M&M Christmas Cookies | Chewy Christmas M&M Cookies | Handle the Heat
Filed Under: Christmas | Cookies

M&M Christmas Cookies

November 30th, 2021
5 from 18 votes
5 from 18 votes

These festive red and green M&M Christmas Cookies are ultra thick, soft, chewy, and flavorful. These cookies are ridiculously easy to make and are perfect for holiday gifting. Serve with a glass of milk or hot cocoa for Santa!

Yield: 27 large cookies

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook: 13 minutes

Tessa's Recipe Rundown...

Taste: Sweet without being cloying thanks to just the right amount of salt.
Texture: Ultra soft in the center and chewy throughout with studs of slightly crunchy M&Ms and gooey chocolate chips throughout.
Ease: Super duper easy and if you ever struggle with cookie baking, I’ve got tons of tips below.
Appearance: So festive and fun without any decorating skills or effort!
Pros: Fun, festive, and tasty recipe you’ll want to make year round.
Cons: None… except these cookies really are best when you have enough patience to chill the dough for at least 24 hours.

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Is there anything better than Christmas cookie season?

My ideal December night involves baking cookies while blasting Christmas music (surely annoying my neighbors in the process) and then eating a couple warm and fresh from the oven with a cold glass of milk. While watching Love Actually, The Holiday, or maybe Home Alone.

There’s truly nothing better! Except maybe going to or hosting a cookie party where you get to sample tons of different cookies. Oh how I adore this time of year.

I’ve included TONS of cookie baking tips below to all but guarantee these to be your best Christmas cookies ever. Believe me, I’ve got quite a few to share after writing an entire 200+ page cookbook on cookie baking!

How to Make M&M Christmas Cookies

Ingredients for M&M Christmas Cookies:

  • All-purpose flour: be sure to measure accurately to avoid dense, crumbly, or hockey puck cookies.
  • Cornstarch: a tenderizing ingredient that helps create an ultra soft, chewy cookie.
  • Baking soda: I typically prefer cookies made with baking soda, which you can read all about here in my baking soda vs. baking powder guide (with comparison photos).
  • Salt: just enough to balance out the flavors.
  • Butter: always use unsalted butter so you can control the amount of salt used, and make sure your butter isn’t too warm (details below).
  • Granulated sugar: Enough to give these cookies some spread and chew.
  • Brown sugar: I love nothing more than that butterscotch flavor and soft texture brown sugar gives cookies!
  • Vanilla extract: The aroma tells your taste buds to get ready for something delicious.
  • Eggs: two large eggs and one egg yolk for extra chewiness, all at room temperature.
  • Christmas M&Ms: I used regular size green and red Christmas M&Ms for this recipe, but you could also use mini or even peanut M&Ms if you prefer! Just depends on your texture preferences.
  • Chocolate chips: Just enough to give these cookies that gooey texture.

Got Flat Cookies? Butter Temperature is KEY!

If your butter gets too warm at any stage before baking your cookies, you’ll likely end up with flat sad cookies. You want to be sure to start with butter at a cool room temperature, about 67°F. Then keep the dough around that temperature until it hits the oven.

In the image below, both cookies came from the same batch of dough, baked (separately) in the same oven at the same temperature for the same amount of time. The only difference? The cookie on top came from the last bit of dough that had sat on the counter near a sunny window for about half an hour before baking. In that time, the dough warmed up considerably and the resulting cookies look melted and flattened.

What a difference, right?! If you’re baking multiple batches of cookies over a period of time, pop the remaining dough in the fridge while they wait to enter the oven.

Why You Should Chill Your Cookie Dough!

Another thing that makes your cookies that much thicker and also chewier is chilling your dough! It might be a little annoying to see that I call for chilling the dough for a minimum of 24 hours in this recipe. But believe me, it makes a big difference here. Both the taste and texture improve during this time. Think of it as a marinating time where everything just gets better and better!!

Check out my full article explaining the magic of chilling your cookie dough HERE.

