Friday, August 17, 2012

Chewy M&M Sugar Cookies



We have had visits from both sets of grandparents this summer and I have yet to blog about it.
(I'll get to it, I promise!)

I have 3 loads of clean laundry that are waiting in various places to be folded and put away.

Annika's 5th birthday is coming up in a couple of weeks and I need to figure out her birthday party...everything about it.  Oh, and maybe get her some presents. I do have a dress for her, bought from Land's End....super cute.  But I have a feeling she'd like something else also.

But these cookies are begging to be shared, so here we are.

They're a bit unconventional, with melted butter and oil taking the place of the usual softened butter called for in cookies.  And there's a little cream cheese in there, too.

The end result is a delightfully chewy sugar cookie with the pleasant crunch of chocolate candies - and I have to admit, just seeing M&Ms in cookies makes me happy.  That being said, I could totally enjoy these without the M&Ms.....maybe jazzed up a bit with some almond or lemon extract.

The doubled batch I made disappeared in a hurry at the church dinner we attended this week....and I'm assuming everyone liked them.

We sure did.

Chewy M&M Sugar Cookies (from Tracey's Culinary Adventures)
Yield: approximately 26 cookies

Note: Cookies will be thicker and (in my opinion) better if you let the dough chill for a few hours, or even overnight, before rolling into balls and baking.  Not required, but definitely great if you have the time. 

2-1/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1-1/2 cups sugar, plus 1/3 cup for rolling
2 oz cream cheese
, cut into 8 pieces
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and still warm
1/3 cup oil (I used expeller pressed coconut oil - canola would also work)
1 large egg, at room temperature
1 tablespoon milk
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 (heaping) cup M&M's


Preheat oven to 350 F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper or Silpat liners.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Combine 1-1/2 cups of sugar and cream cheese in a large bowl (no need to stir them together yet). Put the remaining 1/3 cup sugar in a bowl and set aside. Pour the warm butter over the cream cheese mixture and whisk to combine - the mixture won't be completely smooth yet, that's fine. Whisk in the oil then the egg, milk and vanilla extract. Mix until smooth. Use a rubber spatula to start folding the dry ingredients into the wet. When the dry ingredients are partially incorporated, add 3/4 cup of the M&M's to the dough. Continue mixing until a soft dough comes together. (Don't wait to add the M&M's until the dry ingredients are completely
incorporated - you'll end up overmixing.)

Using a medium cookie scoop, measure out even balls of dough and drop directly into the bowl of sugar.  Roll around to coat completely, then place on baking sheet.
Gently press 2 or 3 more M&M's into the top of each cookie.

Bake the cookies, 1 tray at a time, for about 11 minutes, or until the edges are set. The tops will be puffy and slightly cracked. Transfer the baking sheet to a wire rack and let the cookies cool on the sheet for 5 minutes then transfer them to the rack to cool completely.


Photo Tip for other amateurs like me: (more experienced people - don't laugh.)

I just bought a white foam board and some white poster boards last week for helping my photos turn out better.
Here is an example of how I used one:

It was overcast and starting to rain when I had the chance to take the photos.  I set up next to our dining room window, which has the best natural light in our house (still isn't great, mind you.....despite all the many windows we have, none of them are ideal for food pictures).  The light was coming from the left.

The picture on the left was how all of my first attempts were turning out.  Not bad, I thought.
Then I remembered the reflecting abilities of the white board...and had Corban hold one up to the right of the cookies.  You can see how the shadows on the right side of the cookies goes away in the right photo.
No flash, nothing else extra....just the white poster board.  Reflecting lousy light from the window.  Cool, huh?



Now I'm gonna go tackle that laundry.  Wish me luck.

Linked to Trick or Treat Tuesday and Crazy Sweet Tuesday

9 comments:

  1. These look delicious! M&M's can only make cookies better, as can cream cheese!
    I need to make a plate of cookies for a dear friend--her son just returned from serving a two year mission for our church. These will be perfect. Thanks for sharing.

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    Replies
    1. I hope they turn out great for you!

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  2. I love the color in these pictures! And I can't tell you much I adore sugar cookies with M & M's! To me these seem like the perfect treat!

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    Replies
    1. There's nothing like M&M's in a cookie to make kids want them! I loved these...so much fun. :)

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  3. I think I'm going to have to make these this weekend! They look YUM! -Emily B

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  4. Those look so good - I love m&m sugar cookies!

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  5. I heart m&m's...and in cookies? Even better!! Glad you bought some posterboard and a foam board...I use one every time I take pictures. It is amazing how easily you can get rid of shadows!

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  6. super cute cookies. i love the side by side using the foam board. I love that you put it out there.

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