Peanut Butter and M&M Cookies

These Peanut Butter and M&M cookies were kind of an afterthought – something to make in case the Bundt cake didn’t work out, plus a way to use up some M&M trail mix I found in the pantry. The results were great and I loved how the cookies developed crackly tops (probably due to all the sugar). Unless you happen to have trail mix with M&Ms, I recommend using plain M&Ms and peanuts in these.

peanut butter and m& cookies

Peanut Butter and M&M Cookies
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Crackly peanut butter cookies with M&Ms candies
Recipe type: Dessert
Serves: 32
  • 2 cups all purpose flour (270 grams)
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda (5 ml)
  • 1 teaspoon salt (5 ml)
  • 8 oz (2 sticks) unsalted butter (230 grams) -- cool butter, cut up
  • 1 cup peanut butter, smooth or crunchy (240 grams)
  • 1 cup granulated sugar (192 grams)
  • 1 cup dark brown sugar (210 grams)
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup plain MMs candy
  • 1/2 cup peanuts
  • 1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line 2 cookie sheets with parchment paper.
  2. Mix together flour, baking soda and salt; set aside.
  3. Cream butter and both sugars using high speed of an electric mixer for 3 solid minutes. Beat in the peanut butter, followed by eggs and vanilla.
  4. Stir in the flour mixture, followed by candies and peanuts.
  5. Chill dough for about an hour. Scoop up by tablespoons and shape into balls. Bake for about 12 minutes.
  6. -- Not sure of the yield yet – will post after I bake all the dough!
Yield is just an estimate

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  1. Louise says

    I stopped eating M&Ms when they added blue ones. That’s probably not a bad thing as I used to eat a handful a day. Now I only eat them when they have the special holiday bags like green & red at Christmas and all green or all red at Valentine’s Day. The rest of the year I avoid them. 🙂

  2. says

    These look and sound great! I’d pick out the raisins from the trail mix too. I can’t wait to add this to my collection of cookie recipes.

  3. says

    I think I’d add peanut butter chips to the recipe instead of peanuts — why have something healthy in there?!? ;-D Seriously, though, my Tom Thumb started carrying this heavenly “trail mix” with peanut butter chips and sea salt — tastes amazing. That would convince me to try it here…

  4. says

    hey shirley corriher, LOVE your comment about the fact that the crackly tops might have been affected by the amount of creaming, and the fact that the texture can change if/when the sugar dissolves; i understand you’re not 100% sure but can you elaborate on your experience?

    any time i make cookies, the butter is never exactly the same degree of cold it was the last time and, as i beat it with the sugar, i’m always nervously looking at the batter and wondering if it’s too soft, am i beating too much, should i be beating it more, etc etc.

    perhaps you have covered this on previous posts, and if that is true, please forgive me for missing it

  5. says

    Louise, did you hear the story about how a certain blue dye might help stop spinal chord injury progression? It’s off topic, but your blue M&M reference made me think of it. But I’m not sure Mars uses “Brilliant Blue”.

    Sara, I actually like raisins….just not in peanut butter cookies or anywhere NEAR chocolate.

    ModernMom, that is my goal. Thank you.

    Thanks, Jelli!

    AJ, I didn’t know Tom Thumb was still around. They used to have them here in Austin, but now they’re all Randall’s.

    Jannie, thanks for stopping by. We’d love to catch your band in concert one day.

    TG, my experience dissolving sugar is mostly with cakes. When I cream the butter & sugar longer I get a tighter crumb and more delicate textured pound cake. I’m still trying to wrap my head around how this could apply to cookies, but it’s probably not clear cut since every cookie recipe has different proportions of sugar. Now that I think about it, these cookies might have crackly tops because there’s a pretty high proportion of sugar.

    What I do know from Shirley Corriher is that the temperature of the butter really matters. When I start off with cool butter (as opposed to warm or even room temp, which around here is 78) I get rounded edges and better overall texture and shape. I think this is because if butter is too cold, the sugar can’t cut into it and form enough air bubbles and if it’s too warm, the air bubbles won’t hold. So maybe starting off with cool butter lets you cream longer without bringing the fat down to a temperature too warm to hold air bubbles. Meanwhile, the extra pounding the sugar is getting from the friction of the paddle breaks up the crystals a bit and makes them finer and the finer crystals cut into the soft butter making smaller than usual air bubbles. The leavening expands theses smaller air bubbles resulting in a tighter texture.

    That doesn’t really explain cracked-top cookies, though! LOL. It’s probably just the overall proportion of sugar.

  6. says

    From what I remember of the last time I heard Shirley on the radio, she recommended you cream for a reallllly long time – like over 5 minutes – for cakes to really get the lift they need. I now go for like 6-8 minutes because you really can’t overbeat for a cake.

    For cookies, I think what really matters is the temperature of the butter and the chilling. Want flat cookies? Use melted butter. Want nice cookies that don’t spread? Use cooler butter, don’t cream very much, and put the dough in the fridge.

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