M&M cookies are soft, chewy and loaded with M&Ms! With a gluten-free option.
M&M cookies were a favorite of mine growing up. My mother never made them or bought them so whenever other parents brought them to school parties, I made a beeline for the cookie tray!
Since the days of elementary school class parties, I’ve made my fair share of M&M cookies. I always just mixed the M&Ms into the dough and baked them up. One thing that nagged at me is that they never looked as pretty as the cookies from my childhood.
So this time, I experimented with the best way of incorporating the M&Ms. I made them every way imaginable and finally found the best method. You add the M&Ms to the dough, roll into balls with as few M&Ms peeking out of the dough as possible, bake and then add more M&Ms post-baking. A few M&Ms may still bleed, which you can see in the pictures, but even with that, it’s a huge improvement over the other methods I’ve tried!
I like my M&M cookies to be loaded with M&Ms and so my recipe calls for a lot more M&Ms than other recipes I’ve seen. These cookies are actually 1/3 M&Ms by weight! And that’s before you press almost an additional cup on top of the cookies after baking. You can absolutely use fewer M&Ms or toss in some other add-ins like chocolate chips or walnuts.
I originally tried making these much larger. I wanted huge bakery-style cookies, like my favorite Paleo Double Chocolate Chip Cookies but the middles were underdone while the edges were a little too browned. One-and-a-half inch (65 grams) balls seem to be the ideal size for these to bake up properly!
The cookies pictured are the gluten-free version. If you make the cookies with all-purpose flour, the cookies are a less crinkly looking. But what’s important is that the two versions taste the same! If you want even thicker M&M cookies, try adding some M&Ms to my Gluten-free Chocolate Chip Cookies or Jamie’s New York Times Chocolate Chip Cookies.
Yield: about 2 dozen cookies
Prep Time: 20 minutes + chill time
Cook Time: 20 minutes
- 3 1/4 cups all-purpose flour or the gluten-free baking mix listed below*
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 3/4 cup + 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 2 large eggs, room temperature
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 2 1/2 cups M&Ms, plus an additional 3/4 cup + 2 tablespoons to press on top, if desired
* If you need these cookies to be gluten-free, make sure all your ingredients are certified gluten-free. Original M&Ms in the US are gluten-free but some of the other varieties are not. For the flour, use the following mixture. While the all-purpose flour version uses 3 1/4 cups of flour, this mixture, which yields 3 cups of flour, works beautifully in this recipe:
- 2 cups rice flour
- 2/3 cup potato starch
- 1/3 cup tapioca flour
- 1 teaspoon xanthan gum
- In a medium mixing bowl, stir together the flour, baking soda, cream of tartar and salt. Set the bowl aside.
- In a large mixing bowl using a stand mixer or electric hand mixer, beat the butter, brown sugar and granulated sugar at medium speed until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs and vanilla at low speed until well combined.
- On low, gradually add the flour mixture and beat just until combined. Beat in the M&Ms on low.
- If making the all-purpose flour version, roll into 1 1/2" balls (about 65 grams) - pushing any M&Ms that stick out back in. If your dough is too soft to roll into proper balls, refrigerate for about 30 minutes or until firm. Freeze dough balls for 2 hours, or until firm.
- If making the gluten-free version, freezing is not necessary. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least two hours. Then roll into balls.
- Preheat the oven to 350°F for the all-purpose flour version or 375° degrees F for the gluten-free version.
- Line a baking sheet with a piece of parchment paper. Place the dough balls 4" apart on the prepared baking sheet. Bake the cookies for 16-20 minutes or until lightly and evenly browned.
- Remove from the oven and immediately press 7 more M&Ms on top of each cookie, if desired. Let the cookies cool completely on the baking sheet.
- Store in an airtight container for up to 4 days.