Soft Chocolate Chip M&M’s Cookies — The softest, thickest, best M&M’s cookies ever! People love these big cookies loaded with M&M’s and chocolate!
Easy Valentine’s Day Cookies
This is some of the best cookie dough I’ve ever made. The cookies are great, but the dough base itself, wow. Allow me to explain.
If you don’t care about cookie science, scroll down to the recipe. But if you do, pour a cup of coffee and enjoy.
For nearly the past two years, when I make chocolate chip cookies, I use this recipe. I use it for Twix Bar Cookies, Snickers Cookies, Smores Cookies, and so many others when I want a hearty, but buttery dough base. Any cookie I’m going to be stuffing with add-ins or candy, and that’s not going to be a peanut butter cookie, I use that base.
It helps create softbatch-style cookies that are so soft, moist, and supple, without turning cakey.
However, for these chewy M&M’s cookies, rather than using cornstarch, I used 1/4 cup instant vanilla pudding mix. Pudding mix is mostly modified food starch (aka cornstarch) and some sugary flavorings. So it turns out pudding cookies and cornstarch cookies really aren’t that far apart.
If I was forced to pick between the new dough base and the old, I choose the new, and so did my family. They went nuts for these cookies and they’re not even ‘cookie people’. I have no idea how that happened. But they devoured these.
The only other significant recipe change is that the cookies are slightly larger. A typical batch size for me is about 22 cookies, about 2 1/2 tablespoons per dough for each. However, here I made just 15 cookies, at nearly 4 tablespoons (1/4 cup) each. That sounds big, but the cookies are still so much smaller than cookies I see for sale at bakeries and coffee shops, and 8 comfortably fit on a baking tray.
And as a selfish bonus, only having to roll, shape, and insert M&M’s into the top of 15 cookies is nice.
I didn’t use many chocolate chips, only 3/4 cup for the whole batch, but it’s just enough to boost up the chocolate profile. Since the M&M’s are milk chocolate, a little semi-sweet is nice.
I added 3/4 cup M&M’s into the dough, formed the mounds, and then inserted another tablespoon of M&M’s onto the tops for a nice visual pop. I want to really knowing I’m eating M&M’s cookies.
They’re thick enough to sink your teeth into and they’re so very soft and moist. There’s a hint of chewiness at the base and edges, and it’s just enough to balance the softness and give me the mouthfeel I’m looking for in a perfectly baked chocolate chip cookie.
The texture is dense yet light, and they remind me a bit of the texture in the Softbatch Cream Cheese Chocolate Chip Cookies, minus the cream cheese.
The crunchy candy coating shells of the M&M’s also breaks up the soft, buttery dough and is a perfect texture contrast to the smooth, melted semi-sweet chocolate chips.
These Valentine’s Day cookies get my vote as my new chocolate chip cookie dough base to beat, and that’s a big statement.
Happy Valentine’s Day!
What’s in Chocolate Chip M&M’s Cookies?
To make these easy M&M’s cookies, you’ll need:
- Unsalted butter
- Light brown sugar
- Granulated sugar
- Vanilla extract
- All-purpose flour
- Instant vanilla pudding mix
- Baking soda
- Semi-sweet chocolate chips
How to Make Chocolate Chip M&M’s Cookies
The dough for these easy Valentine cookies comes together quickly. Simply cream together the butter, sugars, eggs, and vanilla. Then, stir in the dry ingredients. Fold in the M&M’s and chocolate chips last.
Shape the cookie dough into balls using a 1/4 cup scoop, then press more M&M’s into the top. Chill for at least 2 hours before baking.
Once the dough has had time to chill, bake until the edges have set and the tops are just set, even if slightly undercooked, pale, and glossy in the center.
Can I Substitute the Instant Pudding Mix?
The pudding cookie craze is nothing new, but not everyone likes or has access to pudding mix. If that’s you, rather than using pudding mix, use 2 teaspoons cornstarch, which means you’re back at my gold standard dough base (which is still great!).
Do I Have to Chill the Dough?
Yes! As with all my cookies, I chilled the dough before baking. It’s absolutely crucial for thick, puffy, full cookies. If you bake with warm, limp dough, your cookies will spread and bake thinner and flatter. Why bother? Plan ahead and chill your dough.
Tips for Making These Easy Valentine Cookies
Note that this recipe calls for instant vanilla pudding mix, NOT cook and serve. You also can’t use sugar-free pudding mix.
Once the chocolate chips and M&M’s are added to the dough, mix until just combined an no further. You don’t want to activate the gluten in the flour (which makes for tough, chewy cookies) nor do you want to crush the M&M’s.
I made this chocolate chip M&M’s cookie recipe for Valentine’s Day, but you can make them for another holiday by using different colored M&M’s!
Pin This Recipe
- 3/4 cup unsalted butter, softened (1 1/2 sticks)
- 3/4 cup light brown sugar, packed
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1 large egg
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/4 cup instant vanilla pudding mix*
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- pinch salt, optional and to taste
- 3/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
- 3/4 cup milk chocolate M&M’s mixed into the dough + about 1/2 cup for placing on top of dough mounds
- To the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment (or large mixing bowl and electric mixer) combine the butter, sugars, egg, vanilla, and beat on medium-high speed until creamed and well combined, about 4 minutes.
- Stop, scrape down the sides of the bowl, and add the flour, pudding mix (or cornstarch), baking soda, optional salt, and beat on low speed until just combined, about 1 minute.
- Stop, scrape down the sides of the bowl, and add the chocolate chips, 3/4 cup M&M's, and beat on low speed until just combined, about 30 seconds.
- Using a large cookie scoop, 1/4-cup measure, or your hands, form 15 equal-sized mounds of dough, roll into balls, and flatten slightly.
- Add about 1 tablespoon M&M's to the top of each dough mound.
- Preheat oven to 350F, line a baking sheet with a Silpat or spray with cooking spray. Place dough mounds on baking sheet, spaced at least 2 inches apart (I bake 8 cookies per sheet).
- Bake for 11 minutes, or until edges have set and tops are just set, even if slightly undercooked, pale, and glossy in the center. Cookies firm up as they cool.
- Allow cookies to cool on baking sheet for about 10 minutes before serving. I let them cool on the baking sheet and don’t use a rack.
*Pudding mix: Do NOT use sugar-free or ‘cook & serve’ pudding mix. If you don't have instant vanilla pudding mix, use 2 teaspoons cornstarch instead.
Storage: Cookies will keep airtight at room temperature for up to 1 week or in the freezer for up to 6 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.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 477Total Fat: 24gSaturated Fat: 13gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 9gCholesterol: 39mgSodium: 363mgCarbohydrates: 62gFiber: 2gSugar: 30gProtein: 5g
More Valentine Cookie Ideas:
Frosted Heart Cookies— These heart cookies are soft, chewy, dense, made in one bowl, and you don’t have to roll them out. The easiest Valentine’s Day sugar cookies ever!
Valentine’s Frosted Sugar Cookie Bars – Sugar cookie bars are so much FASTER AND EASIER than making sugar cookies!! The sprinkles and tangy cream cheese frosting help to make the bars a PERFECT Valentine’s Day treat!
Strawberry Cookie Bars — The bars are incredibly easy to make because I used strawberry cake mix and it gives the bars exactly the consistency I want.
Loaded Soft and Chewy M&M’s Cookie Pie — If you like M&M’s cookies, you’ll love this biggie version! Super easy & always a big hit!
Chocolate Chip Red Velvet Cookies — These chocolate chip red velvet cookies have a secret ingredient — cake mix! These cookies are super ooey gooey and ultra rich!
Glazed Cherry Bonbon Cookies — Soft, buttery, pink cookies with the surprise of a juicy, sweet maraschino cherry in the middle that also helps keep the cookies moist.