Bake

M&M Cookies

by:
June 16, 2020
Photo by Allison Buford
Author Notes

This rainbow recipe is for fans of brown-buttered, toffee-like, chewy (but crisp!) cookies. These M&M cookies are heavily vanilla-scented, and topped with big flakes of salt, in echoing that candy coating crunch.

These aren’t the cookies you make when you want something especially fudgy to cap off an extravagant meal. These are the cookies for all those in-between times: a torn off quarter with lunch, a mini tucked into a pocket for a hike.

As for whether to scoop jumbos (about 1/4 cup dough each) or minis (about 1 tablespoon of dough each), that is entirely up to you and your mood. Minis are capital-F fun and very poppable; but nothing’s sweeter than sharing a ginormous rainbow cookie with someone you love. Regardless, respect the (relatively brief!) freezer stint and you will be rewarded with good-looking cookies; the deep chill helps them keep their tight shape, making them taller and prettily crackled.

As it’s just the two of us, every few weeks I’ll make a batch of these cookies, scoop the dough into balls, freeze and bag them, and bake off just two. When the cravings hit in the following days (i.e. mid-movie), I’ll stick two frozen rounds on a quarter sheet, and bake them right from frozen, adding another minute or two to the cook time.

Lastly: For those out there who are not vegan but still avoiding lactose, I’ve had great success subbing in toasty ghee for the butter, and Choco No-No’s—mind-bogglingly, one of the few only non-dairy versions out there—for the M&M’s. —Coral Lee

Watch This Recipe
M&M Cookies
  • Prep time 33 minutes
  • Cook time 16 minutes
  • Makes 15 jumbo or 60 mini cookies
Ingredients
  • 2 3/4 cups (350 grams) all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 3/4 sticks (200 grams) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 3/4 cup (160 grams) light brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup (160 grams) granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 1/4 cups (225 grams) M&Ms, or other candy-coated chocolate pieces
  • Flaky salt, for finishing
In This Recipe
Directions
  1. Stir the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt together in a medium bowl with a fork.
  2. Cream the butter, sugars, and vanilla together in a stand mixer, fitted with a paddle attachment, on medium speed for 3 to 5 minutes, or until the color of a blonde pug (pale, but golden on the edges), and very fluffy. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. Return the mixer to low, beat in the egg until no longer visible, then gradually add the flour mixture. When no floury lumps remain, add the M&Ms, shutting off the mixer as soon as they’re well dispersed.
  3. Using a cookie scoop, scoop the dough into 15 2-ounce (1/4 cup) or 60 1/2-ounce (1 tablespoon) balls onto two large rimmed baking sheets. (If a baking sheet can’t fit into your freezer, Freeze the balls on a large plate, and transfer them, when frozen solid, to an airtight container or plastic bag.) Press large flakes of salt onto each dough ball. Freeze until thoroughly chilled, at least 30 minutes.
  4. Heat oven to 350°F. Space the cookies onto parchment-lined baking sheets with 2 inches of space between them. If minis, bake for 5 to 6 minutes; if jumbos, bake for 16 to 18 minutes. In either case, look for crisp, golden edges and mounded, slightly soft centers.. Remove from the oven and give the sheets a good, decisive rap on the counter (the cookie bellies will cave in, making for pretty cracks). Let cookies cool until just firm, then devour.
  5. Kept in an airtight container, the cookies will last for up to 2 weeks at room temperature, or 4 in the freezer (if they last that long).

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Coral Lee is an Associate Editor at Food52. Before this, she cooked food solely for photos. Before that, she cooked food solely for customers. And before that, she shot lasers at frescoes in Herculaneum and taught yoga. When she's not writing about or making food, she's thinking about it. Her Heritage Radio Network show, "Meant to be Eaten," explores cross-cultural exchange as afforded by food. You can follow her on Instagram @meanttobeeaten.