So the saga of our family move continued this week. The sale of our house closed and we were not able to buy a new house in time. SOO we moved to an apartment by Lake Michigan for a short term rental. Amazingly our parents were able to take the boys for a few days so that we could pack, move, unpack & set up our new place to look as similar to our old house as possible for when the boys came back. I realized though that I still needed to bake something for the blog, but also, I wanted to leave some cookies for the new family moving into our house as a “Welcome Home” gift. Therefore, I took pictures of these M&M cookies that I made, without any measurements and based on a recipe of my own creation. And if you are wondering – I packed everything besides my mixmaster because I didn’t trust anyone else to move it…so it got it’s own special basket that used to carry it to our new place.
This recipe begins with an 8 ounce block of room temperature Kerry Gold salted butter. I used my mixmaster and the paddle attachment to beat the butter until it was nice and smooth. Then I added granulated sugar and brown sugar (I was going for 1 cup of each but totally guessed). I mixed this until all the sugar is incorporated and the dough is thick and smooth.
Next, I added 2 eggs one at a time and mixed them and then poured some pure vanilla extract into the mix. I made sure to turn the speed up on the mixmaster and let the batter whip up until it was smooth and had changed texture and color. It should look fluffy and one or two shades lighter than it did before adding the eggs and vanilla.
When the batter was fluffy and light, I added in all purpose flour, kosher salt and baking soda. I was aiming for 1 teaspoon of baking soda, 1 cup of flour and 1 teaspoon of salt. I mixed on low until all of the dry ingredients are mixed in smoothly. Then I continued to add flour until the dough became thick like play-dough. I continued to mix it on a slightly higher speed until it develops more gluten structure and begins to pull away from the sides of the bowl. I also taste the batter at this point and make sure that the salt has a prominent flavor. I think the salt is one of the most important ingredients in cookies. Since the mix-ins are usually so sweet, the salt helps the flavor to be more well rounded and not so overwhelmingly sweet.
Then I called upon my wonderful neighbor Emily’s supply of candy and pulled out some tubes of mini M&M’s and added them to the dough. I used the paddle on mixmaster on the lowest speed to mix until the M&M’s were evenly incorporated in the dough.
I used my large Oxo cookie scoop to portion the batter into large even cookies on a piece of parchment paper. Then I transferred the dough to a large ziplock bag and placed all the extra dough into the freezer. The best part about having cookie dough in the freezer is that you can pull out the exact number of cookies you want to bake.
So tonight, after the boys went to bed, I pulled out two pieces of cookie dough from the freezer and placed them on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper and put them into a preheated 350 F degree oven. I baked them for 15 minutes and then checked to make sure that I could move the whole cookie on the cookie sheet before I pulled them out. By this I mean, to check for doneness of a cookie, I only really want to make sure that the base is set. When the base if finished cooking, the whole cookie can slide on the parchment paper without falling apart. Then I pull the sheet pan out and let the cookies finish cooking on the sheet pan if they cool. If you wait to pull your cookies out until the whole cookie is set, then the cookie will be over baked and on the crispy & crunchy side. This is not how I prefer my cookies, but of course – to each their own!
- Even though nothing was measured- I think these turned out pretty tasty
- I was grateful to have some cookie dough in my freezer after this move!
Recipe: M&M cookies (If I had measured this is what I would have done…)
- 8 oz salted butter at room temperature
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1 cup dark brown sugar packed
- 2 eggs at room temperature
- 1 tablespoon vanilla
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1+ teaspoon kosher salt
- 2.5 – 5 cups all purpose flour
- Preheat oven to 350 F degrees
- Using the mixmaster and the paddle attachment beat the butter until smooth. Then add both sugars and beat until smooth.
- Add the eggs one at a time and then the vanilla. Increase the speed of the mixmaster and whip the batter until it is light and fluffy and has lightened one or two shades.
- Add the first cup of flour and the baking soda and kosher salt. Mix on low until incorporated. Continue to add flour until the dough is the consistency of play-dough. Check to make sure you can taste the salt, if not, add in small increments until you can. Turn the speed up on the mixer and mix until the dough begins to pull away from the sides of the bowl. If it doesn’t after a short time – add more flour 1/4 cup at a time.
- Use a large Oxo cookie scoop and scoop dough onto a piece of parchment paper.
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and spread the cookies evenly out on the cookie sheet.
- Bake for 15 minutes or until the cookies can be slid around slightly on the parchment sheet. Let the cookies cool and finish baking on the cookie sheet.