If you love the classic M&M chocolate chip cookies, then these M&M Cookie Bars will be right up your alley. Chewy on the inside and baked to a perfect golden crisp on the outside, these M&M bars are perfection with a class of milk!
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Do you love cookies, but not all the time it takes to scoop the batter and bake a batch at a time in the oven? Instead of cookies, these cookie bars are the answer to your prayers.
Just like your traditional chocolate chip cookie dough, this batter is mixed and baked into a 9 x 13″ pan. Cut into squares, these cookie bars save you the time of having to bake multiple pans of cookies into one simple batch.
What do I need to make M&M bars?
Here’s a quick reference checklist of the ingredients you’ll need to make these cookie bars:
- Butter – you can use either salted or unsalted butter. As you can see from the ingredients above, I tend to use salted butter.
- Granulated sugar
- Brown sugar – for this specific recipe, go with light (golden) brown sugar instead of dark brown sugar.
- Eggs – for a chewy, tender cookie bar, it’s ideal for the eggs to be at room temperature.
- Vanilla extract – a must for great cookie flavor.
- All purpose flour – you can certainly substitute gluten-free flour, like King Arthur.
- Baking Soda – a necessary leavening for cookies and cookie bars.
- Salt – ideal for adding flavor in balancing the sweetness of the bars.
- Plain Milk Chocolate M&M candies – you can definitely use Christmas, Easter, Red White & Blue or Valentine’s Day M&M’s to suit your occasion.
- Semi-sweet chocolate chips
- White chocolate chips
For exact ingredient amounts and full recipe instructions be sure to scroll down to the bottom of the post for the recipe. Thanks!
How do I make M&M cookie bars?
The cookie dough for these bars is very similar to making traditional chocolate chip cookies. The thickness and consistency is nearly identical to traditional cookie dough, but for this recipe, no need to chill or roll out cookies.
To make the dough, you’ll start by creaming together the butter and sugars. Feel free to use a hand or stand mixer. Then, add in the eggs and vanilla to the batter and mix.
Note: for best results, make sure you start with room temperature butter and eggs. This will help achieve a smooth, creamy consistency for your cookie dough, and will also help with baking a chewy cookie.
Mix the dry ingredients in a separate bowl, then gradually add the dry to the wet ingredients. The batter will be thick.
Using a wooden spoon or rubber scraper, fold in the M&M’s, chocolate chips and white chocolate chips to the batter.
Love M&M’s? Check out my recipe for my Peanut Butter Oatmeal Balls which includes Mini M&M’s!
What pan is best for making cookie bars?
For this recipe you’ll need a 9 x 13″ cake or bar pan. I really love this OXO Good Grips 9 x 13″ Non Stick Pan, which is fantastic for bars, brownies and cakes. I also use this pan for my Lunch Lady Brownies and Buttermilk Chocolate Cake.
Lightly spray the pan with non-stick baking spray. Spread the prepared cookie dough evenly into the bottom of the pan.
Bake the M&M bars until golden brown and lightly crisp around the edges.
Other cookie bar mix-in combinations:
- Chocolate chips and walnuts (1 1/2 cups semi sweet chocolate chips and 1 cup roughly chopped walnuts)
- Chocolate and peanut butter chips (both 1 1/2 cups each – feel free to use milk, semi-sweet or dark chocolate chips)
- Chocolate chips, caramel bits and pecans 1 1/2 cups chocolate chips, and 3/4 cup each of pecans and caramel bits)
Frequently asked questions about making M&M bars:
When making cookie bars, be sure to not overbake. If baked too long, the cookie bars will quickly dry-out and become hard after baking. For best results, bake at 350 degrees for 35 degrees and until just golden brown and set in the middle.
When making M&M cookie bars, bake at 350 degrees for approximately 35 minutes, until golden brown and just set in the middle.
Yes, Christmas M&M’s are interchangeable and are a great substitution when making M&M bars. You’ll need about 1 1/2 cups of milk chocolate M&M’s to make cookie bars. You can also use Valentine’s Day, