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Soft and chewy Kitchen sink Christmas cookies are loaded with marshmallows, M&Ms, pretzels, and chunks of chocolate for the ultimate Christmas cookie. I hear that they are Santa’s favorite!
The Christmas cookies are easy to make in under 30 minutes and great for holiday cookie trays, Christmas cookie exchanges, or for enjoying with a glass of milk while watching your favorite Christmas movies.
If you are a fan of Panera’s kitchen sink cookies you are going to love these delicious cookies. They are soft, thick, chewy, and full of rich flavor. Then the fun mix-ins bring the perfect combination of sweet and salty flavors. Every bite is absolutely heavenly.
Ingredients for Santa’s Kitchen Sink Cookies
This section includes ingredient notes and substitution options. Get all measurements, ingredients, and instructions in the printable recipe card at the end of this post.
- Butter— This recipe calls for unsalted butter but if you only have salted butter that can work too. Just cut the added salt to ¼ teaspoon. Also, be sure to take your butter out of the fridge at least an hour before to make sure that it is nice and soft.
- Sugar— A bit of granulated white sugar combines with light brown sugar for the perfect sweetness and texture.
- Eggs— You will need 2 large eggs, also at room temperature
- Vanilla extract— I always use 100% pure vanilla extract.
- Flour— Just your basic all-purpose flour.
- Vanilla instant pudding mix— Be sure to pick up a box of instant pudding mix, as cook and serve pudding mix will not work for this recipe.
- Salt— Balances flavors.
- Baking Soda and Baking Powder— The combination of baking soda and baking powder provides the perfect rise.
- Chocolate chunks— I like the texture of chocolate chunks in these cookies but you could substitute them with chocolate chips if you have them on hand.
- Marshmallows— Mini marshmallows are the perfect size for these cookies. Do not use full size marshmallows, they would be too large.
- M&Ms— I used red and green M&Ms to give the cookies a Christmas vibe but any color works. You could try them with mini M&Ms for a fun twist as well.
- Pretzels— Pretzel twists, lightly crushed. Please don’t mash them into tiny crumbs.
- Electric mixer
- Mixing bowls
- Wire whisk
- Measuring cups and spoons
- Cookie sheet
- Parchment paper
- Cookie scoop
How to make Kitchen Sink Christmas Cookies
This section shows you how to make the recipe with step-by-step photos and instructions. For the full printable recipe, see the recipe card below.
Step 1: Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line 2 cookie sheets with parchment paper and set aside.
Step 2: In a large mixing bowl, use an electric mixer to combine the butter, sugar, and brown sugar.
Step 3: Beat in the eggs, vanilla extract, and pudding mix.
Step 4: In a separate bowl, whisk to combine the flour, baking soda, and salt. Slowly add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients, mixing on low until just combined.
Step 5: Stir in the chocolate chunks, marshmallows, m&ms, and pretzels.
Step 6: Scoop dough (or use a cookie scoop) and roll it into 1 1/2 to 2-inch balls. Place on the prepared baking sheets about 2 inches apart, making sure that no marshmallows are sticking out the bottom or sides of the cookies. Press down to flatten the balls slightly.
If desired, top the cookies with some additional pretzels pieces, marshmallows, M&Ms, and chocolate chunks.
Step 7: Bake the cookies for about 10-12 minutes, or until they’re set at the edges and lightly browned on top. Don’t overbake.
Step 8: Cool on the baking sheet for about 10 minutes. Then, transfer to a cooling rack to cool fully.
Note: If after 10 minutes cookies are still too soft to transfer to cooling rack you can leave them to cool fully on the baking sheets.
Enjoy and don’t forget to save a few to leave out for Santa on Christmas eve!
These amazing cookies do not need to be refrigerated. Store them at room temperature in an airtight container for up to 5 days. Place a sheet of wax paper or parchment paper between each layer of cookies to prevent the soft and chewy cookies from sticking together.
Freeze baked cookies in a freezer bag or airtight container for up to 2 months. Thaw before serving.
Additions and variations
- Swap the flavor. Use French vanilla or butterscotch pudding mix instead of vanilla.
- Use chips. The chocolate chunks in the recipe can be replaced with the same amount of semi-sweet chocolate chips, milk chocolate chips, or white chocolate chips.
- Add mix-ins. Nuts, butterscotch chips, peanut butter chips, crushed potato chips, toffee bits, or sprinkles would all be great additions. Just watch your ratio of cookie dough to mix-ins so you don’t overpack the cookies.
Expert tips & tricks
- Use a cookie scoop. To make your cookies all uniform in size use a cookie scoop to portion the dough.
- Keep marshmallows in check. Check the bottom and sides of the dough ball to make sure that no marshmallows are exposed. This will prevent them from coming into contact with the hot baking sheet and melting. (Marshmallows on the top of the cookies are okay though!)
- Do not overbake. The key to perfectly soft and chewy cookies is to remove them from the oven when the tops are lightly golden. It is okay if they look a bit underbaked in the center, they will continue to bake on the hot pan after coming out of the oven.
- Make ahead. You can prep your dough up to 24 hours in advance, cover it with plastic wrap, and refrigerate it until ready to bake.
Christmas Kitchen Sink Cookie Recipe FAQ
Yes, this dough freezes beautifully. Roll the dough into balls, freeze on a sheet pan for about 30 minutes, then transfer to a freezer bag for up to 3 months.
No. You are only using only the dry pudding mix.
No. You need to use instant pudding mix for this recipe.
You know the term “everything but the kitchen sink?” These cookies are loaded with all kinds of mix-ins, hence the name. I have also heard them referred to as Christmas trash cookies.
More Christmas Cookie Recipe Ideas
- Frosted Christmas cookies
- Classic cut-out sugar cookies
- Bakery style snickerdoodles
- Chocolate cherry thumbprint cookies
Kitchen Sink Christmas Cookies
- 1 cup unsalted butter room temperature
- ¾ cup light brown sugar packed
- ¼ cup granulated sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 box 3.4 ounces vanilla instant pudding mix
- 2 ½ cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ⅓ cup semisweet chocolate chunks
- ⅓ cup red and green m&ms
- ⅓ cup crushed pretzels
- ¼ cup mini marshmallows
- optional: extra chocolate chunks marshmallows, M&Ms, and pretzel pieces for topping
- Preheat your oven to 350°F. Line cookie sheets with parchment paper and set aside.
- In a large bowl, use an electric mixer to beat together the butter, sugar, and brown sugar until well combined.
- Mix in the eggs, vanilla extract, and pudding mix.
- In a medium bowl, whisk to combine the flour, baking soda, and salt. Slowly add the dry ingredients to the dough, mixing on low until just combined.
- Stir in the chocolate chunks, marshmallows, m&ms, and pretzels.
- Scoop or roll about 2 ½-3 tablespoons worth of dough into balls and place on the prepared baking sheets about 2 inches apart. Press down to flatten the balls just slightly. If desired, press additional pretzels pieces, marshmallows, M&Ms, and chocolate chunks into the tops of the cookies.
- Bake the cookies for 10-12 minutes, or until they’re set at the edges and lightly browned on top.
- Allow cookies to cool on the baking sheet for 10 minutes before transferring to a cooling rack to cool completely.