Peanut Butter Pretzel M&M Cookies

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

3 images of peanut butter pretzel M&M cookies

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. 😉

peanut butter pretzel M&M cookies on a silpat baking mat

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.

peanut butter cookies with M&Ms and pretzels on a silpat baking mat

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!

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peanut butter pretzel M&M cookies on a silpat baking mat

Bite-Sized Peanut Butter Pretzel M&M Cookies

  • Author: Sally
  • Prep Time: 45 minutes
  • Cook Time: 8 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour, 15 minutes
  • Yield: 36 small cookies
  • Category: Cookies
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American


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 or dark brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup (50g) granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 3/4 cup (185g) creamy peanut butter
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 and 1/4 cups (156g) all-purpose flour (spoon & leveled)
  • 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 350°F (177°C). 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.


  1. Butter: You may use unsalted butter in this recipe. If so, add 1/4 teaspoon salt with the flour.
  2. Be sure to check out my top 5 cookie baking tips AND these are my 10 must-have cookie baking tools.

Keywords: peanut butter pretzel m&m cookies


  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?

    1. 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.

  2. 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 🙂 

    1. You can absolutely use parchment!

  3. Hi sally

    What would I do in terms of baking time If I wanted to make these regular sized cookies?

    1. Hi Alli! The bake time would only be extended a minute or so, depending on the size. The cookies are done when the edges look set!

  4. I use the red and green peanut m&ms at Christmas. Do this every year following this recipe and I love the way they turn out! They are big though…

  5. Hi Sally,
    My daughter and I have been trying many of your recipes. We can count on each one working exactly as the recipe says. They have all been delicious. I am baking ahead for a party. Will these freeze well or do the pretzels get chewy? Thanks!

    1. Hi Dayna, so glad you and your daughter are enjoying my recipes. Thank you! You can certainly freeze these cookies, but the pretzels aren’t really crunchy after freezing/thawing. Definitely more on the chewier side.

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