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Patriotic Monster Cookies on a round white plate

Patriotic Monster Cookies

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With Independence Day approaching, it was time to bake up some festive, patriotic recipes to grace our picnic table. These irresistible Patriotic Monster Cookies are chewy peanut butter oatmeal cookies chock full of red, white and blue M&M’s and chocolate chips.

Patriotic Monster Cookies in a white ceramic bowl

Patriotic Monster Cookies

Hot dogs and apple pie are classic Americana as far as foods go. Plus anything red, white and blue. I’ve made those desserts topped with blueberries and raspberries to look like an American flag,  s’mores desserts and grilled a slew of burgers and dogs. When the Sunday Supper crew decided to make patriotic foods for this coming Memorial Day, I remembered these festive, patriotic monster cookies dotted with red, white and blue.

My mom introduced my sisters and me to classic monster cookies in the ’70s. Her recipe was huge, calling for 2 pounds of peanut butter and nuts in addition to the chocolate.

Extras were stored in our deep freeze and we were known to munch on them frozen. They were dubbed “monster” cookies due to their massive size–which our teenage metabolism could handle quite well.

This is a scaled-down version–and one where you don’t have to calculate how many cups are in a pound of peanut butter! These cookies are super chewy and outrageously delicious. After you try this recipe and fall in love with these cookies, I recommend baking up a batch of Monster Cookie Dough Cupcakes!

Why Are These Called Monster Cookies?

Once source guesses that these are called monster cookies because they’re like Frankenstein’s monster, a mishmash of cookie recipe components. But they were actually developed in 1971, by a Michigan State University photographer, Dick Wesley, when he was trying to bake peanut butter cookies but was out of flour.

Instead, he ground oats as a replacement and made a monster-sized recipe with 2 cups of margarine, 3 pounds of peanut butter, 12 eggs, walnuts and more. Much like the recipe my mom used in the 1970s!

Peanut Butter Oatmeal Cookies with M&Ms in a small white bowl surrounded by patriotic colored M&Ms

How Do You Make Monster Cookies?

Monster cookies follow the typical procedure for mixing cookie dough. Blend softened butter and sugars, mix in eggs, mix in dry ingredients, then mix in add-ins, like chocolate chips and candies. Here are a few more tips for making monster cookies:

  • Use a cookie disher to scoop out consistent size dough balls.
  • Roll between the palms of your hands to make dough balls more symmetrical (chilling the dough first makes this easier)
  • PRO-Tip: If your cookies come out of the oven misshapen, hold onto the cookie sheet using an oven mitt and with the other hand, carefully use a spatula to reshape the hot cookies into rounds.
  • PRO-Tip: M&M’s tend to crack in the oven, so reserve what’s left in your bag to press into the hot, fresh out of the oven cookies for a more professional look.
  • Use other color combinations depending on the time of year to make festive monster cookies—red and green at Christmas, black and orange for Halloween, pastel M&Ms for Easter.

What are in Monster Cookies?

Monster cookies are basically flourless peanut butter oatmeal cookies. But they also have chocolate chips and M&Ms added to the mix.

Patriotic Monster Cookies on a small round white plate

Our Newest Family Member!


Here’s our newest addition to our family, Miss Isabelle, or Izzy. She’s now 8 weeks old, darling as can be, but full of mischief.

She was pulling out bookmarks from my cookbooks as well as chewing on them, so I removed all temptation from the bottom of the above bookshelf. She decided it was the perfect spot to perch. I’m sure Izzy will be making a few more appearances on the blog.

More Patriotic Holiday Recipes You’ll Love

Do you have a favorite dish to make on Memorial Day, Independence Day, and/or Labor Day? I’d love to hear about your traditions in the comments.

This recipe was first shared in May 2015. Photos and text were updated in 2020.

Patriotic Monster Cookies on a round white plate

The Recipe: Patriotic Monster Cookies

Flourless peanut butter oatmeal cookies full of chocolate chips and M&M's

Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Yield 3 dozen


  • 1 cup dark brown sugar
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup butter, at room temperature
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups creamy peanut butter
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 teaspoon light corn syrup
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 4 1/2 cups regular oats
  • 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1 cup red, white, and blue M&M's, plus more to garnish


  1. Preheat oven to 350º. Line baking sheets with parchment and set aside.
  2. Beat brown sugar, sugar and butter at low speed with an electric mixer until creamy. Add eggs, peanut butter, vanilla, corn syrup, baking soda and salt beating until combined. Stir in oats, chocolate chips and M&M's.
  3. Scoop out rounded tablespoonfuls (or use medium sized cookie disher) onto prepared baking sheets.
  4. Bake for 15 minutes. Remove to wire racks to cool.

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Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:

1 cookie

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 224Total Fat: 12gSaturated Fat: 5gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 6gCholesterol: 23mgSodium: 183mgCarbohydrates: 27gFiber: 2gSugar: 18gProtein: 5g


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39 comments on “Patriotic Monster Cookies”

  1. What a great idea for a cookie to bring to a potluck. I love seeing all the pictures of Izzy. She is so adorable.

  2. These look so festive and fun. Thanks for the tip re the m & m pieces cracking in the oven, I didn’t know that. What is it with puppies and their love of pulling out bookmarks?? So cute and endearing when they do that, they feel so accomplished at having scored that bookmark! xo for Izzy.

  3. Great idea to combine peanut butter with the oatmeal. I might be tempted to go back to Mom’s way of doing them…as monster cookies but that’s because I know how much I am going to LOVE making these.

    Izzy is adorable and I have a feeling you may have to remove a couple shelves on that case as your baby girl gets bigger!

  4. Apart from being adorable these cookies sounds like a great sweet snacks!

  5. So glad to have a “smaller” version of this delicious cookie (my recipe is the big one). Izzy is so darling – can’t wait to see more pictures of her. Happy Memorial Day weekend to you and yours!

  6. I like these cookies and really great tips!

  7. Izzy is adorable! I see no mischief in those eyes at all:@) Happy Memorial Day Liz-enjoy!

  8. Ohh Izzy is sooo cute just adorable.
    I want see more pictures of her:)))

  9. Lizzy these cookies are really lovely !:)

  10. How creative and delicious! Your new family member looks so so adorable!

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