The Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap 2012 … and Our Recipe for Monster Cookie Makeover

There’s nothing better than a good ol’ fashioned cookie swap, and this year, we took part in the granddaddy of ’em all. Thanks to two dedicated bloggers, Love & and Olive Oil and The Little Kitchen, the second annual Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap welcomed well over 500 food bloggers from around the world. As part of the swap, we were given the names of three fellow food bloggers, Hannah from Cats and Commas, Ali from Cheater Bites, and Jackie from Just Add Milk, and then we sent each of them a dozen of our homemade Monster Cookies. In return, we received three dozen cookies from three other food bloggers: Kelley from The Culinary Enthusiast, Janet from A Cook at Heart, and Kristin from Nanna’s Cookbook.  How fun is that?!

To participate, we made a $4.00 donation to Cookies for Kid’s Cancer, a non-profit organization that raises money for pediatric cancer research. To thank us (which they really didn’t have to do), OXO sent us a Be a Good Cookie spatula.

For our makeover, we swapped the usual butter for heart-healthy canola oil, tossed in dried cranberries, used chocolate-covered sunflower seeds (they look like little ornaments and they’re naturally colored), cracked open three Eggland’s Best eggs (gotta love the extra omega-3, vitamin D, and lutein), and added just one cup of brown sugar for all 40 cookies. We used lots of oats too, which are downright nutritious!

Monster Cookie Makeover

Makes 3 Dozen Cookies

Here at Meal Makeover Moms’ Kitchen, we’re all about taking popular recipes and giving them a healthy and delicious makeover. We recently asked our Facebook fans which cookie they’d like us to make over and Monster cookies came up several times. This recipe was inspired by a Monster Cookie recipe we found on The Pioneer Woman and another one from Paula Deen. As you can only imagine, the original recipes had LOTS of butter! We hope you love our butter-free, better-for-you-but-just-as-luscious makeover. Happy holidays!

  • 4 cups quick-cooking oats
  • 3/4 cup chocolate sunflower seed drops (we found them at Trader Joe’s)
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/4 cup semi-sweet mini chocolate chips
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup canola oil
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup peanut butter

1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Oil or coat two large baking sheets with nonstick cooking spray and set aside.

2. Whisk together the oats, sunflower seed drops, cranberries, chocolate chips, baking soda, and salt in a large bowl until well combined.

3. In a separate bowl, whisk together the eggs, brown sugar, oil, and vanilla until well combined. Whisk in the peanut butter until the mixture is smooth. Pour the liquid ingredients over the dry ingredients, and stir until just moistened.

4. Working in batches, scoop the batter using a 2-tablespoon cookie scooper and place on the prepared baking sheets, flattening slightly with the heel of your hand to create circles, about 2½ inches in diameter. Leave about 1 inch between each cookie.

5. Bake, 1 sheet at a time, about 10 minutes, or until the cookies are golden brown. Cool slightly on the baking sheet before transferring the cookies to a wire rack. Repeat with the remaining dough.

For the “BEFORE” nutrient analysis, we used The Pioneer Woman’s Monster Cookie recipe with 2 sticks of butter:

Nutrition Information per Serving (1 cookie): 200 calories, 9g fat (5g saturated), 160mg sodium, 27g carbohydrate, 1g fiber, 2g protein

Here is the nutrient analysis for our “AFTER” creation with 1/4 canola oil!:

Nutrition Information per Serving (1 cookie): 130 calories, 7g fat (1.5g saturated), 95mg sodium, 14g carbohydrate, 2g fiber, 4g protein

Print Recipe

The cookies were shipped to Liz’s house (no worries, she shared with Janice), and you can’t imagine the excitement Liz felt when the packages arrived. (Bottom left of the montage to bottom right) Amaretti Cookies from Nanna’s Cookbook, Double Chocolate Biscotti from The Culinary Enthusiast (great for dunking in hot tea), and Pebbly Beach Fruit Squares from A Cook at Heart.

Many thanks to Love & Olive Oil and The Little Kitchen for organizing The Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap. Count us in for next year! As for this year’s recipes, Here’s a link to Recipe Roundup Part 1.

6 responses to “The Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap 2012 … and Our Recipe for Monster Cookie Makeover”

  1. Andrea Tanner says:

    If I only have old-fashioned oats, can I use that? Or… I think I can make them into quick-cooking oats with a few pulses in the food processor?

    • Liz says:

      We only tested with quick-cooking oats. Your idea to give your old-fashioned oats a few pulses in the food processor sounds like a great one to us. Go for it!

  2. Love that you made over the monster cookie…and your version looks amazing. Putting this in my recipe files.

  3. Woah, check out those improvements! I love your butter-free, better-for-you-but-just-as-luscious makeover!! I’ll have to add that to my list of Christmas cookies to make this year 🙂

  4. Leigh Ann says:

    I was looking for a healthier treat for hiking. I didn’t have the chocolate-covered sunflower seeds on hand, so I substituted regular M&Ms and used peanuts in place of the mini chocolate chips. The M&Ms were a bite clunky-mini M&Ms would probably be a better substitute-but the result was pretty near perfection, almost like granola bar bites.

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