Tuesday, February 7, 2012

M&M Sugar Cookies

My daughter LOVES to bake. 

When asked, she told someone our last name was Baker because her mom bakes a lot.  I love it.  I don't always love baking with little hands helping, since it makes a gigantic mess 99% of the time, so I need to be relaxed and in a good mood to bake with assistance.  Today we baked a few of these, and we're going to bake some fresh for the school bake sale in a few days, so a batch was tossed in the freezer until then.  She did a great job placing the candies on the cookies before baking - the perfect job for little helpers.

I get sick of the baking part when making big batches of cookies, so I usually freeze 1/2 the dough in the correct portions, and bake the rest.  I like to include a dessert with meals I bring to families, so I bake up some brownies or cookies, or send a bag of frozen cookie dough they can bake fresh at home.  It's nice to have the frozen dough on hand.

M&M Sugar Cookies      

2-1/2 c. all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1-1/4 sticks unsalted butter, softened (room temp)
1-1/2 c. sugar
2 tsp. vanilla
2 large eggs
2 c. plain M&M’s

In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, salt and baking powder and set aside.  In a large bowl, beat the butter and sugar on medium speed.  Beat until creamy, approx 3 to 6 minutes. Add vanilla. Add eggs and beat until well blended.  Then add the flour mixture a little at a time, and mix until just combined.  (I have also just mixed the M&M's in at this point - if you want to place them on the cookies, great, but I found this to work just fine.)  Prepare cookie sheets with parchment paper.
Form 1 to 2 tablespoonfuls of cookie dough into a ball and place on cookie sheet, leaving space between to allow for spreading. Place as many or as few M&M’s as you like onto each ball (or if you already mixed them in, you're done!).

To prepare: preheat oven to 350 degrees, then bake for 10 to 12 minutes. Let cookies cool on baking sheet for 10 minutes.  Leaving on them on the tray will ensure soft cookies.  Let them cool completely, then store in an airtight container.

To freeze, prepare the cookies, but rather than putting them in the oven, stick the whole tray in the freezer.  Once the cookies are frozen through, you can place them in a freezer bag, and then take out as many as you like to bake.  Just bake them as directed, right from the freezer.

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