Salted Peanut Butter Pretzel M&M’S Cookies

CATEGORIES: Cookies, Cooking with Kids

Salted PB  Pretzel M&M Cookies from Our Best BitesI don’t know about everyone else, but 
summer vacation in this house went by way
too fast. We’re suddenly approaching the 
start to a new school year and getting ready 
to jump back into the daily routine of
 packing lunches and doing homework, and 
important things like actually getting 
dressed before noon. Last year was my 
first year with a kiddo in all day school.
  My little first grader loved it.  As an 
incredibly social kid, the moment he walked 
in from the afternoon bus, I sometimes barely got so much as a hello before he was trying to run back out the door to play with friends. I always have to act quickly to reign him in because we usually only have a few minutes to re-group before it’s time to pack everyone up for after school sports and gym classes and music lessons, etc. During those busy times I came to really appreciate something:

PB MandMs

(Yes, chocolate.) But also, the after school snack. It might seem silly, but with everything we have going on all the time, those few minutes to sit and re-group and actually talk to my kids became a relaxing little tradition for all of us. I love to surprise them with a special treat just to see their eyes light up after coming home from a busy day and I learned that the better the treat, the longer I get to keep them talking to me!

With school back in session, I wanted to design a new cookie recipe to celebrate the start of a new school year, and therefore the start of new after-school snacks! Loyal readers of this blog know that I religiously test every new variety of M&M’S®, and while I have lots of favorites, my heart will always belong to Peanut Butter.

PB MandM

One of my favorite combinations lately is peanut butter and pretzels. My favorite energy bar comes in this flavor, and I’ve been known (in lieu of an energy bar) to grab a handful of pretzels and a handful of M&M’S® Peanut Butter (totally the same thing) and call it good.


There’s a great flavor and texture combination here because you get the crumbly, salty bits of pretzel with the creamy, sweet chocolate and bursts of peanut peanut butter.  They were meant to be friends.

pretzels mandms

So why not throw them all into a cookie? I’m also adding some M&M’S® MINIS into the mix here too, mostly because they’re adorable. But also because I love the little bits of chocolate throughout a cookie, and these minis make it so the chocolate doesn’t overwhelm the other flavors we have going on. You can find bags of minis in the baking or candy section of many stores, but I also designed this small-batch recipe to use one of those mini tubes you can find with the candy at the check-out lane so you can always grab that if you don’t see the larger bags. Or you could use standard size M&M’S® instead, that would be just fine, too.

M&Ms with Pretzels

Let’s start baking!  First we’ll cream our butter (real butter- always!) with both white and brown sugars.  Now a little tip about creaming butter and sugar.  I think too often people stop before the “creaming” actually takes place.  If you notice the photo on the top right, the sugars and butter have come together as sort of a paste-like consistency.  You would think that’s as creamed up as it’s going to get- but not so!  You have to keep beating to start seeing molecular chances occur and that happens when it starts to change texture like the photo on the bottom.  That’s creamed.  It only takes a minute or two longer, so don’t stop too soon.

Creaming Butter  Sugar

After the butter and sugars are creamed, and an egg and some vanilla are added, you can slowly add in the dry ingredients.  Remember to always gently spoon your flour into the measuring with a spoon.  Don’t scoop or you’ll get too much, and too much means dry, dense cookies.

Adding Flour to Cookie Dough

After the flour is mixed in, it’s time for the fun part.  Add in the M&M’S MINIS, and some pretzels that have been broken up into bite-sized pieces.

Pretzels and Minis in Dough

Now comes the best part.  In order to release all of that creamy peanut butter goodness inside, we’re going to give these a rough chop.

Chopped Peanut Butter MandM's

The trick is not pulverizing them.  M&M’S  Peanut Butter are actually really soft and easy to cut, so I run a knife through them and aim to cut each one in half.  That sounds a bit tedious, but it’s really not, I promise.

Inside PB M&M's

Having the peanut butter filling exposed like that makes it burst in every bite.  Since we don’t want to break these up too much, we’re just going to fold them in by hand with a spoon.

PB MandM's in Dough

After it’s all mixed up, scoop them with a standard-sized cookie scoop onto a parchment-lined baking sheet.  Want to know a food stylist secret?  How we get our cookies to have perfectly proportioned mix-ins displayed on top with stunning accuracy? After your cookies are scooped, take a few extra pretzels and M&M’S®  and place them right on top and around the sides.  That ensures that when they bake up they’ll have bright pops of color, and cute little chunks of pretzels in full view.

Cookie Dough Ball

Put your baking pan in the oven and bake them up until puffed and golden.

M&M Cookies

Right when they come out of the oven you’ll do something crazy and sprinkle them with a just a light pinch of salt.  Sea salt or kosher salt works best here; it balances out and enhances all of the other flavors.  Trust me.  The combination of sweet and salty is what makes these cookies sing!

This is one of the rare cookies in the world that actually tastes better cooled off than warm.   You’re able to better taste everything going on, and there’s a lot to taste!

Salted PB Pretzel M&M Cookies from Our Best Bites

You get crunchy bites of pretzel, and soft candy shell with mellow bursts of chocolate.  Then there’s the surprising little bites of creamy peanut butter and everything balanced with the little flecks of salt.

Soft and Chewy PB Pretzel M&M Cookie

Oh, and they also look totally cute.  M&M’S®  make everything instantly fun, don’t they?  The bright colors, those happy little circles, you can’t help but smile when you look at this cookie and that’s just what your kiddos will do the moment they see these in the cookie jar!

Salted Peanut Butter Pretzel M&M Cookies from Our Best Bites

Pair it with a tall glass of milk and a piece of fresh fruit and those tummies will hopefully stay happy until dinner!


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 Sweet and Salty Peanut Butter Pretzel M&M Cookies from Our Best Bites

728x90mmsBackToSchool_v2Post sponsored by M&M’S®.  All opinions, and original recipe are 100% Our Best Bites.  


  1. And to think I was just wondering what to bake for my grandkids who are on their way over right now. I’ve got the mini’s but I don’t have the pb M&M’s. Maybe I’ll sub Reese’s pb cups. They won’t be as pretty, but on a Sunday, that’s not an ox in the mire I want to deal with.

  2. These look delicious! Please note though that all varieties of M&Ms are unsafe for people with peanut allergies due to potential cross-contamination. You could use “Skippers” from as a safe M&M substitute. All their chocolate & candy is tree nut and peanut free– and delicious!! My daughter has a severe peanut allergy and she is so happy when I order the skippers and other special chocolates like coins and molded shapes from them. I just don’t want someone to mistakenly give cookies with M&Ms in them to someone with a peanut allergy. Thanks for all your great recipies! My daughter and I just made chocolate chocolate chip & skipper cookies today before school starts on Tuesday.

    1. That was exactly what my first thought was. All M&Ms are processed on the same equipment and the cross contamination could be life threatening for someone with a severe allergy. Thank goodness for those specialty companies who make safe food for people with allergies!

      As for me, I don’t have an allergy and these look amazing! I’m going to make them right now. 😀

  3. OH my goodness these look amazing!! Can’t wait to try them before I start my no sugar for 30 days challenge. Why am I doing this?

  4. The recipe at the bottom calls for 1/2 c sugar and 1/2 white sugar. Is there an error and is one supposed to be brown sugar? Thanks!

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