These homemade M&M cookies are colourful, fun and wonderfully chewy, with crispy edges, a soft middle and pops of chocolate chip with every bite. A perfect cookie treat, any time and for anyone!
For the love of cookies
Aren’t cookies the best?? Soft and chewy, they’re great to be enjoyed on the go, or warm with a dollop of delicious ice cream, I just can’t get enough of them! Whether fresh and zingy, deeply chocolatey, stuffed or anything else, I’ll take cookies any way, any how!
Oh, my number one top tip for making cookies? Make an extra batch and freeze them. This then means you can have cookies any time the craving hits! Just warm up your oven and bake your cookies, adding a few minutes extra since you’ll be baking from frozen, and boom! Don’t question me on this one, just go ahead and do it. You can thank me later!
What is the difference between cookies and biscuits?
Cookies are generally made from a dough that is much softer than biscuit dough. When baked, cookies tend to be softer and chunkier than biscuits, often with a bit of chewiness too which means you can almost “bend” your cookies. Biscuits on the other hand will bake much firmer and will have a more delicate texture to them meaning they can snap or be broken and not bend. Biscuits tend to be used more often when a filling is required, or if decorating with icing art, but cookies can be “stuffed” resulting in the filling being baked within the cookie itself.
Having said all this, I am well aware the word “biscuits” are used in parts of the world to also mean a tender baked dough not dissimilar to what we in the UK call “scones”. They are both made in a very similar way, but served differently.
What ingredients do I need to make these homemade M&M cookies?
- Unsalted butter: as with all my recipes, I like to use unsalted butter so I can control how much salt is in the bake. For best results, use butter at room temperature
- Soft brown sugar: for sweetness, but also chewiness, in your cookies.
- Caster sugar: for sweetness, and a little crisp, in your cookies.
- Vanilla: for delicious flavour!
- Flour: I use plain (all purpose) flour in my cookies. Other flours will result in different textures, so it’s really important to use this kind.
- Cornflour/cornstarch: gives your cookies that beautiful softness in texture we all crave!
- Baking powder/bicarbonate of soda: the leavening agents in this bake, to give your cookies enough lightness so they bake into chewy delights!
- Salt: enhances the flavours in your bake. You won’t taste it, I promise!
- Chocolate chips: not an essential part of your cookies, but definitely a yummy part! Also is wonderfully melty when warm.
- M&Ms: the star of the cookies!
- Egg: helps with the binding and structure of the cookies.
What equipment do I need to make cookies?
- Baking tray*: to chill and then bake your cookies on. I would recommend at least couple of baking trays so you can have one for chilling you cookie dough and one for baking.
- Digital kitchen scales*: I always recommend using digital kitchen scales to weigh your ingredients out over using a volume based measuring system, as cups. Weighing out your ingredients is much more accurate than measuring by volume, and will ensure better results in your cookies, so I’d take the plunge if you haven’t already. Digital scales are now relatively inexpensive and widely available, so what are you waiting for?
- Measuring spoons*: for measuring smaller quantities such as tablespoons (tbsp) and teaspoons (tsp), a set of dedicated measuring spoons is a must! These are far more accurate than your everyday eating spoons, and are really easy to get hold of too.
- Mixing bowl*: to mix all your ingredients together to make your cookies
- Stand mixer*/Electric handheld mixer*: investing in a good electric mixer, whether stand mixer or hand held electric mixer, is a brilliant help with all your baking, and will make baking cookies a total breeze!
- Sieve*: to remove lumps from your dry ingredients, ensuring everything gets mixed together evenly.
- Spatula*: to help with mixing ingredients and scraping your mixing bowl down
- Cooling rack*: place your baking tray when it comes out of the oven, allowing your cookies to continue baking and firm up before you enjoy them.
How to make my homemade M&M cookies recipe
Cookies are one of my favourite bakes ever, because they actually come together so quickly and easily! The hardest part is the waiting: for them to chill before baking, and then for them to set after baking. Once you get the hang of my method, cookie making will be effortless!
Step 1: Line a baking tray with parchment paper and set it aside.
Step 2: In the bowl of your stand mixer or a large mixing bowl, cream together your butter and sugars until smooth and slightly paler in colour. Add in your vanilla and mix through, then sift the flour, cornflour, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda (baking soda) and salt into the mixing bowl. Beat it all together until your mixture resembles coarse wet sand. Tip in the chocolate chips and 150g/¾ cup of M&Ms and stir through. Finally, pour in your beaten egg and mix it all together until just combined and starting to form large clumps of cookie dough.
Step 3: Divide your mixture into 8-9 equal parts, or if you prefer to weigh it, each part should weigh around 100-105g. Gently squeeze each part of your mixture together into cookie balls, then place them on your prepared baking tray. Using the additional 50g/¼ cup of M&Ms, stud your cookie balls randomly all over. Pop your baking tray in the freezer for at least 30 minutes for your dough to firm up.
Step 4: Ten minutes before you’re ready to bake your cookies, preheat your oven to 200C/400F and line a couple of fresh baking trays. Place your cold cookie balls on the lined baking sheets, allowing enough room for them to spread (I get four cookies to a tray). Bake your cookies in your hot oven for 10-12 minutes until the cookies have slightly puffed up, have little cracks on top all the way to the middle and are golden and crisp on the edges. Remove the baking sheet from the oven and place it on a cooling rack, leaving the cookies on the tray to cool for at least 30 minutes. Once completely cool, remove from the baking tray and enjoy your homemade M&M cookies!
There are several factors that can affect your cookies and how they turn out. Whilst I will try to answer as many questions as I can, I’m bound to miss some, so please ask away in the comments below!
Why should I use cornflour (cornstarch) in my cookies?
