Wednesday 4 April 2012

Easter M&M Cookies

Before anything else, a quick apology for the lack of updates lately. The day job kind of started taking up all my evenings, too, so I was left with no time to blog. I will attempt to make it up to you with not one, not two, but THREE posts between now and the end of Easter Sunday! So I hope you like Easter stuff.

So, I went to Bulk Barn one fine day (you may begin to notice I do this a lot. It may or may not be my favourite baking supply shop. But I digress) and saw these:

Oh my, Easter-themed M&Ms! I knew I had to bake something awesome with them! But I didn't. At least, I didn't bake anything with the first bagful I bought, since my brother came over that evening, and all the M&Ms mysteriously disappeared. Neither of us have any idea how it happened.

So I bought another bag. This time I swore the M&Ms would make it safely into some baked good, or perhaps they were destined to sit atop lovely spring cupcakes... but alas, it seems they were destined to mysteriously disappear, bit by bit, over the course of the week.

This is likely one of those mysteries that man will simply never know the answer to, much like the mystery of how my socks keep going missing in the dryer.

Oh well.

So I bought a third bagful.

If you look closely, you'll see that some of the M's form little bunny ears, or sheep's faces., it is just too cute! There aren't many faces showing in this picture, but come on, you know I have more pictures!

But let's get to the recipe, shall we? This one is pretty easy to whip up, and extremely versatile. Much like many of my favourite recipes, it begins with butter. A half pound of butter. Oh yes.

Salted butter.

"What's that?!" I hear you say (in my mind, or is that just the regular voices? Hm. Anyway,) "Salted butter? In a cookie recipe?! Blasphemy! Atrocity! A travesty!"

It's okay, stay calm. One day, I went to bake cookies and had no unsalted butter, and thought, heck, I'm going to just go nuts and use salted! I altered the recipe slightly to accommodate the change and you know what? I have never looked back. A tiny but of salt brings out the richness of this dough, and really makes the sweet candies' flavor pop!

If you really don't like the salted butter thing though, hey, use unsalted. I won't hold it against you, but your taste buds shall ever wonder what beauty may have been.

Or maybe I'm being dramatic. I do that sometimes.

So, once you've creamed up your room-temperature butter of choice, throw in your 3/4 cups each of white and brown sugar, and mix it all up until smooth.

Then you'll want to add an egg and a teaspoon of vanilla, and mix 'er up again until you've got a nice pile of mush, like so:

Now comes your flour, you want 2 1/4 cups, and you don't have to add it gradually or anything fancy like that either, just chuck it all in, toss 1/4 teaspoon of salt (more salt? I know, right? Ridiculous) and a teaspoon of baking soda, then work 'em all together with your wooden spoon until you have a nice dough.

(By the by, you could probably do all this with a stand mixer. It would likely be easier, and taste just as good, so by all means, bust out the KitchenAid, my friends. I will envy you quietly, from afar, whilst I nurse my sore wrists.)

Did I mention there was going to be chocolate chips in these cookies? There's going to be chocolate chips in these cookies. This is about 1 1/2 cups of semi-sweet chocolate chips. For prettiness' sake, I would suggest white chocolate chips instead, but this was what I had on hand, and honestly I prefer the taste of darker chocolate.

But like I said, this is a very versatile recipe! So use whatever add-ins you like. You could even toss in a cup or so of your favourite nuts.

Now, what are we missing?

Ah. M&Ms from heaven!

Told you there'd be more pictures of the M&Ms. I spy with my little eye... a pink little lamb, a yellow little bunny, and a sweet little yellow chick.

Gosh these are cute.

Scoop your dough out onto your ungreased cookie sheet. If you're smart, unlike me, you will line the sheets with parchment paper. The M&Ms that make contact with the pan tend to want to stay there. So yeah, use parchment. I sure will next time.

They did eventually come free of the pan though, and I put them on a rack to cool. They came out a smidge flatter than usual, likely because I let the butter get a bit too warm. Oh well, we all make mistakes.

They were still awesome. My evidence to that fact is that they disappeared even faster than those first two bags of M&Ms did. No mysteries here, though, I know they were messily, and joyfully devoured.

If you'd like to make your own, here's the recipe:

Chocolate Chip M&M Cookies
Adapted from Betty Crocker Cookbook - New Edition

1 C butter, salted, preferably Neilson brand
3/4 C white sugar, granulated
3/4 C brown or golden sugar, packed
1 large egg
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 1/4 C all-purpose flour
1/4 tsp salt (Use 1/2 tsp if using unsalted butter)
1 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 C chocolate chips of your choice
1 C M&Ms

Cream butter, beat in sugars. Add egg and vanilla and stir to combine. Add flour, salt and baking soda and mix with wooden spoon until a smooth dough forms. Add chocolate chips and candies and mix well into dough.

Drop 1-inch balls of dough onto parchment-lined cookie sheet, bake in 375 degree oven for ~9 minutes.

Try not to devour them all in one sitting.

I'll be back in a day or two with more treats! I hope these cookies blow your mind.

Until next time!

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