This is how you make gooey, chewy, massive rainbow cookies that make everyone in life love your guts.

Giant Rainbow Cookies I

Lookie here! You don’t even need a mixer. You just mix all the goods with a whisk. Don’t have a whisk? Spoons work too.

Add some super cute rainbow candies… aka mini m&m’s. You could add regular m&m’s. Really… whatever floats your boat.

Giant Rainbow Cookies I

This is the weird part. Roll your dough into a ball then rip it apart evenly with Hulk Hogan strength.

Giant Rainbow Cookies I

Bake cookies like this. Laugh because they look funny. Cry because you are ridiculous.

Giant Rainbow Cookies I

Not even joking. Really bake your cookies like this. It’s the SECRET.


While your cookies are baking, admire the adorable slash colorful slash overflowing bowl of mini m&m’s that you opened two bags of m&m’s for just so you could show all of your invisible internet friends what an m&m bathtub looks like.

Giant Rainbow Cookies I

After your cookies bake and cool and you inevitably burn the skin off the roof of your mouth because you’re really a child with no patience, flip it over and look at how pretty it’s cookie butt is. Colorful cookie butt.

Giant Rainbow Cookies I

Stack up some giant rainbow cookies and set them by your overflowing m&m bathtub bowl. Pour a mason jar full of milk so you can photograph your cookies for your invisible internet friends, even though you hate milk and don’t even like to dip cookies in it.

Giant Rainbow Cookies I

Talk to your cookies because they are so pretty and perfect.


This recipe was sent to me by a reader, Gabrielle (Hi Gabrielle!), and as soon as it hit my inbox I knew I had to make them. I can easily say this is the best cookie I have ever made and that is no exaggeration. Ask Gabrielle… because I professed my love for her immediately like a complete weirdo.

Up until now, I have been using my fat snickerdoodle recipe… which took me hours upon hours to perfect, as the base for newer cookie recipes like my blueberry cookies and chocolate chip oatmeal cookies. I can say with almost 100% certainty that this will be the only cookie recipe I use for the time being… because if you can’t tell, I’m infatuated. With a cookie. Haaaalp me.

Giant Rainbow Cookies I

Giant Rainbow Cookies

makes 18 large or 36 small cookies

2 cups + 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

1/2 teaspoons baking soda

1 1/2 sticks (12 tablespoons) of salted butter, melted and cooled

1 cup brown sugar

1/2 cup sugar

1 egg + 1 egg yolk, at room temperature

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1 cup mini m&m’s (or something else that you love)

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.

Mix the flour and baking soda in a bowl and set aside. In another bowl, mix the butter and sugars until they are combined (and look like the first picture above). Add the egg, egg yolk, and vanilla and stir until mixed. Gradually add flour and mix until a dough forms – it will look crumbly at first, but it will come together. I even used my hands to help at one point. Fold in the m&m’s.

Divide the dough how you choose (1/4 cup portions for 18 large cookies or 2 tablespoon portions for 36 smaller cookies). Shape each portion into a ball with your hands then pull each ball into two equal pieces. Turn each half so that the rough side of the half (what used to be the inside of the ball) faces upwards and then squish both halves together. Place the dough rough-side up on a baking sheets. If you’re doing large cookies, I’d leave about 2 inches in between each.

Bake for 12-15 minutes (large cookies) or 8-12 minutes (small cookies) or until the edges are slightly brown. The centers should be
soft and puffy. Do not over bake. Let cool completely then dig in!

Note: to melt the butter I simply microwaved it, and to let it cool I allowed it to sit for about 10 minutes.

ETA: a few readers have told me that this is the same recipe as Cooks Illustrated chocolate chip cookie recipe!

Giant Rainbow Cookies I

Finally, take one single bite of your cookie since you are the epitome of self control, then neatly pack them up to share with others. Do not eat any more cookies, ever, because you are always satisfied with one bite of dessert.

