Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat, and set aside.
In bowl of stand mixer, or large bowl using hand mixer, beat together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy 2-3 minutes. Turn mixer to low speed, and add the eggs one at a time. Add the almond extract. Scrape down bowl as needed.
Keeping mixer on low, add in the cocoa powder until well blended. Add the flour, salt, and baking powder, mixing just until incorporated.
Stir in the chocolate chips, and 1/2 Cup of the M&M's.
Divide dough into 12 equal pieces. Roll each piece into a ball, place on prepared baking sheet, and flatten slightly with your hand. Repeat with remaining dough, and top with the extra 1/2 Cup of M&M's as desired.
Bake in preheated oven for 13-16 minutes. Allow to cool for 10 minutes on baking sheet before moving to a wire rack to cool completely.
Makes 12 large cookies.