M&M Cookies Recipe

Perhaps the greatest combination of all time, M&M Cookies are part cookie, part candy, and (as if you’d didn’t already know) completely delicious. Plus all my tips for freezing cookie. Maybe make a triple batch?

Some people love chocolate, other people… not so much. Why not make a batch of Double Ginger Cookies or Oatmeal Scotchies so everyone can have a choice? And you can't go wrong with my classic soft Chocolate Chip Cookies, either. I’ll take one of each, please, as long as there’s milk!

A dozen M&M cookies on a wire rack with a glass of milk and a bowl of M&Ms in the background.
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This M&M cookie recipe is a great way to use leftover candy from Easter, Halloween, or a birthday party. If you’ve ever had leftover candy, that is…

Make this recipe with M&Ms, or get the best of both worlds and add some plain chocolate chips, too. Lots of fun ideas down below, so let’s get to baking!

Making M&M Cookies for a horde of cookie monsters? Just click and slide the number next to “servings” on the recipe card below to adjust the ingredients to match how many you’re feeding—the recipe does the math for you, it’s that easy.

This recipe is for the perfect chocolate chip cookie, except the chips are switched out for candy-coated M&Ms.

Not only do they add a pop of fun color to every cookie plate, but they taste terrific. As if by magic, the candy shell of the M&Ms holds the melty chocolate in place until your first scrumptious bite.

The ingredients portioned out for making M&M cookies.

How to make M&M Cookies:

No ingredient amounts are listed here, just in case you plan on making a double batch. Look at the recipe card for specifics!

  1. To start, preheat the oven to 350 degrees and line two baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone mats, if you have them.
  2. First, sift together the flour, salt, baking powder, and baking soda into a bowl and set aside.
  3. Next, using a standing or handheld mixer with the paddle attachment, cream the butter until fluffy.
    A mixing bowl with butter creamed to be pale and fluffy.
  4. Add the brown and granulated sugar and continue to beat on high speed until the sugar no longer feels gritty in the butter. Then add the egg and vanilla and beat on low speed until just blended.
    A mixing bowl with sugar mixed into the butter, creamed together.
  5. Next, add the dry ingredients in several batches on low speed, mixing until just blended before adding the next batch.
    A mixing bowl with flour and other dry ingredients mixed in to the flour and sugar to make cookie dough.
  6. To add the M&Ms, turn off the mixer and fold them in by hand, using a spatula, so they don’t break. At this point, if your cookie dough seems warm, chill it for 20 minutes or so. If it's cold in your house, you might be able to skip this step. But if it's warm in your kitchen, your cookies will spread in the oven.
    A mixing bowl with cookie dough and M&Ms sitting on it.
  7. Portion out the cookie dough into heaping tablespoons, rolling out the dough into balls.
    A single M&M cookie dough ball in the palm of somebody's hand.
  8. Then space the cookie dough balls on the baking sheets at least 2 inches apart, so they don’t touch as they spread in the oven.
    M&M cookie dough portioned and roll into balls on a baking sheet.
  9. If you want to go the extra mile, press a few candies on the outside of the balls so they bake up on top. (I almost always do.)
  10. Bake the M&M Cookies at 350 degrees for 10 minutes, until the edges are browned. Then take the sheet of cookies out of the oven, carefully “slam” the sheet on a counter or work surface. This will get rid of any air bubbles in the cookie.
  11. Next, return the cookies to the oven for 2 more minutes to finish baking. Take them out again, let the cookies cool for a couple minutes on the baking sheet, and then move them to a wire cookie rack to cool.
    An overhead shot of a dozen M&M cookies on a wire rack with a glass of milk and a bowl of M&Ms in the background.

Tips for making these cookies:

  • Oven rack position matters. When baking most types of cookies, move the racks inside the oven to the upper-middle and lower-middle positions. This is so the heat of the oven can move freely around the baking sheets, and the cookies cook evenly.
  • So does the kind of baking sheet you use. I like a sturdy aluminum baking sheet with sides. Stay away from black or dark-colored baking sheets, which can burn the bottoms of the cookies.
  • Start with room temperature ingredients. The butter should be soft. Take the eggs out about an hour before you need them, or warm them up quickly in a glass of hot tap water. If you store flour in the freezer, measure it and leave it out for awhile until it isn’t cold anymore.
  • No butter chocolate chip cookies? Substitute an equal amount of your favorite plant-based butter or margarine and let me know how it went in the comments.
  • Sifted dry ingredients makes a difference. This is so the baking soda, baking powder, and salt can get distributed evenly within the flour. Also, here’s how to measure and sift flour properly so your baking recipes shine, every time.
  • Like a softer, chewy cookie? Add one extra egg yolk. Also use more brown sugar than granulated—say, 3/4 cup brown sugar and only 1/4 cup granulated sugar.
  • Want a taller, puffy cookie? Chill the dough in the refrigerator before baking.
  • Craving a crispy cookie? Use more granulated sugar than brown sugar. Try 3/4 cup granulated sugar and only 1/4 cup brown sugar.
  • Love chocolate chips and M&Ms together in the cookie? I do too. Use one cup of chocolate chips in the dough, and press 3-5 M&M candies on the outside of each cookie ball just before baking.