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434 Responses to “Giant Rainbow Cookies.”

  1. #
    Kristen @ notsodomesticated — July 14, 2011 @ 7:49 pm

    WHY oh why do you have to be such an amazing photographer and make your food look so delicious?!?! Seriously, it’s torture!!!


  2. #
    Alice — July 14, 2011 @ 8:41 pm

    Anyone else’s dough came out too soft? I had to add more flour…maybe it’s because I packed my brown sugar? I am refridgerating the dough right now, hopefully it comes out ok.


    • Jessica — July 14th, 2011 @ 8:48 pm

      Alice – how was the temperature of your butter? Last night I made another batch and the dough was too soft, but I really think my butter was too warm and I didn’t let it sufficiently cool. I stuck it in the fridge for about 10 minutes and it was perfect!


      • Alice — July 14th, 2011 @ 8:52 pm

        Oooh…….it might be that! I was impatient and didnt want to wait for it to totally cool. It was still kind warm but cool enough for me to stick my finger in it to test the temperature without burning myself. I have half the batch in the oven now and the other half chilling in the fridge. I didn’t have mini m&ms so I made half mini chocolate chips and half butterscotch! -=D My hubbie loves your oatmeal chocolate chip cookies so I’m trying these tonight. -=D

      • Samantha — July 23rd, 2011 @ 10:12 pm

        Mine came out soft too and I made sure the butter was completely cool. Maybe it is just too hot and humid right now?? I did half a batch and have the rest of the dough chilling in the fridge to see what happens! The dough tastes gooood though : )

    • kerrio — July 16th, 2011 @ 2:48 pm

      mine turned out too soft too. i let the butter cool for about 10-15 minutes. maybe i’ll put it in the fridge like the other suggestion. they taste good, but they are flat and spread out on the pan


  3. #
    Ann — July 14, 2011 @ 9:37 pm

    That is too cool! I never would have thought to bake the cookies like that… and – as always – your photos are stellar!


  4. #
    Megan — July 14, 2011 @ 9:56 pm

    Uhh… I used my 1/4 measuring cup and I only managed to get 14 cookies. 14 MONSTEROUS cookies!! Deeeeeeeeeelish! Made them for the nerd-fest aka midnight showing of Harry Potter tonight ;)

    Thanks! So easy!


  5. #
    april — July 14, 2011 @ 10:04 pm

    These cookies make me tear up & smile a little at the same time. As a child I was kept by an older couple & Mrs estelle made these cookies all the time for us. She also made homemade flap jacks with chocolate gravy EVERY Fri. You should try that by the way. It’s amazing! Anyway, these cookies brought back my fond memories of her & childhood. I’m making these tomorrow :)


  6. #
    kimd — July 15, 2011 @ 1:15 am

    Never seen such a cute cookie butt before in my life.


  7. #
    Jean — July 15, 2011 @ 3:11 am

    This is the Cook’s Illustrated cookie – thick and chewy chocolate chip cookies – minus the salt. Even the way they shape the cookies is the same.


    • Jessica — July 15th, 2011 @ 6:52 am

      Someone mentioned that on Wednesday when I posted so I cited it below! It’s with the recipe.


  8. #
    momwhats4dinner — July 15, 2011 @ 9:36 am

    MMMM….I love m& m’s! These cookies look amazing…i’m gonna try them out soon! Thanks!


  9. #
    Amy — July 15, 2011 @ 7:17 pm

    Ugh they look soooo goooooood. If I wasn’t attempting to *diet* all next week (more of eating “healthy” all next week) I would so make these.


  10. #
    Connie the Cookie Monster — July 16, 2011 @ 4:32 am

    im so glad you posted this recipe! i just bought a bag of m&ms yesterday and i had my mind made up to make me some of these becuz it has beenn way way way too long since my last one!


  11. #
    Kim Beaulieu — July 16, 2011 @ 6:34 pm

    Look crazy good. Yum!


