Apparently, monster cookies are well-loved by a lot of people, but I had never heard of them until recently when I found the recipe on Paula Deen's website. Now I've made them twice in the past month or so just because they are so easy to make and people always seem to love them.
(makes 36 cookies)
* 1/4 cup raisins, optional (I recommend Newman's Own organic raisins)
* 1/2 cup chocolate chips
* 1/2 cup multi-colored chocolate candies
* 1 stick butter, softened
* 1 12-ounce jar creamy peanut butter
* 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
* 1/2 teaspoon salt
* 1 cup granulated sugar
* 1 1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
* 3 eggs
* 2 teaspoon baking soda
* 4 1/2 cup quick-cooking oatmeal (not instant)
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line cookie sheets with parchment paper or nonstick baking mats.
(Note: I usually preheat my oven to 25 degrees lower than what recipes say, because it runs about 10 degrees hot and also I use nonstick bakeware. So I actually baked these at 325. And I did not use the parchment paper for these cookies and they were fine.)
In a very large mixing bowl, combine the eggs and sugars. Mix well. Add the salt, vanilla, peanut butter, and butter. Mix well. Stir in the chocolate candies, chocolate chips, raisins, if using, baking soda, and oatmeal. Drop by tablespoons 2 inches apart onto the prepared cookie sheets (I actually used a medium OXO cookie scoop, which is 1.5 tbsp).
Bake for 8-10 minutes (my cookies were a little larger and took 14-15 minutes to bake). Do not overbake. Let stand for about 3 minutes before transferring to wire racks to cool. When cool, store in large resealable plastic bags (or an airtight container like the one I use, pictured below).