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3 brown butter Easter cookies speckled with pastel M&Ms

Brown Butter Easter Cookies

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Easy, bakery worthy Brown Butter Easter Cookies made with chocolate chip cookie dough & pastel M&M’s along with pro tips for perfect results! With a couple of simple tips, your cookies will look like they came right from the bakeshop, only tastier!

Brown butter cookies speckled with pastel colored Easter M&M's

Brown Butter Easter Cookies

If you want a super simple, festive Easter Cookies recipe, I’ve got you covered.  After some blogger buzz about White Chocolate M and M’s, I had to nab a couple of bags (check your local Target), but Easter milk chocolate M&M’s are also an option.

Their pastel shells were perfect for the task at hand. This recipe only makes 12 cookies. That was the one and only complaint about these Easter Cookies. My dear hubby realized the cookie jar would be empty soon. But they are HUGE and wonderful, so savor every bite.

3 Brown Butter Easter Cookies on a rimmed white place surrounded by pastel M&M's

What Is Brown Butter?

Brown butter is butter which is melted then cooked until the milk solids start to brown. This process transforms ordinary butter into liquid gold with a nutty aroma! It is used in sauces, like brown butter with sage on pasta or as a way to kick up the flavor of desserts like in these cookies or banana bread!

How Is It Made?

  • Start by cutting the butter into pieces in a heavy saucepan. It’s easier to watch the color change if the pan’s interior is stainless instead of a dark color. 
  • Melt the butter over moderate heat, swirling on occasion to prevent hot spots from cooking too fast.
  • The butter will foam and change from butter yellow to tan to a toasty brown. Watch carefully as it can easily burn, and then you must start over.
  • This process causes 20% of the water to evaporate and through the Maillard reaction, transforms the butter proteins into loads of flavor compounds. This is the same reaction that causes seared meat to taste so delicious!!

How to Store Brown Butter

Once you have the brown butter, you can use it in liquid form in these cookies or for sauces or chill to use it as solid butter. Cover and store in the refrigerator for up to two weeks.  If frozen, it will keep for months as long as it’s well wrapped.

2 Brown Butter Easter Cookies with pastel M & M's on a round white plate

Tips for Making These Easter Cookies

  • If you don’t have dark brown sugar, you can use light brown sugar. PRO-Tip: You can also make dark brown sugar at home. Just mix one tablespoon of molasses into 1 cup of light brown sugar. Mix until the molasses is well dispersed, measure and use as directed.
  • Have your eggs at room temperature. Note that eggs will separate easier, with less chance of the egg breaking, when cold. If you’re not experienced separating eggs, try it with a cold egg, then let the yolk come to room temperature.
  • Use whatever M&M’s you’d like. If these are for Easter, definitely look for some pastel M&M’s. Other times of the year, use regular M&M’s.
  • PRO-Tip: Use a 1/4 cup cookie scoop to dish out consistently sized cookies.
  • A trick I’ve used for years is to use my spatula to carefully tap the fresh out of the oven cookies into perfect rounds while they’re still hot. When they’re full of chocolate chunks and candies, even perfect mounds of dough can bake into funky shapes!
  • If you want smaller cookies, use a tablespoon scoop and decrease the baking time.

More Easter Desserts You’ll Love

As much as I love these cookies, they may not be an appropriate dessert after a big family Easter dinner. Leave a couple out for the Easter bunny. Or wrap a one or two in a cellophane bag tied with pretty ribbons for an Easter favor. Here are a few more ideas for an Easter Dessert:

Other Recipes Utilizing Brown Butter

If you’re new to brown butter and want to try it in some more recipes, I recommend these Brown Butter Chocolate Chip CookiesRoasted Asparagus with Balsamic Brown Butter, easy Brown Butter Chocolate Chunk Bars or Brown Butter Crepes.

2 Brown Butter Easter Cookies with pastel M & M's on a round white plate

Brown Butter Easter Cookies

Brown butter chocolate chunk cookies filled with pastel-colored white chocolate M&M's. for a fun Easter or spring treat!

Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 14 minutes
Total Time 34 minutes
Yield 12 large cookies

Ingredients

  • 14 tablespoons butter, divided
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 3/4 cup dark brown sugar (to make your own, check the blog post)
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 egg
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 3/4 cup flour
  • 3/4 cup white chocolate M and M's (or favorite flavor), pastel-colored, plus more to garnish
  • 4 ounces semi-sweet chocolate, chopped into small chunks

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 375º.
  2. Melt 10 tablespoons of the butter in a saucepan over medium-high heat till melted. Continue cooking a couple more minutes till butter is golden brown with a nutty fragrance. Pour into heat-proof bowl, and add the remaining 4 tablespoons of butter. Stir till melted.
  3. Add sugars, then vanilla. Mix in egg and egg yolk. Add baking soda, then flour and mix till just combined. Add M and M's and chocolate chunks.
  4. Use a 4 tablespoon (1/4 cup) scoop to make dough balls. Place about 2 inches apart on parchment lined cookie sheets. Bake 10-14 minutes or till cookies are golden. Press a few extra M and M's into warm cookies to garnish. Cool on rack.

Notes

Use a 1/4 cup scoop to make evenly sized cookies.

Use a spatula to tap the hot cookies into nice round shapes.

Carefully press extra M & M's onto the surface of the hot cookies to make them pretty!

Adapted from Cook's Illustrated Perfect Chocolate Chip Cookies.

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Nutrition Information:

Yield:

12

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 396Total Fat: 21gSaturated Fat: 13gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 7gCholesterol: 69mgSodium: 270mgCarbohydrates: 49gFiber: 1gSugar: 34gProtein: 4g

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