  12. #
    Katy — July 16, 2011 @ 7:30 pm

    Yummmmm… these look amazing!! Totally making them next!
    BTW, you *do* know that when it says to roll the dough into a ball, tear it in half, and press the halves together with the jagged parts out… it means side-by-side (both rough sides facing up)? Not that I don’t love your adorable cookie stacks, seems your technique worked quite well too. :-)


    • Jessica — July 17th, 2011 @ 10:26 am

      OMG are you serious?!?! LOL!! I had NO idea! Why hasn’t anyone else said anything? I’m mortified… hahaha.


      • Katy — July 17th, 2011 @ 12:56 pm

        Hahaha! No harm done :-) I usually cheat and make my balls twice as big at the beginning, so I can just tear them in half and be done with it, no trying to smush things together. To each her own!

    • Mansee — July 17th, 2011 @ 6:33 pm

      I read this comment right before I started baking the cookies, so I decided to try them both ways. The ones that were stacked on top of each other actually looked prettier! The other ones just kind of looked like two cookie dough balls smushed together, even after baking. However, they both tasted AMAZING…so that’s all that really matters :)


      • Jessica — July 17th, 2011 @ 7:03 pm

        I read through the recipe again that was sent to me by a reader and I’m pretty sure I did it correctly the first time as I posted above. She has in the recipe to stick both round parts together with the “rough side facing up.” So I’m pretty sure that it was right!

    • Amy J — September 5th, 2012 @ 8:47 pm

      Actually, Jessica did it right :) I’ve seen several recipes do it this way, and one even explained how if you stack them higher, it allows less spreading while they cook, making a fuller, softer cookie. I would think pulling them in half and placing them side by side would make them spread more and give more of that “cookie butt” look :)


  13. #
    Homegrown Beanes — July 17, 2011 @ 3:17 pm

    These look like the best cookies ever! I cannot wait to try them.


  14. #
    Liz — July 17, 2011 @ 6:56 pm

    Thanks for the recipe. I made them for the world cup game today and they were a big hit!


  15. #
    Jenn@eatcakefordinner — July 17, 2011 @ 11:50 pm

    Okay – if these are really that good – I have got to give them a try!


  16. #
    Jessica @ Bake a Little — July 18, 2011 @ 2:53 pm

    I just made one just like this! I used your recipe with a few slight changes- Dark Chocolate M&Ms! :)


  17. #
    Kristin — July 18, 2011 @ 4:51 pm

    THANK YOU (!!) for finally helping me realize the secret to the perfectly rounded cookie. They turned out fabulously!


  18. #
    Stephanie — July 18, 2011 @ 5:34 pm

    Just made these…YUM!!!!!!


  19. #
    Andrea — July 20, 2011 @ 3:27 am

    I’m really confused as to the whole tearing and putting back together of the cookies.. What is the point of doing that??


    • Jessica — July 20th, 2011 @ 6:26 am

      It makes them super thick and the inside very soft and gooey as opposed to the cookie just flattening out.


  20. #
    Cassidy — July 20, 2011 @ 6:43 pm

    I made these last night (and a bunch of other cookies) to take on vacation. They are so delicious, because I had to sample my cookies. I had the hardest time finding mimi m&m’s, finally I got them at CVS. They are chewy and perfect. I stuck a piece of bread in the container with the cookies to keep them nice and soft. Thanks for sharing! Next time I will try a different variation, this is a great base for lots of cookies!


  21. #
    Alice — July 21, 2011 @ 11:24 pm

    I just made these again, first time I didnt do the snowman method so I tried it this time but mine kept slipping off one another! And making butt cookies! I mean they tasted good but they looked funny lols BTW, the second time around I cooled the butter completely and still I had to add a couple more teaspoons of flour…maybe I’m packing the brown sugar too much….

