Chocolate Chip M&M Cookies are the thick and chewy Christmas cookies you’ll make again and again! They’re made with melted butter and are heavy on the brown sugar which leaves them chewy in the centers and a tiny bit crispy around the edges.
This has been my go-to Chocolate Chip M&M Cookie recipe since 2009 and I’ve made it hundreds of times over the years! You can make this recipe with any kind M&Ms, but I love the red and green M&Ms that grace the shelves at Christmastime. I’m always eating these Christmas cookies on a cold December morning with a homemade latte.
What can I say? Cookies are an acceptable breakfast this time of year!
In all seriousness though, I’ve been making chocolate chip M&M cookies as a staple Christmas cookie recipe since I was a kid. So, we’re talking 30 years now. Let me let that sink in for a second. THIRTY YEARS!
Back then, we used the Tollhouse recipe that we simply added M&Ms to. And let me tell you: people went bonkers over those cookies.
These cookies are without a doubt, my family’s favorite Christmas cookies. They are always the first cookie we make each Christmas season and they’re the ones next to our eggnog glasses when we decorate our tree. And they are now the cookies we set out for Santa on Christmas Eve.
But these days, we’re no longer using the Tollhouse recipe. This M&M cookie recipe is a slightly adapted version of the best thick and chewy chocolate chip cookies, which I’ve touted SO. MANY. TIMES over the past 10+ years as being our favorite. Why not use the best for Christmas??
Here’s the grocery list of ingredients you’ll need for these cookies. Be sure to scroll down to the recipe card for the full list!
- All-purpose flour
- Baking soda
- Unsalted butter
- Light brown sugar
- Granulated sugar
- Vanilla extract
- Semi-sweet chocolate chips – We use mini chips but regular size chips are fine too!
- Christmas M&Ms
How to Make Thick and Chewy M&M Cookies
This recipe makes about 24 really big cookies, so it’s perfect for my DIY holiday cookie platters. These are basic instructions for how to make my M&M cookies perfect every time. The full instruction list with a Print button is in the recipe card at the end of this post so be sure to check it out!
STEP 1: First, line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Whisk together your flour, cornstarch, baking soda, and salt in a medium bowl.
STEP 2: Then, use a stand mixer (or by hand in a large bowl with a wooden spoon) to beat the butter and sugar together. If the butter is not cooperating, let it sit for a minute and try again.
STEP 3: Now, beat in the egg, egg yolk, and vanilla before adding the dry ingredients. Mix until it is just combined.
STEP 4: Time for the mix-ins! Add your Christmas M&Ms, chocolate chips, or any other add-ins you want. I aim for about 2 cups of mix-ins for this recipe. Your dough is done! It should be a little crumbly but also hold its shape when squeezed. Too wet, and it will be flat. Too dry, the cookies will fall apart.
STEP 5: I love having the whole family make these Christmas cookies! It’s a great task for little hands. Scoop about a half cup of dough into a ball. Then, pull the ball in half and put the halves on your prepped baking sheets with the jagged sides facing up. Make sure to leave plenty of room for the cookies to spread. These will be BIG cookies so only put 6 pieces of dough on each baking sheet.
STEP 6: Next, bake the cookies in batches one sheet at a time, and rotate the baking sheet halfway through the baking time. If it’s really warm in my kitchen, I keep any raw cookies in the fridge until it’s time to bake them. Once the cookies are light golden brown around the edges and the outer edges are slightly firm, they’re done!
Tips and Tricks
- Weigh your ingredients. Pull out your kitchen scale and quickly weigh up your chocolate chip M&M cookie ingredients. It’s faster and so much more reliable than using measuring cups. Plus, there will be fewer tools to clean up afterwards!
- Cornstarch is key. A little cornstarch in this recipe goes a long way. It helps to dry out the dough a little and believe it or not, keep the cookies soft even a few days after baking. I got the idea for adding cornstarch from Sally’s Baking Addiction. And for these Christmas cookies, which I tend to make in large batches that need to last at least a week, this trick has been a cookie-saver!
- Use cool melted butter. Hot melted butter will melt the sugar and make your dough too soft. Be sure the butter is just warm or cool to the touch before you mix it with the sugar.
- Take your time mixing. Pay attention to the mixing instructions in the recipe card below. You’ll want to allow some rest time between mixing times.
- Don’t over mix. The dough will be finished mixing when it still looks just a little crumbly.
- Bake in batches. In the hundreds of times I’ve made these cookies, I’ve found they bake up better with only 1 baking sheet in the oven at a time. This way, the single pan of cookies gets all the oven heat. And since you’ll bake them in the center of the oven, you don’t have to worry about hot spots in the bottom or top of your oven.
How to Freeze Dough Balls and Cookies
You can scoop the dough out, line the dough balls up on a baking sheet, and freeze until they are solid. Once the dough balls are frozen, toss them into a zip-top bag for up to 2 months to bake later.
