Spring Pastel M&M’s Cookies

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I have a bit of an obsession with limited-edition holiday-themed snack foods. Spotting Pumpkin Spice Oreos or Snowflake Ritz Crackers at the grocery store definitely makes my heart beat a little faster.

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So when I came across Spring Pastel M&M’s in the candy aisle a few weeks ago, I couldn’t help myself. I knew they’d would make cute cookies for Easter, so I threw a bag into the cart when Adrian wasn’t looking and hid them away until the snow (finally) melted.

M&M’s are  an excellent cookie mix-in because they don’t melt or burn easily, the colours are really fun, and they’re not too sweet in small quantities.

Use a stand mixer (or handheld mixer) to cream the butter and sugars, and take your time — spending several minutes on this step helps ensure that your dough is well-aerated, which will help you achieve a great texture in your final cookie.

A note: this recipe is adapted from Smitten Kitchen’s Salted Chocolate Chunk Cookies, which is adapted from Ashley Rodriguez’s original recipe. It’s my favourite cookie recipe and never lets me down. If you’ve never had a salted chocolate chip cookie, the idea of sprinkling salt on top may sound a bit weird, but don’t skip it; I promise the end result is delicious.

Here’s what you need:

Equipment:

  • Stand mixer
  • Cookie sheet
  • Silicone spatula
  • Parchment paper or silicone baking mat
  • Ice cream scoop
  • Digital kitchen scale (optional)

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup butter, room temperature (4 ounces)
  • 3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons packed light or dark brown sugar
  • 4 tablespoons granulated sugar OR 2 tablespoons granulated sugar and 2 tablespoons turbinado sugar (it’s coarser and adds texture, but if you don’t have it on hand, don’t worry about it)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 large egg
  • 3/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp table salt, plus a pinch extra
  • 1 3/4 cups flour (220 grams)
  • 3/4 cup M&M’s (150 grams), plus more for topping
  • Flaky sea salt, for topping

Here’s what you do:

  1. Preheat your oven to 350°F and line the cookie sheet with parchment paper. (Note: Ashley’s original recipe calls for setting the oven to 360°F — by all means, if your oven has a digital temperature setting, then go for it — but if you don’t, then 350°F is fine.)
  2. In the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the butter and sugars. Beat on medium speed for 5 minutes until very fluffy. Don’t skimp on this step — set a timer if you have to!
  3. Scrape down the bowl and add the vanilla extract and egg, mixing until combined.
  4. Reduce the mixer speed to low and add the baking soda and salt, mixing again until combined.
  5. Add the flour in two parts and mix until it is just combined. Don’t overmix!
  6. Turn the mixer off. Using a silicone spatula, gently fold in the M&M’s.
  7. Form cookies into 1 1/2 tablespoon balls. I used a cookie scoop like this one, but you could also use two spoons. If you’re baking with a digital scale, each ball of dough should weigh about 2 1/2 ounces.
  8. Use your fingers to slightly flatten the top of each cookie, then top with more M&M’s and a sprinkle of flaky sea salt.
  9. Bake for 10-11 minutes, until golden. Don’t overbake! They will continue to set after you take them out of the oven. Take the cookies out of the oven and let them rest on the cookie sheet for 5 minutes before transferring to a cooling rack.

I got 12 cookies from this batch of dough. You could make them smaller, of course — keep an eye on them in the oven, as small cookies will bake faster than large ones.

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