Merry & Bright Christmas Cookies

How much more festive can a Christmas cookie get than to speckle it with red, green, and white? That’s what I thought, too, when I found this recipe. I changed it around a bit (just say no to shortening!) and created my own colorful holiday treat.

The cookie base of these is full of brown sugar, which just about always wins over granulated sugar in my book. It’s a nice, thick dough that holds up well to all the nuts and candies. The original recipe suggests making large cookies, but I chose to make smaller, just large than bite-sized cookies. Doing that yielded more than 4 dozen cookies.

Merry and Bright Christmas Cookies | Bake or Break

For the red, green, and white, I used Cadbury’s solid milk chocolates with candy shells. These taste a lot like M&Ms, only sweeter. They’re also a bit larger than plain M&Ms. For those of you with access to stores where you can mix and match colors of M&Ms, these would be great cookies year-round just by changing the colors. Whether you make these cookies for this holiday season or any other time of year, they will surely be a hit.

Merry & Bright Christmas Cookies

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 10 minutes

Yield: about 12 large cookies or 48 small cookies

Merry & Bright Christmas Cookies


  • 1 cup unsalted butter
  • 1 & 1/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 3 & 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup candy-coated milk chocolate bits* or M&Ms in red, green, and white
  • 1 cup chopped pecans


Preheat oven to 375°.

Beat butter until smooth. Add brown sugar, baking soda, and salt, beating until light and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add vanilla and mix well. Gradually add flour to butter mixture and beat at low speed until combined. Stir in chocolate pieces and pecans.

Drop dough by rounded tablespoonfuls (or teaspoonfuls), about 2 inches apart, onto ungreased baking sheets. Bake for 8-10 minutes or until golden.

Cool cookies on baking sheet for about a minute, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.


*The brand I found was Cadbury’s, which taste like very sweet M&Ms.

Recipe adapted from Better Homes & Gardens.

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  1. amanda December 19, 2007 Reply

    i was just going to make these too! it’s like we are on the same wavelength. except im a sucker for the m&m’s :)

  2. jennifer December 20, 2007 Reply

    Amanda, I like the M&Ms, too, but I really wanted white-colored candies that I could only get with the Cadbury’s.

  3. kelly December 20, 2007 Reply

    These look so pretty and round from the angle you photographed them from! I just made your rum cake, and it smells delicious. It is going to make such a great xmas gift!

  4. JEP December 20, 2007 Reply

    I have never heard of the Cadbury choc pieces & most definitely would make them more Christmas-like than the M&M’s. Just red & white for Valentines, then pastels for Easter ?

  5. jennifer December 20, 2007 Reply

    Thanks, Kelly! I hope your recipient likes the rum cake. It’s one of my favorites.

    JEP, that was exactly what I was thinking. Just changing up the colors makes them great for special occasions year-round. I think school colors would be a great idea, too.

  6. Paula December 20, 2007 Reply

    Yummy!!! Pretty cookies:)

  7. jennifer December 21, 2007 Reply

    Thanks, Paula!

  8. Kim August 5, 2014 Reply

    What is your Rum cake recipe…the girl said it is one of her favorites. Would you mind giving it to me. I am definatly going to make those Merry and Bright X-mass cookies and change the colore for all occasions. Thank you for sharing :)

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