4 ounces semisweet or milk chocolate, coarsely chopped
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, cut into eight pieces
3/4 cup M&M’s
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
Preheat oven to 325 degrees. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt; set aside.
In a medium microwave-safe bowl, place the chopped chocolate and the butter. Microwave for one minute at 50% power. Stir. Microwave again for one minute at 50% power and stir well. If the chocolate is not fully melted, continue microwaving in 30 second intervals at 50% power until the chocolate and butter are well combined (don’t overheat the chocolate or it can seize and turn hard and unusable). Let the mixture cool slightly, about 2-3 minutes until it is at room temperature or just slightly warm (but not hot).
In a large bowl (or in the bowl of an electric stand mixer), combine the chocolate mixture, sugar, eggs, and vanilla. Mix on medium speed until combined. Gradually mix in flour mixture on low speed. Fold in M&M’s with a wooden spoon (don’t use a mixer as the M&M’s will break into pieces and not stay whole).
Line baking sheets with parchment paper, silpat liners or lightly grease them with cooking spray. Drop dough onto baking sheets by tablespoonfuls (or use a cookie scoop) spacing them about 1 1/2 inches apart. If desired, place five or six M&M’s on top of the cookie dough balls (even perched slightly on the rounded sides). Bake the cookies until they have slightly flattened and there are a few cracks on the surface, about 13-14 minutes. The cookies will still be soft. Let the cookies sit for 2-3 minutes on the baking sheet before removing them to a wire rack to cool completely.
Storing: these cookies will stay fresh in an airtight container for about 2 days.
Freezable: I freeze them between sheets of wax paper in a large tupperware container and they defrost beautifully at room temperature or for a few seconds in the microwave.
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