Grinch Cookies are a fun and festive twist on a classic chocolate chip cookie! Inspired by the popular Christmas movie, these soft and chewy cookies are colored Grinch-green and decorated with green and red M&Ms.
Christmas time is the best time for delicious holiday treats, and these Grinch cookies are always a hit! I love bringing these cookies to Christmas parties or to cookie exchanges. Some of my other favorite cookies to bring to cookie exchanges are cream cheese snickerdoodles, Italian Christmas cookies, or these easy no-bake cookies.
What Are Grinch Cookies?
These adorable cookies are inspired by the popular Dr. Suess book, “How the Grinch Stole Christmas.” Grinch cookies start with a classic chocolate chip cookie base that everyone will love. With the addition of green food coloring and festive green and red M&Ms, the cookie transforms into Whoville yumminess!
Kids and adults LOVE these cute and delicious cookies and it’s always the first cookie to be gone at the treat table. Everyone loves the bright colors and holiday vibe. Try more of my cute festive desserts like my cornflake wreaths, Christmas star bread, or these peppermint lollipops.
Ingredients For the Best Christmas Cookie
These easy Grinch cookies start with a classic chocolate chip cookie recipe. You will be very familiar with the ingredients and have most of them on hand. All you need to make these Christmas cookies are red and green M&Ms and green food coloring. Then you’re all set to have some fun!
- Unsalted Butter: Butter always makes the best cookies! It helps if the butter is slightly softened.
- Sugar: Just granulated sugar in this recipe.
- Eggs: Room-temperature eggs are always best for baking.
- Vanilla Extract: Yes, one full tablespoon. Trust me. It adds sweetness and flavor.
- Green Food Coloring: Green liquid food coloring or green gel food coloring works in these cookies. You decide how green you want them!
- Flour: I used all-purpose flour in this recipe.
- Cornstarch: Cornstarch is the secret to soft cookies. it acts as a preservative to preserve softness.
- Baking Powder: This helps give your cookies a little lift.
- Baking Soda: Helps with leavening.
- Salt: Salt enhances sweet flavors.
- Red and Green M&Ms: The best part of this cookie! You can easily find these at grocery stores during the Christmas season.
Grinch Cookie Recipe
Grab your kiddos and make this fun Grinch cookie recipe for the holidays. They are so fun to make but even more fun to eat! It’s a fun Christmas tradition at my house, and my kids look forward to it every year. Follow my easy instructions below for how to make Grinch cookies.
- Preheat Oven and Prepare Cookie Sheet: Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.
- Cream Butter and Sugar: Combine butter and sugar in a large bowl and use an electric mixer to beat until well-combined and light and fluffy (about 1 minute).
- Add Eggs: Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.
- Add Vanilla and Food Coloring: Stir in vanilla extract and food coloring, until well combined.
- Combine Dry Ingredients: In a separate bowl, whisk together flour, cornstarch, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
- Mix Dry Ingredients Into Butter Mixture: Set mixer to low speed and gradually stir dry ingredients into butter mixture. Add ingredients and stir until well incorporated.
- Fold in M&Ms: Fold in M&M candies keeping a few out to press on top of the cookies before baking.
- Form Balls: Drop cookie dough by heaping 1 ½ Tbsp-sized scoops onto prepared cookie sheets for perfectly round cookie roll dough in your hands into a smooth ball.
- Bake: Bake for 11-13 minutes. If desired, gently press additional M&Ms into the tops of each cookie for decoration while they are still warm.
- Cool and Enjoy: Allow cookies to cool completely on the cookie sheet before removing them.
Tips for Making Homemade Cookies
Here are a few simple ways to ensure your Grinch cookies turn out soft, chewy, and delicious every time! You will love making these with your kids and making this a tradition. They will also love eating them because they are SO GOOD!
- Underbake: I always take my cookies out of the oven when the centers are still slightly soft. They’ll cook for a few more minutes on the cooling hot cookie sheet. This trick helps prevent your cookies from getting overcooked.
- Keep the Oven Closed: I know it may be tempting to open the oven door and check on your cookies, but you let out all the hot air needed to cook them thoroughly. Use the oven light to check on them instead!
- Don’t Over Mix the Dry Ingredients: Avoid mixing your dough on a high speed. Too much beating can cause too much air in the dough. This results in the dough rising and then falling as it bakes. You should beat long enough so that the ingredients are blended until you no longer see white from the flour.
