Chewy M&M Sugar Cookies

Happy Halloween everyone! Sadly, this post isn’t really Halloween related BUT the recipe does include candy so that’s close enough!

As a little kid, any cookie with M&M’s in it was always my favorite…I didn’t matter which flavor the cookie was…whether it was chocolate chip, sugar, double chocolate, oatmeal – it didn’t matter- as long as it had M&M’s in it I would eat it. So when I saw this recipe on Pinterest for Chewy M&M Sugar cookies I just had to try it.

Overall, this recipe was incredibly easy to make…it only took about 15 minutes total to prepare the dough and the cookies bake quickly. I had 24 cookies in less than an hour!

As usual, I made a few tweaks. Firstly, I was out of vegetable oil so I used olive oil instead…it didn’t seem to make a huge difference. Also, I didn’t have any parchment paper so I just coated the baking sheets with cooking spray and I didn’t have any trouble with burning or getting my cookies off the sheet. Finally, I used more M&M’s (I mean is there really such a thing as TOO many M&M’s in a cookie??). I used a whole cup instead of 3/4 of a cup and still didn’t have any trouble with the cookies not staying together so I would say going for it! To even out the extra I used in the batter I skipped adding the candy on top unless the cookie looked like it needed a little extra love.

Tweaks for next time? For starters, I would read the whole recipe first. I had put all of the dry ingredients in my stand mixer before I realized I would actually be mixing the wet ingredients first. Also, I think I would put all of the sugar in the recipe next time and not cover the outside in sugar…I’m just not crazy about the grainy texture on the outside.

Overall, these cookies are amazing (though maybe I’m a little biased due to my love of M&M cookies). I think a big contributing factor to the awesomeness of these cookies is the cream cheese. Anyone who knows me knows cream cheese is one of my main food groups and there is rarely a day that I don’t eat something with cream cheese on it. But surprisingly I don’t use it in recipes that often unless I am making cheesecake. Seeing what it did to these cookies I am definitely going to try adding it to more desserts (and maybe even savory dishes!) in the future.

Below is what my finished product looked like…

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I would give this pin “hit” status and will definitely be trying it again with some tweaks and variations. Overall, the recipe is simple and versatile – it could be used for any type of sugar cookie and could serve as a great base for a variety of holiday cookies…way better than the slice and bake from the tube variety and took about the same amount of time!

Do you have a killer cookie recipe? Do you share my love of candy-laced cookies? Have you tried this and had success? Let me know in the comments!

Happy pinning!

Painted Pumpkin

Ok friends, this isn’t a recipe but if you are like me, you love being festive. And the holiday that kicks off the holiday season is right around the corner…Halloween! I found this tutorial on Pinterest a few weeks ago. The tutorial is for a swirly design made in puff paint on a fake pumpkin. Anyone who knows me knows that the pattern shown on this pumpkin is one of my favorites so as soon as I saw it I knew I had to try it. I also hate carving pumpkins so this seemed like a simpler alternative for me.

I was somewhat mislead when I started this project. The person whom I originally pinned it from said the tutorial was for a glow in the dark pumpkin made using puffy paint. The puffy paint color in the tutorial is black. Good thing to know before you start this if you are expecting a glow-in-the-dark pumpkin…black puffy paint does not come in the glow variety…at least I couldn’t find it at my local art store. But I had my heart set on a glow in the dark pumpkin so I bought black and a neutral glow color.

Second good thing to know? Neutral glow puffy paint does not dry clear…it dries white. My original plan was to decorate the whole pumpkin with the swirly pattern and then put a “hidden” scary face with the glow color that would only be visible at night BUT since the glow dries white I had to scrap that plan also. 0 for 2 so far.

Plan C was the winner. Instead of using only black dots in the pattern I incorporated white dots that in the light look (mostly) like they are just part of the design of the pumpkin but in the dark a scary face emerges!

Pumpkin in the light

Front

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Back

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I accomplished this by taking my pumpkin (I used a real pumpkin) and tracing the important parts with an orange sharpie. The important parts were anywhere that needed to be symmetrical or incorporated parts of the scary face.

Then I started with the black and did almost the entire front of the pumpkin. After the black dried a little…I went back in with the glow color and incorporated it into the design. Its difficult to get a good picture of it glowing but this gives you the general idea…at night all you can see is the glowing eyes and fangs!

Pumpkin in the Dark

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I also am trying to insert some black and orange Halloween gems that I bought but they don’t stick easily with regular glue and my hot glue gun is out of glue.

Overall, I enjoyed this far more than carving and I didn’t find it as time consuming as the post makes it seem. I did think the puffy paint was kind of a waste as the paint doesn’t “puff” unless its heated which seemed too risky with the intricate design. If I did this again I would just get regular fabric paint.

Also, be careful to hold the bottle close to the surface and to squeeze gently…especially when your paint starts to run low or you risk air bursts that could ruin your whole design. The good thing is that the paint wiped off easily with just a paper towel…I decorated and wiped off one section three times!

I’d definitely say this was a hit if you are looking for a new twist on the classic jack-o-lantern, have some creative flair and most importantly have the patience to take your time on this project.

What about you? Do you have any unique non-carved pumpkin designs that you like? How would you twist this tutorial to work best for you?