Orange Chocolate Brownie Cookies with M&Ms

Today is going to be a great day! Why? Because I get to see the sneak preview of Avatar followed by Inglourious Basterds, both of which I’ve been looking forward to for a long, long time. I’m especially excited for Basterds. The cast is incredible and I can’t wait to see Brad Pitt killing some Nazis. If you’ve seen it, let me know what you thought!

The combination of orange and chocolate has always been a favorite of mine. When I was in high school, I used to work at a smoothie bar and I’d always make myself an orange chocolate smoothie, which was delicious and tasted just like those chocolate oranges that you can get. These cookies are very similar to those beloved chocolate oranges, and in turn, those orange chocolate smoothies. Orange and chocolate belong together, I promise you. If you’re skeptical, give it a try! You’ll be pleasantly surprised. These cookies have a brownie-like texture and the orange takes them to a whole new level. I thought they needed something crunchy, though, so I added in some dark chocolate M&Ms, which worked nicely and added some much needed color. I gave these away to a few different people and they all really liked them, so I’ll be adding this recipe to my “make again” pile. You should, too!

Orange Chocolate Brownie Cookies with M&Ms
Gather up your ingredients.

Orange Chocolate Brownie Cookies with M&Ms
Combine the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt in a medium bowl and set aside.

Orange Chocolate Brownie Cookies with M&MsOrange Chocolate Brownie Cookies with M&Ms
Melt your butter in a microwave safe bowl.

Orange Chocolate Brownie Cookies with M&Ms
Place your sugar and orange zest in a large bowl.

Orange Chocolate Brownie Cookies with M&Ms
With clean hands, rub the sugar and zest together until the sugar is a light orange color. This gets more of the flavors and oils out of the zest and into the cookies.

Orange Chocolate Brownie Cookies with M&Ms
Add the brown sugar and melted butter in with the orange sugar and beat until just combined.

Orange Chocolate Brownie Cookies with M&Ms
Beat in the eggs one at a time, then the vanilla.

Orange Chocolate Brownie Cookies with M&Ms
Gradually beat in the flour until it’s just combined and moistened (you can finish it out of the mixer, but don’t beat it too much with the mixer or you’ll have dry, crumbly cookies).

Orange Chocolate Brownie Cookies with M&Ms
Gently fold in the M&Ms.

Orange Chocolate Brownie Cookies with M&Ms
Roll the dough into balls and place on a greased and/or lined baking sheet. Bake at 350 degrees F for 9-11 minutes, or until set.

Orange Chocolate Brownie Cookies with M&Ms
Allow to cool on the cookie sheet before removing.

Orange Chocolate Brownie Cookies with M&Ms
These are sure to be a hit with any crowd, as they’re different than most other cookies you’ll find. Enjoy!

Orange Chocolate Brownie Cookies with M&Ms

Orange Chocolate Brownie Cookies with M&Ms
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 30-35 cookies
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¾ cup butter, melted and cooled slightly
  • 1 cup sugar
  • ⅔ cup brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon orange zest (the zest of 1 good sized orange)
  • 1 cup dark or milk chocolate M&Ms (I used dark chocolate)
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper or foil if you like, then spray with Pam.
  2. In a medium mixing bowl, sift together flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt and set aside.
  3. In a large mixing bowl, stir together melted butter and sugars. Mix in the eggs, stirring them in one at a time, then add the vanilla and orange zest.
  4. Gradually stir in the flour mixture, mixing until no streaks of flour remain, but don't overmix (especially if you're using a mixer). Fold in the M&Ms.
  5. Roll the dough into balls, place onto the prepared baking sheet, and press down on them a bit with the palm of your hand (dough balls were a bit larger than 1 inch in diameter). Leave about 2 to 3-inches between cookies to allow for spread.
  6. Bake for 9-11 minutes, until cookies are set at the edges and tops are slightly cracked looking. Cool on baking sheet for 5-10 minutes, until firm enough to transfer to a cooling rack. Cool completely before storing in an airtight container.
Adapted From


9 Responses

  1. Laura says:

    Ooh, these look yummy!! Did you sprinkle them with confectioner’s sugar? Very pretty.

  2. Liz says:

    I love these cookies to bits! I make them regularly with and without the orange zest. My new favorite alteration is:
    – no orange zest
    – 1/2 tsp vanilla, 1/2 tsp almond extract, 1/4 tsp coffee extract
    – 1/4 tsp extra hot chili powder
    – 2 tsp ground cinnamon
    – swap M&Ms for a 125g extra dark chocolate bar cut into chunks
    I call them my Mexican hot cocoa cookies, and this fudge cookie base is perfect. :)

  3. Reese says:

    THESE ARE AMAZING! I used dark cocoa powder, so they didn’t “crack” as much as yours. I was a little worried they wouldn’t bake all the way through. SO DELICIOUS! <3

  4. Reese says:

    I ended up baking my cookies 17 min cause of the dark cocoa powder and a little extra orange zest

  5. Shaina says:

    I made these to bring to my family’s Christmas celebration today. They look and smell delicious! I especially appreciated the tip to rub the zest in with the sugar to bring out the oils – I’d never done that before and the difference in final aroma is amazing!

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