Mom’s Favorite Soft and Chewy M&M Cookies

Santa Cruz IT CompanyYield: 11 or so medium to large cookies

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 12 – 14 minutes

Total Time: 3+ hours, for dough chilling


  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened (or 1 stick)
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar, packed
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup instant vanilla pudding mix (NOT cook-and-serve, NOT sugar-free)
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup M&M’s, plus extra for adding to dough mounds (Dark Chocolate M&M’s work best, but other varieties can be substituted)
  • 1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips, plus extra for adding to dough mounds


  1. In a large bowl (or the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment) combine the butter, sugars, egg, and vanilla, beating on medium-high speed with an electric mixer until creamed and well combined, about 4 minutes.
  2. Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula, then add the flour, pudding mix (use the powder as a dry ingredient – again, cook-and-serve and sugar-free are not recommended), baking soda, and salt, beating on low speed until just combined, about 1 minute.
  3. Add the M&M’s and chocolate chips, beating on low speed until just combined, about 30 seconds.
  4. Using a cookie scoop, an ice cream scoop, a 1/4-cup measuring cup, or your hands, form about 11 equal-sized mounds of dough, gently roll them into balls, and flatten slightly with your palm. Add a few extra M&M’s and chocolate chips to the top of each ball of dough for decoration. Press them gently into place with your fingers to keep them from falling off during baking.
  5. Place the dough balls on a large plate or tray, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least 3 hours, or up to 5 days. Baking without first chilling the dough will result in cookies that are thinner, flatter, and more prone to spreading.
  6. Preheat oven to 350◦F, and line a baking sheet with a Silpat or parchment paper. Place chilled dough balls at least 2 inches apart (6 cookies per sheet is recommended for best results) and bake for about 12 to 14 minutes (if your cookies are smaller, reduce baking time accordingly) or until the edges have set and the tops are just set. DO NOT OVERBAKE – even if they seem slightly undercooked in the center, the cookies will firm up as they cool. Allow the cookies to cool directly on the baking sheet for about 10 minutes before serving – they will fall apart if you try to transfer them to a wire cooling rack.
  7. These cookies will keep airtight at room temperature for up to 1 week or in the freezer for up to 6 months. Unbaked cookie dough can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days, or in the freezer for up to 4 months. Feel free to bake a whole batch at once, or a few at a time as desired.

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