If you can’t wait, bake off a few cookies to satisfy your craving now then save the rest for baking after the dough has marinated.

Comparing cookies baked vs chilling dough before baking

Quick Tip for Picture Perfect Cookies!

Dotting each ball with more chocolate chips and/or M&Ms on top prior to baking makes more beautiful and perfect looking cookies. Press the chocolate chips and/or M&Ms into the top of the ball of dough closer together than you think. They’ll spread apart as the cookie bakes and spreads.

If refrigerating or freezing your dough, wait to dot each ball until right before baking as the M&Ms colors can bleed into your cookie.

Get more tips in my How to Bake Picture Perfect Cookies article.

How to Make SOFT Cookies:

These Christmas M&M Cookies are the perfect balance between chewy and soft. We achieve that texture with the little bit of cornstarch in the dry ingredients as well as the extra egg yolk. What’s really key, however, is to not overbake these! I prefer to take them out of the oven just before they look done when the top center still looks a bit ‘wet.’

The residual heat of the oven and pan will continue to cook the cookies to soft and slightly gooey-in-the-middle perfection.

How to Freeze Cookie Dough:

  1. Make the cookie dough as the recipe directs. Use a spring-loaded cookie scoop to portion out balls of dough onto a parchment lined rimmed baking sheet.
  2. BONUS TIP: If the recipe calls for chilling or ‘marinating’ the cookie dough (which does WONDERS for your cookies as described above), be sure to allow the dough to marinate before shaping and freezing.
  3. Place the tray of cookie dough balls in the freezer. Freeze until firm and solid.
  4. Remove the balls of cookie dough to a labeled and dated airtight container.
  5. Cookie dough can be stored in the freezer for up to 6 weeks.

Why Use a Cookie Scoop?

Using a stainless steel spring-loaded cookie scoop when portioning out cookie dough is one of the KEYS to beautiful, uniform, evenly-shaped and evenly-baked cookies. My cookie scoop is one of my most frequently used kitchen gadgets. A spring-loaded scoop saves you *so much time* in forming the balls of dough. When using a scoop, you ensure each ball is evenly sized so the cookies bake evenly, meaning you don’t have any small overbaked cookies or large underbaked cookies. Learn more about Cookie Scoops and how to use them here!

How to Store M&M Cookies:

Cookies can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature and will stay soft for up to 3 days.

P.S. Check out ALL my Christmas desserts HERE!

5 from 18 votes

How to make
M&M Christmas Cookies

Yield: 27 large cookies
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 13 minutes
Total Time: 28 minutes
These festive red and green M&M Christmas Cookies are ultra thick, soft, chewy, and flavorful. These cookies are ridiculously easy to make and are perfect for holiday gifting. Serve with a glass of milk or hot cocoa for Santa!


  • 3 cups (380 grams) all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons fine sea salt
  • 2 sticks (227 grams) unsalted butter, at cool room temperature
  • 1/2 cup (100 grams) granulated sugar
  • 1 1/4 cups (247 grams) lightly packed light brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 egg yolk, at room temperature
  • 1 (12 oz or 340 gram) bag Christmas M&M® candies
  • 1/2 cup (85 grams) semisweet chocolate chips


  1. If baking the cookie dough immediately, preheat the oven to 350ºF. Line baking sheets with parchment paper.

  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cornstarch, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.

  3. In a large bowl, use an electric mixer to beat the butter, granulated sugar, and brown sugar on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 2 to 3 minutes. Scrape down the bowl before adding in the vanilla, eggs, and egg yolk, beating well after each addition, and scraping down the sides and bottom of the bowl as needed. Slowly beat in the flour mixture. Stir in the M&M candies and chocolate chips with a rubber spatula, reserving about 1/4 cup M&Ms to garnish each cookie dough ball.

