I had a wicked urge to bake on Saturday. It wasn't even a case of pregnancy munchies. I'd been having visions of brightly colored M&M cookies from my childhood (pregnancy has made me weirdly nostalgic for foods from when I was little) so I did a quick Google search and was on my way.
I had no way of knowing how badly I would need these cookies two days later when we woke up to find my 16 year old cat Lily on the floor, her back legs paralyzed. It wasn't going to be a good day.
But back to the cookies. These are my favorite kind of cookies to make. They're one-bowlers and as long as you've set the butter out a good couple hours ahead of time to soften you can whip them up in less than thirty minutes. No need to refrigerate the dough before baking either. And while they no doubt satisfy that nostalgic cookie craving, the addition of lemon zest adds enough complexity to offset all that sugar for grown up taste buds.
I see these cookies becoming one of my go to recipes and I can't wait to make them during different times of the year when M&Ms get all festive and seasonal (Halloween, Christmas, Easter, etc.) Ooh all the pretty colors! I'm such a girl. I might even try adding lemon extract to them next time as I love the lemon/chocolate combo.
Anyway if you need a little pick me up these will set you straight. Especially when wine isn't an option;)
Makes 16 large bakery-sized cookies.
* Adapted from All Recipes - "Robbi's M&M Cookies"
Ingredients:1 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup shortening, room temp
1/2 cup (1 stick) salted butter, room temp
2 eggs, room temp
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
zest from 1 medium or large lemon (I like more!)
2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1 1/2 cups candy coated milk chocolate pieces, plus 1/4 cup
Preheat oven to 350 (convection bake if you have it.)
In a large bowl, mix sugar, butter and shortening together until everything is really well combined and smooth. Stir in the eggs, vanilla and lemon zest. Finally pour the flour, baking soda and salt over the wet mixture and stir until just well combined. Gently stir in the 1 1/2 cups of chocolate candies.
Use a large ice scream scoop to scoop them onto an ungreased pan giving at least 2 inches between cookies. Carefully press in any extra M&Ms you can fit on the tops. Bake for 10-11 minutes, just until the tops are beginning to turn golden in places as well as the edges. Remove and let set up on the sheet for another 60 seconds. Carefully transfer with a spatula to a cooling rack. Can be stored at room temp in an airtight container for up to 3 days.