Wednesday, April 3, 2013

M&M Sugar Cookies

It's starting to feel like summer out here in CA. And i'm a summer time girl. As much as I love Christmas, I get so excited for the sun to stay up until 9pm, picnics, beach trips, tan lines and watching the kids run around outside barefoot. And bbqs. Loove bbqs. We like having friends over and I have a problem about involving food. I always always need to have food with an activity. Something about food makes everything more fun. I mean, sure going out to a movie is fun..but it doesn't seem complete if you don't go to dinner too! Or atleast grab a snack :) Anyway, Saturday night we were at the grocery store thinking of what we were going to have for Easter dinner (talk about last minute) when I decided to see if the neighbors wanted to combine and have a potluck dinner. To my surprise everyone said yes. There was so much good food. Part of my contribution was dessert. Being that it was so last minute and I had a house to clean, I settled on these m&m sugar cookies. I may have had to make 2 trips to the grocery store, the 2nd was due to the  fact that I didn't realize I was out of sugar. And staying up until midnight to get them made, due to the 2 hrs of wait time in the fridge. But the're totally worth it.To make it more Easter-y I used the little chocolate cadbury eggs (love those!!) and they worked great. I should go stock up on those before they're gone!

M&M Sugar Cookies
Cook's Illustrated via. Tracey's Culinary Adventures

2 1/4 cups (11 1/4 oz) all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups (10 1/2 oz) sugar, plus 1/3 cup for rolling
2 oz cream cheese, cut into 8 pieces
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and still warm
1/3 cup vegetable (or canola) oil
1 large egg, at room temperature
1 tablespoon milk
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1-1 1/4 cups M&M's

Preheat oven to 350 F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Combine 1 1/2 cups of sugar and cream cheese in a large bowl. Put the remaining 1/3 cup sugar in a pie plate and set aside. Pour the warm butter over the cream cheese mixture and whisk to combine. Whisk in the oil then the egg, milk and vanilla extract. Mix until smooth. Use a rubber spatula to start folding the dry ingredients into the wet. When the dry ingredients are partially incorporated, add 3/4 cup of the M&M's to the dough. Continue mixing just until a soft dough comes together.

Portion the dough onto the prepared baking sheets with a cookie scoop, using about 2 tablespoons for each cookie. Working quickly, roll the dough into a ball with your hands then roll in the sugar set aside in the pie plate previously. Repeat until you've used all of the dough, placing 12 cookies on each baking sheet. Use the bottom of a glass to flatten the dough balls into discs that are about 2 inches in diameter. Gently press 2 or 3 more M&M's into the top of each cookie.

Bake the cookies, 1 tray at a time, for about 11-13 minutes, or until the edges are set. The tops will be puffy and slightly cracked. Transfer the baking sheet to a wire rack and let the cookies cool on the sheet for 5 minutes then transfer them to the rack to cool completely.

Makes about 24 cookies  Follow TawnyAlexander on Twitter