  4. For best results, if time permits, wrap dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 24 hours but no more than 72 hours. This will improve both the flavor and texture of the cookies. Let dough sit at room temperature just until it is soft enough to scoop.*

  5. Using a spring-loaded scoop, divide the dough into 3-tablespoon sized balls and drop onto prepared baking sheets. Press a few extra M&M candies into the top of each ball of dough.

  6. Bake at 350°F for about 11 to 13 minutes, or until golden brown but still ever so slightly wet looking on top. Cool for 5 minutes before removing to wire racks to cool completely. Cookies can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days.

Recipe Notes

* Feel free to portion out your cookie dough balls prior to chilling, so you can bake them off straight from the fridge – just be careful to wrap the dough balls well in plastic wrap, to prevent them from drying out in the fridge. 
How to Freeze M&M Christmas Cookies
  1. Make the cookie dough as the recipe directs, portion out the dough balls, and place on a parchment-lined rimmed baking sheet.
  2. Cover the tray well with plastic wrap, to prevent the dough balls from drying out in the fridge, and chill for 24-72 hours.
  3. Place the tray of cookie dough balls in the freezer. Freeze until firm and solid.
  4. Remove the balls of cookie dough to a labeled and dated airtight container.
  5. Cookie dough can be stored in the freezer for up to 6 weeks.
Course : Dessert
Cuisine : American
Keyword : m&m christmas cookies

Photos by Joanie Simon | The Bite Shot

M&M Christmas Cookies Made By Our Community!

Tag @handletheheat and use the hashtag #handletheheat for a chance to be featured!

Tessa Arias
Author: Tessa Arias

I share trusted baking recipes your friends will LOVE alongside insights into the science of sweets. I'm a professionally trained chef, cookbook author, and cookie queen. I love to write about all things sweet, carb-y, and homemade. I live in Phoenix, Arizona (hence the blog name!)

Tessa Arias

About Tessa...

I share trusted baking recipes your friends will LOVE alongside insights into the science of sweets. I'm a professionally trained chef, cookbook author, and cookie queen. I love to write about all things sweet, carb-y, and homemade. I live in Phoenix, Arizona (hence the blog name!)

Find Tessa on  

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Recipe Rating

  1. #
    Jenna — February 19, 2023 at 1:27 pm

    LOVE these cookies. I always make a double batch so I can have some in the freezer and bust them out with the craving strikes!

  2. #
    Dana — December 24, 2022 at 8:34 pm

    This is the third M&M cookie’s recipe that I’ve tried and while they are all good. Tess’s is the best. I let the dough rest overtime before baking. The cookies were thicker than the other recipes. Definitely a keeper.

  3. #
    Lauren — December 20, 2022 at 2:11 pm

    I made this recipe this evening and included some cinnamon for that extra festive feel and they turned out great 🙂

  4. #
    Laura — December 19, 2022 at 3:04 pm

    Amazing recipe. They turned out beautiful and perfect. I ground up some mint holiday MnMs into dust (bc they are so big) and mixed into batter for hint of mint flavor + regular holiday MnMs. I made 2 oz dough balls. Made 23 cookies.

  5. #
    Ashley — December 18, 2022 at 8:56 pm

    These turned out great, followed the recipe!

  6. #
    Chris — December 18, 2022 at 1:22 pm

    Hi there, I have a question for you regarding flour. A lot of cookie recipes usually call for 2 cups or 2 1/4 cups of flour. I also see some recipes that call for 3 cups of flour. By adding that much flour, doesn’t it make the cookies taste more drier and not as soft? When you look at the rest of the ingredients like sugar , eggs, baking soda, or baking powder it is all the same in a lot of recipes, but the flour is either more or less. I would think with adding more flour, they are more heavier. Sometimes I come across a recipe and it sounds so good and when I see that it calls for 3 cups of flour, I don’t bother to try the recipe. It is a shame because I’m probably missing out on a lot of delicious cookies. Can’t wait to hear from you.

