10ouncesM&M candies(plus extra for topping; Easter pastels or any variety)
In a mixing bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Whisk to combine. Set aside.
To the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment ( a hand-held mixer can also be used), add the butter and sugars. Cream together for 2-3 minutes. Add the eggs, one at a time, and the vanilla, mixing until well incorporated. Slowly add the flour mixture and blend until just incorporated. Stir in the M&M candies.
Using a 2 tablespoon cookie scoop, portion the dough onto sheet pans lined with parchment paper. Chill overnight.
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Bake the cookies for 9-11 minutes until lightly brown around the edges. The cookies will appear slightly underdone in the middle. Immediately press extra M&M's on top of the cookies (if desired). Cool on the pan for 5 minutes, then transfer to a cooling rack to cool completely. Store in an airtight container.
Use room temperature butter and eggs to ensure the ingredients blend together evenly and uniformly.
Chilling the dough controls spreading during baking. It also enhances the flavors and helps the cookies to brown. I usually bake the dough one day, refrigerate it overnight, and bake the cookies the next. If you don't want to wait overnight, you can chill the dough for 4 hours.
Lining the baking pans with parchment paper helps to prevent the cookies from spreading and provides for easy clean-up. You can also use silicone baking mats.
Press extra candies into the top of the cookies when they come out of the oven. This makes for a pretty cookie.
To freeze unbaked cookies - Portion the dough onto a parchment-lined sheet pan. Freeze for 20-30 minutes or until firm. Transfer the dough balls to a freezer-safe bag. Store for up to 3 months in the freezer. To bake, place frozen cookie dough on a parchment-lined sheet pan and bake according to directions. The cookies may need a few extra minutes of baking time.
To freeze baked cookies - Allow baked cookies to cool completely. Place on a sheet pan in a single layer and freeze until firm. Transfer to a freezer-safe bag or airtight container and freeze for up to one month. Simply thaw at room temperature and enjoy!