Chunky Peanut Butter M&M Cookies & Cookie Bites

I don’t know what my obsession with M&Ms is lately, but I seem to be buying out the stock of them in the store and baking EVERYTHING with them.  Maybe it’s because I like how colorful they  make my cookies rather than using chocolate chips…. maybe it’s just cause I love chocolate… or maybe… well who cares, I just love them!

I’m pretty sure a lot of you have seen the chocolate chip cookies that have been floating around Pinterest and the internet that require 36 hours of chilling before baking.  I had often wondered myself what all this chilling really does for a cookie… I have never really tried it with a cookie other than my Chocolate Crinkle Cookies, but reading all these blogs talk about how amazing their cookies were after a prolonged chill… I got to wondering if this would work with other cookie dough recipes?

Peanut butter cookies are similar in ingredients to the chocolate chip cookie, brown sugar, butter, egg, flour, etc etc so I thought it might work.  Plus, everything I’d read about this long chill, the cookies turn out crisp on the edges and chewy in the centers… which is exactly what I wanted for these peanut butter cookies.

So, I’m patient… but I’m not THAT patient.  I didn’t chill these cookies for 36 hours, I made it about 19 hours.  But… I’m thinking that it’s a perfect amount of time because the cookies turned out perfect!! Chewy in the middle, a bit crisp on the edges, golden brown and so good!

Chunky Peanut Butter M&M Cookies & Cookie Bites
 
Cook time
 
These peanut butter cookies are the perfect combination of crisp edges with chewy centers with a peanut & M&M in every bite!
Serves: About 32 3in cookies + 24 cookie bites
Ingredients
  • 2½ cups flour
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, slightly soft but still cold
  • 1½ cups brown sugar, packed
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 1 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 Tbsp vanilla
  • 1 cup unsalted peanuts, chopped into chunks
  • 1 12.6oz bag of M&M candies
  • ½ cup sugar for rolling cookies
Instructions
  1. In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Mix in the chopped peanuts and set aside.
  2. In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream together the peanut butter, butter and sugars for 3-4 minutes.
  3. Add the eggs one at a time and vanilla and cream for another 3 minutes. Make sure to scrape the sides of the bowl often to ensure everything is incorporated.
  4. Add the flour mixture in two parts, mixing until just combined.
  5. Fold in the M&Ms using a spatula (NOTE: You can use your mixer for this, but make sure you do it on low so the M&Ms don't break.)
  6. Cover dough and refrigerate overnight or at least 18 hours.
  7. Preheat oven to 350 F degrees and line cookie sheets with parchment paper.
  8. Roll out 2 inch balls of dough and coat with sugar.
  9. Place balls on cookie sheet 2 inches apart and press down with a fork in a criss-cross pattern until slightly flattened.
  10. Bake for 10-12 minutes or the cookie is slightly golden brown. NOTE: DO NOT over bake these cookies!! You want the middles to seem gooey still! I baked mine exactly 11 minutes, but every oven varies.
  11. Allow to cool on pan for 3-4 minutes before removing to wire rack to cool completely. (Or if you're like me, you'll eat them straight from the oven!)
  12. Keep dough refrigerated between batches so it stays chilled.
Cookie Bites:
  1. Spray lightly the insides of a mini muffin pan with cooking spray.
  2. Place 1in balls of cookie dough into each opening.
  3. Bake at 350 F degrees for 7-9 minutes or until the edges are slightly golden brown.
  4. Allow to cool at least 5 mins in pan. Use a toothpick to pop out each bite. NOTE: If you try to remove the cookie bites too early, they may fall apart. You want to give them enough time to set up before removing.

Caramel Apple Cupcakes

Jenn and I planned to make caramel apple cupcakes without even chatting about it first!  I guess those Fall flavors are just in the air and we’re ready to get baking!! Apples, cinnamon, nutmeg… OH MY!

You may remember the Tree Hugger Apple cupcakes I made before!  I brought them to my first Cupcake Camp and they were a HUGE success!  My very first recipe I came up with on my own from scratch!  I knew I didn’t want to make these caramel apple cupcakes exactly the same, but some elements of it I knew were too good to pass up.

I started these Caramel Apple Cupcakes with the same pan cooked chopped apples that I used with my Tree Hugger Apple cupcakes.  Sugar, apples, lemon, and spices cooked on low heat to create a ooey gooey apple filling.  Seriously, I could eat it by the spoonful.

