Amish Sugar Cookies with Candy-Coated Chocolate Pieces

Amish Sugar Cookies with M&M's

A few weeks ago my grandson, Gavin (7), asked if he could have a sleepover at my house. The timing was a little off at that time, so we told him that he could sleep over “after Thanksgiving”. Ambiguous, right?

Gavin doesn’t forget anything and last week asked me, “Hey, Mom-Mom? Do you remember that you said I could have a sleepover after Thanksgiving…or was it Arbor Day?”

Yeah, I laughed at that one. Arbor Day? So funny.

Long story short, Gavin had his sleepover on Thursday night. Friday morning he made John and I “egg toast”. I’m telling you, that kid can fry an excellent egg! He’s been my cooking buddy since he was three years old. I taught him how to use a knife when he was three and ever since then, whenever he is here and I am cooking dinner, he asks if I have anything that needs cutting. Prepping salads is his specialty. Well, prepping salads and making egg toast.

After breakfast I invited Gavin to help me make some cookies. I had one idea and Gavin had several others. The end result was the cookie recipe presented here.

Amish Sugar Cookies

Amish Sugar Cookies are not new. As a matter of fact, the recipe is all over the internet with little or no variation from one site to the next. The recipe, itself, is unusual in that it calls for cooking oil as well as butter. Butter, of course, is a common cookie ingredient, but not so with oil.

Gavin wanted to change things up by adding M&M’s to the cookies. He does not like sprinkles on or in his cookies, which I think defies logic. He’s a child. He’s supposed to like sprinkles. But, whatever.

The dough came together easily and the M&M’s seemed like a good addition. The cookies were slightly crispy on the outside and tender on the inside. The taste of the finished cookie is very light and would adapt well to various additions. Spices such as cinnamon or nutmeg would work well in them, and they could support additions such as candy pieces, chocolate chips, butterscotch chips, toffee chips, or sprinkles. They would also be delicious frosted. The traditional recipe calls for vanilla extract, but I think that other flavorings such as almond or rum would also work well in them.

For me, this is a keeper recipe. I made a couple of alterations which, I believe, enhanced the flavor. Instead of vegetable oil, I used grapeseed oil. Walnut oil would also be a good choice. I doubled the vanilla, which is a great idea. Then there are Gavin’s M&M’s. I wanted to use red and green mini M&M’s to go along with the Christmas season and tried to talk Gavin into picking out the red and green ones from the bag. He set out to oblige me, but three minutes into the picking-out process he informed that it was really boring. So, multi-colored mini M&M’s it was.

Amish Sugar Cookies

Amish Sugar Cookies with Chocolate Candy Pieces

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 8-10 minutes

Yield: 5-6 dozen cookies

Recipe adapted from Taste of Home


  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) butter
  • 1 cup grapeseed oil or cooking oil
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 4 1/2 cups all-purpose white flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 2 cups mini candy coated chocolate pieces, optional (I used M&M minis)
  • white granulated sugar, for sprinkling on top of each cookie


  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line two cookie sheets with parchment paper. Set aside.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, beat together white sugar, powdered sugar, butter and oil until smooth.
  3. Add eggs and vanilla; mix well.
  4. In a medium mixing bowl, stir together flour, baking soda, and cream of tartar. Add a little at a time to wet ingredients. Do not over mix. Stir in the candy pieces, if using.
  5. Using a 1/2 ounce cookie scoop (or by rounded teaspoonsful) shape cookies and place on prepared baking pans. Sprinkle each dough mound with a little bit of white granulated sugar.
  6. Bake for 8-10 minutes, just until edges of cookies turn a very light golden brown. The cookies will be pale and may appear underdone. I used two different ovens and 9 minutes in both of them was the perfect amount of time. I am at 4500 feet above sea level, so cooking times may vary at other altitudes.
  7. Store cookies in airtight containers for up to 5 days.


This recipe makes a great base for adding other flavors. Here are some suggestions: Flavorings--use almond or rum flavoring instead of vanilla. Add-ins: chocolate chips, butterscotch chips, toffee pieces, or chopped nuts instead of candy coated chocolate pieces. Spices--cinnamon or nutmeg. *Other extras"--finely grated orange or lemon peel.

Amish Sugar CookiesPicking out the red and green M&M’s was boring. Gavin lasted about three minutes…a lifetime when you are 7. Cracking eggs was far more entertaining. There may or may not have been egg shells in some of the cookies. As for the vanilla, some of it went into the measuring spoon, some of it spilled into the bowl, and a goodly portion ended up on the counter top. In Gavin’s words, “Wow! That’s a lot!”

Amish Sugar Cookies Measuring and mixing the dry ingredients was less eventful and….

Amish Sugar CookiesBoring!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! As he made a hasty retreat to the family room for bigger adventures, Gavin left with these parting words, reassuringly pronounced over his shoulder, “Now, Mom-Mom. If you need me to do anything else, just let me know.” Alrighty, then.

Amish Sugar CookiesGavin did return to “help” me add the M&M’s to the dough. I managed to fire off exactly one photo as Gavin dumped the M&M’s into the bowl. The only reason I got even one photo was because 1) I serendipitously hit the button at the exact right moment, and 2) I had the camera set for an “action” shot. Whenever I am taking pics of the boys doing anything, I keep the camera in a point & shoot action mode. Otherwise, I don’t get anything except a blur of color on a still background.

Amish Sugar CookiesA 1/2 ounce cookie scoop made the perfect size cookie. I put twelve cookies on a parchment lined cookie sheet– 3 across and 4 down. This gives a good amount of room between the cookies to allow for even baking. Sprinkle some white granulated sugar over each dough mound prior to baking.

Amish Sugar CookiesThe cookies are perfectly baked when the tops are pale and the edges have the barest hint of golden brown.

Amish Sugar Cookies Be sure to keep these cookies stored in an airtight container. They should keep well for about 5 days. They’ll still taste great after that time period, too. This recipe can be halved easily, if you don’t want 6 dozen cookies on hand.

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    • says

      hahahahahaha!!!!! You should have seen the huge chunk of eggshell that I found in one of the cookies. Plus, I fished out small pieces from two other cookies AND some out of the bowl while I was scooping out the dough. Pretty funny. I am definitely not giving any of these babies away.

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