Loaded with oats, peanut butter, and M&M’s, these chewy Monster Cookie Bars require only one bowl yet yield a BIG batch, making this the perfect easy recipe when you need a bunch of sweet treats for a party or celebration!
Mid-January each year is when I find myself feeling torn as a food blogger. Do I continue sharing healthy, wholesome recipes in line with everyone’s New Year’s resolutions? Or do I look ahead to Superbowl and Valentine’s Day and start sharing cheesy dips and yummy appetizers and chocolate-laden sweets? Well, as you can probably surmise by the above mouthwatering Monster Cookie Bars collage, the latter option won me over today. Forgive me, resolution-keepers? 😉
You’ve all heard of Monster Cookies, right? They’re known for being nice and chewy thanks to rolled oats, they have an unmistakable (and yummy) undertone of peanut butter, and this version is loaded with not one, not two, but THREE different confections: M&Ms, chocolate chips, and peanut butter chips! Seriously, this is a recipe that you definitely want in your arsenal. But why do I love it so? Let me count the ways.
First of all, the M&Ms in these bars make them fun to customize for various holidays. Add them in the colors of your favorite team for the upcoming Superbowl. Pick up a bag of Valentine M&Ms for red, pink, and white-studded treats. Use Reese’s Pieces in place of M&Ms for pretty fall colors, or buy seasonal M&Ms in color schemes from Halloween to Christmas to Easter to the 4th of July for festive, holiday-themed cookie munching all year long!
Next, this recipe is super quick and easy to whip up. The dough comes together really quickly — there’s not even any flour to measure out! — and in the process of making them, you only end up dirtying a few measuring cups/spoons and just one bowl.
Furthermore, these bars are baked in a large sheet pan that results in a ton of bars, meaning that this recipe is perfect when you need a large quantity of treats in one easy batch. Now to back up just a bit, I’m notorious for turning classic cookies into bar cookies…because when I need to bring a baked treat to an event, I’ve found that it’s way faster to spread batter in a pan and bake as opposed to hand-forming dozens of individual cookies. So I took my classic Monster Cookie recipe and did just that…baked the batter in a 9- by 13-inch baking pan. Unfortunately, my bars turned out pretty thick, which resulted in them being a bit too underdone in the center and a bit too overdone around the edges of the pan (not that we didn’t happily eat the rejects, mind you).
Anyway, I decided to scrap that approach, tweak my ingredient amounts, and try, try again, this time taking a hint from my favorite brownie recipe and making these bars in a large, rimmed half sheet pan for more even baking. And ding, ding, ding…it worked! The cookies were perfectly soft and chewy without being too gooey in the middle or too crunchy around the edges. In other words, Monster Cookie Bar perfection!
(Just be sure that you’re aware of any potential peanut allergies before sharing these treats at a party or celebration…it may not be obvious to everyone that they contain peanut butter.)
But my final (and probably most important) reason for loving these Monster Cookie Bars is that they are freaking delicious. The chewy texture, the variety of goodies within, and the peanut butter goodness make for one tasty treat.
So the next time you need a large, effortless batch of cookies for sharing, look no further than these Monster Cookie Bars! They’re colorful, they’re fun, they’re totally addictive…and I promise that your big ol’ cookie sheet will be empty in no time. 😉
Adapted from Food Network
I originally shared this recipe over at Yellow Bliss Road
More cookies and bars…