Soft and Chewy M&M'S Cookies
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened (1 stick)
1/2 cup light brown sugar, packed
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup instant vanilla pudding mix (not cook-and-serve, not sugar-free)
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt, or to taste
3/4 cup M&M'S, plus more for adding to dough mounds 1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips, plus more for adding to dough mounds
1.To the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment (or large mixing bowl and electric mixer) combine the butter, sugars, egg, vanilla, and beat on medium-high speed until creamed and well combined, about 4 minutes.
2.Stop, scrape down the sides of the bowl, and add the flour, pudding mix (add it as a dry ingredient, do not actually make pudding; cook-and-serve and sugar-free are not recommended in this recipe), baking soda, salt, and beat on low speed until just combined, about 1 minute.
3.Add the M&M'S, chocolate chips, and beat on low speed until just combined, about 30 seconds.
4.Using a large cookie scoop, 1/4-cup measure, or your hands, form approximately 11 equal-sized mounds of dough, roll into balls, and flatten slightly. Tip - Strategically place a few M&M'S and chocolate chips on top of each mound of dough by taking M&Ms and chips from the underside as well as adding more as necessary for a nice pop of color.
6.Preheat oven to 350F, line a baking sheet with a Silpat or spray with cooking spray. Place dough mounds on baking sheet, spaced at least 2 inches apart (I bake 6 cookies per sheet) and bake for about 12 to 13 minutes (if your cookies are smaller than mine, reduce baking time) or until edges have set and tops are just set, even if slightly undercooked, pale, and glossy in the center; don't overbake. Cookies firm up as they cool. Allow cookies to cool on baking sheet for about 10 minutes before serving. I let them cool on the baking sheet and don't use a rack. If you make your cookies smaller than mine, your baking time will be reduced.
7.Cookies will keep airtight at room temperature for up to 1 week or in the freezer for up to 6 months. Alternatively, unbaked cookie dough can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days, or in the freezer for up to 4 months, so consider baking only as many cookies as desired and save the remaining dough to be baked in the future when desired.