Apple Mixture
Makes about 2 cups apple mixture

3 Granny Smith apples, diced
Juice of 1/2 lemon
1 tbsp cinnamon
1 tsp nutmeg
1/3 cup sugar
1/4 cup dark brown sugar
1 tbsp hot water + 1 tbsp corn starch

  1. Over medium high heat,  mix together all the ingredients in a frying pan on the stove.
  2. Bring to a boil then reduce to low and cook for about 10 minutes.  Stirring frequently.
  3. Set aside to cool completely.

Apple Cream Cheese Filling

8 oz cream cheese, room temperature
1/2 cup butter, room temperature
3 cups powdered sugar, sifted
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup apple mixture
1 tbsp heavy cream (optional)

  1. Cream together the cream cheese and butter using an electric mixer with a paddle attachment.
  2. Slowly add the powdered sugar and mix until smooth.
  3. Mix in the vanilla.
  4. Add the apple mixture and mix on low until just combined.
  5. If mixture is too thick, add a tbsp of heavy cream to smooth out.
Caramel Buttercream
1 cup butter, room temperature
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1lb powdered sugar
2-3 tbsp heavy cream
1 tsp vanilla extract
3-4 tbsp caramel syrup
  1. Cream the butter and brown sugar together.
  2. Mix in the vanilla.
  3. Add the powdered sugar and beat until smooth.
  4. Add the cream to loosen.
  5. Mix in the caramel syrup and mix until smooth.
  6. Beat on high for 30 seconds, scrape the sides of the bowl and beat again.
  7. EAT!

Apple Cupcakes
Makes 18 full size cupcakes and 24 mini cupcakes

2 cups sugar
3 eggs
1 cup canola oil
1/2 cup applesauce
1/4 cup apple juice
1 tbsp vanilla extract

3 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1 tbsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp nutmeg

1 cup apple mixture

  1. Preheat oven to 350 F degrees.  Line cupcake pans with liners.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together the sugar, eggs, oil, applesauce, juice and vanilla.
  3. In a medium bowl, whisk/sift together the flour, soda, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg.
  4. Add the flour to the wet mixture and mix together just until combined.
  5. Fold in the apple mixture.
  6. Fill regular size liners about 2/3 full.  Fill mini liners 1/2 full.
  7. Bake for 18-20 minutes or until tops are golden brown and a toothpick comes out clean.  Rotate pan after 12 minutes of baking.
  8. Cool in pans for about 7 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool completely.
Assembly
  1. After cool, cut a cone out of the center of each regular size cupcake.  Trim off the bottom of the cone.
  2. Core out the center of each mini cupcake using an apple corer.
  3. Fill each cupcake with the cream cheese apple mixture.  Replace to tops of the regular size cupcakes only. (I used a small ice cream scoop to fill the regular size cupcakes and a piping bag to fill the mini’s)
  4. Top with caramel buttercream and then rim with your favorite topping. (Nuts, candy, sprinkles, caramel sauce)
  5. Insert popsicle stick or lollipop stick into center of cupcake.

Pink Lemonade Mini Cupcakes

I’ve been thinking about pink lemonade cupcakes alllllll summer but it hasn’t really seemed warmed enough, until now!  Thank you, Washington for finally bringing back the sunshine!

I’m a little jealous that Betsy is already thinking about Fall because I would love to be making pumpkin cookies right now but I can’t really bring myself to it when it’s super sunny and nice outside!  I feel weird complaining about the sun-btw.

LOL… anyways, back to the pink lemonade cupcakes!  They’re so fun!  And pink, and lemony!  So fun!  If you’re looking for one last hint of summer, make these cupcakes :)

Pink Lemonade Cupcakes (Starting to Simmer)

