Monster Cookies (gluten-free)

These cookies are full of all the tasty things a cookie monster loves, they’ve got peanut butter, chocolate chips, M&Ms, toffee and oats.  And they just happen to be gluten-free.  I don’t normally look for gluten-free recipes, but for last month’s Carroll Cafe, I thought it might be nice to have one gluten-free option.  These are definitely popular with kids, but adults with a sweet-tooth will love them too.  They’re nice and chewy from the oats, and peanut butter-chocolate is always a winning combination.  Feel free to mix in different candies or add nuts to make the perfect creation for the cookie monsters in your life.

Monster Cookies (gluten-free)Monster Cookies (A Seat at the Table)

Makes about 3 dozen large cookies

Adapted from Betty Crocker

  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 cup chunky peanut butter
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 3 eggs
  • 4 1/2 cups quick-cooking rolled oats (make sure they’re gluten-free if that’s a concern)
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 1/2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1 1/2 cups dark chocolate M&Ms
  • 1/2 cup toffee pieces

Preheat oven to 350°F.

In a large bowl, beat sugars, peanut butter and butter until light and fluffy.  Add eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition.  Stir in oats, baking soda and salt.  Then fold in the chocolate chips, M&Ms and toffee pieces.

Scoop dough into large balls on an ungreased cookie sheet leaving lots of space between each cookie.  Bake for 11-14 minutes, or until golden.  Allow to cool briefly before removing from pan.

Tofu Lettuce Wraps with Hoisin-Peanut Sauce

I loved this meal.  It’s super flavorful, comes together quickly and works great as either a main dish or would be a lovely appetizer (just omit the rice).  These were a bit messy and I ended up eating them more as a salad than a wrap, but that made them no less delicious.  This is the first time that I’ve crumbled and sautéed firm tofu, and I won’t lie and say it tastes like chicken, but it is really good.  I liked the texture and it absorbs a lot of flavor.  The hoisin-peanut sauce adds another great layer of flavor and creaminess.  I was a little reluctant to buy hoisin sauce since I hate having tons of open condiments and no idea how to use them up.  However, this recipe and the Grilled Ginger-Sesame Chicken Salad will definitely be made again, so I’m glad I invested in it!

Tofu Lettuce Wraps with Hoisin-Peanut SauceTofu Lettuce Wraps with Hoisin-Peanut Sauce (A Seat at the Table)

Serves 6-10 (10 as an appetizers)

Adapted from Cooking Light


  • 2 tsp canola oil
  • 1 shallot, minced
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 3 Tbsp creamy peanut butter
  • 1 1/2 tbsp hoisin sauce
  • 1/4 tsp crushed red pepper
  • 1 lime, juiced

In a small saucepan, heat oil over medium-high heat.  Add shallot and sauté  for a few minutes, until golden.  Add water, peanut butter, hoisin sauce, and red pepper.  Whisk until smooth, let simmer for about 1 minute.  Remove from heat and whisk in the lime juice.


  • 2 (14oz) pkgs extra-firm tofu, drained and pressed (at least 30 min)Tofu Lettuce Wrap with Hoisin-Peanut Sauce (A Seat at the Table)
  • 2 Tbsp sesame oil
  • 5 scallions, thinly sliced (more for garnish)
  • 1/4 cup cilantro, chopped (more for garnish)
  • 1/2 cup soy sauce
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp fresh minced ginger
  • 1 tsp Sriracha
  • 1/2 cucumber, cut into matchsticks
  • 2 carrots, cut into matchsticks
  • 2 cups hot brown rice
  • Bibb lettuce

In a large skillet, heat sesame oil over medium-high heat.  Add scallions and saute for a minute.  Crumble in the pressed tofu, and saute for an additional few minutes, until tofu starts to brown.  Stir in cilantro, soy sauce, ginger, and sriracha, cook for an additional minute, until liquid has been absorbed.  Remove from heat and stir in the cucumber and carrot matchsticks.

To assemble, place Bibb lettuce leaves on a plate, scoop a little brown rice (about 1/4 cup) onto each leaf, then top with tofu mixture, a little sauce and then garnish with scallions and cilantro.

Salted Nut Chews (a.k.a. Lauren’s Christmas Cookies)

This is another recipe from my grandma.  These were the cookies I always requested for Christmas, they totally taste like the holidays to me.  I haven’t had these cookies in quite a few years, and so it was totally nostalgic having these again.  These are super sweet and decadent and totally addictive.  They’re an awesome balance of salty and sweet, crunchy and chewy.  I’m not usually a big fan of marshmallows, but these just add a sweet contrast to the salty peanuts and help bind everything together.  This was my first time making these cookies, and while they have several steps, they come together rather quickly.  I hope you enjoy them as much as I do!

Salted Nut Chews (a.k.a. Lauren’s Christmas Cookies)Salted Nut Chews (A Seat at the Table)

Serves 12-16


  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 egg yolks


  • 3 cups mini marshmallows (about 1/2 a bag)
  • 2/3 cup white corn syrup
  • 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 12 oz peanut butter chips
  • 2 cups rice crispies
  • 2 cups salted peanuts

Combine all ingredients for the crust and mix with a fork until crumbly.  Press the crust into an ungreased 9×13″ pan (a 10×15″ also works well, you can also line your pan with foil to help with clean-up).  Bake at 350° for 15 minutes.  Immediately top with marshmallows, return pan to oven and allow the marshmallows to puff up, about 3-5 minutes.

Meanwhile, combine the syrup, butter, vanilla, and peanut butter chips in a saucepan until smooth, stirring constantly.  Remove from heat and mix in the rice crispies and peanuts.  Spoon mixture over the hot marshmallows.  It is best to do this as soon as you take the pan out of the oven, while the marshmallows are still very hot.  Allow to cool, then slice and enjoy.


