Happy *almost* St Patrick’s Day! I’ve got friends staying this weekend, so I’m getting my Irish on a little early this year. In addition to the thick, creamy, and (most importantly) green Grasshopper Pie Milkshake that I shared on Wednesday, I also broke out the mint M&Ms I brought back with me from Florida and created these Mint Chocolate M&M Cookies.
What’s so special about these cookies?
We’ve made mint chocolate cookies before, but this time I’ve gone all in and tripled the chocolate – we’re talking cocoa powder, chocolate chips, and a whole load of melted mint chocolate too. These the the chewy type of cookie, rather than the cakey sort, and you don’t even need to chill the dough before baking. One bowl wonder? Almost.
The green M&Ms are the real stars of the show, and unfortunately for us Brits, it’s pretty much impossible to get hold of them over here (for a sensible price, anyway). These cookies will work just as well with normal chocolate M&Ms – there’s plenty enough mint chocolate in the cookies – but there’s something wonderful about all those different greens working together.
It’s like a Dulux paint chart.
As you’ll see in the photo above, some of your M&Ms are going to crack in the oven. It’s unavoidable. Don’t get upset about it – it’s par for the course when cooking with M&Ms, and if you ask me it adds a little bit of homebaked charm to your plate.
You’re not going to mix the M&Ms into the batter. Instead, you’re going to place them on top of the slightly flattened balls of cookie dough before you pop them in the oven for baking. I used about 4 or 5 M&Ms for each cookie, but you can probably squeeze a few more on if you’re game. The cookie ball will spread out in the hot oven, taking the little ombre M&Ms with it. Somehow they never end up all clumped together. It’s cookie magic.
One of the main things to watch out for when getting the ingredients together for these mint chocolate M&M cookies is to make sure you use the right chocolate. Mint chocolate is a tricky beast, as it comes in all different variations. Look carefully at the packaging – is it actually just mint flavoured chocolate? Or does it have little mint flavoured crunchy bits in it, or is it filled with peppermint fondant?
We only want 100% plain mint chocolate for these cookies, so something like this Green & Blacks Dark Mint Chocolate bar is perfect. See the ingredients? It’s just dark chocolate and peppermint oil.
I’m usually a sucker for a mint Aero, but this is definitely not the time or the place for such bubbly chocolate. Keep it simple!
Have you actually got any plans for St Patrick’s Day? Here in England we basically only celebrate this particular holiday if we’re at Uni or are looking for an excuse to go out and get plastered (how is that different to every other Saturday night though). And I’m so not a Guinness drinker. Or any drinker come to that.
Instead, I will be staying in and sharing a jar full of mint chocolate M&M cookies with two of my best friends (and my wife) as we reminisce over times gone by, and get ourselves well and truly pampered at the spa.
Did someone say snow?
- 150g (5.3oz) mint chocolate (with no crunchy bits or creme inside)
- 125g (½ cup + 1 tablespoon) unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 100g (½ cup) light brown sugar
- 100g (½ cup) caster sugar (US granulated sugar)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 large egg
- 150g (1¼ cups) plain or all-purpose flour
- 30g (¼ cup) unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda (baking soda)
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 175g (1 cup) dark chocolate chips (semi-sweet or bittersweet)
- 150g (5.3oz) mint chocolate M&Ms
- Preheat the oven to 170°C / 340°F (150°C fan) and line two large baking sheets with baking parchment or silicone mats. Melt the mint chocolate in the microwave (stirring every 20 seconds to avoid burning) or in a bowl over a saucepan of boiling water. Once melted, set aside to cool slightly.
- Place the butter and both types of sugar into the bowl of your stand mixer (or a large bowl if using a hand mixer) and beat until light and fluffy. Add the melted chocolate and beat well, scraping down the sides as needed. Add the vanilla extract and the egg, and continue to beat until everything is well mixed.
- Add the flour, cocoa powder, bicarbonate of soda, and salt to the bowl, and gently fold together - use the lowest speed on your stand mixer. Once everything has just about been mixed together, add the chocolate chips and fold again until the chips are well distributed. Don't add the M&Ms yet!
- Roll the dough into balls (about the size of a ping pong ball) and place them onto the pre-lined baking sheets. Leave space between them as they will spread in the oven. Press the top of the balls ever so slightly, and then press four or five M&Ms onto the top of each. Don't worry that they are too close together - the M&Ms will spread out on top of the cookies once they are in the oven.
- Bake the cookies for 15-18 minutes, or until the edges have hardened up. The middles of the cookies will seem very underbaked, but they will harden up once cooled. Don't be tempted to leave them in for any longer than 18 minutes, even if they don't look ready! Leave the cookies to cool completely on the baking sheets (on a wire rack).
- If you cannot get hold of mint M&Ms (they don't exist in the UK) then feel free to use regular M&Ms instead.
- I used Green & Blacks Dark Mint Chocolate, as this doesn't have any crunchy mint pieces or mint fondant creme inside it. If you cannot track down a plain mint chocolate, then use dark or semi-sweet chocolate and add a teaspoon of peppermint extract.
- The cookies should stay fresh for 3-4 days if stored in an airtight container somewhere cool (not the fridge). You can also freeze the cookies for up to 3 months - defrost at room temperature.