  • 1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 3/4 cups sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 1/2 cups flour
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 packets Pink Lemonade  “On The Go” Crystal Light
  • 2-3 drops of red food coloring (as desired)
Yield: 2 dozen
  1. Preheat oven to 350F and line 2 muffin pans with cupcake liners.
  2. In a medium sized bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder and salt.
  3. In a standing bowl mixer with a paddle attachment, on medium speed, cream together butter and sugar until light and fluffy, at least 2-3 minutes.
  4. Mix in the eggs, one at a time, scraping down the sides of the bowl after each addition.
  5. In a liquid measuring cup, mix together the milk and Crystal Light packages until combined.
  6. With the mixer on low, add the flour and milk mixture in 3 additions, beginning and ending with the flour.  (Add the red food coloring, as needed) Mix until the batter is smooth, but do not over mix.
  7. Fill each liner with an ice cream scoop full of batter and bake for 18-20 minutes, or until a tester comes out clean from the center of a cupcake.
  8. Cool completely before frosting.
Pink Lemonade Buttercream
  • 1 cup (2 stick) of unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 4-5 cups of powdered sugar, sifted
  • 2-3 tablespoons of heavy cream, as needed to achieve desired consistency
  • 1 packet Pink Lemonade  “On The Go” Crystal Light
  • 2-3 drops of red food coloring, as needed to achieve a pretty pink color
  • Lemon candy wedges (lemon drops would be a great substitute)
  1. Cream butter in a standing bowl mixer, with the paddle attachment, cream the butter until smooth 2-3 minutes.
  2. Turn the mixer down to low and add the powdered sugar one cup at at time, mixing until smooth.
  3. Add the Pink lemonade packet, a little at a time.  I used about 3/4 of the packet, to get the flavor that I wanted.
  4. Add the heavy cream as needed to achieve your desired consistency.
  5. Add a few drops of red food coloring, until the buttercream is the “right” shade of pink for you.  I wanted it to be a light pink, so I only used 2-3 drops.
  6. Mix on medium-high for 1-2 minutes, until the buttercream is light and fluffy.
  7. Pipe with a closed star tip and garnish with lemon candy wedges.
Tons of recipes out there use boxed white cake mix and pink lemonade from concentrate for pink lemonade cupcakes.  I’m not hating on those versions, I just don’t ever boxed cake mix in my pantry-so from scratch works best for me.  If that’s your cup of tea-please, let me know how they turn out! :)
I made these into mini cupcakes for a sweet 16 birthday party and they were fantastic, BUT, for some reason they decided to detach themselves from the liner. IDK why, that’s never really happened to me before, so I decided to take all of them out of the liner they were baked in and put them in a fresh mini liner.  Could just be a baking fluke on my part-but wanted to put it out there, just in case that happens to you as well.

PS. Here’s a peek at the other mini’s from the party :) in order: Banana & Dulce de Leche, Pink Velvet, and Chocolate Chip Pancake.

 

Mini Cupcakes for the Win!

I heart mini cupcakes.  I know that they’re not everyone’s cup of tea, but I think that they’re pretty fantastic… especially for 1st birthdays!  We took a little road trip down to California for my god-daughter, Savannah’s 1st birthday party… and as a good cupcakin’ auntie, I made all of the cupcakes for the party!

Here’s the thing about mini cupcakes, they don’t really look like a ton of cupcakes when they’re on display, but 120 mini cupcakes goes a long way!

Instead a super long post with step-by-step directions for each cupcake, I figured I would link to the recipes that I used, just so you can get an idea of what worked for me ;)

I made 2 dozen mini cupcakes in 5 different cupcake varieties:

I modified all of the recipes to make 1 dozen regular sized cupcakes, which basically turns into 2 dozen mini cupcakes.  I kept it simple and used white, mini cupcake liners and 2 pastry tips from Bake It Pretty (Giant Closed Star Pastry Tip and Super Star Giant Pastry Tip).
I think the biggest hit of the party was cookie dough, but I’m guessing that’s because they had little chocolate chip cookies on them :) Cupcakes & cookies=win for the kids!  I went with a semi-homemade version of these cupcakes and instead of making chocolate chip cookies, I just bought a bag of bite sized chips ahoy cookies.

If you’re planning a party, consider mini cupcakes.  The birthday girl had about 3 banana & nutella cupcakes… she totally loved them!  I decided to display them on a large platter, just to keep set-up easy since we were at a park… but, I also have a mini cupcake stand that is super cute!

If you have any questions, as always, please let me know!

Mahalo! xo-Jenn

Mini Brownie Cupcakes

Happy weekend!  These little brownie bites are super tasty. I’ve made this brownie cupcake recipe a few times for a baby shower and as a present… they’re also my little brother’s favorite cupcake!  The last time I made them I decided to drizzle them with caramel, add some almond slivers and mini chocolate chips and they were amazing.

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Viva La Cupcake – Happy Birthday Elvis!

On January 8, 1935 one of the most popular musicians was born, Elvis Presley.  Elvis loved fried peanut butter and banana sandwiches… weird, I know.  So to honor “The King” I made my version of his favorite sandwich, in a cupcake!   [Read more…]

Mini Chocolate Raspberry Cupcakes

It’s been over three months… three long months since I’ve baked a cupcake.  Today, I reclaimed my excitement, desire, and drive to bake again thanks to an old friend who called and asked me to make cupcakes for an upcoming bridal shower.

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