It's not often that I make new cookies. I have my favourites, and since I don't really bake all that many cookies during the year, I usually revisit my trusted, tried, and true recipes more often than not. As it happens, it is often the fact that I am specifically craving ginger snaps, for example, that make me decide to get out the baking sheets.
My kitchen life, however, could probably be subtitled "Iron Chef - Leftovers!" as I find ways to make good food out of whatever is lying around from previous efforts or events. To this end, I found myself with about a cup of leftover miniature m&m candies after Hallowe'en. Since they were about the size of chocolate chips, I decided to make a more colourful version of my default chocolate chip cookies. As they came out of the oven, I couldn't help but think that they looked as though I had stirred a clown into the batter, and the brightly coloured buttons had risen to the surface. Just a little macabre, post-Hallowe'en imagery. (Aren't clowns a little bit creepy on any day of the year?)
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ground coriander seed
3/4 cup butter or margarine
1 cup sugar
2 large eggs
1 1/2 teaspoons lemon or orange extract
1 cup miniature m&ms for baking
Preheat oven to 300 F. Combine flour, soda, coriander and salt in a small bowl, and blend together with a mix. In a larger bowl, use an electric mixer to beat together the butter and sugar until it forms a grainy mixture. Add eggs andd extract, and beat again until well blended, scraping down the sides of the bowl with a spatula. Add the flour mixture and the m&ms, and mix on the lowest setting until the dough just combines without floury streaks. Be careful not to overbeat them.
Use a teaspoon or a miniature ice cream scoop to shape your cookies on lightly greased (or spritzed) baking sheets and bake for about 15 minutes in the centre of the oven. They should not brown. Transfer hot cookies immediately to a wire cooking rack. As they cool, they will firm up slightly.