Grandma’s Monster Cookies

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Chewy and crisp, the best monster cookie recipe is loaded with all of our favorite cookie flavors.

Does anyone not have this cookie recipe from their grandmother? And doesn’t everyone think their recipe is the best? Oats, peanut butter, chocolate chips, M&Ms, and a drop of maple syrup all combine to make my grandmother’s Monster Cookies.

Monster Cookies - just like Grandma used to make!

My friend Augusta and I compared our recipes years ago and laughed when they were almost identical.

Side note: We then proceeded to make and eat almost an entire batch on our own, we probably consumed half of it as raw cookie dough – yeah, these cookies are that good.

I grew up thinking that Monster cookies were exclusive to my own family and in the past 10-15 years, I’ve seen these all over the internet.

If you haven’t tasted them before, you are missing out on one of the best cookies ever.

Monster Cookies are a family favorite!

I only make these cookies a few times a year, because I absolutely cannot eat just one (or two or three). I’ve been known to polish off so many I went to bed nauseous. (How’s that for a selling point? ha)

These cookies stay beautifully chewy when frozen. If you’re like me and like to stash cookies in the freezer for late-night cravings, this is the ultimate freezer cookie. As a result, that makes this the PERFECT cookie for ice cream sandwich making.

My brother Karl shares my weakness for these cookies and that’s all the excuse I need to make these every time he visits. And for a serious treat? You’re going to want to make these Monster Cookie Ice Cream Sandwiches.

Classic Monster Cookies
  • butter
  • light brown sugar
  • white sugar
  • eggs
  • baking soda
  • vanilla extract
  • maple syrup
  • crunchy peanut butter
  • old fashioned rolled oats
  • semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • M&M candies

Gluten Free Monster Cookies

Gluten Free without any special ingredients, these cookies were free of wheat before that was the cool thing to be. They’re the original flourless cookie that everyone was making before we even knew about gluten-free ingredients.

The oats and the peanut butter hold them together perfectly. Please note that if you are baking these with allergies in mind, be sure to purchase certified gluten-free oats.

Grandma's Monster Cookies really are best!

Best Monster Cookies

First, and most importantly, do not overbake these amazing cookies. The cookies should be barely browned around the edges and just past looking wet on top when you remove them from the oven.

Let them cool on the baking sheets for a couple of minutes and then transfer them to a wire rack to finish cooling.

These cookies are wonderfully chewy and they’ll stay nice for several days when stored at room temperature in an airtight container. They can also be frozen for up to 3 months.

For what it’s worth, Grandma’s Monster Cookies are Oscar approved – not that I let him taste them. But he did give them a dignified nod of approval as he helped me take the photos.

Monster Cookies with Oscar

Monster Cookie Recipes

Do you love Monster Cookies as much as we do? You’ll want to try these Monster Cookie Bars, Monster Cookie Dough Bites, and these Monster Cookie Chocolate Cheesecake Bars! Better yet, turn them into cookie dough bites for Monster Cookie Dough Ice Cream.

Check out all of the Gluten Free Dessert Recipes on this website!

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Monster Cookies are a family favorite!

Monster Cookies

4.43 from 7 votes
Chewy, peanut buttery, chocolate-filled Monster Cookies just like Grandma used to make!
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Prep Time: 10 mins
Cook Time: 12 mins
Total Time: 22 mins
Servings: 36 3″ cookies


  • cup butter room temperature
  • 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • cup white sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 teaspoon maple syrup or pancake syrup
  • teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 cup crunchy peanut butter
  • 3 cups old fashioned rolled oats
  • ½ cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • cup m&m candies for topping


  • Preheat the oven to 350°F. Combine the butter and sugar in a large bowl and beat with an electric mixer until smooth.
  • Add the eggs, vanilla, syrup, and baking soda. Mix to combine. Mix in the peanut butter and then the oats.
  • Add the chocolate chips, mixing them in thoroughly. Use a cookie scoop (I like this one!) to portion the dough onto baking sheets. Top each cookie dough mound with M&Ms.
  • Bake for approximately 12 minutes, watching carefully to make sure they do not overbake. The cookies should be barely browned around the edges and just past looking wet on top. Cool on sheet for 1 minute and then remove to wire rack.


