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Peanut Butter M&M’s Cookies Recipe

Peanut Butter M&M’s Cookies are a delightful fusion of two beloved treats: the creamy, rich taste of peanut butter and the colorful, candy-coated chocolate of M&M’s. This combination has become a favorite for cookie enthusiasts and bakers alike, offering a unique twist on traditional cookie recipes. The inception of Peanut Butter M&M’s in the early 1990s introduced a new flavor dimension to the M&M’s lineup, quickly gaining popularity for its smooth texture and rich taste. When these tiny bursts of chocolate and peanut butter are mixed into cookie dough, they create a treat that’s not only visually appealing with its pops of color but also irresistibly tasty. The popularity of Peanut Butter M&M’s Cookies can be attributed to their perfect balance of flavors and textures, making them a hit at parties, holiday gatherings, and as a comforting snack or dessert. Their versatility and crowd-pleasing nature have cemented their status as a modern classic in the world of baked goods.

Why You’ll Love These Cookies

  • Soft and Chewy Texture: These cookies are wonderfully soft, melting in your mouth with every bite.
  • Bursting with Peanut Butter Flavor: For peanut butter lovers, there’s no better treat. The cookies are packed with rich peanut butter taste that perfectly complements the M&M’s.
  • Perfect for Any Occasion: Whether it’s a holiday, a party, or just a cozy night in, Peanut Butter M&M’s Cookies are always a hit.

For those looking to dive deeper into baking techniques and tips, Sally’s Baking Addiction offers a wealth of knowledge. From ensuring your cookies have the perfect texture to decorating ideas, it’s an invaluable resource.

The Perfect Recipe

Ingredients Overview

Creating the perfect batch of Peanut Butter M&M’s Cookies begins with gathering the right ingredients. Each component plays a pivotal role in achieving the ideal texture and flavor profile that makes these cookies so irresistible.

  • 1/2 cup (113g) salted butter, softened: The foundation of any great cookie, butter adds richness and helps achieve a tender crumb.
  • 1/2 cup (100g) packed light brown sugar & 1/4 cup (50g) granulated sugar: A combination of sugars provides sweetness and contributes to the soft texture. Brown sugar adds moisture and a slight chewiness due to its molasses content.
  • 3/4 cup (185g) creamy peanut butter: The star ingredient, peanut butter infuses the cookies with its distinctive, rich flavor and contributes to their moist texture.
  • 1 large egg: Eggs bind the ingredients together and add structure to the cookies, ensuring they don’t crumble apart.
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract: Vanilla enhances the flavors of the other ingredients, adding depth to the cookie’s overall taste profile.
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda: This leavening agent is crucial for creating the perfect rise, giving the cookies their characteristic soft yet slightly chewy texture.
  • 1 and 1/4 cups (156g) all-purpose flour: Flour forms the structural backbone of the cookies, determining their shape and texture.
  • 1 and 1/2 cups (300g) mini M&M’s: These add pops of chocolate flavor and colorful visual appeal, making the cookies festive and fun.

Step-by-Step Baking Guide

Mixing the Dough

  1. Cream the Butter and Sugars: Start by beating the softened butter with both sugars until the mixture is light and fluffy. This process incorporates air into the dough, contributing to a lighter texture.
  2. Add Wet Ingredients: Mix in the peanut butter until well combined, followed by the egg and vanilla extract, ensuring each ingredient is fully incorporated before adding the next.
  3. Combine Dry Ingredients: Whisk together the flour and baking soda in a separate bowl, then gradually add this to the wet mixture. Mix until just combined to avoid overworking the dough, which can lead to tough cookies.
  4. Fold in M&M’s: Gently stir in the mini M&M’s, distributing them evenly throughout the dough.

Baking Tips for Perfection

  1. Chill the Dough: Refrigerate the dough for at least 1 hour. Chilling solidifies the fat in the cookies, reducing spread during baking and resulting in thicker, more flavorful cookies.
  2. Preheat and Prepare: Preheat your oven to 350°F (177°C) and line baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats. This prevents sticking and ensures even baking.
  3. Form the Cookies: Use a cookie scoop or spoon to form dough balls, placing them 2 inches apart on the baking sheets. Press a few extra M&M’s on top for a more appealing look.
  4. Bake: Bake for 10-12 minutes or until the edges are set but the centers are still soft. They will firm up as they cool, so don’t overbake.

