My Personal Academy

I woke up this morning discontent. Before my eyes fluttered open or my feet hit the floor, my mind flooded with a disquietness and restlessness. Why am I HERE? Why do I have to live HERE?

Does that ever happen to you? When you want to be anywhere but where you are? Sometimes I get that feeling when I have a day filled with tasks I don’t want to complete. Sometimes I get that feeling when I wake up and that particular day won’t be any different than the one before (wake up, run, eat, repeat). Sometimes I get that feeling when it feels like everything & everyone around me is moving forward except for me.

Yet I am the President of my very own Personal Academy of Domestic Desire (and a few other desires as well). If I want something to change, I am the only one who can actually go about doing anything about it. I think Meghan Daum sums it up pretty good in her book Life Would Be Perfect If I Lived In That House: Where should I live? Why can’t I afford to live where I want to lie? How come WHERE I want to live is so tied up in WHY I live? Maybe learning how to be in the big world isn’t the epic journey everyone thinks it is. Maybe that’s actually the easy part. The hard part is learning how to hold the title to your very own existence, to own not only property but also your life.”


My Personal Academy needs to teach a course on learning to just be….on how to master the impossible art of feeling at home. Not just in the physical sense of your where you live but also feeling at home with your life. However, since My Personal Academy seems to be on an early and extended Christmas break I will resort to baking cookies of which the aromas will waft through my home, remind me of my childhood home, and make me feel comfy and at home as I snuggle under a warm blanket with a glass of milk and said cookies (Oh who am I kidding. Don’t let the picture fool you, in reality it’s more like a glass of bourbon. Which, yes, goes surprisingly well with cookies.).

Smartie Monster Cookies

Source: family recipe

  • 3 eggs at room temperature
  • 1 C sugar
  • 1 C brown sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 Tbsp light corn syrup
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 C butter at room temperature
  • 1 -1/2 C peanut butter
  • 1 C dark chocolate chips
  • 1 C smarties
  • 4 1/2 C oatmeal
  • 1/2 C flour
  • My original recipe’s directions are this: bake till done. However I will try to be a little more helpful.
  • Beat butter and sugars. Beat in eggs one at a time until well combined. Beat in vanilla, corn syrup and peanut butter.
  • Sift together dry ingredients: baking soda, salt, oatmeal and flour. Add to peanut butter mixture and mix well. Add in chocolate chips and smarties.
  • Chill dough at least 4 hours.
  • Bake at 350 degrees for 12ish minutes. It’s important not to overbake these cookies or they will dry out. And you will be sesriously disappointed.


  • I grew up with these cookies… they are in a lot of my memories. I’ve always had them with smarties (and apparently not just because I’m a smartie pants) but feel free to use M&M’s or whatever you like.
  • These cookies work well to roll into balls and freeze until you’re ready to bake & eat them. They also freeze well once baked, but who doesn’t love a fresh, warm cookie?
  • Don’t be alarmed if the smarties and chocolate chips don’t stick in the dough. Just press them in as you go along.
  • This is only a half recipe. Feel free to double it if you’re feeding a crowd. As is, it makes about 36 large cookies. Don’t try and make little cookies. They will just dry out. They are called MONSTER cookies in reference to their size.
  • I’m pretty sure these cookies won’t be featured on the course syllabus at My Personal Academy but if you leave a comment (DF) you might be lucky enough to get them fresh out of the oven next time you’re at my house.


14 thoughts on “My Personal Academy

  1. Yummy! Just made these a little while ago. Always a favourite at our house. My recipe calls for a little icing sugar to make them a little chewier, but I bet that’s what your corn syrup does.

  2. ha ha ha ha ha! oh…. i know she’s just WAITING for you to drop some off. 😉 oh D?!?!?!

    and yes, i do know you better. you’d never drink a glass of milk. incidentally, red wine goes well with monster cookies too. 🙂

  3. Is anything better then that Monster cookie recipe? Just remembering when I made them at your mom’s house on 9/11. Some how there were way too many smarties in the end and you came over and we were trying to squish them into the cookies. I think we decided to chuck the extras . . . how wasteful, why didn’t we just eat them?

      • okay, so I missed out on the free cookies because of my Monday, Tuesday work schedule…but I did manage to sneak 2 Monster cookies at our VB Christmas party and yes, loved them, loved them, loved them…and it is probably good I didn’t comment sooner because I really don’t need to eat a dozen cookies by myself….

        p.s. thanks for name dropping in your blog… 🙂 (DF)

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