Peanut Butter m&m Cookies
on Mar 10, 2022, Updated Nov 15, 2023
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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. If you’re a peanut butter lover, they will give you everything you want in a cookie.
You can also bake these crispy m&m cookies.
Table of Contents
Why You’ll Love This Recipe
It doesn’t get much better than a dessert that involves peanut butter and chocolate. They will give you that Reese’s cup energy in a thick, soft cookie with the crisp bite of the m&m candy shells.
They are better than peanut butter blossom cookies with a chocolate kiss planted in the middle. That’s because you get bites of chocolate in every bite since the m&ms are mixed throughout the dough.
These are peanut butter cookies without the fork marks. 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. This is 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.
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.
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. 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.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
6. 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. Press the remaining M&Ms into the top of each cookie dough ball.
7. Bake the cookies for 12-15 minutes. They will crack on top and turn lightly golden. Keep the cookies on the pan for 5 minutes before transferring them to a wire rack to cool.
You can eat the cookies warm or at room temperature. They are wonderful for sharing including potlucks or cookie exchanges. There is something so familiar about m&m cookies and peanut butter cookies, so these combine both of them.
Storage & Freezing
Store the cookies in an airtight container at room temperature. You can save them for 2-3 days. Any longer, and they will start to dry out.
You can freeze baked or unbaked cookies. Thaw frozen baked cookies at room temperature. Before you freeze unbaked cookies, portion out the dough onto a pan lined with parchment or wax paper. Then put them in the freezer. Once they are frozen, you can put them in the same container.
The butter that you bake with should be soft at room temperature. You should be able to put your finger on it and easily make a dent, but it should still feel kind of cold to the touch. If the butter is warm and sticky, your cookies will end up too flat.
When you measure the flour, use the scoop and sweep method. Take fork or spoon in the flour container to stir it around because it can pack down as it sits in your pantry. Then take a measuring cup and scoop the flour. Use a knife to sweep across, so it is even with the top.
You can substitute mini m&m size for regular m&m size. Since they are smaller, you will end up with more chocolate distributed throughout the cookies if you use mini ones.
Use two baking sheets. Then you won’t scoop cookie dough onto warm pans by alternating between batches.
Using a cookie scoop makes portioning out the dough quick and easy. Also, the size of your cookie dough balls will be more consistent.
Yes, if you prefer almond butter cookies then you can swap the nut butters.
Yes, you can substitute with semisweet chocolate chips or bittersweet chocolate chips. Then you end up with thick peanut butter chocolate chip cookies.
If you like that mix, use half m&ms and half chips. Only press m&ms on top.
More Cookie Recipes
Peanut Butter m&m Cookies
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 6 ounces 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
- 1-1/2 cups m&ms
- In a medium bowl, combine the flour, baking soda and salt.
- 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.
- Beat in the egg and vanilla extract.
- Mix the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients until just combined.
- Stir in 1 cup m&ms.
- Cover the dough and chill in the refrigerator overnight.
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
- Scoop the dough into 1-1/2-inch diameter balls. Arrange 2 inches apart on the prepared baking sheet. Press the remaining m&ms into the dough (about 2-3 per cookie).
- 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.
Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.