Salty Sweet Rainbow M&M Cookies

I’m so excited to share one of my favorite cookie recipes today. Thick, soft-baked, buttery cookies that are overloaded with sweet and salty goodness. Trust me, you’ll find these completely irresistible.

We’re going to begin with my favorite cookie dough base. This cookie dough is incredibly special and goes above and beyond what a regular cookie dough can do. Start with your usual suspects – butter, brown sugar, white sugar, flour, baking soda, etc. You’re going to add cornstarch to your usual cookie ingredients.

Cornstarch is my secret weapon in cookie dough. It’s the cornstarch that makes the baked cookies so thick and soft. So chewy and doughy. So perfect! Think about it… cornstarch is the ingredient thickening up your soups, softening your pie fillings, and giving your gravy a full-bodied texture. Just think of what it can do for cookie dough!

For the mix-ins, I used chopped up pretzels and colorful M&Ms. I love sweet and salty treats, and the combination of the two just works in this simple cookie dough base.

I used a couple of my tried and true cookie tricks in this recipe. I chilled the dough after mixing it. I chilled this dough overnight – about 12 hours.  Although it requires me to think ahead, I chill the dough for nearly every single cookie I bake. I cannot stress this step enough. After mixing your cookie dough, chilling it firms up the fat (butter, in this case) and gives the flour time to absorb liquid evenly. It reduces a cookie dough’s stickiness, making it firm and much easier to work with.

Next, I baked today’s cookies larger than usual. I wanted a “statement” cookie to go along with the colorful M&Ms and crunchy pretzels. About 2 generous tablespoons of dough went into each cookie. And finally, it is important to note the baking time – a precise 9-10 minutes. No more! Once the cookies came out of the oven, I had to press the tops down a bit because they were so puffy from all the dough I used. That’s why you see all the gorgeous little crinkles on the cookie tops.

The soft, doughy interior, the chewy edges, the crinkly tops, the thick size, the salty/sweet taste, the huge chunks inside make these cookies an instant favorite. I know you’ll love them, too!

P.S. Don’t forget to come see me and all of my recipes over at Sally’s Baking Addiction. I love connecting with new readers!

Sweet & Salty M&M Cookies

makes approximately 2.5 dozen

  • 3/4 cup (1.5 sticks) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
  • 3/4 cup dark brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg, at room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 broken pretzel pieces
  • 3/4 cup mini M&Ms (or regular size)


Line an ungreased cookie sheet with parchment paper or silpat. Set aside.

In a large bowl using a hand-held mixer or stand mixer with paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugars together on medium speed until fluffy and light in color. Mix in egg and vanilla. Scrape down the sides as needed. On low speed, mix in flour, cornstarch, baking soda and salt. Stir in pretzel pieces and M&Ms. Chill dough (covered) for 30 minutes or up to 3 days.

Preheat oven to 350F. Drop balls of dough (1.5 tablespoons each) onto cookie sheet OR used a standard-sized cookie scoop. Stick a few M&Ms on the tops so they show after the cookies bake. Bake for 8-9 minutes, until barely golden brown around the edges. Do NOT cook them longer than 9 minutes. Remove and let cool for 5-10 minutes on the cookie sheet. Transfer to cooling rack.

*Do not drop dough onto warm cookie sheets. Allow cookie sheets to cool completely between batches.

adapted from The Perfect Chocolate Chip Cookie