Soft and Chewy M&Ms Cookies
I haven’t made M&Ms cookies in years.
But seeing the pretty Easter and springtime pastel candy in the stores changed all that.
Something about springtime candy that’s just so inviting. Pastels are just so much prettier, and therefore tastier, than red-and-green or black-and-orange candy. I was quite miffed when I opened my bag of M&Ms to find like 8 pinks. How dare they.
What better way to put my girlie candy to use than my making homemade M&M cookies. Storebought M&M cookies are usually hard, dry, cakey, or crumbly. Such a shame that perfectly good M&Ms were wasted.
I tweaked my favorite all-purpose Chocolate Chip and Chunk Cookies recipe. Most notably, I switched from a combination of both bread and all-purpose flour, to solely using all-purpose. Bread flour makes things extra chewy, gives a heartier rather than softer structure to cookies, and if you’re not careful, it can dry things out.
For these, I wanted a slightly softer dough base, with no possible issues of dryness, and all-purpose flour was perfect. The interior stayed buttery soft and the edges have just the right amount of chewiness.
I also shortcut some of the stopping and starting that’s found in the beginning of the original recipe. There was a lot of beating, stopping, adding one item, more beating, bowl-scraping, repeating.
Now, this is some of the easiest, fastest, and least fussy cookie dough you’ll ever make. Combine 1 stick of butter, 1 egg, sugars, vanilla, and beat until very light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Add the all-purpose flour, cornstarch, baking soda, and mix. Fold in the M&Ms and you’re done. So easy.
Cornstarch is the secret ingredient that helps these cookies bake up super soft. Cornstarch is why Pudding Cookies and Cake Mix Cookies bake up so soft, and it’s trick I learned with the Chocolate Chip and Chunk Cookies.
I also used it in the crust of The Best Lemon Bars so that the crust isn’t your typical dog-biscuit, hard, dry crumbly shortbread. It’s firm, yet lighter, softer and more tender.
It worked like a champ here, keeping the cookies soft and tender, without being cakey.
I wasn’t skimpy with the M&Ms, to the point that when you’re forming the dough mounds before baking, it may seem like you have as many M&Ms as dough in your mixing bowl. Just stuff them back into the dough if they’re trying to fall out, and later you’ll savor each and every crunchy candy-coated bite.
After the dough comes together, form two tablespoon-sized mounds. I made these cookies fractionally smaller than in the original recipe by about a half-ounce. Doesn’t sound like much, but I didn’t want those pretty M&Ms in the oven any longer than absolutely necessary for fear they would bleed, run, or crack. I think my fears were mostly unfounded, but used my trusty medium 2-inch cookie scoop to form modest balls of dough, baked for just over 8 minutes, and they emerged perfect and unscathed.
Place all the mounds on a large plate, cover it with plasticwrap, and refrigerate for at least 2 hours, up to 5 days, before baking. If you bake with warm dough, your cookies will spread more and won’t stay as thick and puffy, which is why I always bake with chilled dough.
It’s a blessing and a curse to have plates of cookie dough in the fridge. It makes it very easy to bake up a few fresh, warm cookies for dessert. Or with morning coffee. Or as an afternoon snack. Or as a midnight snack.
Let’s not even talk about the frozen golf balls in Tupperwares in the freezer. Sometimes I’m not quite sure what I’m grabbing, but after 10 minutes at 350F I find out that oh yes, these are the Cranberry and White Chocolate Chip Cookies not the Maraschino Cherry White Chocolate Cookies. Sometimes surprises are good.
Bake the cookies at 350F for 8 to 10 minutes, no more. The cookies shown in the photos were baked with dough that had been chilled for two days, allowed to come to room temp for 15 minutes, and then baked for 8 1/2 minutes, with trays rotated at the 4-minute mark. The cookie tops should be set, but barely, and will be pale, glossy and appear underdone, but they firm up as they cool.
Baking any longer than 10 minutes and you run the risk of the bottoms browning too much, the M&Ms cracking, or ending up with hard, dry, rock-like hockey pucks after cooling. Everyone’s ingredients, oven, climate, and personal preferences are different, but they taste best when they’re not over-baked and are softer.
They turned out so soft, moist, and tender in the interior with perfectly chewy edges. The dough is buttery, with hints of vanilla.
There’s an abundance of M&Ms in every bite and I love biting into their shells. The dichotomy of smooth, supple dough, generously flanked with candy, and hearing those little shells crack and crunch as I bite down, and feeling the crunchy coating bits between my teeth, like sweet little eggshells, it’s just something I love.
They’re the best M&Ms cookies I’ve ever had.
