I love the malted nuttiness that M&Ms give cookies. It's that candy coating and, in my mind, the way they brush dangerously against anaphylactic shock in the factories, where apparently "peanut dust" clouds the air and deliciously contaminates even the equipment churning out the plainer chocolate candies.
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup light brown sugar, packed
1/2 cup white sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla
1 egg yolk
2 cups chocolate candies, like M&Ms
Sift the dry ingredients and set aside. Cream the butter and sugars; add the vanilla and eggs. To these wet ingredients, stir in the dry ingredients, along with the chocolate candies. Scoop with a medium-sized ice cream scoop onto a cookie sheet lined with parchment (these are LARGE cookies, so space them out; I do 3 to a tray). This next step is important: refrigerate the scooped dough before baking, an hour to overnight even; this will result in a well-formed, chewy cookie.
When sufficiently chilled, bake the cookies at 325 degrees F for 20 minutes. Then, turn the oven OFF and leave the cookies in there for another 1–2 minutes (I do this mostly for luck and out of habit, i.e. years of pulling out under-baked goods, but it makes sense; it's similar to what you would do to a meringue to achieve ultimate chewiness). Cool completely before eating (these will firm up as they cool, so don't worry too much that they seem soft at first).
Makes 11–12 large cookies.