Every Christmas, I find myself with a pile of candy the size of a small child and no chance of eating it all. I know I probably could if I really put my mind to it, but I’m trying really hard to practice self control. Instead of eating the entire bag of M&Ms Andrew brought home from his mom’s house, I told myself I would put them to good use. Naturally, I baked with them.
Better yet, I baked them into these soft brown butter cookies. Brown butter M&M cookies offer something different than your average cookie because they taste a little richer and have a distinct smell. Making brown butter has a sort of brown sugary caramel-like smell, and it’s wonderful as long as you’re careful not to burn it. It does change the consistency of your cookies and make them a big flatter, which is why after you melt it, you’ll have to bring it back to a solid before mixing the dough, and it will leave your final cookies slightly greasy in comparison to your average cookies, but don’t take greasy as a bad thing. You’ll still love them.
Ingredients (makes 12-15 cookies):
- 1/2 cup butter, solid
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1 egg
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1 cup flour
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp
- 1/2 cup M&Ms
First, melt the butter in a saucepan on the stove. Start on medium-to-low heat and continually stir with a whisk. Seriously, don’t use a silicone spatula. I melted one that way. The butter might spatter a bit, so turn down the heat if necessary and continue to stir it. Eventually, it will begin to barely change color to a reddish brown. When the color changes, you’ll smell the brown butter and need to immediately remove it from heat before it burns. Pour the butter into a small bowl and leave it in the fridge to harden for at least an hour.
Cream together the newly hardened brown butter and the sugars. Combine the remaining dry ingredients in a separate bowl. Mix in the egg and vanilla with the butter mixture until well-mixed. Slowly add in the dry ingredients, and mix in the M&Ms.
The dough will be soft and easy to mold. Pop it in the fridge for about 20 minutes first. This will help prevent your cookies from thinning as much. Then pull out the chilled dough and roll it into one-inch balls, place several inches apart on a cookie sheet and bake on 350 for about 7-9 minutes until the edges begin to brown slightly. These cookies have a large spread, so make sure there’s proper space in between them or they’ll run together. Let them cool on a cooling rack for a few minutes, and you’ll see the cookies deflate slightly.
Now the fun part – eat them! There’s nothing like brown butter M&M cookies to make your day a little better. I accidentally ate most of the batch in one sitting after a long work day, but it was totally worth it, FYI. No shame. Enjoy!