Big Soft M&M Cookies

Big Soft M&M Cookies |

Friday. Weekly reflections. COOKIES. More specifically, big soft M&M cookies.

It’s been a long time since I posted cookies on the blog. Welcome back, old friends. My coworker Lori shared this recipe with me after I tasted one of her cookies and begged her repeatedly for the recipe. I do that to people, so if you ever give me food, watch out. I will hunt you down.

Something you should know —> or not, but you’re here and I’m talking so let’s do it —> it’s NOT one of my more efficient habits, but I am the kind of person who reverse-fills in my calendar with the things I’ve already done. Like, did it, done, still gonna write it down. I just kinda like to analyze, even if it’s my random Tuesday tasks like grocery shopping and working out (wait, what’s that again?). Even if the things have already been said and done, I’ll go back and put it on my calendar just as proof that it actually happened. And then check mark them. Done. Accomplished. Getting things done. Ahhhhhh, check marks on a Friday.

Have another cookie.

In an effort to extend my backwards calendaring to the blog, here are some Instagram highlights from the week, comin atcha.

It snowed this week and I died of happiness every time I looked out the window. Minnesota may the be the second coldest place in all the Earth (no, LITERALLY) but it’s so incredibly beautiful. It gives me these little joyful chills when I look out onto our street. Get it? Chills? Yeah.

this week

Also beautiful: this in my lunchbox all week. I will never eat (vegetarian, in this case) chili without polenta ever again. Match made in heaven.

(Look for that recipe in ze eCookbook! It’s coming veryyyy soon!)

this week

Still eating ohhhhhatmeal. Every day. Always.

this week

The struggle between working almost full time as a teacher and working almost full time as a blogger has me… a little tired. But these little people are pops of brightness in my day and I really really ❤ them.


The basement is my new home for eCookbook photos. So the basement is my home. So I’m freezing.

this week

For four years of blogging, we’ve never done a podcast interview. But then all of a sudden, we did a bunch of podcast interviews. We only have one mic so we have to share it. Two mouths talking into one weird looking contraption. Please don’t imagine it; it’s awkward.

this week

This roasty goodness never gets old. The salad that these little ones topped was one of my favorites of all time of the world of my life. I say that about every salad, though, so you don’t have to listen to me.

this week

It’s the weekend! So snuggle with your loved ones and sleep in a little bit, yeah? That’s what I’m talking about.

Oh, here, take seventy for the road.

Big Soft M&M Cookies |

4.7 from 19 reviews
Big Soft M&M Cookies
Serves: 18-24 cookies, depending on size
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • ½ cup white sugar
  • 1 cup shortening
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 2½ cups flour (+ 2-3 tablespoons)
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1½ cups M&M's
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl, mix the brown sugar, white sugar, shortening, eggs, and vanilla with electric mixers on low speed until well mixed.
  2. Add the 2½ cups flour, baking soda, and salt. Mix until just combined; I found it easiest to finish this by hand. Add the extra tablespoons of flour until the dough feels thick and almost dry to the touch. Stir the M&M's into the dough.
  3. Roll into large balls (unless you want small cookies, and who are you anyways?) and press extra M&M's into the tops. Flatten slightly with your palm or the back of a wooden spoon. Bake for 8-10 minutes (they will be slightly underbaked). Remove from cookie sheet right away and place on cooling rack. Let stand for 5-10 minutes to help the cookies hold their shape.
I always put a little extra flour in my cookies so they don't get flat. But if you find that you get too much flour and they aren't flattening at all (I may or may not have made this mistake) just press them down with the palm of your hand or the back of a wooden spoon so they are normal-cookie-shaped before you even bake them.


Big Soft M&M Cookies |
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  1. Reverse-filling in the calendar = best! It always makes me feel so much more productive!
    These cookies. I need them. For breakfast. Is that ok?
    Big, soft, and m and m’s?!
    It’s Friday, so I think so.

  2. Cookies, welcome back dear cookies! And these are some gems! They look fabulous. Pinned!

  3. I absolutely love cookies! I’ll take them any day over a piece of cake, especially when they have M&Ms (my favorite candy ever!) in them!

  4. I’ll take a dozen giant M&M cookies for breakfast as I reverse fill my calendar with the sushi dinner date I had last night. Cookies go well with the green juice I’m drinking, right?

