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Peanut butter oatmeal cookies with M&M's

Danielle Santoro is a certified health counselor and self-proclaimed foodie with a passion for personal wellness and a healthy lifestyle. Danielle works in New York and has a private practice, counseling clients on how to reach their go...

December is a month filled with holiday parties. This year, don't show up empty handed — make an impression!

Peanut butter oatmeal cookies with M&M's

It's safe to say that the month of December is holiday party after holiday party. My schedule tends to fill up with holiday activities quicker than I can keep up with. Every weekend, I find myself at a party (or two) celebrating the joys of the holidays. However, whenever someone is hosting a party, I hate showing up empty-handed.

Since I love baking, I'm a big fan of homemade hostess gifts. But anyone can make a batch of cookies, right? This year, I wanted to develop a treat that is both delicious and memorable.

A few years back, I received MY M&M's customized with my name and cute holiday messages. It was such a thoughtful gift, and it put a smile on my face every time I treated myself to some fun chocolate bites. I had forgotten about my personalized gift until recently, when I was at the grocery store and came across MY M&M's. I was reminded how festive they make holiday desserts with their red, green and white shells.

With my first big holiday party of the season coming up at a good girlfriend's apartment, I thought it would be special to personalize some tasty holiday treats for her. I decided it would be a great idea to show my appreciation with fresh-baked, customized cookies using MY M&M's — but not just any cookies. I made a batch of peanut butter oatmeal cookies, which are some of my favorites.

To start, I grabbed a bag of MY M&M's.

How to Make an Impression at Your Next Holiday Party - bag of m and ms

These cookies are made with just a few simple ingredients. You probably have most (if not all) of them in your pantry right now.

Chef's note: Be sure to use regular, good old-fashioned peanut butter — not natural. The regular PB contains salt and stabilizers that help keep the cookies together.

How to Make an Impression at Your Next Holiday Party - cookies preparation

You'll need a blender or whisk for this part. Stir everything together until you have a well-blended mixture with the consistency of the peanut butter. And don't forget to add the MY M&M's. It's such a simple touch, but it makes a big impact. Who wouldn't love cookies that are personalized just for them?!

Chef's note: Don't use all the MY M&M's. You are going to want to save a handful or two for some garnish when they come out of the oven. It's not uncommon for the message on the MY M&M's to blur a little when they bake in the oven.

How to Make an Impression at Your Next Holiday Party - cookie preparation

Once the mixture is all folded together, you can use a small spoon to scoop out 2-inch dough balls and put them on a cookie sheet. Then pop them into the oven. When they are done (per the recipe instructions below), use a spatula and space them out on a wire rack to cool.

And another fun fact to note: These cookies are wheat-free! They're great for those who are wheat or gluten sensitive.

How to Make an Impression at Your Next Holiday Party - baking

For the final touch, grab some of the saved MY M&M's and press them into the top of each cookie to reveal the special message. Bring them to your holiday party and serve them with milk, tea or some "adult" beverages!

How to Make an Impression at Your Next Holiday Party - final result

Peanut butter oatmeal cookies with MY M&M's

Adapted from AmbitiousKitchen.com

Yields about 16-20 cookies

Here's the recipe that I use. Try it and enjoy the holidays!

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup regular peanut butter (avoid using natural, if possible)
  • 2/3 cup packed dark brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons real vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2/3 cup old-fashioned rolled oats
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2/3 cup MY M&M's, plus 2 tablespoons for garnishing on top

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. In a small bowl, mix together the oats and baking soda. Set the mixture aside.
  2. Using an electric mixer, cream together the peanut butter, brown sugar, eggs and vanilla until smooth. Add the dry ingredients with a wooden spoon, then gently fold in the MY M&M's until combined.
  3. Scoop out 2-inch dough balls and place them on a lined cookie sheet. Flatten each cookie with your fingers. The dough is pretty sticky, so try flattening the cookies with wet fingers to avoid a mess.
  4. Bake for about 10 minutes or until the edges start to turn golden brown. Don't worry if the cookies look a little underdone. They will continue to cook once you remove them from the oven. While they cool on the cookie sheet, garnish them with the remaining MY M&M's and then transfer them to a wire rack to cool completely. Repeat with the remaining cookie dough.
While all of the content on SheKnows.com reflects the honest opinions of our writers, Mars, Inc. sponsors certain content on SheKnows.com.
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