Just look at those adorable mini M&M's. Like multi-colored nuggets of photogenic cuteness. They're so fun to take pictures of, I almost didn't want to eat them. Almost.
Whenever I see M&M's incorporated into baking, it always reminds me of the Rice Krispie Treats my Mom made for my birthday when I was a kid. Remember when you brought the class treats on your own birthday? That was weird. Now I make people bring me treats. I demand to be showered in treats!
Well my Mom's Rice Krispies always had M&M's mixed in. Then she'd form them into balls and stick a popsicle stick in it. It was a sticky, time-consuming way to make Rice Krispies but they were worth it.
So in first grade, I brought these to class and as I was about to pass them out, I realized my shirt was on backwards. On my birthday, no less! I was mortified. Twenty years later, I still remember what the shirt looked like. So I did what any normal kid would do, and I wore my shirt backwards all day long.So what I'm saying is, M&M's remind me of wearing my shirt backwards. All day. Don't worry, I haven't done it since. Except last week when I wore my T-shirt backwards to bed. Old habits die hard guys.
But these cookies are a lot less sticky to make and don't hold any traumatizing memories. Which is always what I want out of a cookie. They're made with brown butter which adds a carmel-y nuttiness. And they're lightly sprinkled with sea salt to give just a slight kick to every bite. So take note, bring these on my birthday. But maybe stick a popsicle stick in them, just for old time's sake.
Here's the recipe!
Sea Salt Brown Butter M&M Cookies (yields 24 cookies)
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
14 Tbs unsalted butter
1/2 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1 tsp table salt
2 tsps vanilla extract
1 large egg
1 large egg yolk
1 1/4 cups mini M&M's
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or Silpat.
1. Whisk flour and baking soda together in a medium bowl and set aside.
2. Heat 10 tablespoons of butter in a skillet over medium-high heat until melted (apprx 2 mins). Continue cooking, swirling the pan constantly, until butter is dark golden brown and has a nutty aroma (apprx 1-3 mins). Keep a close eye on this process. The butter can go from brown to burned quickly. Transfer brown butter to a large heatproof bowl and add remaining 4 tablespoons of butter to melt.
4. To the butter, add sugars, salt and vanilla and whisk until fully incorporated. Add egg and yolk and whisk 30 seconds until smooth. Let the mixture stand for 3 minutes and stir another 30 seconds. Repeat this process two more times so mixture becomes smooth and shiny.
5. Using rubber spatula or wooden spoon, incorporate flour mixture until just combined (about 1 minute). Stir in M&M's.
6. Size dough into balls, apprx 2 tablespoons each. I do this using a 1/4 cup ice cream scoop or measuring cup, scoop out dough and divide into two evenly sized balls. Do this until all dough is portioned out evenly. Arrange on prepared cookie sheet 2 inches apart and sprinkle dough with a little sea salt.
7. Bake cookie trays one at a time, 10-12 minutes, rotating half-way thru baking. Cookies will still appear soft in the center, and the edges will be golden brown and just begin to set. Let cool on baking sheet additional 2 minutes and then transfer to wire rack to cool completely.
Adapted from America's Test Kitchen