  5. These remind me of the cookies of my youth. I can’t wait to try them! That oatmeal with blackberries looks fab! I love oatmeal for breakfast too.

  6. Can I subsitute the shortening for something else? I’ve been looking to make some cookies with my son this weekend, and these are the best ones for him coz he loves cookies but he LOVES m&ms. I’m very excited to try these and see his face when they come out of the oven!
    I didn’t know I was backfilling my to-do list (not my calendar) until you just asked. Its so good to see a bunch of things crossed off!

    • Spectrum has a palm shortening that would be a better alternative to vegetable oil shortening. You could try butter, but it will change the cookie texture.

  7. These cookies look super scrumptious! And I’m a reverse calendar filler too! I admit that I have a problem, and I’m okay with said problem. Like you said, we’re just getting things done 😉

  8. Would love to bring these cookies out for Easter.

  9. Haha – that’s exactly what I do. Hunt people down for a recipe as soon as I have evaluated it (after taking my first bite :). Can’t wait to sink my teeth into this cookie perfection!!

  10. Squeal!!!!! Oh my word these brought back memories! My sister and I used to DEVOUR a store bought version of these. My dad always made sure he had these in stock when we came to visit. Making these for a trip down epicurean memory lane. Thanks Lindsay!

  11. I loved the instagram shots! Sending a warm hug from snowy WI and thanks for the cookies too :)

  12. Love, love, love, Soft M&M Cookies! I can’t wait to give these a try. I live where it doesn’t snow, and always sigh when I see beautiful pictures of it. Thanks for sharing yours.

  13. Teaching and blogging are all consuming…I get it. :)

    I agree. Many hate on winter, but I love it. Chicago winters are just as gorgeous. Despite the -40 Polar Vortex or whatever.

    I’d love to hear more about your teaching life!

  14. Love these cookies Lindsay! They look incredible. So excited for your ecookbook!

  15. Nom nom nom, can’t wait to try these cookies although shortening kinda gives me the heebie jeebies! Can’t wait for your ecookbook – will i be able to print it out? I’m not one of e-copies – esp for recipes.

    On another note, love that you reverse fill in planners. Planners are always great to keep – I keep mine for years. It helps when I am scrap booking something from one/two years ago and can’t remember the order of events in a given season! xo

  16. Two things immediately happened while reading this post. “Oh yeah, I haven’t reverse-filled my to-do list yet.” I do it with calendars AND to-do lists, because I like to feel accomplished.

    Second thing: I ate a chocolate chip cookie after seeing your picture. It’s not even 9am here (in CA), and I just ate breakfast. This is a problem.

    P.S. Release date for this much-anticipated ecookbook?

  17. We just made these the other day and ohhhh my gosh can not stop eating them =) looking forward to your ecookbook coming out =)

  18. I don’t need this kind of temptation in my life and why do I have all of the ingredients to make these right now. Looks so freaking good!

  19. I have been searching for a chewy M&M sugar cookie for years! My husband is obsessed and super picky, but I think these are going to be IT!

    And I reverse fill in my to-do list too, btw. Or pad it. Yup. Love crossing things off. Love it.

  20. The best part of a to-do list (or calendar) is crossing off stuff, so I definitely add things just for that purpose.

    I got calendars for my boys when they were born to keep track of milestones & things. I definitely just filled out the whole thing after they turned one. Thank goodness for posting annoying mommy things on Facebook!

    And now I know what I’m going to do this weekend! Sleep, and make then eat tons of these cookies!

  21. these cookies look amazing! you can see how soft they are – yum! have a good weekend sleeping and snuggling, sounds lovely :)

  22. Two of my favorite things: cookies and M&Ms. Well, my day is made!

  23. I do backward calendaring too. Makes me feel productive! I would love some of these cookies right now!

  24. I just love M&M cookies. These look great!

  25. Soft cookies are the best! I love the M&M’s in them, I could eat about 5 of those right now!

  26. Are the parents ok which you posting pictures of their kids? I would not be.

  27. I’m learning that blogging and working full time is a bit overwhelming. My goal is to post 3 times a week but so far it has only been 1 post this week. Keep it up. You’re doing a great job!

    Those cookies look great! I am learning to bake so I’ll definitely try this recipe out.

  28. Cookies! An big cookies! Yeah!
    These look so good and can I just say how much you amaze me. Working full time and blogging full time is incredible! Go you!
    Oh and I just love, love love that board you are using in the ecookbook shot. So cool!

