In general, I usually reach for a bag of chocolate chips when I want to add some chocolate to a batch of cookies, brownies or other baked goods. Around the holidays, however, I am often swayed by the seasonally colored bags of M&Ms and similar candies and throw those into recipes to get some fall color along with my chocolate fix. I’ve been seeing leaves start to change to red, orange and yellow and couldn’t resist a similarly colorful bag of fall M&Ms, so I chose to include them in this Autumn Cookie Torte.
The torte is essentially a giant chocolate chip cookie that is baked in a springform pan. As the cookie bakes, it rises up the sides of the pan and acquires a crisp, buttery “crust” and a very moist, fudgy center. It really is a wonderful contrast of crisp and chewy for cookie lovers. The torte will sink slightly in the center as it cools, while the edges stay firm, and it should be cooled completely before it is sliced so that it will be fully set. That said, it is also fun to eat it while it’s slightly warm and the chocolate is melty, if you don’t mind your slices being slightly less than perfect!
The M&Ms pack a nice chocolate punch and you still get a hint of their crisp candy shells as you eat the torte. You can use chocolate chips, nuts or other mix-ins, but that little splash of color makes this torte stand out and makes it seem like an extra special treat in the fall.
Autumn Cookie Torte
1 cup all purpose flour
1 cup brown sugar
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup butter, cold
1 large egg
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/4 cup M&Ms (autumn mix), plus extra for topping
Preheat the oven to 350F. Lightly grease a 9-inch springform pan.
In the bowl of a food processor, combine flour, brown sugar, baking powder and salt. Pulse to combine. Cut butter into several chunks and add to flour mixture. Plus until butter has been incorporated and mixture is sandy, with some pea-sized chunks of butter remaining. (Butter can also be cut in by hand, if not using a food processor.)
Add in egg and vanilla and whizz until dough comes together. Transfer to a bowl and stir in M&Ms.
Transfer to prepared pan and spread into an even layer with the spatula. Sprinkle a handful of extra M&Ms over the top of the torte.
Bake for 30-33 minutes, until torte is golden brown and set in the center.
Cool completely before slicing.