I’ve baked many varieties of chocolate chip cookies, all recipes purport to be the best, tastiest, most luscious! And they are – until I find the next one on line or in a cookbook, and then I begin to create my signature cookie. Cookies are quick, most are easy to concoct, and once baked, easy to pop in your mouth, again and again – simple and delicious. There are no worries about cutting a cake, having a knife handy, which piece is bigger, how to divide it, does it need frosting? These quandaries fall away when baking cookies! The only question when baking is: how many and how big! And with kids, for an afterschool treat, nothing could be easier!
This cookie recipe contained M & M’s a candy from my childhood which wasn’t really a favorite of mine. In a pinch, with nothing chocolaty around I would eat a few. At Halloween I remember receiving packs of M & M’s in my sack, but truthfully, I preferred milky ways, or just Hershey bars, which I gobbled down fast, then finally I ate those colorful M & M candies, either letting them melt in my mouth or enjoying their shiny candy crunch coating in my mouth.
But with certain recipes, like t his one, you can adjust some ingredients for fun, or tweak their appearance, (size), colors and taste. Aside from creating my own recipes, and getting ideas from other cooks, I don’t write about specifics. However, this recipe is an exception. I found Averie Cooks, a blog where I saw the original recipe. Her recipe acted like a springboard for me, giving me ideas to change her ingredients, her title – M & M chocolate chip cookies. In mine, you too may want to make adjustments, such as adding nuts, cutting down on the sweetness by replacing raisins for chocolate. I tweaked this recipe my own desires, do the same if you like.
INGREDIENTS Yield 20 cookies
1/2 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup brown sugar – combine equal amounts of dark and light sugar
1/4 cup white sugar
2 tsp vanilla
1 1/4 cup flour
1/4 cup instant vanilla pudding mix – used dry
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 scant tsp salt
Pam cooking spray
1/2 cup M & M’s, or another chocolate candy, such as Reese’s cup, Snicker’s, Milky Way or Twix, cut close to the size of the M & M’s – plus, gather in a bowl some additional candies to press on the top of the cookies before baking.
1 Using a stand mixer with a paddle attachment combine the butter, sugars, egg, and vanilla. Mix on medium-high until well-creamed, about 3 minutes. Or use a large mixing bowl and an electric mixer to combine the ingredients for 3-5 minutes. Scrap the sides down as needed.
2 In a separate bowl stir the flour, dry pudding mix, baking soda and salt. In 2 or 3 portions, slowly add in these dry ingredients to the big bowl, mixing for about one minute.
3 Stir in by hand, with a wooden spoon, the 1/2 cup of M & M or other candy.
4 Using a number 30 cookie scoop or 2 slightly-mounded tablespoons combined to make nice mounds of dough. After every other use of the scoop – if using – spray Pam on the now-empty scoop. This helps the dough release better against the metal. Placing each cookie mound on 3 or 4 dinner-size plates; press down slightly with your fingers on each dough mounds. Top them with additional chips, if desired.
5 Chill the mounds and cover with wax paper or plastic wrap for4 hours or overnight in the refrigerator. When ready to bake, preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Remove the cookies from the refrigerator and place them individually on a cookie sheet covered with a Silpat sheet or parchment paper. Use about 12 cookies per sheet, do not crowd. You’ll have about 7 or 8 cookies remaining which you can cook after the first batch is baked. Make sure your cookie sheet is cool when you bake the remaining dough. Bake for 10-11 minutes, leaning more toward the 10 minute marker. Take t hem out even if they look a bit pale. After 1 minute, carefully check one cookie with a metal spatula, to see that it’s faintly brown underneath; if not, put the cookie tray back in the oven for about another minute. Watch carefully so as not to overbake the cookies! They will cook slightly more once out of the oven. Once out of the oven, leave them on the cookie sheet to cool. Do not use a rack, since all that chocolate makes them rather loose and breakable until they are totally cool.
TIPS AND TWEAKS
- Replace some of the chocolate chips and M & M’s inside the cookie with nuts and or raisins, for a less sweet cookie.
- For less sweetness too, do not add any additional candy to the t op of the cookie and instead top t he cookie with dried cranberries, cherries, blueberries or plums. Use sugar-free dried fruit, or from a package with less sugar.
- Skip the extra sweet topping totally.
- To change the sweetness flavor, replace the chocolate chips with butterscotch or white chocolate chips, or too add a half cup of your favorite chopped nuts inside the cookie or on top.