Our festive Everything-but-the-kitchen-Sink Christmas Cookies are a delightful medley of flavors and textures, embodying the joy and whimsy of the holiday season. Combining classic chocolate chip cookies with a festive twist of holiday M&M’s, and the unexpected crunch of potato chips with pretzels, these cookies are a sweet and salty wonder, perfect for holiday parties, cookie exchanges, or a cozy night by the fire.

I love getting creative in the kitchen, especially during the holidays. These cookie are inspired by the festive chaos and excitement of the season. They’re a playful twist on a classic, combining favorite holiday treats into one mouthwatering cookie. It’s a recipe that invites you to embrace the spirit of Christmas in every bite.

Kitchen sink Christmas cookies on a festive platter

The Chemistry of Cookies

The all-purpose flour provides structure, while the combination of unsalted butter and shortening creates a tender and flavorful base. Brown sugar adds moisture and depth of flavor, and the granulated sugar contributes to the crisp edges. The real stars are the mix-ins: holiday M&M’s add a chocolaty sweetness, while the crushed potato chips and pretzels introduce a delightful salty crunch, creating a complex flavor profile that is both surprising and satisfying.

Why rest the cookie dough in the refrigerator?

Resting the dough allows the flavors to meld and the flour to hydrate, resulting in a more cohesive and flavorful cookie. It also prevents the cookies from spreading too much during.baking because the butter has time to solidify in the cold.

Kitchen sink Christmas cookies on a festive platter

Can these cookies be frozen for later?

Absolutely! You can freeze the dough balls for up to 3 months. Bake from frozen, adding a minute or two to the baking time if necessary.

How do you balance the sweet and salty flavor?

The key is in the proportions of the mix-ins. The holiday M&M’s provide sweetness, while the potato chips and pretzels offer a salty counterpoint. Getting the balance right ensures a harmonious blend of flavors.

Why use both butter and shortening in the recipe?

Butter provides rich flavor, while shortening helps the cookies maintain their shape and offers a softer texture. This combination results in a cookie that is both flavorful and has the perfect texture.

What is in Kitchen Sink Christmas Cookies?

All-purpose Flour

Builds structure as it absorbs liquids and expands. All-purpose flour falls in the middle of bread flour (high in gluten) and cake flour (low in gluten). It’s exactly what it is named, all-purpose, the most universal flour that can be used in most baked goods.

Baking Soda

Elevates the pH level of your batter or dough. It increases the spread in your treat and encourages browning, which gives the crispy outside and soft inside texture that everyone loves. Baking soda needs both an acid and a liquid to react. Things that will activate your baking soda are: vinegar, fruit juice, molasses, brown sugar, tartar, buttermilk and sour cream. Baking soda only reacts once, which is right when it’s mixed into your batter or dough. The soda creates little air bubbles all throughout your treat. When the air bubbles get heated up in the oven, they expand.

Fine Sea Salt

Enhances flavor, adds balance, masks any bitter flavors. Salt is the most powerful and oldest preservative. Always make sure to use fine sea salt so it melts down at the right speed in the heat of the oven. If you use larger granule salt, it will not melt down fully when baked and will leave salt crystals throughout your treat, making it crunch like you dropped it into sand.

Unsalted Butter

It is always important to use unsalted butter when baking. If you use salted butter, you have no way of knowing how much salt you are adding to your dough or batter and it will result in an overly salted treat.

Butter adds fats to your dough or batter which helps with moistness, flavor and texture. Butter melts at body temperature, which creates a ‘melt in your mouth’ sensation.

When baking with butter the temperature is important. If the butter is too warm your treat will melt down too fast and overspread in the oven, leaving you with a greasy, flat mess. If your butter is too cold it will have the opposite problem and not melt down enough, leaving your treat too thick.

Shortening

Being 100% fat, it provides a flakier texture and prevents spreading because it does not melt down in the oven.

Brown Sugar

Is granulated sugar with a little molasses mixed in. Molasses is a somewhat smoky flavored natural sweetener, which makes brown sugar a bit sweeter than granulated sugar. Brown sugar draws more moisture into your treat, keeping it softer for longer. It’s also more acidic, which means it will help activate your baking soda.

Granulated Sugar

Adds sweetness, provides a caramelized flavor and crisp texture. Sugar assists with rising when creamed with butter. It helps add moisture to your treat and helps it evenly spread as it melts into a liquid in the heat of the oven. Sugar also helps with naturally preserving your baked treat.

Eggs

Adds both a protein (egg whites) and fat (egg yolks). The egg whites help with rising because, when foamed, little air pockets get trapped inside the egg white mixture. The water content in egg whites encourages steam while baking, which helps with gluten formation, resulting in nice and thick treats. Egg yolks have emulsifying properties that bring batters and doughs together and help them from collapsing. Unless otherwise specified, always use large eggs.

Vanilla Extract

When using pure vanilla extract, as opposed to imitation flavoring, it will add the deep rich flavor that everybody wants in a treat.

Holiday M&M’s

Adds a festive chocolaty sweetness.

Crushed Potato Chips

Introduces a unique salty crunch

Crushed Pretzels

Introduces a unique salty crunch

Kitchen sink Christmas cookies on a festive platter

How to store Kitchen Sink Christmas Cookies

Store the baked cookies in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 1 week. You can freeze the unbaked dough balls or the baked cookies for up to 3 months.

Can you make these ahead?

The cookie dough can be made in advance and refrigerated for up to 3 days before baking. This also enhances the flavor and texture of the cookies.

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Kitchen Sink Christmas Cookies

Author: Madison Reid
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 8 minutes
Resting Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 24 cookies
Chocolate chip cookies but with holiday M&M's crushed potato chips & pretzels! A sweet & salty treat.

Ingredients 

  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp fine sea salt
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup shortening
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup holiday M&M's
  • 1 cup crushed potato chips
  • 1 cup crushed pretzels

Instructions

  • In a standing mixer, mix your butter, shortening & sugars
  • Once combined, whip the sugar mixture on high for 1-2 minutes until lighter in color and texture
  • Stir in eggs & vanilla. Be sure to not over mix.
  • Pour in flour, soda & salt
  • Mix until the dough comes together & then stop
  • Fold in M&M's, crushed potato chips & pretzels
  • Cover bowl & place in the refrigerator for 30 minutes to rest (you can skip this step, but it really elevates your cookies, so I don't recommend it)
  • Preheat your oven to 375 degrees
  • Scoop cookie dough with a cookie scoop onto a light metal cookie sheet lined with parchment paper
  • Bake for 8 minutes
  • Remove cookies and allow to cool for 5-10 minutes
  • Transfer cookies off of the cookie sheet and enjoy

Nutrition

Calories: 247kcal Carbohydrates: 32g Protein: 2g Fat: 13g Saturated Fat: 6g Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g Monounsaturated Fat: 3g Trans Fat: 1g Cholesterol: 24mg Sodium: 103mg Potassium: 73mg Fiber: 0.4g Sugar: 21g Vitamin A: 138IU Calcium: 23mg Iron: 1mg

Have you tried this recipe?

I’d love to see it! Follow @_mrs.madi_ on Instagram and tag your photos with #mrsmadi.