Thursday, December 12, 2013

Archive Recipe of the Week: M&M Cookies

This time of year is busy. In addition to working our normal jobs and taking care of our normal (or perhaps not-so-normal) families, there’s so much else to do: snow removal, shopping for and wrapping gifts, mailing cards, keeping secrets until Christmas, trying not to catch a cold or the flu…I rarely get a chance to try all the cookie recipes I hope to, but I usually can make the time to exercise my license to cookie with these M&M cookies.

This cookie recipe and method is really a holiday no-brainer as far as I’m concerned. Just about everybody who eats cookies likes chocolate chip cookies and the addition of seasonally colored M&Ms pressed into the dough before baking easily turns simple (but pretty darn good) chocolate chip cookies into a Christmas cookie. Cookies that are easy to make and are crowd-pleasers? Ho ho ho indeed!

I like to use milk chocolate chips here along with original milk chocolate M&M’s, because I think these cookies taste extra-good when the chocolates match. You could also use semi-sweet chocolate chips and dark chocolate M&M’s if you prefer.

This is another Archive Recipe that I had really hoped to re-photograph for this post, but I just didn’t have time to make a batch before getting this post together and I really think this recipe is too important to delay. I love these cookies and so does everyone I share them with. Happy holiday baking!!


Milk Chocolate Chip and M&M Cookies
Adapted from various chocolate chip drop cookie recipes.

This dough can be baked immediately after mixing, but I find that a nicer cookie results if the dough is chilled at least a few hours, preferably overnight.

1 ½ sticks (3/4 cup) butter, at room temperature
½ cup granulated sugar
1 cup dark brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 ½ cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
1 (11.5-12 ounce) package milk chocolate chips
1 (11.6 ounce) package M&M candies (plus more if needed), preferably in seasonal colors

1. Place the butter, granulated sugar and dark brown sugar in a large bowl or in the bowl of a heavy-duty electric stand mixer.  Beat on medium speed until pale in color and very creamy.  Add eggs one at a time and beat well after each is added.  Beat in the vanilla extract.

2.  In a medium bowl, combine the flour, baking soda and salt.  Stir or whisk together to combine well.  Add to the butter mixture a little at a time and mix on low speed until well combined.

3.  Add the chocolate chips and either stir them in with a spoon or mix them in slowly with the electric mixer until well distributed through the dough.

4.  Cover the dough and chill for at least 2 hours, or wrap very well and freeze for up to a month (I have frozen it longer.)

5.  When ready to bake, preheat the oven to 375 F.  Lightly spray cookie sheets with cooking spray or line them with parchment paper.  Place the M&Ms in a small bowl.

6.  Scoop or pull pieces of cookie dough about 1-1 ½ tablespoons in size and shape into rough balls.  Press the dough balls into the M&Ms.  Gently press the M&Ms into the dough and set the dough balls on the prepared cookie sheet(s), candy side up and at least 2 inches apart. 

7. Bake at 375 F. Partway through baking, the cookies will have a chance to spread leaving space for additional M&Ms. Open the oven and gently press additional M&Ms in the top of the cookies. Continue baking for a total of about 10-11 minutes, or until the cookies are browned on the edges and no longer pale on the top.

8.  Remove from the oven and cool on the pan on a wire rack for about 2 minutes.  Remove the cookies from the pan and cool completely (actually, they’re perfect a little warm) on a wire rack.  Store in an air-tight container at room temperature for a few days or wrap well and freeze. 

Makes 50-60 cookies.


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