Peanut-Lime Cabbage Slaw

So as the first few days of warmer weather are fighting through the cold weeks, it gets a little easier to think about eating cold salads.  However, if you’re still snow bound, maybe the bright colors and flavors in this cabbage slaw will be able to tempt you into eating like spring has arrived.

I’m a big fan of cabbage slaws.  They’re easy to throw together, they hold up well for several days, and they feel heartier than regular salads.  This slaw is a wonderful combination of three kinds of cabbage, fresh herbs and a creamy tart, nutty dressing.

Peanut-Lime Cabbage SlawPeanut-Lime Cabbage Slaw

Serves 8-10

Adapted from The Yummy Life


  • 1 1/2 Tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 Tbsp sesame oil
  • 1 Tbsp white rice vinegar
  • 2 Tbsp regular creamy peanut butter
  • 2 Tbsp water
  • 1/2 lime, juiced
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • sprinkle cayenne pepper, to taste


  • About 5 cups shredded cabbage, mix of red, green and napa
  • 1 bell pepper, thinly sliced
  • 3 green onions, thins sliced
  • 1/4 cup fresh mint, minced
  • 1/4 -1/2 cup fresh cilantro, minced
  • 1 cup frozen edamame, thawed
  • 1/2 cup toasted peanuts, chopped (optional)

Puree dressing ingredients in a blender, or whisk vigorously until well blended.  In a large bowl, toss together slaw ingredients, then stir in the dressing.  Cover and refrigerate for  one hour or up to 3 days.

Peanut Butter Drizzled Chocolate Chocolate Chunk Cookies

These cookies are as spectacularly decadent as they sound.  A rich chocolatey, chewy cookies, with a touch of peanut butter…it’s a wonderful combination.  Be sure not to over-bake these cookies since they’ll dry out and be slightly less delicious.  The type of chocolate you use will really influence the outcome, so go with your favorite.  I like darker chocolate, so I went with about 60%, but the original recipe calls for milk chocolate, and I’m sure white chocolate would also be delicious if you’re into it.  Basically you can’t go wrong.  I mean it’s chocolate and peanut butter, what’s not to love?

Please excuse the not-so-artistic picture.  I made these for an event that later got canceled, so this is just a picture of my sample where I impatiently just slathered some peanut butter on top.  Delicious, but not exactly the pretty drizzle I’d planned for the public consumption.

UPDATED:  Made these again, look how pretty they can be with a proper drizzle!

Peanut Butter Drizzled Chocolate Chocolate Chunk CookiesPeanut Butter Drizzled Chocolate Chocolate Chunk Cookies

Makes 14 large cookies

Adapted from How Sweet It Is

  • 1 2/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 egg, room temperature
  • 1 egg yolk, room temperature
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 8 oz high-quality chocolate (I used semi-sweet, about 60%, but go with your favorite), chopped in chunks.

Preheat oven to 325°F.

Sift together flour, cocoa, salt, and baking soda, and set aside.  In a large bowl, mix together butter and sugars until combined.  Add the egg and the egg yolk, then stir in the vanilla until mixed.  Gradually add in the dry ingredients until just combined.  Fold in the chocolate chunks.

Scoop large balls of dough onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.  Bake for 14-17 minutes, until set.  While cookies are cooling, make peanut butter drizzle.

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chocolate Chip Cookies

  • 1/4 cup peanut butter
  • 1 Tbsp coconut oil

Heat peanut butter and coconut oil in the microwave until warmed and runny.  Mix well.  When cookies are mostly cool, drizzle peanut butter over the tops.  Enjoy with a cold glass of milk.

Peanut Butter Banana Oatmeal

I woke up Saturday wanting to try something different for breakfast.  I remembered finding this recipe a while ago and just happened to have all the ingredients on hand.   This oatmeal turned out really well.  Next time I would add a little cinnamon, but other than that it was great.  The texture of this oatmeal is really doughy and creamy, and the banana peanut butter combo is always delicious.

Peanut Butter Banana Oatmeal

Serves 3

Adapted from Eat Good 4 Life

  • 1 heaping cup old fashioned oats
  • 1 1/2 cups milk
  • 1/4 cup peanut butter
  • 1 tsp sugar (more or less to taste)
  • 1/4 cup flax seed meal (optional)
  • 2 Tbsp chia seeds (optional)
  • 1 ripe banana, mashed
  • sprinkle of cinnamon

Combine all ingredients except the banana into a saucepan.  Bring mixture to a boil and then reduce to a simmer for 5 minutes.  Add mashed banana and let simmer until milk is absorbed and oats are tender, about 2 more minutes.  Add a sprinkle of cinnamon before serving.

Peanut butter and Chocolate = match made in heaven!

I’m a BIG fan of peanut butter and chocolate.

This recipe is pretty simple and super delicious.  The mix of salty-sweet is perfection.

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

Makes 29 cookies:  About 135 calories per cookie

Adapted from The Pastry Affair

  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened
  • 1/4 scant cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup loosely packed brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup chunky peanut butter
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1  1/2 cups semisweet mini chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 375°F.

In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar together until light and fluffy.  Add the egg, vanilla, and peanut butter.  Beat until smooth.  Mix in the flour, baking powder, and salt.  Stir in the chocolate chips.  Using a cookie-scoop,  drop the cookies onto a greased (or parchment paper covered) cookie sheet.  Bake for 10-12 minutes until lightly browned.

So delicious.  Try not to devour the whole pan yourself…it’d be so easy…