And not just because there’s pink M&M’s baked in, but that doesn’t hurt.
Soft and Chewy M&M Cookies
These are the best M&M Cookies I've ever had. They're soft, moist, and tender in the interior with perfectly chewy edges. The dough is buttery, with hints of vanilla. There's an abundance of M&Ms in every bite. I tweaked my favorite Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe and added M&Ms.Cornstarch is the secret ingredient that keeps them extra soft.The dough can be made in advance, refrigerated, and baked off as desired, up to 5 days later. A great option to have for fresh, warm cookies without having to mix up dough.
Yield: About 22 medium-sized cookies
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 8 minutes
Total Time: 18 minutes
- 3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
- 3/4 cup light brown sugar, packed
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1 large egg
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons cornstarch
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- pinch salt, optional and to taste
- 1 1/2 cups milk chocolate M&Ms (or another variety of M&Ms, or chocolate chips may be substituted)
- To the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the butter, sugars, egg, vanilla, and beat on medium-high speed until well-creamed, light and fluffy, about 5 minutes (or use a hand mixer and beat for at least 7 minutes). Stop, scrape down the sides of the bowl, and add the flour, cornstarch, baking soda, optional salt, and mix until just combined, about 1 minute. Add the M&Ms and fold in by hand.
- Preheat oven to 350F, line a baking sheet with a Silpat Non-Stick Baking Mat, parchment, or spray with cooking spray. and place them on the baking sheet, spaced at least 2 inches apart; I bake 8 cookies per sheet. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes, until edges have set and tops are just beginning to set, even if slightly undercooked, pale and glossy in the center. Do not bake longer than ten minutes as cookies will firm up as they cool (The cookies shown in the photos were baked with dough that had been chilled for two days, allowed to come to room temp for 15 minutes, and were baked for 8 1/2 minutes, with trays rotated at the 4-minute mark. They have chewy edges with soft pillowy centers). Allow cookies to cool on the baking sheet for 5 minutes before removing and transferring to a rack to finish cooling.
- Store cookies in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 1 week, or in the freezer for up to 3 months. Alternatively, unbaked cookie dough can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days, so consider baking only as many cookies as desired and save the remaining dough to be baked in the future when desired.
Adapted from Chocolate Chip and Chunk Cookies
Chocolate Chip and Chunk Cookies – My favorite recipe for pure, unadulterated, perfect chocolate chip cookies. They’re soft, chewy, tender, moist, stay soft for days, are a snap to make, and have two kinds of chocolate in every bite. If you need a solid, fuss-free, and straightforward recipe for chocolate chip cookies that yields fabulous results on every level, try this one. It’s my gold standard
Deep Dish Chocolate Chip Cookies with Peanut Butter Cups and Peanut Butter M&M’s – Made in a whoopie pie pan, so the cookies turn out like little deep dish pizzas. Thick, soft, chewy, and stuffed to the max with candy. A fun way to use up extra Easter or holiday candy
New York Times Chocolate Chip Cookies (from Jacques Torres) – I stuffed more chocolate than I thought was possible into these cookies. Fresh from the oven, they’re wonderful, and although I don’t consider them my ‘perfect’ cookie many people adore these jumbo bakery-style cookies and the dough would be great for stuffing M&Ms or candy into
Snickers Bar Stuffed Chocolate Chip Cookies – One of the favorite candy bars stuffed into an easy, basic, chocolate chip cookie recipe
Caramel Corn Chocolate Chip Cookies – There’s more add-ins than dough in these extremely well-stuffed cookies. If you like eating caramel corn by the handful, baking it into cookies is even better
Chocolate Chip Peanut Butter Oatmeal Cookies – Chocolate Chip Cookies that have a bit of peanut butter and oatmeal added. Soft, moist, with plenty of chewy texture. The recipes uses melted butter so no mixer is required, and they stay soft for a week. If you like a variety of textures and flavors in your cookies, these are perfect
Browned Butter Chocolate Chip Cookie Cups – If you’ve ever had a problem with cookies spreading while baking, it’s impossible with these because they’re baked in a muffin pan. Between the nuttiness and richness from the browned butter, and brown sugar used in the dough, there’s great flavor depth. Dense and rich, with the perfect balance of chewy edges, squishy in the middle, and loaded with chocolate
“Egg”-in-a-Nest Stuffed Peanut Butter Cookie Dough Bites (No-Bake, Vegan, Gluten-Free) – Chocolate-covered almonds stuffed into no-bake peanut butter cookie dough are fast, easy, and fun. Also an easy one to make with the kids
Do you like M&M Cookies? Candy in cookies?
Tell me about your favorite recipes and favorite candy to bake with.