A dozen M&M cookies on a wire rack with a glass of milk and a bowl of M&Ms in the background.

M&M Cookie Variations:

  • Reeses Pieces. Obviously, so good. You can use some or all peanut butter candies, or make the cookies with chocolate chips and press the peanut butter pieces into the top before baking.
  • Mini M&Ms. Yes, absolutely! Those little guys are amazing in cookies. Just be sure to hand mix when you add them to the batter—they’re fragile.
  • Chocolate chip cookies with M&Ms. Want both? You got it. Make the recipe with chocolate chips and press several M&Ms (any flavor) into the balls before you make them.
  • Color coordinate. Use different colors of M&Ms to match your party.
  • M&M Cookie ice cream sandwiches. Sandwich two cookies together with ice cream in the middle. Best idea yet!

Freezing and storing cookies:

This is a perfect recipe for freezing ahead of time and baking when you need cookies immediately. Almost any cookie dough is, so if you’re feeling like getting ahead of things this holiday season, read all about it...)

  1. Roll the dough into balls and freeze in a single layer on a tray that will fit inside your freezer. Don’t let them touch as they freeze, or they’ll stick together.
    Balls of cookie dough on a round tray lined with parchment paper.
  2. Once frozen solid, or at least very firm, you can transfer them to a freezer bag, pressing out the air as you seal it. Label and date the bag, noting the baking temperature and time. You’ll be glad you did later on! They should be fine for at least a month in the freezer.
    Balls of cookie dough in a ziploc bag.
  3. To bake frozen cookies, just arrange them on a parchment-lined baking sheet and pop them into the preheated oven to bake. No need to thaw—just increase the cooking time a couple minutes.

Baked cookies last--well, who are we kidding here? There probably won't be any extras. But they should stay fresh in a tin or airtight container for 3 to 4 days, if kept in a cool, dark place.

A dozen M&M cookies on a wire rack with a glass of milk and a bowl of M&Ms in the background.

M&M Cookies Recipe

Perhaps the greatest combination of all time, M&M Cookies are part cookie, part candy, and (as if you’d didn’t already know) completely delicious. Plus all my tips for freezing cookie. Maybe make a triple batch?
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Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes
Servings: 24 cookies
Calories: 142kcal
Author: Meggan Hill

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup butter at room temperature (1 stick)
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar firmly packed
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup M&M candies plus more for studding the outside of dough balls

Instructions

  • Adjust oven racks to the upper-middle and lower-middle positions. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone mats.
  • In a medium bowl or on to a piece of parchment paper, sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
  • In an electric mixer fit with the paddle attachment, or with an electric mixer on high speed, cream butter until pale and fluffy. Add the granulated and brown sugars and beat until the mixture is smooth (not gritty when you rub between your thumb and finger).
  • Add egg and vanilla and beat on low speed until blended, scraping down the sides of the bowl as necessary.
  • Add the flour mixture in batches (about 1 cup at a time) and mix on low speed until just blended. Add the M&Ms and stir by hand until just combined. If you put the M&Ms in a standing mixer, even on low speed, they will get crushed and broken in the dough. (Optional: If it's hot in your kitchen, consider chilling the cookie dough for 20 minutes or so. If the dough is too soft, your cookies will spread too much. )
  • Working with 1 heaping tablespoon of dough at a time, roll dough into 1 1/2-inch balls and lay on prepared baking sheets about 2 inches apart. (I use the OXO medium cookie scoop, a size 40 portioner, and do 12 scoops of dough per baking sheet). If desired, press extra M&Ms into the outside of each dough ball.
  • Bake until the cookies are starting to brown around the edges, about 10 minutes. Remove baking sheets from oven and carefully drop (more like slam) baking sheets on counter to remove air bubbles from cookies.
  • Return to oven and bake 2 minutes longer. Remove from oven and cool on baking sheets for 2 minutes, then transfer to wire racks to cool completely. 

Notes

To freeze cookie dough:
  1. Roll individual balls of cookie dough, then freeze on a parchment-lined plate or baking sheet (don't let them touch or they will stick together). Freeze until firm, about 2 to 3 hours.
  2. When the dough balls are solid, transfer to a freezer-safe zipper-top plastic bag and freeze up to 1 month.
  3. To bake, bake straight from the freezer and follow normal baking instructions, increasing bake time to 12 to 17 minutes. 

Nutrition

Calories: 142kcal
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