Thursday, March 5, 2015

Soft M&M Pretzel Cookies

These soft, buttery, chewy cookies loaded with mounds of M&Ms and crunchy pretzel pieces are sure to satisfy any sweet and salty craving. My Soft M&M Pretzel Cookies use my favorite cookie base and stay soft for a whole week! 

Food cravings. I have them. Often. Mostly for sweets. One day it's donuts, the next ice cream. On this particular day I had a hankering for an M&M cookie. I walked into my kitchen, dug through my HUGE box of baking supplies/chips, searching for a bag of M&Ms.

I found them, but while digging I also found some broken pretzel pieces leftover from a previous baking expedition. "Why not use both in a cookie?," I thought to myself. I like to think I'm a genius. I'm sure no human being or food blogger out there has ever thought to put these two marvelous ingredients into a cookie. Ever. (*insert intense sarcasm here*)

None the less, I'm sharing with you this wonderful cookie recipe.Remember those White Chocolate Cranberry Walnut cookies I raved about? We are using the same perfect cookie dough base today, but swapping the "extras" that are added to the dough.

For this recipe I used mini M&Ms, pretzel pieces and mini chocolate chips (for extra chocolatey-ness, duh).

It's beyond easy to whip up these cookies. The hardest part is waiting for the dough to chill. I will admit, I sometimes don't let my dough chill for two hours. I've done as little as 30 minutes. If you can't wait, at least do 30 minutes. It really does make a difference in how the cookies bake. For all the tips on how to get the perfect, soft cookie, check out this post.

Soft M&M Pretzel Cookies

Print the recipe

Prep Time: 10 minutes + 2 hours chilling
Cook Time: 8-9 minutes
Yield: 3-4 dozen cookies

2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons cornstarch
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
3/4 cup light brown sugar, packed
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 egg
2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/3 cup (heaping) M&Ms (minis or baking version)
1/3 cup (also heaping) mini chocolate chips
1/3 cup pretzel pieces, chopped coarsely

Step 1: In a medium bowl combine the flour, cornstarch, baking soda and salt by stirring with a wooden spoon or whisk. Set aside.

Step 2: Using a stand mixer, or handheld mixer, cream the butter and sugars on medium-low speed for 1 ½ to 2 ½ minutes until light and fluffy.* Add the egg and vanilla and mix until just combined. Slowly add the flour mixture while mixing on a low speed. Mix until no streaks remain and dough is thoroughly combined. Using a wooden spoon, stir in the M&Ms, mini chocolate chips and pretzel pieces

Step 3: Cover bowl with cling wrap or a lid and chill dough in refrigerator for a minimum of 2 hours. You can store dough for up to 3 days.* If you chill dough for more than 2 hours, allow it to sit on the counter for 10-15 minutes to make scooping easier. After dough has chilled, preheat oven to 350 degrees F; line two baking sheets with parchment paper; use a standard cookie scoop or a tablespoon to scoop dough onto cookie sheets, 1-2 inches apart.

Step 4: Bake for 8-9 minutes.* The edges of the cookies will be slightly brown, but the centers will not brown and look slightly undercooked. Allow cookies to cool 5-10 minutes on the cookie sheet before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.

Store cookies in an airtight container for up to 7 days!

I always use a stand mixer for my cookie recipes. If you use a handheld mixer, I recommend using the low speed settings. I have found that hand held mixers tend to beat at a higher speed and you don’t want to over mix.

Chilling is a must for creating the perfect cookie! I love whipping up batches of dough ahead of time. I’ve let my dough stay in the fridge for up to 3 days. The longer your dough chills, the harder it is to scoop. Let chilled dough sit on the counter for 10-15 minutes to soften just enough to scoop. Do not let it get room temperature!

If you absolutely do not have time to chill the dough for a full 2 hours, chill for 30 minutes, at minimum.

If you prefer a crunchy cookie, simply bake an extra 2-3 minutes until your cookie starts to brown.

Below is shot of the M&Ms and pretzel pieces so you get an idea of how large to chop your pretzels.

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