These M&M cookies are sweet with chewy interiors and crispy edges. They’ve got bright pops of crunchy M&Ms and melty milk chocolate chips. These cookies are simple to make, you only need one bowl and a spoon — no hand or stand mixers required! They’re also great to customize for holidays or special events by using certain color M&Ms.
Every year after our first day back to school my mom would surprise us with either m&m cookies or rice krispie treats. It made going back to school after a fun summer a little bit easier. 🙂
My personal favorite were the chocolate chip m&m cookies because it also meant there was a bag of the rest of the m&ms somewhere that could also be eaten (haha).
M and M cookies ingredients
- Butter not shortening: these cookies use butter which give them a great flavor base and wonderful texture. I wouldn’t recommend substituting margarine or shortening in these cookies.
- Maple syrup: seemingly a strange ingredient but it keeps these cookies ultra soft and chewy. It also adds a really delicious subtle sweetness different from the sugars.
- Brown sugar: this sugar has a higher moisture content than white sugar and thus will produce a chewier cookie than if you just used white sugar.
- White sugar: we also include white sugar for cookie stability and to ensure the cookies aren’t overly sweet (using only brown sugar would result in extremely sweet cookies).
- 1 egg: make sure to use a large egg in this recipe.
- Vanilla extract: added for flavor.
- Cornstarch: helps to keep these cookies soft and chewy.
- Baking soda/baking powder: the leavening agents to ensure these cookies bake properly
- White all-purpose flour: make sure to measure this ingredient correctly (more on this below) it’s the most important measurement to ensuring you get the perfect m&m cookies!
Tips for these m&m cookies
- Let the melted butter cool: once the butter is melted, it needs to cool back to room temperature. If the butter is hot, it is going to melt the sugars which will cause greasy, flat cookies.
- Chill the dough: since we melted the butter, the dough needs time to chill allowing for the butter to re-solidify so you don’t have flat cookies. The chilling time also gives a chance for the flavors and textures to meld together and intensify.
- Measure carefully: the most important measurement is the flour. If you press a measuring cup into a bag of flour you are likely packing in way too much flour which will yield cakey and less flavorful cookies. Spoon the flour into a measuring cup and level the top with the back of a butter knife. The printable recipe includes gram measurements if you prefer to measure using a scale.
- Bake on a silpat liner or parchment paper which helps bake these cookies more evenly and keep the bottoms of the cookies from getting too brown.
Avoid flat m&m cookies
If your cookies come out flat it is most likely because the cookies did not chill long enough. Since there is melted butter in the batter, it needs a chance to firm up again. Also, if the butter was too hot when you added in other ingredients, they’ll likely end up a bit flat and greasy.
Another reason these cookies could be flat is if the flour was under-measured. One other factor that comes into play is if you live in a high altitude area.
Keeping the m&m cookies soft
After baking the cookies, let them cool completely on a wire rack (this will keep the bottoms from getting soggy from the steam). Once cooled, place cookies in an airtight container and store at room temperature. For tips on how to “revive” no longer soft cookies, check out these tips from Cooks Illustrated.
I recommend freezing dough balls instead of freezing baked m&m cookies. To freeze: drop the cookie dough balls on a large sheet pan and freeze until solid. Once solid, transfer the frozen cookie dough balls into an airtight container/bag and freeze for up to 3 months.
To bake: you can bake straight from the freezer; just add 1-3 minutes onto the cooking time. (OR thaw the dough in the fridge and bake according to directions.)
M&M cookie variations
- M&M sugar cookies: for more of a m&m sugar cookie feel, use this recipe and replace the chocolate chips with more m&ms
- Easter m&m cookies: replace the regular m&ms candies with Easter m&ms! This also applies to every other holiday — typically m&ms are made for each holiday in the holiday’s “colors.” Grab a bag of the themed m&ms and use them in this recipe! If you can’t find the specific m&ms you’re looking for, you can also pick out certain colors from a big bag of regular m&ms.
- M&M chocolate cookies: use this chocolate cookie recipe and replace some of the chocolate chips with m&ms!
- Different types of chocolate chips: while we love milk chocolate chips in these cookies, any type will work well — semi-sweet, dark, or even white chocolate chips!
More delicious desserts:
- Icebox Cake (made with oreos)
- Carmelitas (chewy oatmeal chocolate caramel bars; reader favorite)
- Muddy Buddies (peanut butter & chocolate snack mix)
- Monkey Bread (sweetened biscuits baked in cinnamon sugar mixture)
- Homemade Cinnamon Rolls (with cream cheese frosting)
These M&M cookies are sweet with chewy interiors and crispy edges. They've got bright pops of crunchy M&Ms and melty milk chocolate chips. These cookies are simple to make, you only need one bowl and a spoon — no hand or stand mixers required! They're also great to customize for holidays or special events by using certain color M&Ms.
- 8 tablespoons (113g) unsalted butter
- 1/2 cup (133g) light brown sugar packed
- 1/3 cup (67g) white sugar
- 1 large egg
- 1/2 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
- 2 tablespoons (34g) pure maple syrup
- 2 teaspoons cornstarch
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 3/4 teaspoon sea salt reduce if using table salt OR if sensitive to salt
- 1 and 3/4 cups (213g) white all-purpose flour
- 1 cup (212g) M&M candies
- 1/2 cup (85g) milk chocolate chips separated (OR use semi-sweet or dark chocolate -- whichever is your favorite)
In a very large, microwave-safe bowl, melt the butter. Once melted, stick it in the fridge for 5 minutes. It's important the butter isn't hot when you add in the sugars or it will melt the sugar and make the cookies greasy.
Once butter is cooled to room temperature, stir in the light brown sugar and white sugar. Stir until smooth. Stir in the egg, vanilla extract and maple syrup. Stir until smooth.
Add in the cornstarch, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Again, stir until smooth. Add in the correctly measured (Note 1) flour and mix until JUST combined. Don't over mix.
Gently stir in 1 cup of M&Ms and 1/4 cup chocolate chips until combined.
Cover the bowl tightly and chill for 1 hour.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Line a pan with parchment paper or use a nonstick liner.
Roll balls of dough into tall cylindrical balls (see picture above for shape and size). Place 6-8 cookie balls on a sheet to give the cookies plenty of room to spread. Dough balls should be about 1.7 ounces.
Bake for 8-12 minutes erring on the side of under-baking which keeps them soft and chewy (We like ours right at 9 minutes)! Remember the cookies will continue to "bake" a little more out of the oven, so take them out as soon as the edges start to lightly brown.
Remove from the oven and press the remaining 1/4 cup chocolate chips into the tops of the cookies (ensures even placement of chocolate AND makes them look pretty!). Allow to cool on the baking tray for 5 minutes before transferring them to a cooling rack.
STORAGE: We like these cookies best on day 1 and 2 of being made. They do last up to 1 week, but they do begin to lose texture and flavor. To store: place in an airtight container and keep at room temperature. Wait until cookies are completely cooled before adding to the container.
Note 1: spoon the flour into a measuring cup and level the top with the back of a butter knife.