    • #
      Kiersten @ Handle the Heat — December 19, 2022 at 12:24 pm

      Hi Chris! Theoretically, if cookie recipes contain too much flour, yes, they will be harder and drier. It depends on the recipe, though. The recipe might yield more cookies, and/or contain more butter/sugar/leavener etc – so you definitely can’t base the texture of the baked cookie solely on the flour content. It’s also super important to not add too much flour. Learn how to measure flour properly here! I hope you give these cookies a try! They’re soft and chewy and not at all dry or cakey. Let us know how it goes 🙂

  7. #
    Lauren — December 18, 2022 at 11:05 am

    Could I add any seasonal spices to this to make them more festive? Thanks.

    • #
      Kiersten @ Handle the Heat — December 19, 2022 at 12:30 pm

      Hi Lauren! We haven’t tried that, but I don’t see why not! Let us know how they turn out 🙂

      • #
        Lauren — December 19, 2022 at 2:27 pm

        I’ve made the cookie dough this evening and added some cinnamon, so will update you once I’ve made the cookies tomorrow 🙂

  8. #
    eliz — December 13, 2022 at 1:28 pm

    hmm burnt bottoms and very puffed cookies. i prefer a flat chewy cookie… i used parchment paper and USA pans. every other cookie i have made does not look as these…. i think i’ll try Gaby’s next.

    • #
      Kiersten @ Handle the Heat — December 13, 2022 at 2:55 pm

      Hi Eliz! Oh no, I’m sorry to hear that! It definitely sounds like something went wrong in the process there, as these cookies should be as you see in the pictures – not too thick, not too thin, with a normal spread so they’re not puffy – and definitely not burnt on the bottom! Was an ingredient possibly missed or measured incorrectly by accident? How do you measure your ingredients? By volume (using cups), or by weight (using a digital kitchen scale)? When measuring by volume, it’s so easy to mis-measure flour/sugar/etc and throw off the entire chemistry of a recipe. Tessa talks about how to best measure ingredients to ensure accuracy every time, in this article here! Also, your oven might be running a little hot. Do you have an oven thermometer to check that? Check out Tessa’s article here about ovens, full of tips!! If you don’t have an oven thermometer to ensure your oven is at the temperature it says it is, invest in one now! They are inexpensive and really help your baking so much! This oven thermometer is one of Tessa’s favorites. Another thing could be how long you creamed your butter and sugars together for, and how warm your butter was at this time. Both have a huge impact on a cookie’s outcome. Have a look at this article, where Tessa discusses both and the repercussions on the resulting baked goods! Last but not least, I just want to mention that it’s always recommended to bake on the middle rack, so your cookies aren’t too close to the heat source, where they can get scorched and burn on the bottom before the cookies have had a chance to spread nicely and bake evenly. I hope something here helped, Eliz! Feel free to reach back out to us if you’d like to troubleshoot further – we’re always happy to help 🙂

  9. #
    Cheryl — December 6, 2022 at 9:24 pm

    Can the recipe be doubled?

    • #
      Kiersten @ Handle the Heat — December 7, 2022 at 8:52 am

      Hi Cheryl! You can definitely double this recipe – but any time you make a double batch, you run the risk of accidentally missing doubling an ingredient (eg adding 1 teaspoon of baking powder instead of 2 teaspoons, for example). Also, some mixing bowls won’t hold such a big batch of dough. So, we typically recommend simply making the single batch of dough twice, rather than doubling the dough in one batch. That being said, if you want to proceed and are confident you’ll add the correct quantities of each ingredient, and that your mixing bowl is large enough, go for it – just be careful to mix everything thoroughly and scrape the bowl down extra, to account for the large dough batch. I hope that helps! Let us know what you think of these cookies once you’ve given them a try! 🙂

  10. #
    Chuck — August 2, 2022 at 1:05 pm

    Whenever I make this type of cookie the color coating on the m&m’s melts and I get an inferior result. Has this happened to others. I’m normally pretty good in the kitchen, so this flumoxes & frustrates me. Any insights?

