Holiday Chocolate Crackletops

Published on Dec 20, 2018

Close up image of chocolate crackletop cookies on a silver platter

*This recipe was originally published 12/21/2013. Most recent update 12/20/18.

Rich & fudgy flavor, sugary & perfectly crunchy exterior and slightly chewy center! Filled with festive mini holiday M&M’s, these crackletops definitely deserve a place on your treat table!

Close up image of chocolate crackletop cookies on a silver platterThere are a handful of cookies that I make year after year for our neighborhood, church, and office treat plates (including my Nut Butterballs, Chocolate Caramel Bars and Rich Chocolate Toffee Bars of course). These crackletops are one of them.

They do have the extra chill time that’s required, but since I’m often making several batches of various cookies at the same time it’s never been a problem. These are especially delicious with the addition of delicious mini M&M’s. They are just the right amount of crunchy exterior with a slightly chewy center!

How to make Holiday Chocolate Crackletops (step-by-step)

1. Gather your ingredients. You’ll need: flour, baking powder, granulated sugar, butter, unsweetened baking chocolate, eggs, vanilla & M&M’s chocolate holiday mini baking bits.

Ingredient layout of flour, sugar, eggs, butter, chocolate, M7M's and baking soda2. In a large bowl combine flour and baking powder; set aside.

3. In 2-quart saucepan over medium heat melt together the butter and chocolate. Add sugar & stir until dissolved. Remove from heat.

4.Gradually stir in eggs.

5. Add vanilla

6. Stir in flour mixture until well blended.

7. Chill 1 hour.

8. Stir in M&M’s chocolate holiday mini baking bits; return to refrigerator an additional hour.

9. Preheat oven to 350 F. Line cookie sheets with foil or parchment paper. Roll dough into 1-inch balls.

Step-by-step photos of how to make chocolate crackletop cookies10. Roll balls in additional granulated sugar.

11. Place about 2 inches apart onto prepared cookie sheets.

12. Bake 10-12 minutes. Do not over bake. 

13. Remove from oven. At this point, you can dust cookies with one last addition of granulated sugar if desired. Cool completely on wire racks.

14. Enjoy! Store in lightly covered container.

Step-by-step photos of how to make chocolate crackletop cookies

Salted vs. Unsalted Butter

  • This recipe doesn’t specify the type of butter needed, which should I use? That’s completely up to you! Use what you’ve got, either will work perfectly in this recipe!
  • The benefit of using unsalted in any recipe is that you’re able to control the salt. If you’re watching your sodium intake you can add as little as you want. If you’re a salt lover (like me) you can add a tiny bit extra. 
  • Joy The Baker has an excellent article about this topic (she’s quite passionate about butter!)!

M&M’s chocolate holiday mini baking bits vs. Regular M&Ms

  • Can I substitute regular M&M’s for the holiday mini baking bits? Yes. You can… however it will change the texture of the cookie from how it is intended. The holiday baking bits are quite a bit smaller and are distributed better throughout the cookie than the regular sized candies.
  • Where can I find M&M’s chocolate holiday mini baking bits? They will be located in the seasonal candy aisle of your grocery store with the other M&M varieties. They are red & green baking bits that are perfect for all of your holiday cookie needs.
  • How many packages should I buy for this recipe? This recipe needs 1 ¾ c. of the baking bits, so you’ll want to purchase two bags (you’ll end up using 1 ½ bags for the recipe). If you’d like to double your recipe then you’ll need to purchase three bags.

Why do I need to chill my dough?

  • Because of the melted butter, chocolate and sugar you’ll need to chill your dough in order to make it manageable to work with.
  • I don’t have the time or patience to wait two hours chilling time, what are my options? Chilling your dough in the freezer can cut your chill time in half, if not more.
    • If you chose to freeze instead of refrigerating make sure you keep a close eye because you may over-chill the dough and then it will be hard to work with (thus preventing you from being able to stir in your candies).
  • Another option if you’re short on time or patience would be to make this dough ahead of time. It can be made the day before. Simply cover bowl with plastic wrap and keep refrigerated until ready to bake. Remove from fridge & set on counter 30 minutes before rolling dough into balls.
  • Still don’t want to chill dough? Then don’t! You’re certainly welcome to make these right away but be warned they will be extremely sticky & hard to work with.. and VERY messy! But will still produce delicious cookies either way.
  • Multi-task! While this dough is in the fridge chilling, use the time to make the other treats on your holiday baking list. That way you’re still being productive while waiting to finish up your Crackletops!

