Santa’s Favorite Peanut Butter M&M Cookies are thick, soft, and chewy! These GIANT bakery-style holiday cookies are loaded with peanut butter, M&Ms, and gooey milk chocolate chips! A crowd-pleasing cookie recipe that’s loved equally by kiddos and adults!
Christmas Peanut Butter M&M Cookies
It’s FINALLY December! And after a whirlwind of a year, I know we’re all ready to celebrate the holiday season! And I can’t think of a better way to kick things off than by sharing a brand new cookie recipe with you!
More specifically, these soft and chewy peanut butter cookies! AKA Santa’s Favorite PB Cookie 😉
They’re loaded with TONS of rich peanut butter flavor, plus gooey chocolate chips and colorful M&M candies! But to make them extra festive, use the holiday M&Ms. The bright pops of red and green make them so cheerful and merry!
I also love adding a sprinkle of granulated sugar on top of the baked cookies, which makes them look extra sparkly and adds a lovely crunch! But that part is totally optional! You could also add flaky sea salt, which will look gorgeous and cut the sweetness!
How to Bake Peanut M&M Cookies in 3 steps:
- Make the Cookie Dough: First things first! This recipe does require a stand mixer with a paddle attachment or a very large bowl and an electric hand mixer! You’ll need it to whip the softened butter and then the peanut butter smooth! Then toss in both sugars. Next, beat in the eggs and vanilla. Finally, add in the dry ingredients, chocolate chips, and M&Ms.
- Chill the Dough: For best results, you should chill this cookie dough for at least 30 minutes before baking. This extra step does require a little bit of planning time wise, but it helps the cookies bake up nice and thick! But the good news is that you can chill it for up to 2 days! Just let it soften slightly before baking. You can even freeze the cookie dough balls for up to 2 months! But you’ll want to add an extra few minutes if baking from frozen.
- Bake the Cookies: But first, line a baking sheet (or 2) with parchment paper. Then, using a large cookie scoop, roll the cookie dough into balls. then place them on the prepared baking sheet. Leave at least 2-inches between each cookie because they WILL spread! Then bake! I’ve suggested a bake time in the recipe box at the end of this post, but you may need to add a few minutes if your oven runs low, or remove them from the oven a minute early if your oven runs hot.
How to Decorate Like a Pro…
I always reserve an extra 1/2 cup of holiday M&Ms and chocolate chips for decorating! As soon as the cookies come out of the oven, I gently press a few extra on top of the cookies, and it makes them extra enticing! And as I mentioned earlier, I also love a generous sprinkle of sugar or flaky sea salt on top!
More M&M Recipes:
- Soft and Chewy M&M Cookie Bars
- Super Easy Holiday M&M Blondies
- Soft Batch Chocolate M&M Cookies
- M&M Cookie Bites
- Brown Butter M&M Cookies
- Chewy Brown Butter M&M Blondies
Santa's Favorite Peanut Butter M&M Cookies
Yield 2 dozen cookies
Santa's Favorite Peanut Butter M&M Cookies are thick, soft, and chewy! Loaded with peanut butter, M&Ms, and gooey milk chocolate chips! A crowd-pleasing cookie recipe that's loved equally by kiddos and adults!
- 1 cup (8 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 1 cup creamy peanut butter, at room temperature
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 1 and 1/2 cups dark brown sugar, packed
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 2 large eggs, at room temperature
- 2 and 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 and 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 and 1/2 cups holiday M&Ms, plus extras for decorating
- 1 cup semi-sweet or milk chocolate chips, plus extras for decorating
- 1 teaspoon flaky sea salt or granulated sugar, for sprinkling, optional
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, or in a large bowl using a handheld electric mixer, beat the butter until smooth and creamy. Add in the peanut butter and beat until well combined.
- Next add in both sugars and beat until light and fluffy, scraping down the sides and bottom of the bowl as needed, about 2 minutes.
- Add in the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add in the vanilla. Turn mixer off.
- Add in the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Whisk the ingredients together lightly before turning the mixer back on low and mixing in the dry ingredients until just combined. Be sure not to over mix here.
- Fold in the holiday M&Ms and chocolate chips and mix until just combined.
- Cover the bowl and place it in the fridge for 30 minutes, or up to 2 days. If you refrigerate the cookie dough for more than 30 minutes, you will need to bring it back to room temperature before baking.
When ready to bake:
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees (F). Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper.
- Using a large cookie scoop, divide the dough into 3-tablespoon sized balls, and place onto prepared baking sheets, leaving about 3-inches between each ball of dough for spreading.
- Bake for 12 to 14 minutes, or until the edges are golden and the centers have set. Press extra chocolate chips and M&Ms on top of warm cookies, and sprinkle with sugar or sea salt, if desired.
- Cool cookies on the baking sheet for 15 minutes, before transferring them to a cooling rack.
Be sure not to pack your flour! To measure correctly, first fluff your flour up in the bag, then lightly spoon the flour into the measuring cup until it's overflowing, then use the flat edge of a knife to level it off. Packed flour will cause the cookies to come out puffy!