    But they’re definitely delicious buttshaped or not lol


  22. #
    Sarah — July 23, 2011 @ 9:31 am

    mmmm they look deliciously gooey and buttery in the first picture! I want a few of these in my stomach immediately


  23. #
    Lisa — July 23, 2011 @ 8:53 pm

    FABulous the very first time! Thank you for sharing all the wonderful treats you do.


  24. #
    Kendra — July 24, 2011 @ 1:04 pm

    Made these last night in preparation for babysitting my niece and nephew today. OMG. My Man and I nearly devoured them all…the children will be lucky to get one!!! :-) Thanks for sharing!


  25. #
    Jenn — July 24, 2011 @ 9:11 pm

    These were a gigantic hit with my fam! My mom has declared them our new go-to recipe! Thanks for sharing the amazing fat and puffy cookie trick, I’m always having trouble with flat cookies but these were absolutely perfect :)


  26. #
    Rosebenna — July 25, 2011 @ 1:48 pm

    These look divine! So THAT’S how you make cookies big and chewy and with lots of bite! I LOVE your secret method! I will have to try these soon! *Swoon* Thank you for sharing Jessica! :)


  27. #
    Emily — July 25, 2011 @ 3:52 pm

    I made these (in the middle of the night, no less, it was suddenly THAT URGENT and I had to have them) and they were FANTASTIC. I agree with you on the stacking the halves like a snowman, not side by side, that’s what makes them so marvelous and thick. Also, I halved the recipe, and my batter was way too thin… although it sounds like it happened to other people, not just me with my half batch. I cooked the first cookie sheet full (the first half of my half batch… geez. too complicated) with my thinner dough, and they were still good but a little too gooey. For the second sheet, I had refrigerated the dough and then added a bunch of extra flour, and those came out ABSOLUTELY PERFECT.
    Me and my husband thank you for sharing the recipe. My thighs, however, are being very ungrateful :)


  28. #
    emily — July 25, 2011 @ 4:04 pm

    i made these and sent them to my son while he was at camp last week. they were so good that he tried to sell them at the snack shack for $5 a piece! the counselors thank you for an awesome recipe:o)


  29. #
    WenDee Riffe — July 25, 2011 @ 6:11 pm

    Thanks for this recipe–sooooo good!! Matthew(18yr. old son)approved of them…and that is sayin’ a lot!!! Lol!!! I think mine turned out a little bigger than yours so I am gonna have to reduce the size next time!!! However—we have had NO problem with the size…makes us feel better when we say that I only had 1 cookie today!!! Again–thanks Jessica!!! Keep it coming…I can tell your really working hard and it is greatly appreciated!!!


  30. #
    Julia — August 2, 2011 @ 1:38 pm

    I made these today and they are delicious! Also thank you for reminding me of mini m&m’s which are a childhood favorite I haven’t had in forever!


    • Julia — August 2nd, 2011 @ 2:46 pm

      also, I refrigerated one batch and not the other. The UNrefrigerated dough came out MUCH better.


  31. #
    Vicki — August 5, 2011 @ 10:14 pm

    Ok, I’ve made 2 batches of these (one previously & one tonight)… but I only get around 14 cookies, so I’m thinking of making another batch (going to a bbq & the kiddos LOVE them)… my only problem, I ran out of light brown sugar & so do NOT want to go to the store (I’m all comfied up in my pj’s already) :) soooo, my question is… can I substitute dark brown sugar for the light? Thanks so much for all your YUMMY recipes!!!


  32. #
    Kim Lamphere — August 6, 2011 @ 6:33 pm

    If the butter is making them too flat, you can use butter flavored Crisco instead. No need to melt it first.


  33. #
    Lala — August 10, 2011 @ 10:33 am

    Where do u buy mini m&m’s I can’t find them anywhere!!


