookiesI couldn’t get the idea of peanut butter out of my mind, so I ended up with a recipe for Peanut Butter Oatmeal cookies. While I was digging through my stash of chocolate chips, I realized I had a whole unopened bag of mini M&Ms. Hmm. Those sound pretty good. Why not throw them in too! I should rename these “Pantry Cleaner Cookies”!

I baked them for 12 minutes, but honestly I think that may have been a little too long, because some of them turned out a little dry. Next time I’ll take them out at 10, even though they looked a little wet and gooey. Once they cool, they firm up quite a bit, so I think at 10 minutes, they would have been a bit chewier. Also, I had issues with the cookies spreading. At least, I think I did. When I went to rotate the pans for the first batch, it didn’t seem like they were spreading at all, so I smashed them down slightly with a spatula before putting them back in the oven. They came out looking pretty good, so maybe it helped? The 2nd batch, I flattened with my hand before putting them oven, and those came out smaller but thicker than the first batch, so I’m not sure that helped at all. I should have left some of them unsmashed to see if I even needed to do it at all. If you make them, please let me know if they spread on their own, or whether they do benefit from being smashed down. Maybe I was just being paranoid.

Overall, they turned out pretty good! They probably won’t make it to the Fair, but it’s definitely a recipe I’d make again. I ate an ungodly amount of raw dough and 2 finished cookies before I even made it to work... And I shouldn’t mention that I ate another 3 during work… And one for breakfast this morning. And another for lunch… I better hide the rest before I finish off what I saved for Boyfriend.

Peanut Butter Oatmeal M&M CookiesPeanut Butter Oatmeal M&M Cookies
Adapted from Two Peas and Their Pod
Makes 32 cookies

½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
½ cup granulated sugar
¾ cup packed brown sugar
1 large egg
½ cup peanut butter (creamy or crunchy)
1 teaspoon vanilla
¾ cup all purpose flour
¼ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon cinnamon
2 cups old fashioned oats
¾ cup mini M&Ms

1. Preheat oven to 375F. Line two baking sheets with parchment or silicon liners; set aside.
2. In a small bowl, whisk flour, salt, baking soda, baking powder, and cinnamon; set aside.
3. In the bowl of an electric mixer on medium speed, beat together butter and both sugars until fluffy and lightened in color, about 2 minutes. Add peanut butter and beat until creamy. Add egg and vanilla, mixing until well combined.
4. Reduce speed to low. Add flour mixture a little at a time, beating until just incorporated.
5. With a wooden spoon, stir in oats and M&Ms until everything is combined.
6. Using a spoon or a 1½-inch cookie scoop, drop rounded tablespoons of cookie dough onto prepared sheets, 2 inches apart. Bake for 10-12 minutes, rotating halfway through, until cookies are lightly browned.*
7. Let cool on baking sheet for 2 minutes before transferring to wire rack to cool completely.

*Note: I baked mine for 12 minutes because they still looked a little wet and gooey at 10, but once they cooled, they ended up being a little dry. So even if they look a little underdone, go ahead and take them out. You’ll have much softer, chewier cookies once they’re cooled.
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Anonymous said...

These look awesome! I never can keep chocolate chips in my pantry; That and cocoa powder.I got an email about registering for fair competitions, never done it before but couldn't hurt to try and take down some of the vets. Do you have to pay a creative arts fee per entry or just one time? I'm leaning towards entering but on the fence on what exactly I want to do.

sarahe said...

these sound great! good luck w/your total fair domination!!

Danae - The Busty Baker said...

There's a $10 processing fee that you pay just once, no matter how many categories you enter, and then the individual entry fees per category (usually $1). You should totally do it! Especially the cupcake category!

Kiesha Jenkins-Duffy said...

While I can't say that I'm sad about moving to New York, I am pissed that I never got a chance to compete at the Fair. I was so ready to do it. And now I live in a place where people equate "fair" with "parking lot carnival".

I have to wait for November, when I can enter the 2nd Annual Brooklyn Pie Bake-Off.

Speaking of pie, you should totally make a pie crust. America's Test Kitchen has a great one that uses vodka. I can send you the recipe if you'd like.

oneordinaryday said...

Love the peanut butter and oatmeal combination, but I'm iffy on the m&ms. I know it's unnatural, but I don't care for them.

I do, however, hope you succeed on your quest for total fair domination. Keep sending your baking "tests" our way!

sweetie said...

i'm going to send you an e-mail with my top fair entry suggestions. you can't give up the crown! (or trophy? or blue ribbon?)

Anonymous said...

This cookie so reminds me of what Grandma used to bake! She would throw anything and everything (and I mean everything) in her cookies! They always ended up really good too!

Heavenly Housewife said...

Mmmm... nice I could gobble these up :). Very cute. I imagine with all thes baking you are going to be doing, you are not going to be able to eat all of this stuff so... call me! (Yeah, no shame)
*kisses* HH

I BLEED PINK said...

These look so GOOD!!! I think its so cool your entering the contest at your fair.

Anonymous said...

Yes, you need to smash them down. Use a fork and make a criss-cross type of design on each cookie before putting them in the oven. I use butter crisco instead and for Christmas, just use red and green M&Ms.


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