Calories: 115kcal · Carbohydrates: 11g · Protein: 3g · Fat: 7g · Saturated Fat: 2g · Cholesterol: 14mg · Sodium: 56mg · Potassium: 85mg · Fiber: 1g · Sugar: 6g · Vitamin A: 66IU · Calcium: 11mg · Iron: 1mg
Tried this recipe?Mention @barefeetkitchen or tag #barefeetkitchen!

{originally published 5/30/12 – recipe notes and photos updated 3/23/23}

For more great recipes from Grandma, check out these Ice Cream Kolacky Cookies and this Old Fashioned Chocolate Meringue Pie!

Monster Cookies - just like Grandma used to make!

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Mary Younkin

Mary Younkin

Hi, I’m Mary. I’m the author, cook, photographer, and travel lover behind the scenes here at Barefeet In The Kitchen. I'm also the author of three cookbooks dedicated to making cooking from scratch as simple as possible.

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42 Comments Leave a comment or review

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  1. Karl says

    I attest to the delicious nature of these cookies. They are already gone. Yes, all three bags. I think Heather may have eaten two of them. The cookies, that is. I'm a pig.

  2. [email protected] says

    I love a "naturally gluten free" recipe. Baking has become a great adventure for me in replacing wheat based flours with gluten free versions. But I feel there is something right with the world when a cookie never called for flour in the recipe.Great job as usual.

  3. Melissa homemaker says

    Its my sons 13th birthday today and he's having surgery. He will be very hunrgy afterwards from not eating for 16hours. I am making these minus the m&ms. We don't do dyes.

  4. Jenn says

    Oh, how I love monster cookies too!! They always remind me of when I was younger. What a great way to celebrate a birthday!

  5. Alicia says

    I am so sad that Monster Cookies are not my family's special thing, but I guess it makes sense that it isn't! And my recipe is just like yours. 😀

    Making ice cream sandwiches out of them sounds perfect, thank you!

    • Mary says

      I imagine that any nut butter (almond or sunflower, etc) would work as well. However, I haven't tried it myself. If you do, let me know how it works!

  6. Anonymous says

    These sound wonderful. My grandson has a severe allergy to eggs and dairy. I have dairy-free chocolate chips and Earth Balance sticks. I was wondering if anyone has made this recipe using an egg substitute. I would be leaving out the M&M's and possibly adding a few more chips.

    • Mary says

      I've never tried it without the regular eggs, but I "think" it will work fine with an egg substitute. I do make them all the time without m&ms and just toss in an extra handful or so of chocolate chips.

  7. Michele says

    these look great! what kind of peanut butter do you recommend using – the natural kind or the skippy-type kind?

  8. Tessa Hansen says

    Thank you for sharing I can’t wait to try them! I was wondering if honey would work instead of the maple syrup? Just curious.

  9. Daphne says

    One question. I did nit make these yet, but I wanted to know if you can bake these whithout peanut butter or syrup, beacause in argentina there is no syrup or peanut butter. I hope an answer! These cookies look good.5 stars

    • Mary Younkin says

      Unfortunately, this won’t work without peanut butter, Daphne. The batter simply won’t be thick enough. If you have nuts available, you can make nut butter to use in the recipe.

    • Mary Younkin says

      Yes, that will work, Jenni. I typically reduce the amount slightly and add a small handful of finely chopped peanuts when I’m using creamy peanut butter.

  10. Daphne says

    Came out of the oven like a disaster. All the cookies joined together. The cookies didnt come out of the oven crunchy, but instead came out like a brown mushy mold. I follow the instructions and came out bad. Dont waste your time in this recipe people. Its just a huge waste of money on the ingrediants.1 star