When I was a kid, I was obsessed with M&M cookies. We had a local bakery that used to make them, and getting one was a huge treat. Theirs were huge, like really huge – and I’m not just saying that because I was a kid and everything seemed big. They were legitimately BIG cookies, with a crispy exterior, chewy interior and tons of M&M candies throughout. It was the perfect cookie.
I discovered recently that my kids have no idea what M&Ms are. It makes sense…my oldest is allergic to dairy and would never have been given any, and my youngest is just discovering the world of candy and doesn’t know many by name. Being that both my kids are also vegan, it’s not like M&Ms are ever on their radar. But one of them asked me recently what my favorite cookie was as a child and of course, I said the “M&M cookie from Bregmans” – which led to a slew of questions about what exactly and M&M cookie was, are they vegan, and can we make some?
I never really need to be asked twice to bake cookies. They are just about my favorite thing in the world to make, and I’ve been obsessed lately with creating the ultimate vegan cookie base. Soft and chewy on the inside, crisp and buttery on the outside, and strong enough to hold a boatload of chocolate chips. After years of trying, I’ve found the perfect recipe. So I decided to test them out with something other than chocolate chips.
During a stroll through a sort-of-local kosher grocery store, I stumbled upon these little chocolate gems. If you’re not familiar, kosher grocery stores (or the kosher section of a regular grocery store) can be a great place to find many accidentally vegan items, since kosher rules do not allow for the mixing of dairy and meat products in their ingredients, or during a meal. Therefore, many kosher baked goods, candies, chocolate and other foods are dairy-free so that they can be served with either meat or dairy dishes. (That being said, “eggs” are something that can pass for either dairy or meat in a kosher scenario, so if you’re vegan and looking at kosher products, always read labels first!)
Anyway, back to these cookies. It’s the second day of a new school year here and also a year of big transitions: my youngest started her first year of french immersion in a new school (her big sister’s school), and my oldest is entering her final year of elementary school and preparing to move to french immersion middle school next year. To celebrate all these big changes, I decided to test out my vegan MM cookie recipe and surprise them after school.
The best part about this recipe is that you DON’T NEED TO CHILL THE DOUGH! You know all those awesome chocolate chip cookie recipes out there that require you to chill the dough for hours (or even – GASP! overnight?) Yeah,no…because when I want a fresh baked chocolate chip cookie, the last thing I want to do is have to wait for the dough to “set up”.
This dough recipe comes together in minutes and can go straight from the mixing bowl to the oven, meaning you get delicious, crispy and chewy cookies in very little time. Awesome, right?
The dough is a great base recipe and can be used for M&Ms, or chocolate chips (or any mix-ins really), so definitely keep it handy, even if you don’t have any vegan M&Ms on hand.
I used a 1.5 inch ice cream scoop to make these standard size cookies, and baked them for exactly 12 minutes. If you want to make larger cookies, adjust your bake time accordingly.
Cookies will look slightly puffy and underdone on top. This is totally okay. As the cookies cool, they will flatten out naturally and get that crinkly, bakery-style look
Vegan Bakery Style M&M Cookies
(yield 36 cookies)
2 ½ cups all purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
½ tsp salt
⅔ cup vegan butter, softened
⅔ cup granulated sugar
⅔ cup light brown sugar
½ cup unsweetened plant-based milk
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 ¼ cup mini vegan chocolate gems plus extra for garnish
1. Preheat oven to 350F. Line 3 baking sheets with parchment paper or silpat.
2. In a small bowl, sift together flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
3. In large bowl, cream butter and both sugars until light and fluffy – about 5 minutes. Add milk and vanilla and stir to combine.
4. Add dry ingredients to the butter and sugar mixture and stir until just combined. Add 1 ¼ cups mini vegan chocolate gems and mix until combined. Using a 1 ½ inch ice cream scoop, drop scoopfuls of dough onto prepared baking sheets, leaving 2” spaces between each ball of dough. You should be able to fit 12 on a sheet. Press additional candy gems into dough for a bakery-style cookie look.
5. Bake for 11-12 minutes or until bottoms are slightly golden. Remove from oven and let sit on cookie sheet for 5 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack and cool completely.
**note: Cookies will look slightly puffy and underdone on top. This is totally okay. As the cookies cool, they will flatten out naturally and get that crinkly, bakery-style look