  29. Yum! M&M cookies are one of my favorites. I haven’t had one in forever so I will have to try this recipe soon.
    The picture of the snow looks lovely. We are expecting some this weekend, so I’m looking forward to being snowed in.
    Have a good weekend!

  30. LOVE M&M cookies! Such a classic. Thanks for sharing!

    – S

  31. I’ve just started blogging and I’m BOWLED OVER by how long everything takes …. but it’s SO much fun. I do admire you though for doing nearly full-time teaching as well. It’s one thing to sit at a desk dreaming (erm … I mean working really hard) all day long and then blog when you get home, but quite another to be in control of a bunch of needy (however cute) young ones all day long and then blog. (I know, because I was a high school teacher for a few years and boy is it tiring!!) Anyway, you do a great job Lindsay and you’re an inspiration to the rest of us. All the best with the final stages of the ebook. Oh, and the cookies look yummy! I am still yet to have a go at making American cookies (shock horror) but these look like they might be good ones to start with!

  32. Cookies are my favorite thing to bake. I am going to make sure that I bake these, along with a cheese cake tomorrow, promise.

  33. OMG Yummy – these look so soft & chewy. Can’t wait to make them. I don’t suppose I could make them with peanut m&ms?
    The Macadame. xx

  34. I’m a “to do” list kind of person. Like, religiously. And during particularly bad weeks, as I’m writing my list, I add “write to do” list at the top. So that I can cross something off immediately, and get a feeling of vague accomplishment. We take what we can get, sometimes!

  35. First off, let me say my husband and I love your site! We are regulars. We talk about you like you are a close friend…:) So this morning when he said “Pinch of Yum” has some M&M cookies today, want to do them with the kids. I was so excited. I went to add the recipe to my ziplist for our grocery trip. I can’t wait to make these cookies, but I did want to let you know that the plugin is not working properly. It is sending me to a 404 message.
    We will copy the ingredients the old-fashioned way and cook away. Can’t wait! Thanks for the great recipes and inspiring me as a new blogger.

    • Hm, good to know! Thanks Dayna! I’ll let the tech team know 😉

    • Hi again Dayna, we checked on the Zip List functionality and it seems to be working fine on our end when saving from Easy Recipe to Zip List. Maybe it was a random glitch? I don’t know. Let me know if you continue to have problems!

  36. I am new to your site and absolutely LOVE it already! Like you, I’m also a fulltime teacher–I teach composition to college students in Seattle–and since I love to write, I’ve started blogging and am doing my research on the blogging business. Do you have any advice/tips for me on how you manage to accomplish it all, balancing teaching, blogging, and family life? Thank you!!

  37. Just made these and they turned out perfectly! I’ll write “bake cookies” on my list for today and go cross it off– I totally add things to my to-do list that are already done all. the. time!

  38. Hello! I am new to your site and really LOVE it already! Like you, I’m also a full time teacher (I teach English composition to college students in Seattle) and I’ve just started blogging, so I’m doing a lot of research on the blogging business. Would you have any advice on how you manage to balance full time teaching, blogging, and family life? Do you have a daily or weekly routine that works well for you? I’d love to hear about it. Thank you!!

    • I’m realizing more and more that balance is a lie. But I still try to make it happen anyways. :) A few tips would be get out of the house for family/date time (and maybe even don’t bring your phone),and PLAN time for social and family things, like literally write them on your calendar and block off a few hours. I also like to think of my yes/no balance as 85/15. 85% of the time it’s important to say yes, I’m going to write that post or I’m going to make that recipe one more time or I’m going to make time for getting over to the gym, and 15% of the time it’s important to say no, I need a break, I need to sleep in, I need to watch TV to mentally unplug, whatever. :)

  39. Ooooh cookies! My favorite! M&Ms…love these cookies even more. I need these in my life. Mmm!

  40. just made these and looooove them, and they’re bf approved. can’t beat a good soft m&m cookie :)

  41. Love these cookies! Yum! And do tell us what podcasts you’ll be on- would love to hear the interviews. Stay warm in MN!

  42. Cookies and snow…I am jealous :(

  43. I do the same thing too! It makes me feel accomplished to check something off a list, even if I know it happened 5 days ago, and it’s why I always write super long, super detailed lists and separate every category into sub-categories and sub-sub-categories. More things to check off = more accomplishments = happier Amy!

