There are many things I love about Norway. The natural landscape, for example, is breathtaking! On a clear day, we have a gorgeous view overlooking a fjord, and with just a 15 minute walk we’re within view of Norway’s third largest glacier. The candy selection, however, is not so impressive. Most of it is just chocolate bars (plain or with nuts) or marzipan. There are some gummy sorts of treats, but my experience has been that the vast majority are very tough and hard to chew. On weekends, my husband and I like to have movie nights and treat ourselves to some sort of sweet for the occasion. Standing in the candy isle for what seemed like the billionth time, my husband was yet again chiding me over how picky I was being. “Aren’t there any candies you could eat? There must be something you’d like here,” he was saying for the umpteenth time. My appeal to just get a soda and call it good for my part wasn’t working. You see, I’m pretty particular when it comes to candy. I like chocolate and mint, Kit-Kat bars, M&Ms… any one of a number of things we don’t seem to have here. And that’s when I saw it: a bag called “Nonstops” with a picture of what looked almost exactly like M&Ms on the front. We bought it, took it home, and I tentatively tried one hoping there would be no marzipan “surprise” in the center (sorry, I’m just not a fan of marzipan). To my surprise, I had finally discovered a Norwegian candy I liked, the M&Ms of Norway no less, and couldn’t help but make some delicious cookies to celebrate.
Spring M&M Cookies
Yields approximately 20 cookies
1 cup vegetable shortening
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 tsp. baking soda
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 cup M&Ms
Start by preheating your oven to 350* Fahrenheit (175* Celsius). In a large bowl, cream the vegetable shortening. Add the egg, granulated sugar, brown sugar, baking soda, and vanilla extract. Mix until all ingredients are well incorporated and a sticky batter forms. Add the flour in 1 cup increments, mixing between each new addition, until the dough is no longer sticky and can be easily handled. If after 2 cups of flour the dough is still sticky, continue adding flour in 1/4 cup increments until the proper consistency is reached. Since M&Ms are fragile enough that an electric mixer can break them up, I kneaded my M&Ms in by hand.
Once the M&Ms have been added, roll one inch balls of dough (about 6 to a baking sheet) and bake for 10-12 minutes, until the tops are no longer shiny. Remove from the oven and let cool on the baking sheet for 2-3 minutes before removing to a cooling rack.