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Brown Butter M&M Cookies on a blue and white polka dot plate

Brown Butter M&M Cookies

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Brown Butter M&M Cookies are chewy, buttery, and a most versatile treat. Whether for a holiday picnic, college care package, or after school snack, there will be no complaints when you fill your cookie jar with these M&M studded cookies!

This M&M Cookies Recipe has a simple twist that increases the caramel undertones and makes these cookies impossible to resist!

Brown Butter M&M Cookies on a blue and white polka dot plate

Brown Butter M&M Cookies

On the day before we were to move Nick to college, I realized I had no homemade goodies to send along with him. Bad mama. Bad food blogger.  I opened up my pantry and saw a partial bag of mini-M&M’s and thought back to these Brown Butter Easter Cookies made with white chocolate M&M’s. I love this base cookie with the slightly nutty flavor of browned butter and the touch of molasses from the dark brown sugar….mmmmm.  

Don’t worry if the batter looks a little greasy as it’s just due to the melted butter. These irresistible M&M Cookies are a perfect treat for the lunch box or for a college student care package, picnic, afterschool snack, and more!

PRO-Tip: Did you know you can make dark brown sugar at home? Just add a tablespoon of molasses to one cup of light brown sugar, mix, and it’s ready to go!

Brown Butter M&M Cookies on a serving late with more plates in the background

What Is Brown Butter?

Brown butter, or beurre noisette, refers to butter that’s cooked over low heat until it turns the color of  “light” hazelnuts (noisettes). The taste is transformed into a deep, nutty flavor and is irresistible in sauces, desserts, and more. If altering another cookie recipe, you should let the brown butter solidify since it probably was developed using unmelted butter.

How to Make Brown Butter

Making brown butter takes less than 10 minutes. Be sure to watch it carefully as it can go from browned to burnt very quickly.

  • Cut your butter into chunks.
  • Use a light-colored pan so you can observe the color change.
  • Warm the pan to melt the butter
  • Stir frequently as the melted butter starts to bubble. This is caused by the water in the butter evaporating.
  • Continue stirring as you see the milk solids (the little specks in the butter) start to color.
  • Remove from heat once the butter is browned to your desired color.
  • Be attentive to prevent burning.

If you’re a fan of brown butter, you’ll also love these Brown Butter Cookie Dough Truffles! And these Brown Butter Toffee Chocolate Chunk Cookies from Two Peas in Their Pod look mighty tasty, too! One of our favorite vegetable side dishes is this Asparagus with Balsamic Brown Butter.

Brown Butter M&M Cookies on a blue and white polka dot plate

The Recipe: Brown Butter M&M Cookies

Chewy M&M Cookies enhanced by delicious, nutty brown butter

Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Yield 4 dozen smaller cookies


  • 14 tablespoons butter
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 3/4 cup dark brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1 egg
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 3/4 cup flour
  • 1 1/4 cups mini M&M's
  • 1 3.14 ounce bag of M&M's (optional garnish)


  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 heatproof 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&M's.
  4. Use a 1 tablespoon scoop to make smaller dough balls or about 3 tablespoons of dough for larger cookies. Place about 2 inches apart on parchment lined cookie sheets. Bake about 10-14  minutes or until cookies are golden but centers are still soft. Press a few regular M&M's into warm cookies to garnish. Cool on rack.


Adapted from Cook's Illustrated.

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:

2 cookies

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 214Total Fat: 11gSaturated Fat: 6gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 35mgSodium: 138mgCarbohydrates: 28gFiber: 1gSugar: 20gProtein: 2g


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