September 2, 2020
A healthier version of monster cookies, these cookies don’t contain any flour, eggs or butter. The cookies come out soft and chewy and are packed with oats, peanut butter, chocolate chips and candy coated chocolate. This is an easy one-bowl recipe, no mixer required.
I’ve always been drawn to monster cookies because of how colorful they are. But classic monster cookies are definitely an indulgent cookie and I wanted to make a healthier version. I got the idea to make these cookies after making my 4 Ingredient Healthy Oatmeal Cookies.
What are Monster Cookies?
Monster cookies are cookies that contain oats, peanut butter, chocolate chips and candy coated chocolate (usually m&m’s but any brand works). They taste like soft oatmeal cookies flavored with peanut butter and packed with chocolate.
- creamy natural peanut butter
- maple syrup
- rolled oats
- chocolate chips
- M&M’s minis
For the exact quantities of ingredients, please see the recipe card at the end of this post.
Creamy natural peanut butter
Make sure to use creamy natural peanut butter. Peanut butter processed with hydrogenated oils will be too thick. I also use unsweetened so I can control the sweetness in the recipe. You can use sweetened but you will need to reduce the amount of syrup used.
I use unsweetened applesauce to make the cookies healthier. You can use sweetened applesauce but you will want to reduce the amount of syrup in the recipe. If you don’t like or have applesauce, it can be replaced with mashed bananas.
Make sure to use rolled oats and not quick oats. Quick oats will not hold together as well.
I used M&M’s Minis Milk Chocolate Baking Bits. Mini M&M’s can be replaced with any candy coated chocolate. You can use a healthier brand to make the cookies even healthier.
- Since these cookies are supposed to be healthier, I used maple syrup to sweeten the cookie base rather than white or brown sugar.
- If you are looking to reduce sugar in your recipes, you can use 2 tbsp of maple syrup. The cookie base will barely be sweet, but the chocolate chips and candy coated chocolate will provide a lot of sweetness.
- If you want sweet cookies, be sure to use the full 4 tbsp. The cookies won’t bind together quite as firmly as when using 2 tbsp, but they will still hold together.
- I usually use 2 or 3 tbsp of maple syrup when making these cookies.
How to Make these Cookies even Healthier
If you’re looking to make these cookies even healthier, here are a few things you can do.
- To eliminate syrup, use mashed bananas instead of applesauce and maple syrup. The bananas are sweet enough on their own that you won’t need to add any syrup or sugar to your cookie base. You would use 1 cup of bananas and you need to mash them until they are a puree-like consistency.
- Instead of m&m’s, use a different brand of candy coated chocolate. Unreal is a brand that makes a healthier candy coated chocolate. Their chocolate gems have no artificial flavors and use vegetables to color the gems.
- Use less chocolate. When I make these for others, I tend to use a lot of chocolate as it makes the cookies look better. But when it’s just for my family, I try to make them healthier and use less chocolate.
More Healthier Cookie Recipes
- 4 Ingredient Healthy Oatmeal Cookies
- 2 Ingredient Banana Oatmeal Cookies
- 3 Ingredient No Bake Oatmeal Cookies
- 1/2 cup creamy natural peanut butter unsweetened
- 2-4 tbsp maple syrup see notes
- 1 cup unsweetened applesauce
- 2 cups + 2 tbsp rolled oats
- 1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips
- 6 tbsp M&M’s minis
Preheat oven to 350F. Line two large baking sheets with silicone baking mats.
In a large bowl, add peanut butter and syrup. Stir until completely blended and a smooth paste forms. Add in applesauce and mix until applesauce is completely mixed in.
Stir in oats until all oats are completely incorporated and coated. Stir in chocolate chips. If you like a lot of chocolate in your cookies, use a heaping 1/2 cup of chocolate chips.
Using a 1.5 tbsp cookie scoop, scoop cookie dough and place onto prepared baking sheet, spacing cookies 2 inches apart.
Using the palm of your hand, press down on cookie balls so that they become flat and round. The cookies will not spread when baking so you want to shape the dough to be what you want the final outcome of the cookies to look like.
Press about 6-8 M&M’s onto the surface of each cookie. Bake cookies about 10-12 minutes or until the cookies and oats look cooked. It’s okay if the cookies feel soft and not yet completely set. Let cookies cool on cookie sheets to set before removing.
- If you prefer something less sweet, use 2 tbsp of maple syrup. If you prefer more sweet, use 3-4 tbsp. You can taste the dough after you are done mixing to determine if you want it sweeter. Keep in mind that you will get some additional sweetness from the m&m’s.
- The cookies will be the most sturdy with 2 tbsp of syrup. If you add the full 4 tbsp, they will still hold together, but not as well as with only 2 tbsp.
- Make sure to use creamy natural peanut butter. This is the drippy kind that needs to be stirred.
- If you are using sweetened applesauce you may want to reduce the syrup.
- I used M&M’s Minis Milk Chocolate Baking Bits. You can replace m&m’s with other candy coated chocolate. If you want a healthier candy coated chocolate, Unreal* is a brand that doesn’t contain any artificial flavors and uses vegetables for the colored coating.
- If you don’t have applesauce you can substitute with mashed bananas and leave out the syrup because bananas are sweeter than applesauce. Your cookies will taste banana flavored. Make sure to mash until they are a puree consistency. You would need 1 cup (which is around 3 medium bananas).
- Make sure to use rolled oats and not quick oats as the cookies will not hold together well with quick oats.
- *This product link is an affiliate link. This means I earn a small commission from qualifying purchases (at no extra charge to you).
Serving: 1cookie, Calories: 193kcal, Carbohydrates: 26g, Protein: 5g, Fat: 8g, Saturated Fat: 2g, Cholesterol: 1mg, Sodium: 5mg, Potassium: 172mg, Fiber: 4g, Sugar: 7g, Vitamin A: 13IU, Vitamin C: 1mg, Calcium: 23mg, Iron: 1mg, Net Carbs: 22g
The nutrition information provided are only estimates based on an online nutritional calculator. I am not a certified nutritionist. Please consult a professional nutritionist or doctor for accurate information and any dietary restrictions and concerns you may have.