Addictive Recipes from a Self-Taught Baker

Bite-Sized Peanut Butter Pretzel M&M Cookies

Soft-baked peanut butter cookies loaded with pretzels and M&Ms. One of my favorite sweet & salty desserts!

1 bowl Peanut Butter Pretzel M&M Cookies. Sweet, salty, and soft-baked!

Tried and true, peanut butter came to my rescue this week. You see, when all of the locals were scurrying about stocking up on water, batteries, and non-perishables for Hurricane Sandy… I was racing around my kitchen making sure to be fully prepared with peanut butter cookies (naturally). And scented candles. Two of my life’s comforts.

And yours too, yes?

Never the shy one to add weird stuff to desserts, adding crushed pretzels to my favorite peanut butter M&M cookie proved quite the norm last weekend.  And with the forthcoming hurricane throwing electricity, heat, and Big Bang Theory marathons completely out of whack – I knew I’d crave the norm. So I thought ahead and prepared for Sandy with comforting bite-sized M&M-dotted peanut butter cookies instead of flashlights. Priorities.

1 bowl Peanut Butter Pretzel M&M Cookies. Sweet, salty, and soft-baked!

What you’ve got today is my special soft-baked peanut butter cookie.  It’s the bees knees, cat’s pajamies, the ONE and only peanut butter cookie you’ll ever, ever, ever need.  Promise promise promise.

What makes them so good?  To start, this recipe calls for more peanut butter than your typical peanut butter cookie. Most run-of-the-mill recipes I’ve seen call for around 1/2 cup of peanut butter.  Speaking ratios, this amount is paired with 1.25 cups of flour and 1 stick of butter. I simply add an extra 1/4 cup of peanut butter.

I tested the recipe with different amounts of flour as well.  1.25 cups was the magic number – any more flour caused the cookies to crumble easily and any less flour made the cookies too goopy.  We’re using technical terms here. 😉

1 bowl Peanut Butter Pretzel M+M Cookies. Sweet, salty, and soft-baked!

More often than not, I shoot for a higher ratio of brown sugar to white sugar in cookie recipes. The logic is simple here –  brown sugar is more acidic and less course than white sugar; it retains much more moisture from the air in the baking process. The cookies are left incredibly soft, even the next day. For maximum softness and chew, I almost always use more brown sugar than white sugar in cookie recipes.

If a soft cookie is what you’re going for, then why not use all brown sugar?  Well, I don’t want the peanut butter cookies to completey fall apart from being too soft.   From the butter, peanut butter, and brown suugar – you’ve got a lot of softening agents here. White sugar, with its crisping properties, allows the cookies to hold their shape.

1 bowl Peanut Butter Pretzel M+M Cookies. Sweet, salty, and soft-baked!

We’ve been over the whole peanut butter/chocolate/pretzel combination many times before. You all tell me you really like the three paired together. How can you not?!

It’s that whole salty pretzel meets creamy peanut butter meets melty chocolate nirvana that pulls us all in. In fact, Chocolate Covered Pretzel Peanut Butter Brownies are what heaven is made of.  Salty and sweet – there’s no denying this contrasting flavor pairing is the best!


Bite-Sized Peanut Butter Pretzel M&M Cookies

Soft-baked peanut butter cookies loaded with pretzels and M&Ms. One of my favorite sweet & salty desserts!


  • 1/2 cup (115g) salted butter, softened to room temperature*
  • 1/2 cup (100g) packed light brown sugar (or dark brown sugar)
  • 1/4 cup (50g) granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 3/4 cup (185g) creamy peanut butter
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 and 1/4 cups (160g) all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup (150g) M&Ms
  • 3/4 cup (50g) pretzel pieces


  1. In a large bowl, using a hand-held mixer or stand mixer with paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugars together on medium speed. Beat in the peanut butter, egg, and vanilla (in that order). Beat in the baking soda and flour. Do not overmix. Fold in the M&Ms and pretzels. Cover the dough tightly and chill in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes.
  2. Preheat oven to 350F degrees. Drop chilled dough by tiny tablespoonfuls onto ungreased cookie sheet or silpat. Press down to slightly flatten them out. Bake for 8-9 minutes. Cookies will be soft and may appear undone. They will firm up as they cool. Allow to cool completely on a wire rack. Cookies stay fresh at room temperature in an airtight container for 10 days.

