Monster Cookies!

It’s almost Halloween, and I couldn’t be more excited! I’ve got an amazing costume planned (sorry, no spoilers here!), a surprisingly booked Halloween weekend, and plenty of Halloween treats to consume!

I love Halloween. Despite the fact I am easily terrified by scary movies and nearly died via axe murderer in a haunted corn maze, I love love LOVE all the creepy yet adorable themed candies, cookies, cupcakes and more, right down to their orange and black wrappers.

So, to celebrate the occassion, I’ve got a lovely Halloween series for you all! In the days leading up to Halloween, you can expect lots of treats (and a few culinary tricks) coming your way! Yesterday, Sweet potato cupcakes with maple buttercream, and today….Monster Cookies!

This is my own spin on monster cookies. I know they typically have peanut butter, and all the candy but the kitchen sink sort of feel, but I wanted to try something a little different. They still have peanuts, but in the form of………..Snickers!

Yep, that’s right, Snickers. These cookies are oatmeal, snickers, M&M, amazing morsels of deliciousness. These are perfect to bring to a casual Halloween party at work, if your coworkers are awesome enough to do that sort of thing, or to a family get-together or kid’s party.

Ingredients: (This recipe makes a LOT of cookies!)

  • Approximately 2 cups of Snickers, chopped and frozen
  • 16 oz. of M&Ms
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 Tbsp. baking powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 3 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
  • 2 1/4 cups firmly packed light brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
1. Preheat the oven to 350° F. Prepare two baking sheets.
2. Chop your Snickers, line a baking tray with wax paper and spread out the Snickers. Pop it in the freezer for about an hour. Freezing the candy first will help it keep it’s shape and prevent gooey messes while baking!
3. In a large bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder and baking soda.
4. In another bowl, using an electric mixer set on medium(ish) speed, cream together the butter and brown sugar until smooth. (Tip! If your butter is fresh out of the fridge and not room temperature, place it in the microwave and heat it for 5 seconds, then rotate 90 degrees and repeat until you’ve heated all 4 sides.)
5. Add the eggs and the vanilla to the butter and sugar and mix to combine, reduce the speed to low and add the flour in batches.
6. Pour in the oats, one cup at a time and mix to combine. Add in the candy and mix on low speed, or fold in by hand to prevent crushing the candy.
7. Scoop out golf-ball-sized bits of dough, and place them on the cookie sheets about 3 inches apart. Bake in the oven for 10-12 minutes, or until the edges are just turning golden brown. Take them out of the oven, and let them sit for 2-3 minutes before moving them to a cooling rack.
8. Pour a big glass of milk and toast Halloween!

Sweet Potato Cupcakes with Maple Buttercream

Welcome to Day 1 of my Halloween series! All week, I’ll be posting tasty treats, perfect for your Halloween party needs! No costume required, just sit back, relax and let the treats come to you.

These are the perfect treat to bring to bring to your boss’s Halloween potluck party. Their tiny size makes them easy to fit on plates already piled with food and lessens the guilt of eating three in a row, you can make tons of mini cupcakes with a regular amount of batter, and with a simple garnish they lend a sophistication that says “Why yes, Mr. Robinson, I can get you that report you’re demanding in 20 minutes while still maintaining my perfectly calm outward appearance, and please remember these delicious cupcakes when you consider my raise.

I had never made mini cupcakes before, but I do own a mini cupcake pan; the result of my wild fantasies about seas of adorably frosted mini cupcakes while at a Pampered Chef party. It had been sitting in the back of my cupboard for quite some time, so I figured it was time for a test run!

And oh boy, am I ever glad I have that mini cupcake pan now! Mini cupcakes are almost easier to make than their big sisters. They have a shorter baking time, you can fit 24 of these little babies in a pan and your frosting time is cut in half! I would seriously recommend investing in a mini cupcake pan, if for no other reason than they put a fresh twist on a potluck staple.

Sweet Potato Cupcakes:

  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon allspice
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 6 tablespoons butter, at room temperature
  • 6 ounces (or one small) sweet potato, cooked and mashed
  • 1/3 cup buttermilk
  • 1 egg
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla

Cream Cheese Frosting:

  • 2 sticks of butter (1 cup), room temperature
  • 2 cups of powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 3 tbsp. dark maple syrup
  • 1/2 cup crushed pecans for garnish (optional)
For the cupcakes:
  1. Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Mix the first six ingredients together in a bowl and set aside.
    3. Cream the butter in an electric mixer and slowly add the sugar until fully combined.
    4. Add the buttermilk, egg, sweet potato and vanilla to the butter mixture and beat until           combined. Be careful not to over mix!
    5. Add the flour mixture in batches and mix until there are no lumps in the batter, but               again, be careful not to over mix. You’ll get adorable little cupcake shaped rocks                 instead of adorable little cupcakes.
    6. Once the batter is mixed, line your mini cupcake pan with mini cupcake liners and                use a small ice-cream scoop to fill each cup 2/3 full.
    7. Bake in the oven for 11 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the               cupcakes comes out clean.
    8. Take out your cakes and let them cool to room temperature before frosting. While               you’re waiting is the perfect time to make that frosting!
For the Frosting:
  1. Cream the butter in a bowl with an electric mixer. Use the whisk attachment if you have one.
  2. Add the vanilla and beat to combine.
  3. Slowly add the sugar. Note: I usually use a rough ratio of 1:1 for my butter and powdered sugar (1 stick to 1 cup). Feel free to adjust for your desired level of stiffness and sweetness.
  4. Add the maple syrup a tablespoon at a time, beating throughly after each addition. Feel free to sample the batch after each tablespoon until you get the desired strength of mapley-ness!
  5. Secret Tip: Spoon the frosting into a zip lock bag. Squeeze the air out, seal the bag, snip off one corner and use that as a piping bag to get perfectly swirled frosting on your cupcakes.
  6. Crush some pecans and sprinkle them over your frosted cupcakes. This is totally optional, but it does look pretty and adds a nice salty note to counteract the sweetness of the frosting.
  7. Watch your little creations disappear!