Let’s get real for a second, okay?
I am currently 8 days out from my CNSC exam and I am FREAKING. OUT.
You know when you are studying so hard, doing well, and then you hit a wall. Like everything is going so smoothly and then BOOM. Done. Mushy brain + no focus + falling asleep on every page. Motivation is out the window and then the panic sets in. Because I should be studying right now and not talking to you all about not studying.
It is a crazy, self-destructive loop of bad thoughts, guilt, sleepless nights, falling asleep on the train, more panic, and even more stress.
So I decided to take a step back, give myself a reality check (it’s just a test… an EXTRA test that is not essential at this time), and bake some cookies.
These awesome Loaded Monster Cookies.
Because nothing says “brain break” like beating butter and sugar until no tomorrow, adding in way too many chocolate chips, and digging into a stack of warm-from-the-oven cookie goodness.
And since these are Monster Cookies, they are loaded with yummy salty and sweet things.
Oh, and they have a secret ingredient that helps cut back on the sugar content.
STUDY. BREAK. WIN.
These cookies start with the wet ingredient base.
In a large bowl, cream softened unsalted butter, granulated sugar, brown sugar, and unsweetened applesauce together. Yes, unsweetened applesauce. I have it hanging out in the fridge to make Vegan Apple Cake or to stir into oatmeal, but I wondered if I could add it to cookie dough to cut down on the sugar. It ended up working beautifully! The cookies are still soft and sweet but contain a third less sugar (yay!).
Add in some vanilla extract and half an egg… (the half from these Confetti Chocolate Chip Cookies!)
Cream the wet ingredients together. Then slowly add in the dry ingredients and continue mixing until just combined.
Now comes the fun stuff!
I added dark chocolate chips (my chip of choice), mini M&Ms, and pretzel pieces. Earthy, sweet, and salty – all my favorite things.
Now stick the bowl into the fridge for thirty minutes to allow the cookie dough to chill.
When the dough is chilled, you can portion out tablespoon-sized dough balls/top them with a pretzel/pop them on a baking sheet/bake in a preheated 350 degree oven OR you can portion out tablespoon-sized dough balls/pop them on a wax paper-lined baking sheets/pop them in the freezer/put then frozen dough balls into a baggie for later. (I did both!!!)
If you are baking the cookies, bake them for 8-10 minutes until golden and delicious.
A monster-y good way to take a much needed brain break.
So, how do you relax in between intensive studying? Tips/suggestions are so welcome!
- 4 tablespoons butter
- 2½ tablespoons sugar
- 2½ tablespoons brown sugar
- 2½ tablespoons applesauce
- ½ egg
- ½ teaspoon vanilla
- ¾ cup flour
- ¼ teaspoon baking soda
- ⅛ teaspoon baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ¼ cup + 1 tablespoons dark chocolate chips
- 2 tablespoons M&Ms
- 8 pretzel twists, broken into pieces
- 10-12 pretzel twists for garnish
- In a small bowl, combine flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Whisk to combine and set aside.
- In a large bowl, combine butter, sugar, brown sugar, and applesauce. Using a hand mixer, beat the wet ingredients together until smooth. Add in the egg and vanilla.
- Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix until just barely combined.
- Add in the chocolate chips, M&Ms, and pretzel pieces - stir to combine. Pop the bowl into the fridge to chill for 30 minutes.
- Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Portion out tablespoons of dough, roll into a ball, and top with one mini pretzel and extra chocolate chips. Bake the cookies for 8-10 minutes until golden on the bottom... they will be a bit oozy in the middle!! Transfer cookies to a cooling rack to cool slightly before digging in! Enjoy!