  34. #
    Carrie K — August 13, 2011 @ 12:47 am

    made these…loved them…super easy! then…i couldnt find the recipe again! i forgot to pin it or star it in google reader…i feared it was lost forever!! then…i googled soft m&m cookies on google and found them on page 9…listed as RAINBOW cookies…haahahaa

    Just thought you might want to know…people are looking for M&M cookies…lol


  35. #
    Kara — August 13, 2011 @ 8:58 pm

    I made these last night and LOVED them! Can’t stop eating them! This is a problem, but I’m ok with it!


  36. #
    Brittany @ A Spoonful of Peanut Butter — August 16, 2011 @ 12:12 pm

    first of all, I love your pictures. Your a great photographer. second of all, girl- I haven’t had chocolate/sweets in almost 2 years and those pictures…they may make me change my ways….the cookies looked delicious!! :)


  37. #
    Amanda — August 25, 2011 @ 8:02 pm

    So, the problem I have with these cookies is the dough is so freaking amazing I haven’t even made cookies yet! I’m just pigging out on dough! And dinner is in an hour!

    I blame you!


  38. #
    Richa@HobbyandMore — August 30, 2011 @ 8:39 pm

    Amazing idea.. and such a fun post!!!


  39. #
    Lauren — September 1, 2011 @ 10:45 pm

    Just made these bad boys with reese’s pieces. I’m going to gain 10 pounds from this recipe…worth it.


  40. #
    Elizabeth — September 7, 2011 @ 8:04 pm

    The secret really is the 2 balls on top of each other! I have always ended up with really thin sheets of cookie and this time I got round cookies! Thank you so much :)


  41. #
    Bethany Everette — September 11, 2011 @ 12:07 am

    I made this recipe with PEANUT M&M’s!!!!!! It added a nice delicious crunch!!!!


  42. #
    Olga Lopez — September 11, 2011 @ 8:34 am

    Wow I love cookies and this are so so good.
    PD:My cooking blog is in spanish but I have a Google Translate so you can see the recipes in english.


  43. #
    EAve — September 12, 2011 @ 11:15 am

    I made these and I think they need some salt add in, they are almost too sweet without it.


  44. #
    Jane Pilanski — September 17, 2011 @ 3:57 pm

    This is the best cookie dough, here’s my rendition:


  45. #
    Kristina — September 17, 2011 @ 9:35 pm

    I made these, but I made them with regular m&ms, and they turned out wonderful! I just had to adjust the quantity to 3/4 cup from 1 cup for them, but they are delicious. I will be making more of your recipes in the future because I’m sure they’ll be as delicious as this one.


  46. #
    Kiley — October 23, 2011 @ 3:12 pm

    These are seriously the *best* cookies I have ever made. I totally stumbled across your blog when looking for a recipe on rainbow confetti cupcakes a while ago and boy am I glad I did. Just had to tell you, you are awesome. :)


  47. #
    Erica — October 27, 2011 @ 6:53 pm

    Hi! These look so good! I’m interested in halving the recipe though (can’t have so many cookies just laying around or I’ll eat them all myself). When doing so how would I half the egg ingredients required? Should I just put in one whole egg, or just the yolk? Help please! Thanks


    • Jessica — October 27th, 2011 @ 6:58 pm

      I haven’t tried, but I would think 1 whole egg would be fine! Let me know.


  48. #
    Lauren — October 28, 2011 @ 8:51 am

    Just made these for my boyfriend and his friend and they were gone in less than an hour! Absolutely loved them! I even made them with fall m&m’s :) Thanks for all your great recipes! :) :)


  49. #
    Elaine — October 30, 2011 @ 3:19 am

    where in the world did you find bags of mini m&ms?? i can only find the tubes and those are expensive.
    the mini ones taste so much better than the regular ones. can’t wait to try these cookies.


  50. #
    Rita — October 30, 2011 @ 6:44 pm

    How do you measure out your flour? Do you scoop it into your 1c measurement or just stick the 1c into the flour? I made these and had to add quite a few more tablespoons of flour because the dough was too wet. I’m planning on trying many more of your recipes so I would like to know for future reference.



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