This week, I baked cookies because someone at work asked me to. I’m pretty easy. All you have to do is flatter me by telling me my cookies are the best you’ve ever had and I’ll bake for you too.
I also baked because one of my young co-workers lost his dad to a sudden heart attack a few weeks ago and the pain is still so raw for him that it breaks my heart. So, baking his favorite chocolate chip cookies couldn’t hurt.
As I was in the kitchen baking, my daughter was on the comfy, sage colored couch in the living room working on a paper for school. I was cleaning off the beater, wondering if she’d want to lick it like she used to when she was a kid. I hesitated, thinking she might not go for it, then offered it to her. She happily took it like she did when she was three.
It was a pretty sweet moment. I’m savoring times like this because in a few months she’ll be off to college. My cookie batter days with her are numbered, so I’m enjoying every one.
I know she has to leave the nest eventually, but I’ll miss her. We’ve gotten through all the stages of her being a teenager without me killing her, and now she’s 21. We can talk and hang out and it’s really nice that she’s starting to feel more like a friend and less like that lump of clay I’ve been molding for years. Hell, I might even miss the piles of clothes she leaves all over the floor in her room — wait, no probably not. But I do tear up thinking about the day it’ll just be me and my short, furry husband, Topper.
In the meantime I’ll keep baking and writing about it. The recipe I’m writing about I got from the back of a bag of M& M’s. You can look and look, and even try recipes from Baking Illustrated, where baking nerds like me tweak recipes again and again, until they think they’re perfect, and still I was not wowed by their chocolate chip recipe. Sometimes the good recipes are on the back of a bag of plain M&M’s.
This recipe made really good M&M cookies and even works with chocolate chips. These cookies are especially yummy when they’re right out of the oven, because the cookie outside is a little crisp, but inside it’s moist, and the chocolate inside the candy is all melty and wonderful. These have just enough salt in them too.
After I made these cookies once, I wanted to make them again, and when I realized I didn’t have a bag of M&M’s, I went online. This recipe was nowhere to be found, and the other recipes are not as good as this one. Plus, the M&M’s website doesn’t even list this recipe! Shame on them.
Red’s Amazing M&M’s Brand Cookies
1 cup (2 sticks) softened butter (use regular, not unsalted)
2/3 cup brown sugar
2/3 cup sugar
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
2 cups flour
1 1/4 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
1 3/4 cups M&M’s milk chocolate candies
Preheat oven to 350. In a large bowl, cream butter and both sugars until well blended. Add the egg and vanilla extract and mix to combine.
In a separate bowl, sift the flour, baking soda and salt together. Slowly add these ingredients into the butter mixture and stir until combined. Fold in the M&M’s and chill the dough for 1 hour or overnight. (I did not do this because I didn’t have time, and it made no difference in how they turned out, but next time I’ll try it.)
Drop dough by rounded tablespoons onto a lightly greased tray about 2 inches apart. (I didn’t grease my tray and they came off just fine.)
Bake for 8-10 minutes for chewy cookies or 12 to 14 for crispy cookies. (13 minutes is about right so they’re crisp on the outside, but chewy on the inside.)