When you want a festive holiday treat, these mint Christmas cookies will hit the spot! They’re made with mint M&Ms, so the flavor and green color make it a great choice for cookie exchanges, a dessert table, or just a simple and delicious holiday snack!
There seems to be a special limited-edition flavor of M&M candies for just about every season and holiday. Once winter comes around, the minty M and M variety hits the shelves, so it’s time to use them for holiday baking.
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Holiday Traditions Start With Mint Christmas Cookies
One of our favorite holiday traditions is making cookies with the kids and grandkids. We all gather in the kitchen to help mix, shape, and bake the cookies, then enjoy them with big glasses of milk.
We learned long ago that holiday cookies don’t need to be overly complicated or elaborate. In fact, the easier the cookie recipe, the more time we have to play and eat!
We love it when the grandkids help us make Heart Jam Cookies for Valentine’s Day, and spring sugar cookies for Easter. We sometimes make M&M Christmas cookies with traditional red and green candies in them. With the minty flavor, this variety is sure to be the highlight of this year’s baking season!
This recipe starts with the classic original M&M cookie recipe on the back of the bag. But then we add a festive twist…
The candies are a fun blend of green and have a delicious chocolate mint flavor that tastes like winter (or Christmas)! In fact, they add just the right crunchy, sweet, chocolatey, and cool minty freshness that you want in a holiday treat.
These cookies are ideal all winter long, and with the bright green color, they’re even perfect for celebrating St. Patricks Day!
Ingredient Notes and Substitutions
- All-purpose flour – Feel free to substitute with a 1:1 gluten-free flour blend.
- Baking soda – This leavener helps create the chewy texture.
- Unsalted butter – We recommend using unsalted butter to avoid overly salty flavor. If you must use salted butter, omit any extra salt that we call for in the recipe.
- Brown sugar – If you’re out of brown sugar, there’s a great alternative. Check our post, chocolate chip cookies without brown sugar for details.
- Granulated cane sugar – If you’d like to use a sugar substitute, any granular alternative that measures cup for cup to sugar should be fine.
- Vanilla extract – For extra minty flavor, use peppermint extract instead.
- Mint M&Ms – Because the candies are seasonal, you probably won’t find them in the regular candy aisle of your store. Your best bet is to look near the other holiday candies.
Tips for the Best Mint Cookies
- Line the baking sheet to prevent the cookies from sticking.
- Avoid over mixing the cookie dough.
The longer the mixer runs, the more likely it is that the butter will begin to melt from the heat of the mixer. Also, the proteins in the flour will expand, creating tough, hard cookies.
- Only mix half of the candies into the dough.
When you bake M&Ms into cookies, they will crack and melt slightly. Adding the other half of them to the tops of the mint M&M cookies gives them a nicer appearance.
- Avoid over baking.
You’ll know they’re ready to remove from the oven when the tops lose their glossy appearance and the edges are set and slightly golden brown. 10 to 12 minutes should do the trick.
Ready to serve. Gently press the remaining cup of M&Ms into the cookies before they cool, then serve.
Mint Christmas Cookie Variations
- Add more chocolate and/or nuts.
You can use up to 1/2 cup of other mix-ins with the M&Ms, like chocolate chips or chopped nuts.
- Dip half of the cookie in white chocolate.
- Drizzle the cooled cookies with melted chocolate.
- Make mini M&M cookies by using a small scoop. If you do this, reduce the baking time to 8 minutes.
- Use food color gel to tint the dough green or red for a fun and festive look.
These chocolate mint cookies are perfect for holiday parties and cookie exchanges. They also make a great gift for teachers, friends, and neighbors. Serve them with some hot tea, coffee, hot chocolate, or a tall glass of cold milk. When we serve them as St. Patrick’s Day cookies, we serve them with a glass of basil lemonade.
Storage and Freezing Instructions
Store the homemade chocolate mint cookies in an airtight container at room temperature. They will stay fresh and soft for up to 3 days.
For longer storage, wrap each one individually in plastic wrap, then put them all in a freezer-safe bag or container. In the freezer, they usually keep well for up to 3 months.
Thaw frozen cookies overnight in the refrigerator or in their storage bag at room temp before serving.
If you have difficulty finding the holiday edition candies, you can use traditional green M&Ms and add 1/2 teaspoon of peppermint extract to the dough.
Mint Christmas Cookies
- rimmed baking sheet - or cookie sheet
- parchment paper - or silicone baking mat
- 2½ cups all-purpose flour or cup-for-cup gluten free flour
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 cup unsalted butter *if using salted butter, omit any salt called for in this recipe.
- 1 cup packed brown sugar
- ½ cup granulated sugar or cup-for-cup granulated sweetener
- 2 large eggs
- 2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 cups mint M&Ms divided; reserve 1 cup for decorating
- Preheat oven to 375º F. Line baking sheets with parchment paper, a Silpat baking sheet, or spray baking sheets with cooking spray.
- In a medium mixing bowl, stir together the flour, salt, and baking soda. Set bowl aside.
- In a large mixing bowl, beat the butter and sugars together with an electric or stand mixer until light and fluffy. Scraping down the sides of the bowl with a silicone spatula. Beat in the eggs and vanilla until creamy.
- Turn the speed of the mixer to low and add flour mixture just until blended. Gently stir in 1 cups of M&Ms by hand with a spoon *see notes*.
- Drop dough by rounded tablespoons (or use a small scoop) onto prepared cookie sheets. Bake cookies in the middle rack of the oven for 10 to 12 minutes or until the cookies are golden brown around the edges, and just set in the center.
- Remove from the oven and let rest for 5 minutes before transferring the cookies to a wire rack. Gently press in remaining cup of M&Ms into cookies before cooling *see notes*.
M and M cookies are great to freeze, too! To keep the freshest We recommend you first wrap the cookies individually with plastic wrap, and then store together in an airtight freezer bag for up to 3 months.