Important Tips for making Holiday Chocolate Crackletops

  • When starting out you’ll want to use a bowl about triple the size of what will hold your flour. You’ll be adding all of your ingredients in the end to this bowl. Start big enough to avoid having to swap halfway through the process (and creating unnecessary dishes)
  • It’s important to melt your butter and chocolate BEFORE adding the sugar. This will be the smoothest & easiest route rather than trying to melt and dissolve everything altogether.
  • As soon as your sugar is dissolved remove the pan from the heat, you won’t want to cook any longer on the stovetop.
  • Chilling time is encouraged. See note above about tips for speeding up the process if necessary.
  • M&M’s chocolate holiday mini baking bits are preferred for this recipe, but if you have to use regular M&M’s it won’t be the end of the world.
    • See notes above about one vs. the other in this recipe
    • If larger M&M’s are being used, I recommend making larger cookies than the instructed 1” for more cookie dough/candy ratio.
  • I recommend using a cookie scoop for uniform cookies, this is my favorite one that you can find on Amazon.
  • Most of the sugar from the initial coat before going into the oven will have disappeared after baking, I like to sprinkle an additional dusting of sugar immediately after cookies are taken from the oven before transferring to cooling rack.
  • Store cooled cookies in an airtight container for 2-3 days or in the freezer for up to 2 weeks

For more holiday cookie recipes check out these favorites:

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Close up image of chocolate crackletop cookies on a silver platter

Holiday Chocolate Crackletop Cookies

Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: chocolate cookies, Chocolate Crackletop Cookies, holiday cookies, M&M cookies
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Chill: 1 hour
Total Time: 20 minutes
Servings: 24
Calories: 287 kcal
Author: Yvonne

Rich & fudgy flavor, sugary & perfectly crunchy exterior and slightly chewy center! Filled with festive mini holiday M&M’s, these crackletops definitely deserve a place on your treat table!

Print

Ingredients

  • 2 c. all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 2 c. granulated sugar
  • 1/2 c. butter
  • 4 oz. unsweetened baking chocolate chopped
  • 4 eggs lightly beaten
  • 2 tsp. vanilla
  • 1 3/4 c. M&M's chocolate holiday mini baking bits
  • Additional granulated sugar

Instructions

  1. In a large bowl combine flour and baking powder; set aside.

  2. In 2-quart saucepan over medium heat melt together the butter and chocolate. Add sugar & stir until dissolved. Remove from heat.

  3. Gradually stir in eggs and vanilla. 

  4. Stir in flour mixture until well blended.

  5. Chill mixture 1 hour. Stir in M&M's chocolate holiday mini baking bits; return to refrigerator an additional hour. 

  6. Preheat oven to 350 F. Line cookie sheets with foil. Roll dough into 1-inch balls

  7. Roll balls in additional granulated sugar. 

  8. Place about 2 inches apart onto prepared cooking sheets. 

  9. Bake 10-12 minutes. Do not over bake. 

  10. Remove from oven. At this point, you can dust cookies with one last addition of granulated sugar if desired. Cool completely on wire racks. 

  11. Enjoy! Store in lightly covered container.

Recipe Notes

Important Tips for making Holiday Chocolate Crackletops

  • When starting out you’ll want to use a bowl about triple the size of what will hold your flour. You’ll be adding all of your ingredients in the end to this bowl. Start big enough to avoid having to swap halfway through the process (and creating unnecessary dishes)
  • It’s important to melt your butter and chocolate BEFORE adding the sugar. This will be the smoothest & easiest route rather than trying to melt and dissolve everything altogether.
  • As soon as your sugar is dissolved remove the pan from the heat, you won’t want to cook any longer on the stovetop.
  • Chilling time is encouraged. See note above about tips for speeding up the process if necessary.
  • M&M's chocolate holiday mini baking bits are preferred for this recipe, but if you have to use regular M&M’s it won’t be the end of the world.
    • See notes above about one vs. the other in this recipe
    • If larger M&M’s are being used, I recommend making larger cookies than the instructed 1” for more cookie dough/candy ratio.
  • I recommend using a cookie scoop for uniform cookies, this is my favorite one that you can find on Amazon.
  • Most of the sugar from the initial coat before going into the oven will have disappeared after baking, I like to sprinkle and additional dusting of sugar immediately after cookies are taken from the oven before transferring to cooling rack.
  • Store cooled cookies in an airtight container for 2-3 days or in the freezer for up to 2 weeks

Adapted from The Cookie Bible

Nutrition Facts
Holiday Chocolate Crackletop Cookies
Amount Per Serving
Calories 287 Calories from Fat 81
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 9g 14%
Saturated Fat 5g 25%
Cholesterol 40mg 13%
Sodium 66mg 3%
Potassium 74mg 2%
Total Carbohydrates 47g 16%
Dietary Fiber 1g 4%
Sugars 30g
Protein 3g 6%
Vitamin A 4%
Vitamin C 0.1%
Calcium 4.7%
Iron 7.5%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Update notes: This recipe was originally posted in 2013 but was published again in 2018 to include step by step photos & directions, nutritional information & expert tips.
Holiday Chocolate Crackletops // Rich & fudgy flavor, sugary & perfectly crunchy exterior and slightly chewy center! Filled with festive mini holiday M&M’s, these crackletops definitely deserve a place on your treat table! | Tried and Tasty #holidaycookies #chocolatecookies #M&Mcookies
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