Most of the time, I feel like I've got my day to day life neatly organized and mapped out. I have my routines, my beloved to-do lists, and even make (scheduled) time for spontaneity. I know -- I'm so fun!
But, every now and then, the universe likes to throw me a curve ball when I get too comfortable and too high on my well-trained horse. To be totally honest with you, I don't like it one bit because it usually means my plans need to be rewritten and my brain needs to be rewired. I'm a liiiiiiiittle set in my ways.
I'm well aware of this flaw, so on January 1st I made a resolution to work on it. To be more flexible! To recognize opportunities for fun and growth! To go at least one day a week without a to-do list! As of today, I have 316 days to manage that last one. Don't hold your breath, please.
Exhibit A: Valentine M&Ms. You know that I'm the ultimate sucker for seasonal treats. But, for once, Matt didn't chide me for this choice. Turns out the guy doesn't discriminate among M&Ms and neither do I. Before we knew it, 1/4 of the bag was gone. Oops.
I knew I had to do something more productive with red, pink, and white gems (aside from eating them by the handful), so I resolved to bake them into a cookie. Thinking of my favorite cookie recipes, I figured I'd just substitute the chocolate candies for the chips the original recipe called for. But none of the recipes seemed quite right. Too thin. Too salty. Too chewy. Or just too plain.
TGFG! Thank goodness for Google, right? A little searching and I'd found it. A cookie recipe meant for M&Ms. M&Ms are one of the greatest candies ever, so I'm glad that someone else had enough respect for 'em to create an original recipe.
Still, I wondered, "How good could they be?"
Not a sugar cookie and certainly not a chocolate chip cookie. The outer edges were slightly crisp and a little bit flaky while the inside was oh-so-chewy and buttery, perfectly contrasting the crunch of the plentiful M&Ms. Basically, the best part of every cookie you've ever had all rolled into one delicious bite. All the things!
And, to think, it was all because I indulged that little part of my consciousness that wanted to be impulsive. I don't think there has ever been a better unplanned for cookie in my life. I may yet become a spontaneity-loving girl. If bribed with cookies. Maybe.
One year ago: Grilled balsamic chicken (the very first Fast Friday!)
Two years ago: Rosemary garlic chicken burgers
Three years ago: Olive oil bread
(adapted slightly from Sally's Baking Addiction)
-makes 36 cookies
A few notes: If you use unsalted butter rather than salted, be sure to throw in a 1/4 teaspoon of salt with the flour and baking soda.
2 cups + 2 Tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 stick (1/2 cup) salted butter, room temperature
1/4 cup vegetable shortening
1 cup packed light brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 egg + 1 egg yolk
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 cup plain M&Ms
In a large bowl, whisk together flour and baking soda and set aside. In the large bowl of an electric mixer on medium high speed, beat butter, shortening, and both sugars until light and fluffy, about 3 to 4 minutes. Reduce speed to medium and add eggs and vanilla, scraping down sides of bowl as necessary, until well blended. Add flour mixture and stir just until combined and no white streaks remain. Stir in M&M candies by hand.
Cover bowl and chill dough in refrigerator for at least 30 minutes or up to 2 days. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit. Drop dough by rounded tablespoonfuls onto ungreased/unlined cookie sheet. (Between batches, return bowl of dough to fridge to chill.) If desired, place a few M&Ms on top of cookies for "prettier" cookies.
Bake for 10 to 12 minutes or until cookies are just beginning to turn golden at the edges (center will be slightly soft and puffy still). Allow cookies to cool on baking sheet for 3 to 4 minutes, then remove to cool completely on wire rack. Enjoy immediately or store in container at room temperature for up to 1 week.