    Did you ever eat those humongous M&M cookies from supermarket bakeries? The ones that were basically the size of your head? They were my all-time favorites as a kid because the sugar cookie base was soooo soft and buttery, and I picked all of the M&Ms off the top to eat separately. Chocolate = amazing, buttery sugar cookies = amazing, and by separating the two, I ended up with twice as much amazing-ness! Your cookies brought back a flood of happy childhood memories — thank you! :)

  44. Mhmmmmm. I need these cookies ASAP. Does this recipe work with butter instead of shortening?

  45. Coincidence that the fiance just bought a surplus of M&Ms? I think not! More like fate.

  46. Cookies + M&Ms = good :-)

  47. M&M Cookies are my absolute favorite, but, weirdly, I never make them. Instead, I buy them pre-made. Guess I don’t like to wait. :0)

  48. These look like fluffy delicious m&m clouds! Droooling :)

  49. Just made these tonight and they are yummmmmmmy! (I converted my grandmother and mother to m&m cookie fans. They both said they didn’t like m&m cookies but had never tried them because they thought they didn’t look good. Anyway, they both loved them.)

    What do you think of using butter instead of shortening? I don’t usually use shortening in my cookies but just wanted to see if you thought butter might work.

    • Thanks so much Laura! Someone just commented about using butter and having them come out really flat – so not sure how but you’d definitely need to adapt it slightly to get them staying thick!

    • Michelle says:

      Laura, having baked (and eaten lol) many a cookie, I can tell you that butter will not only make them flat, but it will also make them crisp. A general rule I use is all butter = crispy/half butter, half shortening = crisp edges, chewy middle/all shortening = chewy. Hope this helps! BTW, Lindsay… I am sooo making these tonight! I was trying to find a treat I could bake for Autism Awareness Month, and these will be perfect. Gonna use only the blue, red, green, and yellow M&Ms to match the colors in the autism awareness ribbon! Thanks so much for sharing! :)

  50. I live in UK and we don’t have shortening but I was so desperate to try these cookies that I thought butter would be OK. Disaster! They spread a lot, I mean like a lot, almost like paper thin. Never mind! The M&M’s were yummy!

  51. I have been using this exact recipe for over 40 years. It was originally printed on the back of an m&m package. I think I still have the wrapper. I did make some adjustments after crisco changed their formula a few years ago so they did not turn out so flat.

  52. In Spain we don´t have shortening either, but I used about 1/2 cup of margarine instead (soft, not melted) and they came out fabulous!! Thanks for the recipe!!

  53. I can’t believe I ate the WHOLE THING. Dammit, these were so good!

    My only regret is that the recipe only made 24 cookies. :)

  54. These were AWESOME!!! Quite possibly the best cookies I have ever eaten.
    Thank you so much, Lindsay!!!

  55. Best. Cookies. Ever.

  56. relgammal says:

    please I want to try this recipie but in my country there is no shortening so shall i use butter or vegetable oil or margarine?please waiting for your advice..

  57. Lindsay,

    This is so funny to me–I was searching the ‘net yesterday for a good M&M cookie recipe, and decided yours sounded best. I had no idea this was you–your website–until I scrolled down and saw the photo of your classroom. I recognized it as Lewis’s classroom from a few years back! What are the chances?! Anyway-I made your recipe, and we are enjoying the cookies today. :o)

  58. I just made these cookies, and oh my goodness are they good. I halved the recipe and still got 13 decent sized cookies. I also subbed butter for shortening and I didnt find too much of a difference in what the texture should be. They were big and fluffy and chewy and delicious!

  59. Hi Lindsay! I tried this recipe using shortening, but my cookies came out really flat. Do you know what I could have done wrong?

  60. I never make M&M cookies because they come out too crisp, but I need a lot of cookies for my kids’ drama camp and noticed a huge bag of M&M’s in my pantry. A quick google search led me to this recipe, and it is a perfect blend of smooth chocolate, crisp candy shell, and soft cookie! I used a heaping tablespoon of dough per cookie (smaller than yours, I am sure, but I am feeding children) and got 4 dozen. Now I’m just sorry I have to give them all away! You’ve got a new fan!

  61. Lami Martin says:

    Wow these are everything that they say they are, soft and gooey!!