Cooling and Storage Advice

  1. Cooling: Allow the cookies to cool on the baking sheet for 5 minutes before transferring them to a wire rack to cool completely. This helps them set without becoming too hard.
  2. Storage: Store the cooled cookies in an airtight container at room temperature. They will keep for up to a week, but they’re best enjoyed within the first few days for optimal freshness and texture.

Customizing Your Cookies

Variations and Substitutions

Peanut Butter M&M’s Cookies are wonderfully adaptable, allowing for various substitutions and additions to suit dietary restrictions or simply to add a twist to the classic recipe.

  • Gluten-Free: Swap the all-purpose flour for a gluten-free flour blend to make these cookies accessible to those with gluten sensitivities. Ensure the blend is a 1:1 substitution to maintain the desired texture.
  • Vegan Options: Use plant-based butter and a flax egg (1 tablespoon ground flaxseed mixed with 3 tablespoons water, left to thicken for 5 minutes) to veganize this recipe. Look for vegan chocolate candies as a substitute for M&M’s.
  • Nut-Free: For those with nut allergies, sunflower seed butter can replace peanut butter, offering a similar texture and taste profile.
  • Flavor Add-Ins: Elevate your cookies by incorporating ingredients like a teaspoon of cinnamon for warmth, a pinch of sea salt on top for a sweet-salty contrast, or even a half cup of chopped nuts for added crunch.
  • Texture Variants: Mix in a half cup of oats or coconut flakes to introduce new textures, making each bite even more interesting.

Decorating Ideas

Decorating Peanut Butter M&M’s Cookies can be as fun as baking them. Use these creative ideas to make your cookies stand out:

  • Holiday Themes: Choose M&M’s in colors that match the current holiday or season—red and green for Christmas, pastels for Easter, or orange and black for Halloween. This simple touch can turn your cookies into festive treats.
  • Personalized Messages: Arrange M&M’s on top of the cookies before baking to spell out initials, numbers, or short words. This can be a fun way to personalize cookies for birthdays, anniversaries, or special occasions.
  • Drizzle and Dust: After the cookies have cooled, drizzle them with melted chocolate or white chocolate for an extra layer of sweetness. A light dusting of powdered sugar can also add a touch of elegance and contrast beautifully with the colorful M&M’s.
  • Cookie Sandwiches: Take two cookies and spread a layer of peanut butter, chocolate ganache, or your favorite frosting between them. This not only doubles the deliciousness but also makes for an eye-catching presentation.

By experimenting with these variations, substitutions, and decorating ideas, you can make Peanut Butter M&M’s Cookies uniquely your own, tailored to every taste and occasion.

Advanced Baking Tips

Ensuring Even Baking:

  • Rotate Your Baking Sheets: Halfway through the baking time, rotate your baking sheets 180 degrees and switch their positions from top to bottom. This helps counteract any hot spots in your oven, ensuring all cookies bake evenly.
  • Use an Oven Thermometer: Ovens can often run hotter or cooler than their set temperature. An oven thermometer can help you monitor the actual temperature, making adjustments as necessary to achieve perfect baking conditions.

Adjustments for Altitude:

  • Increase Oven Temperature: At higher altitudes, increase your oven temperature by 15-25°F. This helps set the structure of the cookies before they have too much time to spread.
  • Adjust Ingredients: Reduce baking powder or baking soda by 1/8 teaspoon for every 1,000 feet above sea level to prevent cookies from rising too much and then falling flat. You may also need to increase liquid ingredients slightly or add an extra tablespoon of flour to help doughs and batters retain their structure.

Troubleshooting Common Issues

Preventing Cookies from Spreading Too Much:

  • Chill the Dough: Always chill your cookie dough for at least 1 hour, or as directed by the recipe. Cold dough spreads less during baking.
  • Measure Flour Correctly: Use the spoon-and-level method to measure your flour. Too little flour can cause cookies to spread too much.
  • Check Your Leaveners: Ensure your baking soda or powder is fresh. Expired leaveners lose their effectiveness and can lead to flat cookies.