If you bake the cookies and want to freeze a bunch of leftovers, just slip them inside a zip-top bag and press all of the air out of it. The baked cookies will freeze well for about 1 month.
What Can I Substitute for Chocolate Chips in Cookies?
There’s no end to the candy and treats you can put in cookies! I usually use semi-sweet or milk chocolate for my chocolate chip cookies, but dark or white chocolate chips are also an option for these easy Christmas cookies.
I love chocolate chips, but I also love butterscotch chips, which add a creamy nuttiness to these cookies.
You can also try peanut butter chips, caramel chips, yogurt chips, or even low-sugar carob chips!
During October, I always make these cookies into bar cookies with Reese’s pieces instead of M&Ms for festive Halloween Cookie Bars! And similarly, toffee bits make a fantastic and caramel-y addition in these Toffee Chocolate Chip Bars, which also use my thick and chewy cookie recipe.
More Cookie Options and Serving Suggestions
This M&M cookie recipe is thick and chunky, but if you’re looking for a thinner cookie, try my Pan Banging Chocolate Chip Cookies! These massive, wrinkly cookies are crunchy on the outside and super gooey on the inside.
You can also ditch the chocolate completely for your Christmas cookie platter and make these Pan Banging Sugar Cookies decorated with pearl sugar.
Want a cookie with extra texture? These Cornflake Marshmallow Chocolate Chip Cookies are packed with crunch and super sweet.
Need a lot of options for your holiday desserts this year? This DIY Holiday Dessert Charcuterie Board is perfect for the family where no one agrees! Add your favorite Christmas cookies and holiday treats for a smorgasbord of deliciousness.
I hope you love these cookies as much as we do. I know I’m hoping that Riley will continue our Christmas Chocolate Chip M&M Cookie making tradition as she grows and brings it into her own family’s traditions.
- 2 cups plus 2 tbsp (10 ⅝ oz) all-purpose flour
- 1 tbsp cornstarch
- ½ tsp baking soda
- ½ tsp table salt
- 12 tbsp (6 oz) unsalted butter, melted and cooled until just warm to the touch
- 1 cup (7 oz) light brown sugar, packed
- ½ cup (3 ½ oz) granulated sugar
- 1 large egg plus 1 large egg yolk
- 2 tsp pure vanilla extract
- 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
- 1 cup Holiday M&M candies
- Adjust an oven rack to the center position. Preheat oven 325° F. Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper. Whisk the flour, cornstarch, baking soda, and salt together in a medium bowl; set aside.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, or by hand, mix butter and sugars until thoroughly combined. If the butter is difficult to fully incorporate, let the mixture sit for 1 minute before continuing to mix. Repeat if needed after 15 seconds of mixing. Beat in the egg, yolk, and vanilla until combined. Add the dry ingredients and beat at low-speed just until combined. Stir in chocolate chips and M&Ms. The dough should look a little dry and crumbly but be able to hold its shape when gently squeezed.
- Roll a scant half-cup of dough into a ball. Holding dough ball in fingertips of both hands, pull apart into two equal halves. Rotate the halves 90 degrees and, with jagged surfaces facing up, place each of the formed dough pieces onto cookie sheet, leaving ample room between each ball. You'll only want to bake 6 cookies per large baking sheet since these will be BIG cookies.
- Bake 1 sheet at a time for 11 to 14 minutes, rotating the baking sheet front to back halfway through baking, until cookies are light golden brown and outer edges start to harden yet centers are still soft and puffy. You should just be able to lift the edge of the cookie up without it loosing its shape. Do not overbake. Keep the 2nd pan in the fridge until ready to bake. Repeat with the 2nd pan after the 1st pan is finished baking.
- Transfer the pans to wire racks and allow the cookies to cool for 5 minutes before moving them to the racks to cool completely.
This recipe doubles really well for extra cookies! Be sure your mixer bowl is big enough to accomodate the extra ingredients. Mine is a 6-quart bowl and it just barely fits a double batch of ingredients without making a huge floury mess on the counter.
adapted from these thick and chewy chocolate chip cookies
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OXO Good Grips Mixing Bowl Set with Black Handles, 3-Piece
Ozeri Pronto Digital Multifunction Kitchen and Food Scale, Elegant Black
KitchenAid 6 Qt. Professional 600 Series Bowl-Lift Stand Mixer
Reynolds Kitchens Pre-Cut Parchment Paper Baking Sheets - 12x16 Inch, 22 Count
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Solula 18/8 Stainless Steel Large Ice Cream Scoop - 4 Tablespoons
Spring Chef Cooling Rack - Baking Rack - Heavy Duty, 100% Stainless Steel, Oven Safe, 12 x 17 Inches Fits Half Sheet Cookie Pan