    • #
      Kiersten @ Handle the Heat — August 5, 2022 at 1:45 pm

      Hi Chuck! We have only experienced the M&Ms bleeding into the dough with the few M&Ms dotting the top of the dough, if placed in the fridge overnight. We therefore recommend to dot the tops of the dough with M&Ms right before baking, and not before. I hope this helps! 🙂

  11. #
    Karyn — January 15, 2022 at 1:33 pm

    Can you roll this into a log and slice instead of scooping the dough??

    • #
      Emily — January 17, 2022 at 4:52 pm

      We haven’t tried that!

  12. #
    Heather R — January 1, 2022 at 7:01 pm

    Soooooo good! Made this recipe for Christmas and it was a crowd pleaser to everyone

  13. #
    Lainie — December 30, 2021 at 2:30 pm

    Made these for Christmas. They turned out perfect!! So delicious! I made some with the large scoop as directed and then made some with a medium scoop.

  14. #
    Crash Sims — December 29, 2021 at 9:25 am

    I made these cookies gluten free and they came out great. I substituted the flour with Cup4Cup. I found Cup4Cup in my local supermarket, but it is also on Amazon and other etailers if you can’t find it locally. It was a measure for measure switch. I also checked to make sure the corn starch was 100% pure. I used Argo brand. I measured out my dough into 1.8 oz balls, and cooked them for 11-12 minutes. My gluten intolerant friend loved them!

    • #
      Emily — December 30, 2021 at 9:52 am

      That’s great! So happy this recipe turned out perfectly, thanks so much for sharing your substitutions!

  15. #
    Brianna Newsom — December 25, 2021 at 2:45 pm

    Absolutely amazing recipe! These are to out of the out! She really did a fantastic job on these cookies, they ate everything you want in a sugar cookie with festive chocolate in it. Easy to make and now my favorite cookie ever! Her Balery style was my #1 but now is my #2. Thanks to these cookies right here!

  16. #
    Dana — December 24, 2021 at 6:22 pm

    I love M&M cookies so of course I had to try Tessa’s version. Refrigerating the dough overnight does make a difference. I even tried that swirling technique that Tessa does with the round cutter to shape the cookies when they come out of the oven.

    • #
      Emily — December 27, 2021 at 11:13 am

      Glad you enjoyed them and that you made your cookies “picture perfect”! 🙂

  17. #
    Brianna Newsom — December 23, 2021 at 9:11 am

    Omgsh I loved making this recipe! So fun and so easy and FESTIVE! I will definitely be making these for friends and family! I highly recommend making them!

  18. #
    Briana — December 22, 2021 at 9:46 pm

    These cookies turned out delicious!! Perfect mix of sweet and salty; crispy edges and soft. So good!

    • #
      Emily — December 23, 2021 at 9:17 am

      Wonderful! So happy you loved them, thanks for sharing!

  19. #
    Melissa — December 22, 2021 at 2:01 pm

    I baked these for a holiday party and WOW!! Amazing!! People truly did not believe these weren’t from a bakery… They were so easy to make, quick to bake and the perfect balance of a semi-crisp edge with a soft, chewy center. Unfortunately (for my patience..) Tessa really knows her stuff (of course she does!) and letting the dough sit covered in the fridge for the 24-72 hours really did make a huge difference and made these cookies 10s.

    Will absolutely make these again and would recommend this recipe to everyone! Tessa – thank you for your incredible recipes and tips!! (I also made your chocolate blackout cupcakes and was told by several people they were the best cupcakes they’d ever eaten in their life…)

    • #
      Emily — December 23, 2021 at 9:08 am

      That’s amazing, Melissa! So happy to hear everyone loved them (and the cupcakes) so much, awesome job chilling your dough too haha, it’s difficult to wait, but SO worth it 🙂 Tip next time: bake up a couple cookies to “test” right away while the rest of the dough chills!

  20. #
    Becky Ingman — December 20, 2021 at 6:53 pm

    These cookies were amazing! I let sit for about 48 hours in the fridge and they were super thick and chewy after baking. New favorite right here! Thanks so much!