Recipe Notes:

*You may use unsalted butter in this recipe.  If so, add 1/4 tsp salt with the flour.

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A few favorite similar recipes for you:

Chocolate Covered Pretzel Peanut Butter Brownies


Homemade Chewy Fudge Granola Bars

Chewy No-Bake Fudge Granola Bars


Butterscoth Pretzel Chocolate Chip Cookies


Triple Chocolate Pretzel Brownies

Triple Chocolate Pretzel Brownies


Peanut Butter Cup Pretzel Cheesecake Bars

Peanut Butter Cup Pretzel Cheesecake Bars


See more peanut butter recipes.

See more sweet & salty recipes.




  1. Sally,
    This is a great recipe. I first made it with mini Resse’s pieces and chocolate chips. Delicious! I am making these cookies for Christmas using red and green M&M candies. I would like to make a couple of batches ahead of time and freeze for later. Does this dough freeze well?

    • Hi Angie! A perfect recipe to dress up for the holidays using festive M&Ms. You could certainly freeze these. First, you could freeze the baked cookies and thaw overnight in the refrigerator. Alternatively, you could make the cookie dough as instructed, chill for 30 minutes, and then roll and freeze individual dough balls. Then bake the frozen cookie dough balls for 1 extra minute.

    • Thanks Sally! I enjoy your blog. I always get compliments when I use a recipe of yours.

  2. Hey sally I just made them using the larger m&ms however im finding that the cookies are breaking…. should this be the same issue if I use the small ones?

    • Do you mean the cookies are falling apart? Are they too soft/underbaked? The size of the M&M wouldn’t be the issue.

      • Yes they are falling apart. They seem really soft and yes underbaked I wasn’t sure if 9 mins was to short of a time and cooked for 15 mins. They would hold there shape but when moving them around they break or with the first bite it fall to pieces. What can be the issue?

      • Since the cookies are so small, 15 minutes is way too long! They’re crumbling because they are overbaked. Stick to 10 mins or less.

  3. Hi Sally,
    I know I’m a bit late commenting on this recipe, but I’ve just discovered your blog all the way over in the UK, and I’m planning a fully weekend of baking using your scrummy recipes!!
    Just a quick question, this recipes states to use creamy peanut butter, I have crunchy peanut butter in my cupboard, will this work or should I make the trip to the shops and buy the right stuff?!!
    Thanks for all your amazing recipes, I’m really looking forward to trying them out, and my husband is really looking forward to taste testing them!!

    • Hi Kate! So happy that you found my website. You may certainly use chunky peanut butter – that won’t be a problem. Hope you both enjoy!

      • Hi Sally,
        Thanks for your reply. I’ve now made these cookies and your rolo stuffed peanut butter cookies and they both went down a treat! Now the tricky decision of what to make next, so much to choose from!!

  4. Love this recipe! The only change I made was that I used milk choco chips instead of M&Ms because that’s what I had in the house. Great sweet and salty combo

  5. Hi Sally! Great recipe and I’ve got a batch in the fridge awaiting baking. I notice you suggest baking on silopat or an increased cookie sheet. Can I line it with parchment or is there a reason to avoid parchment. I like easy cleanup 🙂 

  6. Hi Sally!  I love all your recipes and I’m amazed at how you can stay so thin with such decadent treats. My question regarding these cookies, is that like a previous commentor they fall apart   but they also taste chaulky.  I’m wondering if it’s because I used organic peanut butter and unlike jiffy or other peanut butters there is not much additional oil.  

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