Target isn't generally thought of as a place to buy food. But in fact, most Target stores have huge grocery sections stocked with just about everything you would find in a conventional supermarket (except produce). They even have their own line of baking mixes called Archer Farms. With Halloween upon us, it's a great time to try out their Monster Cookie Mix, loaded with oatmeal, peanuts, raisins, and chocolate candies.
I'm a huge fan of kitchen sink cookies. Not only are they a great way to use up odds and ends from your pantry, but also because the unexpected flavor combinations (almost) never fail to be delicious. There are no firm rules when it comes to kitchen sink cookies. But I think the best ones always include three key ingredients: chocolate, dried fruit, and nuts.
The monster cookies were dead simple to prepare. All I had to do was combine the mix with 6 tablespoons of melted butter and one egg. I would definitely give this mix points for being kid-friendly—provided they can restrain themselves from picking the mini M&Ms out of the bowl. It only took a few minutes (great for short attention spans), and the dough was really easy to work with (not too crumbly or sticky).
The cookies emerged from the oven thick and cakey as opposed to thin and crispy. They didn't spread much—each cookie was only about two inches in diameter. But while they weren't exactly monsters size-wise, these cookies packed a big punch. What I liked best was the rich, pure flavor of the cookie base, which tasted first and foremost of peanut butter and oats gently kissed with salt. I also appreciated the generous amount of plump, juicy raisins. Each bite contained a little bit of something different. My only criticism is that the mix could have used a few more delicious mini M&Ms. Some of the cookies were missing them entirely. Overall this is a simple, inexpensive mix that yields chunky, flavorful cookies—definitely worth picking up on your next Target trip.
Lucy Baker is a food writer and the author of The Boozy Baker: 75 Recipes for Spirited Sweets. She is currently at work on a second book about homemade food gifts. She lives in Brooklyn with her husband and dachshund.