- Fold in Your M&M’s: Avoid mixing the M&Ms with an electric mixer to prevent the pieces from breaking apart.
- Chill the Dough: Most cookie recipes don’t require you to chill the dough, but if you have the time, chilling can help elevate your cookies. If your butter was too soft or melted when you made the dough, chilling is necessary. Chill for half an hour before forming, and baking. This allows the flavors to meld together and give the dough a bit of structure. If it’s hardened too much let it sit at room temp for 10 minutes before baking.
Storing Leftover Grinch Cookies
These Grinch cookies are so fun and delicious that you’ll want to enjoy them all through the holiday season! If you have some leftovers, here’s how to keep them tasting fresh and tasty for the rest of the week! You’re going to love having them around to take to parties.
- At Room Temperature: Place cooled cookies in an airtight container then store them at room temperature for up to 1 week.
- In the Freezer: Shape the cookie dough into balls as you would when preparing to bake them. Place them on a parchment-lined baking sheet and freeze for a few hours. Once frozen, place the dough balls into an airtight container and freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw dough balls until pliable and bake as directed on the recipe card.
- 1 cup unsalted butter softened
- 1 2/3 cup sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 6 drops bright green food coloring, more if you want it greener
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon corn starch
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 1/2 cup red and green M&Ms plus additional ½ cup for topping cookies, if desired
- Preheat oven to 350° Fahrenheit and line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.
- Combine butter and sugar in a large bowl and use an electric mixer to beat until well-combined and light and fluffy (about 1 minute).
- Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.
- Stir in vanilla extract and food coloring, until well-combined.
- In a separate bowl, whisk together flour, cornstarch, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
- Set mixer to low speed and gradually stir dry ingredients into butter mixture. Add ingredients and stir until well-incorporated.
- Fold in M&M candies keeping a few out to press on top of the cookies before baking.
- Drop cookie dough by heaping 1 ½ Tbsp-sized scoops onto prepared cookie sheets, for perfectly round cookies roll dough in your hands into a smooth ball.
- Bake for 11-13 minutes. If desired, gently press additional M&Ms into the tops of each cookie for decoration while they are still warm.
- Allow cookies to cool completely on cookie sheet before removing.
All nutritional information is based on third party calculations and is only an estimate. Each recipe and nutritional value will vary depending on the brands you use, measuring methods and portion sizes per household.
Hi there! Any tips for high altitude!? Thanks!
Hi! These were baked at high altitude so you should be good to follow the directions as written! Let me know how they turn out!
These are really fun! They puffed up really nicely. I think next time I would add something minty & place a red heart on top.
Cute! And so festive!
Has any one tried adding peppermint extract? Will adding that liquid change any thing?
These cookies are a lot of fun, my 20 year old requests them every year. This year I used mini holiday m&ms and I really liked that change. I did not get out my old copy of the recipe, followed this as updated, we’ve always liked the cookies in the past and they’re certainly delicious as updated as well. Very, very nice cookie. Thank you.
Definitely will become one of my go-to Christmas cookies. I made them today for the first time, and absolutely fell in love with them. I always depend on The Recipe Critic for great recipes, but this one knocked it out of the park. A secret to them, I think, is to do like it says: Cook 11 minutes, then let them cool completely before taking them off the sheet. These are really good cookies.
My cookies turned out tasting fine but very flat even though I chilled the dough. Not sure why??
Oh no! Try using cold butter next time that you make the dough. Or you can bake the cookies at a lower temperature for a bit longer.
I suggest using parchment paper. I really makes a difference.
We chopped up andy mints instead of M&Ms And Love it!
ha how much fun, love the green, thank you!
I was looking for a basic cookie recipe that I could switch up with pink food coloring and crushed peppermint as a stir in, and this recipe was what I picked. The dough (before adding the peppermint) is AMAZING!!!! I was floored at how good this is. The whole Tablespoon of vanilla was perfect. Great recipe!!!
Thank you!! These are our favorite cookies to make during the holidays!
Just made my first sheet. The cookies turned out very flat and the m&ms melted. Not anything like the pictures. I followed the directions exactly.
I’ve updated the recipe. Let me know if you try it and how they turn out now!