    • #
      Emily — December 21, 2021 at 9:55 am

      Wonderful! So happy to hear that, Becky 🙂

    • #
      Rosanne Prins — December 22, 2021 at 5:28 am

      Hi Emily! I made this cookiedough. Can I chill the dough also in the freezer for 12 hours in stead of refrigerate them for 24 hours? I dont have time.. I love to hear from you!

      • #
        Emily — December 22, 2021 at 7:04 am

        Hi Rosanne! Once you put the dough in the freezer, the moisture in the dough will actually freeze, and you won’t be able to have the same benefits in the freezer as in the fridge. Think of it like the dough is in suspended-animation-the flour/starch won’t be able to absorb moisture because the moisture is frozen. The chemical processes that happen while the dough is marinating can only happen in the fridge. Your best bet is to chill your dough for the 12 hours instead of freezing, your cookies will still taste delicious!

  21. #
    Starr Figueroa — December 17, 2021 at 4:41 pm

    I just made the dough and it’s kinda wet, is that normal? I followed the recipe to the tee.

    • #
      Emily — December 20, 2021 at 2:00 pm

      Hi Starr! The cookie dough should be relatively thick, not wet. Do you use a digital scale to measure your ingredients? The only liquid in this recipe is vanilla, besides eggs (if that counts). How wet is your dough, is it scoopable? Also, how warm was your butter? If the butter is too warm to begin with, it is possible your dough may have looked softer, though it still shouldn’t have been wet. Let me know how it went if you baked them up!

  22. #
    Deirdre Laus — December 12, 2021 at 12:06 pm

    They are amazing. This recipe is a sure keeper

    • #
      Emily — December 13, 2021 at 3:17 pm

      Glad you enjoyed them!

  23. #
    Brittany — December 11, 2021 at 12:38 am

    Super easy to make and turned out beautifully. Thanks for sharing this recipe.

  24. #
    Kendra — December 9, 2021 at 11:04 am

    Hi! I love the thorough directions! Cookies taste wonderful! So chewy!

    Can I freeze some already cooked cookies for Christmas week?

    • #
      Emily — December 9, 2021 at 1:22 pm

      Hi Kendra! We recommend freezing the unbaked cookie dough balls and baking as you want them because nothing beats fresh, still-warm cookies But, yes, in general, baked cookies freeze for about 3-4 weeks in an airtight container, unbaked cookie dough will freeze for up to 6 weeks.

  25. #
    Mike — December 5, 2021 at 8:23 pm

    Superb recipe, everyone raves about how soft, chewy and tasty these cookies are. I added an extra egg yolk (for a total of 2 yolks plus 2 eggs). Delicious!

    • #
      Emily — December 7, 2021 at 10:53 am

      So happy this recipe was such a hit! Thanks for sharing, Mike 🙂

  26. #
    Sarah — December 2, 2021 at 7:13 am

    When diving, would 150g be too much dough?

    • #
      Emily — December 2, 2021 at 1:55 pm

      Hi Sarah! Can you please elaborate? I’m not sure what you mean. Thanks!

    • #
      Sarah — December 2, 2021 at 6:12 pm

      I’m sorry, when the recipe mentions 3 tbsp makes one cookie I was hoping to find out about how many grams that would be. Would 150g of dough be too much for one cookie?

      • #
        Haley Wehner — December 3, 2021 at 2:24 pm

        If you’d prefer to portion your dough balls by weight rather than by using a large cookie scoop, I’d recommend weighing the entire mass of dough and dividing that number by however many cookies you’d like to make 🙂

  27. #
    Sue — November 30, 2021 at 12:28 pm

    Excellent texture and taste, super easy and super cute! I’m using these for a cookie exchange with lots of kids to please!

    • #
      Emily — December 1, 2021 at 10:59 am

      That sounds like so much fun! Can’t wait for everyone to enjoy your cookies! Glad you love this recipe, Sue 🙂

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