My Mom’s Mom (my Grandma) passed away when I was very young, but some of my earliest memories revolve around her. I remember she used to knit me slippers with puffy little pom-poms on the toes. I would give anything to still have a pair of those today. I also remember she never left the house without her hair done, Este Lauder lipstick on, and nails painted. And she wore high heels and dresses to the grocery store!
I also remember her kitchen. It was small but cozy, with the quintessential avocado green appliances of a 1970′s kitchen. There were always pretzel rods in a jar on the counter and juice boxes in the fridge. And in that kitchen my Grandma used to make the best peanut butter M&M cookies. Ever.
These are not those exact cookies. Here’s why…
My Mom inherited my Grandma’s orange and yellow tin recipe box, but she never really made anything from it. So one year for Mother’s Day I asked my Mom to send me some of the recipes (yes, my Mom sends me Mother’s Day presents because she’s awesome like that). Specifically I asked for the Peanut Butter M&M cookie recipe. My Mom is a little OCD about organization and tends to go on these blitzes where she gets rid of anything that’s not moving or tied down. She’s kind of like the opposite of a hoarder. She put those recipes in an envelope to mail to me, but before that happened…she accidentally threw them away. We were both devastated but what can you do? Since then I’ve been working on recreating my Grandma’s cookies and I think I’ve come pretty darn close.
You also need some butter and shortening. My Mom and I are both almost positive my Grandma only used shortening in her cookies, but I am a butter girl. Making cookies without butter just doesn’t feel right, ya know? You can use all shortening if you want, or all butter. But if you use all butter your cookies might turn out a little flatter.
Please pretend there is photo here of the butter and shortening being added to the bowl. I promise I did it, I don’t know why I skipped a photo of it. The four crazy children swarming around me shrieking with excitement over cookies might have had something to do with it, but I can’t be certain. In any case, this is where you add the butter and shortening.
Now add a cup of oatmeal. I’m almost positive my Grandma didn’t add oatmeal to her cookies. But see, I bought a brand new bag of oatmeal the other day and I’m trying to use it up before we move. Annnd…oatmeal makes these just slightly healthier, right? I mean, after all, I roast potatoes in bacon fat so healthy is my middle name!
Scoop out little tablespoon-ish balls of dough and lay them out on a baking sheet lined with parchment. Or Silpat. But if you’re my friend on Instagram you know my Silpat bit the dust recently. I’m still crying myself to sleep every night over that one.
Oven set to 350, 12-14 minutes later, viola! I rotated the pans halfway through. These should be just slightly brown on the bottom but still nice and light on top. They are a little soft when you first take them out of the oven so let them rest on the baking sheet for a few minutes. They’ll firm up enough so you can handle them.
- ¾ cup sugar
- ¾ cup dark brown sugar
- 1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, softened
- ½ cup vegetable shortening
- ½ cup peanut butter
- 2 whole large eggs
- 1½ teaspoons vanilla
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 cup old fashioned rolled oats
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1 cup M&M’s
- Preheat oven to 350. Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper or silpat.
- In a large bowl, combine the sugars, butter, shortening, peanut butter, eggs, and vanilla. Cream together on medium speed until smooth and fluffy.
- Add flour, oatmeal, baking soda, and salt. Mix on low speed until combined.
- Stir in M&M’s by hand with a sturdy spoon.
- Drop dough by tablespoons onto lined baking sheets, about 2 inches apart. Bake 12-14 minutes or until bottoms are light golden brown. Rotate pans halfway through baking.
- Cool on baking sheet until cookies are firm enough to handle. Transfer to wire rack and finish cooling. Store leftovers in an airtight container.