    I found them so filling that I had to share 1, shhh..

    Maybe I was just full from lunch?

    I used half butter and half shortening and the taste was amazing!!

    They are def the right kind of cookie to share!

  62. Karen Stryker says:

    My son loves M&M cookies and this recipe is great!! Very easy to make and the cookies are delicious!! Thank you!!

  63. I was super excited about this recipe the minute I saw it on Pinterest. I’ve always loved baking and lately I’ve been on a cookie making kick, so I tried these out this morning. I followed the recipe EXACTLY and the cookies came out extremely thin and almost unedible. Some crumbled when I scooped them up with a spatula to transfer to a cooling rack. I won’t lie, I had a couple of the cookie crumbles and they were tasty. However they were very very greasy – even a bit much for me (I’m a self proclaimed butter queen). I wish these worked for me because they looked sooooo good :(

    • Hey Kristin! Did you use butter? Was it melted or softened? I think this recipe actually calls for shortening, if I’m remembering correctly… But regardless, if you decide to go at it again I would add some flour to keep them a little thicker (and I do think they can work with either butter or shortening as long as it’s not melted or too soft). Sorry to hear that they didn’t work for you!

  64. Can the cookie dough be made a day ahead & placed in fridge??? TIA


  66. Hello thinking of making these now quick question can I use butter instead of shortening

  67. Hi there,

    I found this recipe last week, and these cookies turned out fabulous! My only question is that I made them Thursday morning, and put them in a tin along with all my other cookies and when I gave them away today they were really hard. What can I do to keep them soft for more than 2 days?

  68. i just used this recipe, they dont have no taste to em, they do keep form of what you put em into, and light to color, the fact is there blah, if they didn’t have m’m’s in em, it would infact
    taste like shortbread. very simple but plain recipe. i’m still in search of a good tasting cookie.

  69. It’s a snowy Monday in CT and these cookies were the first thing on my list of to-dos this morning. The house smells amazing. I can’t wait to dive into this batch!

  70. I made and loved, loved, loved these cookies! I swapped in Reese’s Pieces because I’m allergic to chocolate, and they were perfection. It would make my day if you’d check out my blog post: :)

  71. In France one can use the leaf lard…sold in white bricks next to the butter …it’s called “saindoux” and you can use all saindoux in the recipe …or half saindoux/half butter and they come out in pillowy perfection! Thank you for a palate AND eye-pleasing offering!

  72. Charlene says:

    Baked these for my mom’s group using red & brown m&ms only for Valentines. All the girls loved it & didn’t mind taking one large cookie for themselves. They turned out just like the photos. Thanks

  73. MrsRamirez says:

    Hi there! I love these cookies. This is a great recipe. The first time I made them they turned out perfect. The second time the fell flat and even got crunchy! I hate crunchy cookies. I tried them again today and the same thing happened. The fell and are crunchy. Any ideas as to what I might be doing wrong? I’m following the recipe to a T! And I just bought new baking soda so I know that’s not it…. hmmm….

    • Hi, Nichole! Sorry to hear they didn’t turn out 2nd and 3rd time around. There are several reasons they could be going flat. Make sure you are using enough flour for the dough to be almost dry to the touch. If the dough is sticky, it needs more flour! Also, make sure you are using shortening. If you use a lower-fat margarine or substitute, this could cause your cookies to flatten. When you are mixing, make sure you stop mixing once all ingredients are incorporated – overmixing could lead to flat cookies. Lastly, make sure your dough isn’t too warm before you bake it. You may even want to try chilling it for a couple hours before baking to see if that helps. Good luck! :)

  74. I substituted butter since I dont have shortening and the dough seems really “wet”. I tried refrigerating it then added a bit more flour… we’ll see! I also thing you could cut back on the white sugar since the M&Ms are already very sweet! Just a suggestion…

  75. Gorgeous cookies! Your photos inspired me. I’m making some M&M cookies tonight!

  76. Just made these! Soooo good. Thanks for sharing!

  77. How long do these take to make? I want to try them out~

    • Hi, Vivi! These should take no longer than 10 minutes to mix up the batter, and then if you plan to bake 2 batches of 12 cookies each, that will be about 20 minutes for baking time (10 minutes x 2 batches). Overall, you should have your cookies baked and cooled in no more than 45 minutes – probably less.

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