Holiday M&M Cookies

Cheerful cookies to celebrate the season.

Holiday M&M Cookies / Especially Edible

I am not by nature a rule-breaker. I never sneaked out of the house as a teenager. I’ve had one speeding ticket in 15 years of driving. I don’t think I have intentionally skipped a homework assignment in my life. I can count on one hand the number of house parties I went to as a college freshman. Mostly, this is because I’m the squarest and shyest person you’ll ever meet. It’s also because, while I never gave my parents heartache over boys on motorcycles or cigarettes smoked behind the house, I stayed busy making their lives miserable with an eating disorder.

Holiday M&M Cookies / Especially Edible

But that’s not the point. The point is, I’m the last person you’d expect to find not following the instructions. However, I also have a lazy streak. (Just look at my apartment. I’m the only 29-year-old with a nightlight, because I’ve nearly killed myself tripping over crud on the floor in the middle of the night.) And that lazy streak means I usually melt my butter instead of taking the time to cream a room-temperature stick into the sugar. I don’t let my eggs come to room temperature before beating them into the batter. I use my mini food processor to chop cranberries and nuts instead of whacking at them with a knife or a hand-chopper. I avoid like the plague recipes that require chilling the dough.

Sometimes, though, I actually want something to turn out like the pictures. I’ve never had too much of a problem with flat cookies, even though melted butter is meant to be the kiss of death, but I’ve never ended up with particularly thick and puffy ones either. When I meticulously followed the recipe for the much-ballyhooed New York Times chocolate chip cookie recipe, the chilled dough did indeed produce cookies with rich, melded flavors and a thick crumb.

Holiday M&M Cookies / Especially Edible

Seeing as these cookies were destined for Christmas delivery to my best friend, I decided to actually go by the recipe. And you know what? My cookies came out as round and happy as Santa’s bowlful-of-jelly stomach. They looked great, especially after I stuck a few extra mini M&Ms on top before baking.

Holiday M&M Cookies / Especially Edible

It was also the first time I’d made pudding-mix cookies, and that’s something I think I’ll try again. I’m not yet convinced that blending black beans into brownies will really create a taste sensation, but yes – I’m now a pudding convert.

Holiday M&M Cookies / Especially Edible

Holiday M&M Cookies

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 10 minutes

Total Time: 3 hours, 25 minutes

Yield: 24 small cookies


1/2 cup butter, softened

1/4 cup light brown sugar, packed

1/4 cup dark brown sugar, packed

1/4 cup granulated sugar

1 large egg

2 tsp. vanilla

1 1/4 cups flour

1/4 cup instant vanilla pudding mix

1/2 tsp. baking soda

1/4 tsp. salt

1 cup mini M&Ms, plus more for adding to the cookie tops


Whisk together flour, dry pudding mix, baking soda, and salt in a small bowl. Set aside.

Cream butter with the sugars. Beat in the egg and vanilla extract.

Add the flour mixture to the wet ingredients and beat until combined. Fold in M&Ms.

Chill dough for at least 3 hours and up to 5 days.

When ready to bake, preheat the oven to 350. Roll cookie dough into smallish balls with your hands and place on cookie sheets. Stick some of the extra M&Ms on top for an added pop of color.

Bake for 10-11 minutes, or until edges begin to brown. The middles will be slightly underdone; allow them to finish baking on the cookie sheets. Cool for 10 minutes, then remove to wire racks to cool completely.

Recipe slightly adapted from Averie Cooks

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