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Despite my efforts to eat relatively healthy over the course of our trip, many cookies, greasy breakfast sandwiches, and Red Bulls were consumed (not to mention all the fair food we had at the Calgary Stampede; think: elephant ears, pulled pork sandwiches, and lemonade).

Originally, my plan was to make pumpkin chocolate chip cookies. My rationale was that pumpkin = vegetable/fruit* = healthy. That plan fell through after J. noted that the bready dough might end up getting a little stale over time. True.

So I decided to go with Monster Cookies. It has just about every classic cookie ingredient: oats, peanut butter, chocolate chips, and M&Ms. I actually first had them a couple of years ago when a girlfriend hosted a cookie exchange. Each one of us had to make enough cookies to share with everyone so that by the end of the night, we all left with dozens and dozens of various cookies. Anyways, Monster Cookies is a friend’s recipe and it was a huge hit so I gave it a go for our road trip. After all, peanut butter = protein = healthy, no?

*Apparently this is a contentious debate. Many consider it a vegetable because it’s a type of squash, while others argue it’s a fruit because it grows on vines and has seeds.

Monster Cookies (yields approx. 4-5 dozen)
Adapted from a girlfriend’s recipe
These are seriously addicting and quite possibly the best cookies on the planet. I used crunchy peanut butter so that each bite has pieces of peanuts which are quite nice. If you don’t really like that, smooth is just fine. This also yields quite a bit but the dough freezes really well. I highly recommend making the dough and then only baking a dozen whenever you’re craving cookies.

3 eggs
1 c. brown sugar
1/2 c. sugar
1/2 tsp. vanilla
1/2 c. unsalted butter
1/2 tbsp. corn syrup
3/4 tbsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1 1/4 c. peanut butter
4 1/2 c. rolled oats
1/2 c. bittersweet or semisweet chocolate chips
1/2 c. M&Ms

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line cookie sheets with parchment paper.

In a very large mixing bowl, beat the eggs, sugars, vanilla, and butter together until creamy. Then add corn syrup, baking soda, and salt and peanut butter and blend until combined. Then fold in oats, chocolate chips, and m&m’s.

Drop by tablespoon or a small ice cream scoop onto cookie sheets. Bake for 10-15 minutes (11 was perfect for me). Cool on the cookie sheet for 5 minutes then transfer to a cooling rack and let cool completely.