M&Ms usually release colorful bags of their candies for the holidays. This means red, white and green candies around Christmas, then reds and pinks around Valentine’s Day. I often use these seasonal M&Ms to give a pop of color to an otherwise ordinary batch of chocolate chip cookies, so when I saw a bag of red, white and blue peanut M&Ms on the shelf, I knew that some 4th of July cookies were in order. These Patriotic Peanut M&M Cookies are loaded with large, colorful peanut M&M candies. Not only do they help the cookies look good, they add in flavors of chocolate and peanuts, as well as a bit of candy crunch.
The dough for these cookies has a great consistency and is easy to shape, but it is thicker than some cookie doughs. The thicker dough holds the large M&Ms in place very well during baking, but it means that you might need to stick them into the dough by hand as you shape the cookies in the event that they fall out. I make the cookies a bit larger than most of my cookies, since the peanut M&Ms are so large, so they have a slightly longer baking time than some other chocolate chip cookies. If you make your cookies smaller, you might need to take a minute or two off the baking time.
The finished cookies are crisp and buttery, with just enough salt to make them seriously addictive. The colorful peanut M&Ms give the cookies a festive look that is perfect for 4th of July celebrations. Make sure that some of the candies peek out from within the dough as you shape your cookies so that you get the best finished look. The cookies keep well and can be baked a day or two in advance. They also freeze well and can be used to make ice cream sandwiches if you need to beat the summer heat!
Patriotic Peanut M&M Cookies
2 1/4 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1 cup butter, room temperature
1 1/3 cups sugar
2 large egg yolks
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 cups red, white and blue peanut M&Ms
Preheat oven to 350F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
In a small bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda and salt.
In a large bowl, cream together butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in egg yolks and vanilla extract. Gradually stir in the flour mixture until the dough comes together, then stir in the M&Ms. Don’t worry if all the M&Ms don’t stick into the batter, as you can press them into the dough as you shape the cookies.
Shape the dough into 1 1/4 inch balls. Arrange cookies on baking sheet, allowing at least 2 inches between the balls for spread.
Bake for 13-16 minutes, until cookies are light golden brown and set.
Allow cookies to cool for 2-3 minutes on the baking sheet, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
Makes 32-36 cookies.