The following “Chew This!” column originally appeared in “The Courier-Times” and / or “The Shelbyville News”. Check their websites for further information and dates.
Classic M&M Cookies
I love the color – and taste – of these deliciously old-fashioned cookies! They take me right back to my childhood and buying cookies at the mall. These are chewy inside and have a slight crunch outside. I used dark chocolate M&M candies for these but you can use your favorite variety. You could experiment and use peanut butter candies, pretzel, coffee or even a combination of the like. That is what I like best about recipes. They are basically just a blueprint, or a guide, in what direction you should take. So many people worry about following a recipe to the letter, which is important in baking, but that does not mean you can not swipe out different flavors to match your specific tastebuds.
The use of solid vegetable shortening is important in this recipe for a variety of reasons. It makes the cookies look and taste wonderfully old-fashioned, which is important for this type of nostalgic cookie. It also gives the cookie a heft and texture that can not be produced with butter, oil or any other substitute. The use of light brown sugar, and not dark, is also important for the old-fashioned memory of this cookie because it produces a softer flavor where the ingredients are not all competing to be heard. Try these and let me know what you think!
Classic M&M Cookies
1 cup solid vegetable shortening
1 cup light brown sugar, packed
1/2 cup white granulated sugar
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 1/4 cups white all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups M&M candy
Start by preheating your oven to 375 degrees F.
Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper.
In a large bowl combine the solid vegetable shortening, light brown sugar and white granulated sugar. Combine until no white shortening streaks are visible. Mixture will be thick.
Beat in the two large eggs.
Stir in the pure vanilla extract, baking soda and salt.
Gently fold in the white all-purpose flour.
Gently fold in 1/2 cup of the M&M candy.
Roll dough into teaspoon size balls and place on prepared baking sheets.
Top the rest of the cookies with the remaining cup of M&M candy.
Bake, one baking sheet at a time, in preheated oven for 13 minutes.
Remove and allow to cool.
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