Before you cave into the temptation to tear into that bag of M&Ms left over from Halloween, consider doing something more thoughtful with them—like baking them in cookies. They are just the thing to take to a casual get-together or send off in a care package to homesick college kids.
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
1/2 cup shortening
1 cup packed light brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 large eggs
2 1/4 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2 cups plain M&Ms
1. Combine the softened butter and shortening in an electric mixer. Beat until blended. Add brown and granulated sugars; continue beating on high for two minutes, scraping bowl. Beat in the vanilla and eggs. Continue beating for another minute or until fluffy.
2. In a separate bowl, stir together the flour, salt, and baking soda. Add this mixture to the sugar mixture, and blend until mixed. Stir in the M&Ms. Cover bowl with plastic wrap; chill batter for about an hour.
3. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Drop batter by rounded tablespoonfuls onto ungreased cookie sheets, spacing 3 inches apart and bake for 12 to 14 minutes. Let cool on cookie sheets for about 2 minutes, then transfer to wire rack to cool completely.
Makes about 3 dozen cookies.