These gluten-free m&m cookies are soft and chewy and mix up in one bowl. The recipe makes soft cookies without refrigerating the dough. Gluten-free information about m&m’s is included.
Be sure to check out more of my gluten-free cookie recipes including my gluten-free chewy chocolate chip cookies, lemon almond flour cookies, homemade Danish butter cookies and for something new and different my cinnamon mesquite cookies.
Are M&Ms Gluten-Free?
There is no information on the m&m’s website regarding gluten. They do have statements regarding wheat on the packaging, but m&m’s are not certified gluten-free. Here is some specific info about the different flavors.
- The packaging for the plain m&ms and mini plain m&m’s have no wheat warnings and I know that many people with Celiac Disease consider them to be safe.
- The peanut m&m’s, peanut butter, mint, almond, white chocolate, Thai coconut (who knew???) and caramel have wheat warnings on the package but no ingredients with gluten.
- The holiday/seasonal flavors also have wheat warnings.
- The only M&Ms flavors that actually contain ingredients with gluten are the pretzel and crispy flavors. They are clearly labeled in the ingredients.
Gluten-Free Watchdog is a trusted company that does regular testing of foods for the presence of gluten. They have an enormous database of foods they have tested. A paid subscription is required to access the results, so I cannot share the information here. But it is well worth the small subscription fee if you have Celiac Disease. They have tested many of the flavors of m&m’s.
NIMA sensor is a device that is designed to detect gluten in foods. There has been some doubt over its accuracy, but I know that some people with Celiac Disease use it. NIMA did a test on m&m’s in 2019 and found that all the flavors that did not have gluten in the ingredients, tested negative for gluten.
If you are Celiac or super sensitive to gluten there is an m&m’s alternative that is also free of 9 common allergens. NoWhey Foods Chocolate No No’s taste almost exactly like M&Ms (approved by my hubby who is SOOO picky about flavor & texture) and are certified gluten-free. The colors are plant-based and not as perfect and saturated as the real thing, but they are a great alternative. They come in mint flavored too, my personal favorite.
Soft Gluten-Free Cookies
These cookies stay soft in the middle without needing to refrigerate the dough before baking. Mix, scoop onto the pan and send them straight to the oven, They bake in 14-16 minutes, but if you like a little more snap on the edges of your cookies, bake them for 18-20 minutes.
The temperature of the butter is an important part of making these cookies soft. The butter should be at room temperature but if it’s a super warm day, and warm in your house, the butter can get too soft. Butter that’s too soft will cause the cookies to spread and turn crunchy. If it’s very warm in your kitchen, take the butter out of the refrigerator 20 minutes before using and cut into 8 pieces.
Using just the right combination of ingredients (described below) makes these cookies soft and dreamy good. Also using a cookie scoop makes a packed ball of dough that is less likely to spread and get crunchy. This 2 Tbsp, (1 ounce) cookie scoop gives you nice 3″ cookies.
Gluten-Free Flour Blend – These cookies were tested with King Arthur Gluten-Free Measure for Measure Flour. They spread a little during baking and cool to soft and chewy. I also tested with Pamela’s All Purpose Artisan Blend, another all in one certified gluten-free flour blend. The dough initially mixed up a bit too loose. So I added another 1/4 cup flour. The cookies were still delicious and soft, but spread less and were more towards cakey than chewy.
Unsalted butter – See the info above about the temperature of the butter. This is key to soft cookies.
This recipe uses just the egg yolks. The yolks contain the fat which makes these cookies moist, soft and rich tasting.
Also adding to the soft the texture of these cookies is brown sugar. The recipe calls for half brown sugar and half white sugar. I prefer the stronger flavor of dark brown sugar, but if you only have light brown sugar (aka golden brown), that will work too.
This cookie recipe is so wonderful because you can dress them up for any occasion. Pink and red and and they’re perfect for Valentine’s Day, red and green and you have x-mas cookies, red white and blue for patriotic holidays. The possibilities are endless.
Soft Gluten-Free M&M Cookies
- 1¼ c (2½ sticks) unsalted butter
- 1 c brown sugar
- 1 c sugar
- 1 large egg plus 2 yolks
- 3 Tbsp milk or milk substitute (I use almond milk)
- 1 Tbsp vanilla
- 1¾ c M&M's or candy sub 1½ c goes in the dough, ¼ c for garnish after baking
- 3 c gluten-free flour blend1
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp salt
- If it's a warm day, and warm in your house, the butter can get too soft, which will cause the cookies to spread and turn crunchy. If it's very warm in your kitchen, take the butter out of the refrigerator 10-15 minutes before using and cut into pieces. Otherwise, take the butter out 20 minutes before starting the recipe and cut into pieces.
- Preheat the oven to 375°F and line baking sheets with parchment (if you have it).
- In a medium sized mixing bowl, cream the butter with the brown and white sugar, starting on low and turning to medium high. Mix just until the mixture is combined. Over mixing will create air pockets which makes the cookies spread and turn crispy.
- Add the egg yolks, milk and vanilla and beat briefly to combine.
- Add the flour, baking soda and salt and beat just until all the dry ingredients are moistened and incorporated.
- By hand, with a wood spoon or rubber spatula, stir in 1½ cup of the m&m's. Save the remaining ¼ cup for later. The m&m's don't all survive the baking process looking so pretty, so you'll add some after baking.
- Scoop about 2 Tbsp per cookie onto the cookie sheet. A cookie scoop will create tightly packed balls of dough which are less likely to spread. Leave about 2" in between.
- Bake for 11-13 minutes. They should be just barely golden around the edges. Let them go much longer than that and the cookies will become crunchy.
- As soon as they come out of the oven, press 3 or 4 m&m's onto the top of each cookie.
- Cool on the pan for 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
- These cookies were tested with King Arthur Gluten-Free Measure for Measure Flour. They spread a little during baking and cool to soft. Using other brands of gluten-free flour may yield different results.