Monster Cookie Bars

I’ve been on a pretty big pumpkin and apple kick lately, so I was surprised to find myself craving something peanut buttery the other day. Fortunately, these monster bars did the trick, and they gave me an excuse to finally use up the open bag of M&Ms that was sitting around taking up space in my pantry.

These bars are really easy to make, and because they’re so colorful and fun-looking, they’re a great thing to bring to parties or potlucks. They also freeze pretty well, so if you’re not like me and can’t finish an entire pan in a few days’ time, storing them that way is also an option.


Monster Cookie Bars

Recipe from The Baker Mama


1 and 1/2 cups AP flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
1 and 1/2 cups peanut butter
1 cup light brown sugar
1 cup granulated sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 eggs
1 cup rolled oats (the old-fashioned kind, not the quick kind)
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1 cup M&Ms


  1. Preheat your oven to 350. Grease a 13×9 baking pan and set aside.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, and salt.
  3. In a separate bowl, beat the butter and peanut butter until smooth.
  4. Add the sugars and beat until well-blended.
  5. Add the vanilla and eggs and mix until light and fluffy.
  6. Gradually incorporate the flour mixture into the wet mixture until just combined.
  7. Mix in the oats until well-combined.
  8. Stir in the chocolate chips and M&Ms.
  9. Press the dough into your prepared pan and bake for 30 minutes, or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean. Let the bars cool in the pan for an hour or so before slicing and serving.

When stored in an airtight container, these bars should keep for a good 4-5 days. Or, as mentioned above, you can easily freeze your leftovers.

M&M Sugar Cookies

Do you like M&Ms? I do. In fact, I think they’re wonderful. And while I’m definitely happy to eat them on their own, there’s just something about the presence of M&Ms in baked goods that makes me feel like a kid again.

It had been awhile since I’d made cookies, so I decided to try this recipe for M&M cookies. The process was fairly quick and easy, and the cookies came out tasting really yummy in the end. My only gripe is that they didn’t wind up as soft and chewy as I would’ve liked—but I blame myself for that, not the recipe.

If you’re looking for a fun cookie recipe to try, give this one a shot. Even if your cookies end up a little more on the crispy side like mine did, you’ll probably still get plenty of takers when you offer them up. I even caved and let the baby have a bite of one. Not shockingly, he loved it.


M&M Sugar Cookies
Recipe from Tracey’s Culinary Adventures

2 and 1/4 cups AP flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 and 1/2 cups sugar, plus 1/3 cup for rolling
2 oz cream cheese, cut into 8 pieces
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and still warm
1/3 cup vegetable (or canola) oil
1 large egg, at room temperature
1 tablespoon milk
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 and 1/4 cup M&Ms

1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Line 2 or 3 baking sheets with parchment paper (see note below).
2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
3. Combine 1 1/2 cups of sugar and cream cheese in a large bowl (no need to stir them together yet).
4. Put the remaining 1/3 cup sugar in a pie plate and set aside.
5. Pour the warm butter over the cream cheese mixture and whisk to combine. The mixture won’t be completely smooth yet, and that’s okay.
6. Whisk in the oil, and then whisk in the egg, milk, and vanilla extract. Mix until smooth.
7. Use a rubber spatula to start folding the dry ingredients into the wet. When the dry ingredients are partially incorporated, add 3/4 cup of the M&Ms to the dough. Continue mixing until a soft dough comes together. (Don’t wait to add the M&Ms until the dry ingredients are completely incorporated, or you’ll end up over-mixing.)
8. Portion the dough onto the prepared baking sheets with a cookie scoop. Working quickly (if you handle the dough too much, you’re more likely to wind up with flat cookies—which is what happened to me), roll the dough into a ball with your hands, and then roll in the sugar set aside in the pie plate. Repeat until you’ve used all of the dough, placing 12 cookies on each baking sheet. Use the bottom of a glass to flatten the dough balls into discs that are about 2 inches in diameter (or don’t, and see if this helps your cookies come out softer and fluffier). Gently press 2 or 3 more M&M’s into the top of each cookie.
9. Bake the cookies for 11-13 minutes, or until the edges are set. The tops will be puffy and slightly cracked.
10. Transfer the baking sheet to a wire rack and let the cookies cool on the sheet for 5 minutes; then transfer them to the rack to cool completely.

Note: The original recipe says it’ll yield about 24 cookies, but I easily got 36 decent-sized cookies out of this batch.