Cornflour, or cornstarch, gives your cookies a soft consistency that just flour alone doesn’t achieve. It also helps keep your cookies thick when baked. You can swap it out for the same amount of flour if you wish, but you’ll love the result of it in your cookies!
How do I make chewy cookies?
In my experience, I have found I need a mix of white and brown sugar in my cookies. The white sugar adds to the crispy nature of the cookies. But its the brown sugar that is key for a wonderfully chewy cookie. The reason for this is molasses in brown sugar. This helps retain more moisture in the cookies, making them thicker, softer and deliciously chewier!
Can I use oil instead of butter in my cookies?
Oil and butter are unfortunately not interchangeable in my cookie recipes, as oil has a lower melting temperature to butter. This means they will spread more when baking, even after chilling, so you won’t have the same final results.
What if my cookie dough is too soft?
If your cookie dough feels too soft, chill your dough for 10-15 minutes longer before separating into balls. Keep in mind if you didn’t use block butter in your cookies, they will remain soft and not firm up. I always use block butter, not oil or the kind that’s spreadable from a tub, in my cookies. Using butter should result in your cookies really firming up in the fridge/freezer.
How do I know if my cookies are done?
Your cookies are baked if the edges are lightly golden and the cracks on top have only just found their way to the middle of the cookie. Remove them from the oven, but do not move them off the baking tray! They will continue to bake in the residual heat from within the cookie and from the baking tray. Leaving them on the tray to cool and firm up is super important for beautiful chewy cookies.
Why did my cookies come out flat?
In my recipes, I chill my cookie dough before baking my cookies. This allows the butter in the dough to firm up, which helps the cookie hold its shape when baked instead of spreading. A good guide is remembering the warmer your cookie dough is when you put it in the oven, the thinner and flatter your cookies will be once baked.
Why are my cookies cakey?
There are several reasons why your cookies might have turned out cakey. The most common reason is down to the flour in the recipe. Measuring out too much flour (especially if using volume measures rather than weigh/mass) can result in drier or cakier cookies. It could also be that there was too much egg in your cookie mixture. Egg can act as a leavening agent and give your cookies more rise than desired, making them cakey.
Why are my cookies crumbly?
Again, there are many reasons your cookies turned out crumbly, but two likely culprits. It could be that they were baked too long, and so have dried out. Alternatively, it might be that too much flour was used when making the cookie dough, so leading to drier cookies.
How long will these homemade M&M cookies keep? And how should I store them?
These M&M cookies are at their best if enjoyed within 4-5 days from baking, and kept in an airtight container.
Can I freeze these cookies?
Yes! You can freeze them both unbaked and baked. Keep reading for how to freeze both unbaked and baked cookies.
For unbaked cookies, freeze the cookie dough in individual cookie balls for a couple of hours. Once firm, transfer them into a lidded container suitable for the freezer. These dough balls will keep for two months in your freezer.
For baked cookies, cool completely, then wrap individually tightly in cling film and place in a lidded container before freezing.
How do I thaw my cookies?
If you froze your cookies as unbaked cookie dough, simply remove your frozen cookies and place them on a lined baking tray. Remember to leave about 2 inches between each cookie for them to spread as they bake. Pop them in the oven straight from frozen, and bake, adding a couple of minutes extra to your baking time.
If you baked your cookies before freezing, you can just defrost them fully at room temperature and enjoy! However, if you want to get the crunchy edges and soft middle, just pop them on a cookie sheet (no need to spread out too much, you’re just heating them up again) and reheat in your oven at 180C/350F for about 3-5 minutes, then pop on a cooling rack for a few minutes before enjoying.
Can these cookies be made gluten free or dairy free?
Yes! For gluten free cookies, simply swap the plain flour for a gluten free plain flour blend. If you wish you make them dairy free, swap out the butter for a dairy free block butter. Do make sure it’s the type that is a hard block in the fridge, not the spreadable sort. You will also need to find dairy free alternatives for your chocolate chips and M&Ms.
Additional tips for making this homemade M&M cookies recipe
- Make sure you’ve prepared your tools and ingredients before you start mixing. Line your baking tray and get your ingredients out ready to use. And don’t forget to make space in your freezer too! It’s easy to forget something once you start mixing.
- Take time to read through the recipe so you are familiar with what steps come next. Don’t skip details and instructions or swap ingredients given as it could affect the results of your final bake.
- Adding your egg in the final step is the most important: don’t beat it too much! You want to mix it in so it’s combined but not beaten to add any additional air into the mixture. The chewy density of these cookies comes from your ingredients just being combined, that’s it!
If you have any other questions about this recipe, please use the comments below to ask away and I’ll do my best to help! And if you made and enjoyed this, I’d love to hear from you too!
And don’t forget: if you make this recipe for homemade M&M cookies, please do consider leaving a rating and review below. I would really love to know how you enjoy making them and it really helps others looking for a recipe too! You could even post a picture on Instagram and tag me when you share it with the world, I’d love to see!
More cookie recipes for you to enjoy
If you enjoyed these homemade M&M cookies, don’t forget too to check out these other delicious cookie recipes on my blog too!
The ULTIMATE triple chocolate cookies: deep rich and chewy chocolate cookies cram-packed full of oodles of white, milk, and dark chocolate chips. Pure, unadulterated, indulgent chocolate heaven.
NYC Biscoff cookies: crispy on the outside, delightfully chewy in the middle. These chunky cookies are packed with white chocolate chips and Biscoff biscuits. Perfect cookies for Biscoff lovers everywhere!
Lemon drizzle cookies: if you love lemon drizzle cake, you’ll adore this cookie version! These soft and chewy lemon drizzle cookies are my family’s new all-time favourite!
Thanks for joining me today, my friends! Enjoy and happy baking! x