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Simple Comfort: Chewy M&M Cookies

Sure you could have a fancy cake, pie, or torte, but the most sought after dessert often is the one eaten out of hand: cookies. Few people will turn them down, especially if the cookies are simple, chewy in the middle, and a bit crispy on the edges. These M&M cookies fit the bill. They also have a hint of caramel that deepens their flavor and complements the whole-wheat flour in the dough. The cookies are great for snacks, lunch boxes, befriending ice cream, or on a fancy plate for a dessert that's simple comfort. Just be sure to put a lot of cookies on the fancy plate. The cookies are addictive.

Chewy M&M Cookies

Chewy M&M Cookies -- Makes 26

3/4 cup of butter or Smart Balance

2/3 cup of sugar

2/3 cup of dark brown sugar

2 large eggs

1 teaspoon of vanilla extract

1/2 teaspoon of caramel extract or flavoring

1 1/2 cups of all-purpose flour

1 1/2 cups of white whole-wheat flour

1 teaspoon of baking soda

1/4 teaspoon of baking powder

1/2 teaspoon of salt

1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon

1 10-ounce bag of M&M baking bits (mini milk chocolate baking bits)

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees and line cookie sheets with parchment paper or spray them with non-stick cooking spray. In a large bowl, beat together well the butter and sugars. Add the eggs, one-at-a-time, beating well after adding each egg. Add the vanilla and caramel extracts and beat the mixture again. Stir together the flours, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon and add them to the wet ingredients, stirring just until all the ingredients are combined. Stir in the baking bits. Drop the dough onto the prepared cookie sheets, using 1 1/2 tablespoons of dough for each cookie and spacing the cookies at least 2 inches apart. Bake the cookies for about 10 minutes or until they are set but still a little damp looking in the centers (the cookies will firm up as they stand). Let the cookies sit on the cookie sheets for about 5 minutes before removing them to cool completely.

Chewy M&M Cookies

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