Peanut butter M&M cookies on a plate.

March 10, 2022

Peanut Butter M&M Cookies

These easy peanut butter M&M cookies turn out thick and soft dotted with chocolate candies for that perfect dessert mix of salty and sweet.

These easy peanut butter M&M cookies turn out thick and soft dotted with chocolate candies for that perfect dessert mix of salty and sweet. As a peanut butter lover, they give me everything that I crave in a treat.

Peanut butter M&M cookies on a plate.

It doesn’t get much better than a dessert that involves peanut butter and chocolate. Give me a Reese’s cup, and I am totally smitten.

These peanut butter M&M cookies combine one of my other favorite candies and classic peanut butter cookie dough to create a dessert made with simple ingredients. They turn out thick and soft.

Whenever I bake a batch, they don’t last long because my husband, son and I can’t resist them. We absolutely love fresh cookies.

I like them better than a peanut butter blossom with a chocolate kiss stuck in the middle because M&Ms are crisp and chocolaty and end up in nearly every bite.

Peanut butter M&M cookies on a marble counter.

A Peanut Butter Cookie Without Fork Marks

With their fork hash marks, peanut butter cookies are easy to spot. While there is no single answer why that crisscross pattern became a thing, the most likely explanation is that people flatten down the dough slightly because it’s thicker, and this helps the cookies bake more evenly.

It would be hard to press a the tines of a fork into a cookie with a mix-in like chocolate chips or something else. That’s why I save some M&Ms, to press in on top. Not only is this for decoration, but also it’s to push down cookie dough balls, just slightly.

Remember, these cookies are not meant to turn out thin and crispy like my other version of M&M cookies that have something closer to a sugar cookie base.

Ingredients including M&Ms, flour, peanut butter, butter, vanilla extract, egg and peanut butter

The Ingredients

This is what you need:

  • Flour: Like most cookies, this easy recipe calls for all-purpose flour.
  • Baking soda helps the cookies rise and gives them their thick, soft texture.
  • Salt is important even in dessert recipes. Just a touch activates the flavors of all the ingredients.
  • Butter: My preference for baking is to use unsalted butter. Make sure to leave it out at room temperature to soften. If you forget to do this, you can use the big holes of a box grater to cut the butter into small pieces that will soften faster.
  • Peanut butter: Natural creamy peanut butter is best. Give the jar a good stir, so the oil is well combined before you spoon it into the measuring cup.
  • Brown sugar: Use light brown sugar because the molasses flavor of dark brown sugar will compete too much with the taste of peanuts and chocolate.
  • Sugar: The cookies use half brown sugar and half granulated sugar. This is a good balance, so you end up with thicker, softer cookies.
  • Egg: The recipe has one large egg
  • Vanilla extract is subtle in the cookies, but I like that hint of vanilla.
  • M&Ms: A cup of these chocolate candies is mixed into the dough. Then the rest are saved to decorate the tops of the cookies.
Before and after: creaming the peanut butter, butter, sugar and brown sugar in a bowl.
Beat in the egg and vanilla extract in a bowl. Then mix in the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients.
Before and after: stir the M&Ms into the peanut butter cookie dough.
Use a cookie scoop to portion out the dough on a sheet pan and press M&Ms into the dough balls. After the cookies are baked, cool them on a wire rack.

How To Make Peanut Butter M&M Cookies

  1. Combine the dry ingredients. Stir together the flour, baking soda and salt in a medium bowl.
  2. Cream the room temperature butter, peanut butter and sugars in a large mixing bowl. Use a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment or an electric hand mixer to beat the peanut butter, butter, light brown sugar and granulated sugar. Give it time! This should take about 4 minutes, so it turns pale and fluffy.
  3. Beat in the egg and vanilla extract until fully combined.
  4. Mix the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients.
  5. Stir 1 cup M&Ms into the dough.
  6. Chill the dough overnight in the refrigerator. This chill time is critical because it prevents the cookies from spreading too much when you bake them.
  7. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  8. Scoop the dough into 1-1/2-inch diameter cookie balls. Place them 2 inches apart on the lined baking sheet. I use a #40 ice cream scoop for this.
  9. Press the remaining M&Ms into the top of each cookie dough ball.
  10. Bake the cookies for 12-15 minutes. They will crack on top and turn lightly golden.
  11. Keep the cookies on the pan for 5 minutes before transferring them to a wire rack to cool.

Storing Cookies

Keep these homemade cookies in an airtight container on your kitchen counter. They will taste freshest closest to when they were baked. I think they are best for about 2-3 days. After that, they tend to get dry.

My preference is to store baked cookies rather than frozen dough balls. Just let them thaw at room temperature.

More Cookie Recipes

Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars
Flourless Peanut Butter Chocolate Cookies
Candy Bar Blondies
Hot Chocolate Cookies
Brookies (Brownie Cookies)
Whole Wheat Chocolate Chip Cookies

Print
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Peanut butter M&M cookies on a plate.

Peanut Butter M&M Cookies

  • Author: Paige Adams
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes + chilling
  • Cook Time: 12-15 minutes
  • Total Time: 27-30 minutes + chilling
  • Yield: 36 cookies 1x
  • Category: Cookies & Bars
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American

Ingredients

Scale
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 6 ounces (11/2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened at room temperature
  • 2/3 cup natural peanut butter
  • 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 11/2 cups M&Ms

Instructions

  1. In a medium bowl, combine the flour, baking soda and salt.
  2. Cream the butter, peanut butter, brown sugar and granulated sugar using a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment or an electric mixer on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 4 minutes.
  3. Beat in the egg and vanilla extract.
  4. Mix the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients until just combined.
  5. Stir in 1 cup M&Ms.
  6. Cover the dough and chill in the refrigerator overnight.
  7. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  8. Scoop the dough into 1-1/2-inch diameter balls. Arrange 2 inches apart on the prepared baking sheet. Press the remaining M&M’s into the dough (about 2-3 per cookie).
  9. Bake for 12-15 minutes until the cookies are light golden brown and cracked on top. Keep them on the pan for 5 minutes before transferring to a rack to cool.

Notes

The cookies are best up to 2-3 days after they are baked. Store them in an airtight container at room temperature.

You can also freeze baked cookies and let them thaw at room temperature.

Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 1 cookie
  • Calories: 154
  • Sugar: 11.5 g
  • Fat: 8.3 g
  • Carbohydrates: 18.1 g
  • Fiber: 0.7 g
  • Protein: 2.4 g
  • Cholesterol: 16.5 mg

Keywords: peanut butter M&M cookies

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