Peanut Butter M&M Cookies

pbmmValentine’s Day is just around the corner, and I’m preparing a care package for my goddaughter Maureen and her family. This year, Mo is getting some peanut butter M&M cookies, and there will be a few other things for her and her baby sister Margo as well.

Full disclosure: I don’t really like plain M&Ms. I love the peanut kind, and the peanut butter kind, but plain M&Ms have always seemed too…well, plain…for my taste. They’re perfect in these cookies, though, adding a nice pop of chocolate and some crunch.

If you’re planning to bake and ship these, make sure you package them well with several layers of waxed paper in the container. I’m pretty sure they’ll ship well, but it’s always best to be on the safe side with your packaging.

Ingredients

  • 1 3/4 cup flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 8 tablespoons butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup peanut butter
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • 1 cup M&Ms candies (I used the Valentine’s Day mix)

Preparation

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line several baking sheets with parchment paper.

In a medium bowl, stir together flour, baking soda, and salt; set aside.

In a mixing bowl, beat butter on medium speed for about 1 minute. Add sugars and beat until fluffy, then add peanut butter and beat until very well-combined.

Add egg, vanilla, and milk, beating on low speed until combined.

Add flour mixture in two batches, beating well after each addition.

Stir in M&Ms.

Using a 1-inch cookie scoop, scoop balls of dough and place about 2 inches apart on the prepared cookie sheets.

Bake for 10-12 minutes, until tops are just golden. Remove from oven and cool on cookie sheets for a few minutes, then remove to a wire rack to cool completely.

Peanut M&M Blondies

peanut m&m blondiesAs a godmother, I believe that my responsibilities to the lovely three-year-old Maureen Elizabeth Mowery include, among various other things, teaching her about how to be a good person, encouraging her to embrace her feisty girlness, and providing her with baked goods at every holiday. I’m fond of creating care packages for her and her family, picking out fun-colored tissue paper for padding and placing all manner of treats inside, like last month’s Rice Krispie shamrocks, last fall’s pumpkin chocolate chip bread, or some other easy-to-ship concoction that can withstand the trip through the mail from Pittsburgh to southern Maryland.

Last night, I realized that I only had a few days left to go until Easter, and I needed something to send to my main gal Mo. Such things happen when you’re two weeks away from your association’s national conference and you’re lucky to be able to put a coherent sentence together…holidays tend to sneak up on you. Anyway, because most Easter-related cookies are sugar cut-outs that aren’t all that conducive to shipping, I sought a sturdier treat idea. Fortunately I had some Easter-colored peanut M&Ms in the treat jar (a jar given to me by Mo’s grandma, my favorite aunt, Aunt Liz), and I did a quick internet search for something that could be made with those. Fortunately, I found a peanut M&M blondie recipe and adapted it just slightly to suit the other ingredients I had on hand.

Note: you could easily substitute the half-cup of dark brown sugar and half a cup of the white sugar for one cup of light brown sugar. Since I didn’t have enough light brown on hand, I did a quick substitution and they turned out just fine. The recipe below is adapted from one found at A Full Measure of Happiness.

Ingredients

  • 2 1/2 cups flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 cup dark brown sugar
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 12 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons vanilla extract
  • 1 12.6-ounce package Easter-colored Peanut M&Ms

Preparation

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a 9 x 13 pan completely with foil and lightly spray with baking spray.

In a large bowl, combine flour, salt, baking soda, dark brown sugar, and white sugar; mix well to combine.

Add melted butter and stir to incorporate slightly; add eggs and vanilla extract and stir well to fully combine.

Add peanut M&Ms and mix with your hands to combine well; using a spoon just wasn’t effective for me.

Press dough into the prepared pan and bake for 23-25 minutes, until a cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean.

Cool in pan for about 10 minutes, then lift out by the foil and place on a wire rack; peel foil back slightly and allow to cool completely.

Once cool, remove foil entirely and cut into bars. Store in an airtight container.