When soliciting recipes for the M&M cookie bake off, Alejandra Salas politely slid into my DMs and asked if she could send her M&M cookie recipe.
Beyond flattered is an understatement as I’ve long admired Ale’s pastry work in Houston. She formerly worked as the pastry chef at Bludorn (specifically during the period where I celebrated my 31st birthday) and before that, had stints at French Laundry and Bar Boulud. (Currently, she runs a boutique bakery and sweets consultancy in Houston–DM her for any pastry needs!)
Her recipe was unique for its use of both vegetable shortening and butter and the rough mixing process using cold butter that reminds me of many Levain cookie recipes. She also adds a mixture of M&Ms and chocolate chips for the ideal texture. The result? A cookie that crisp around the edges but soft and chewy in the center. Despite the shortening, there’s still a great butter flavor and a beautiful mixture of melty chocolate and lightly crunchy M&Ms in each bite.
Thank you Ale for the amazing recipe!
Note: I halved this recipe to make a more manageable batch of around 22 cookies for the bake off–if you need tips on how to halve an egg, The Kitchn has some great notes here.
Ale Salas’ M&M Cookies
- 198 grams vegetable shortening
- 156 grams unsalted butter, cold and cut into 1-inch cubes
- 200 grams granulated sugar (1 cup)
- 252 grams dark brown sugar
- 3 whole large eggs
- 1.5 tsp vanilla extract
- 539 grams all-purpose flour
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- 426 grams M&Ms
- 100 grams dark chocolate chips*
- 100 grams white chocolate chips*
- In the mixer fitted with the paddle attachment on medium speed, mix vegetable shortening, butter and both sugars only until barely combined. If there are small pieces of butter left, that's okay.
- Add eggs and vanilla extract all at once. Mix on medium speed just enough to break the eggs and let it go for about 15 more seconds, you want to see streaks of eggs not incorporated before adding the flour.
- Stop the mixer and add flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Mix once again but don't let the flour be fully combined.
- Finally add all of the chocolate and finish mixing. If there are pieces of butter you can incorporate those into the dough with your hand.
- Scoop the dough with an ice cream scoop and freeze before baking until completely frozen (about an hour or up to overnight). Cookies will be ready to bake once you can indent the top of the cookie dough with your finger, but the middle is still frozen.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Place frozen cookies on a baking tray–separate them from each other as they will expand.
- Bake for 12-15 min or until golden brown around the edges but middle still looks soft.