I’m one of those people who sets aside a few minutes of time each day to backtrack on Instagram. I love this new breed of “iPhoneographers” and “Instabloggers” who are able to capture a single moment in the most esoteric ways. Sometimes I come upon a photo I can’t stop staring at because they evoke something in me. Sometimes I sit in awe unable to believe that these are photos taken by camera phone only. Doesn’t matter that it’s been edited or digitally adjusted to make the colours pop, because if you think about it, phone cameras take phone camera quality photos after all. Still, they inspire me to find things to photograph too. They inspire me to chronicle all the things that I’m thankful for and that make me happy in a way that effectively conveys how I feel. I really like to think about the composition of my iPhone photos maybe even more than those of pictures I take with my cameras.
In any case, I’ve always been a very visual person. I started out with drawings and pictures before I discovered the magical power of words. It’s true that pictures speak a thousand words, but I love when pictures can work hand in hand with words to drive home a point. Together they can make a memory more vivid than if only one of them was involved. I love how the colours of a picture can help stir emotions, boosted by expressive captions.
I guess the reason why I love Instagram so much is because it’s the easiest way for words and pictures to live in harmony. I look back at my own gallery sometimes when I’m in the mood for a flashback. I also downloaded this Instagram-like photo diary app called Heyday which has been a perfect place to store my memories with more intimate captions than I’m willing to share on Instagram.
Anyway, having all these photographs to look back on in our lives is always a good thing. Even if we keep moving forward, there is some advantage to being able to look back as well, if only to see how far we have come. And regardless of whether looking back will be painful or joyful, I always try to look for the colourful events in my past that have helped shape who I am now. Some of the colours are dark and dank, but I try very hard to grab onto the memories that are bright and happy.
Perhaps the reason why I decided to make these cookies is because they look like happy cookies. Essentially they’re just chocolate chip cookies with M&M’s on top, but they make me feel like a kid when I see them, and that’s just a feeling of bubbly carefreeness I haven’t had the pleasure of experiencing in so many years. Too many years.
These cookies come out soft, which means the “dough” is rather butter-like rather than the usual substantial cookie dough you can easily roll in your hands. The refrigeration time- though always a huge pain- is a requirement for the dough to come together. Otherwise it will be impossible to shape these into balls as you prep them for baking. The recipe also uses a lot of flour and I have observed the cookies do have just a teensy bit of a flour taste to it initially, but with every bite you take, the butter, sugar, and choco chip flavours start to come out more.
The slight flour taste is really nothing that will bother you as you eat, but if you’re worried, then know that the M&M’s definitely help distract you from it. The flour taste is most apparent when the cookies are freshly baked, but I discovered that after spending a night in the cookie jar, the cookies actually taste a lot better the next day. Something to keep in mind, yes? Oh, and I do recommend eating them with a cold glass of milk. For breakfast. Why not?
These cookies don’t have the same typical super deep caramel flavour I love from my favourite chocolate chip cookie recipes, however they do deliver in their promise of soft cookies. Soft cookies with a decisive crunch from the M&M’s that is.
Makes about 36 cookies
- 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
- ¼ cup shortening
- 1½ cups brown sugar
- ¼ cup granulated sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 1 egg yolk
- 1½ Tablespoons vanilla extract
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 cups bread flour
- 2 Tablespoon cornstarch
- 2 teaspoons baking soda
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1½ cups mini semi-sweet chocolate chips
- 1 cup M&M’s
- 1. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flours, cornstarch, baking soda, and salt until combined. Set aside
- 2. Using an electric mixer, beat together butter, shortening, and sugars until light and fluffy. Add eggs, yolk, and vanilla; beating until well-combined. Don't forget to scrape down the sides of the mixing bowl as needed.
- 3. Add the dry ingredients to the wet and using a spatula, mix until incorporated. Stir in the chocolate chips until just incorporated.
- 4. Cover, and chill dough for at least 6 hours or up to 48 hours.
- 5. When ready to bake the cookies, preheat oven to 350°F (180°C). Line 2 cookie sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats.
- 6. Using a medium cookie scoop that has about 1½ tablespoon-capacity, scoop out cookie dough and form into a ball. Press 3 to 4 M&M’s into the top of the cookie.
- 7. Place dough on prepared cookie sheets about 2 inches apart. Once all the cookie dough has been prepared, bake for 7 to 9 minutes, or until edges are lightly golden brown. Let the cookies cool on the sheet for 5 to 10 minutes and then remove to a wire rack to cool further. Serve warm or at room temperature with a glass of milk.
I’m right of course. And they do taste yummy as well. But most importantly, they have the ability to bring some colour in what seems to be a gloomy day. Trust me on that one.