Fixing Dry or Crumbly Dough:

  • Add Moisture: If your dough is too dry, add a teaspoon of milk or water at a time until the desired consistency is reached. Be careful not to add too much, or you’ll end up with sticky dough.
  • Room Temperature Ingredients: Make sure all your ingredients, especially butter and eggs, are at room temperature before starting. This ensures they incorporate more easily, preventing a dry or crumbly texture.
  • Don’t Overmix: Mix your dough just until the ingredients are combined. Overmixing can lead to tough cookies and may also cause the dough to crumble.

By applying these advanced tips and troubleshooting common issues, you can elevate your baking skills and ensure your Peanut Butter M&M’s Cookies come out perfectly every time.

Beyond the Cookie

Pairing Suggestions:

Peanut Butter M&M’s Cookies, with their rich flavors and colorful appearance, pair wonderfully with a variety of drinks and can be served in creative ways at parties and gatherings.

  • Drinks: For a comforting treat, enjoy these cookies with a glass of cold milk or a cup of hot coffee, which can help balance the sweetness with its bitterness. For a more indulgent pairing, try them with a glass of dessert wine, such as Port, which complements the rich peanut butter flavor.
  • Serving Ideas: Arrange the cookies on a platter with a variety of other desserts for a sweet buffet. For a more interactive experience, set up a cookie decorating station with extra M&M’s, frosting, and sprinkles, allowing guests to personalize their cookies.


Can I freeze the dough for later use? Yes, you can freeze the cookie dough for up to 3 months. Roll the dough into balls and freeze them on a baking sheet before transferring to a freezer bag. Bake from frozen, adding a few extra minutes to the baking time.

How do I make my cookies chewier or crunchier? For chewier cookies, bake them just until the edges are set but the centers are still soft. For crunchier cookies, extend the baking time by a few minutes until they are more golden and set throughout.

Best way to store leftovers to keep them fresh? Store leftover cookies in an airtight container at room temperature. To keep them soft, add a piece of bread to the container; the cookies will absorb moisture from the bread, staying soft and fresh. For crunchier cookies, store them in a container with a loose-fitting lid to allow air circulation.

For family-friendly recipes and more baking ideas, I Heart Naptime offers a great selection. Their Peanut Butter M&M Cookies recipe is perfect for those baking with kids.

Baking Peanut Butter M&M’s Cookies is not just about following a recipe; it’s about creating memories, experimenting with flavors, and enjoying the delicious results. With this guide, you’re well on your way to baking the perfect batch of cookies that everyone will love.

Peanut Butter M&M's Cookies Recipe

Indulge in the ultimate treat with these Peanut Butter M&M's Cookies, blending the rich, creamy texture of peanut butter with the colorful crunch of M&M's. Perfect for any occasion, these cookies are sure to delight everyone with their soft, chewy texture and bursts of chocolatey goodness. Follow this simple recipe to bake a batch of these irresistible cookies that are ideal for sharing, gifting, or enjoying all by yourself.
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 11 minutes
Chill Time: 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 26 minutes
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings 24 cookies
Calories 220 kcal


  • Mixing bowls
  • Hand mixer or stand mixer
  • Baking sheet
  • Parchment paper or silicone baking mat
  • Cookie scoop (optional)
  • Wire cooling rack


  • 1/2 cup 113g salted butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup 100g packed light brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup 50g granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup 185g creamy peanut butter
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 and 1/4 cups 156g all-purpose flour
  • 1 and 1/2 cups 300g mini M&M's


  • In a large bowl, cream together the butter, brown sugar, and granulated sugar until light and fluffy.
  • Mix in the peanut butter, egg, and vanilla extract until well combined.
  • Gradually add the baking soda and flour, mixing just until incorporated. Avoid overmixing.
  • Fold in the mini M&M's evenly.
  • Chill the dough in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour.
  • Preheat the oven to 350°F (177°C) and line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone mat.
  • Using a cookie scoop or spoon, form dough balls and place them 2 inches apart on the prepared baking sheet.
  • Bake for 10-12 minutes, or until the edges are set but the centers are still soft.
  • Allow the cookies to cool on the baking sheet for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.


  • Chilling the Dough: Don't skip chilling the dough, as it helps prevent the cookies from spreading too much and enhances the flavors.
  • Storage: Store cookies in an airtight container at room temperature for up to a week. For longer storage, freeze baked cookies for up to 3 months.
  • Variations: Feel free to add nuts or use different types of M&M's for a personalized touch.
Keyword Baking, Chewy Cookies, Dessert, M&M's, Peanut Butter, Peanut Butter M&M's Cookies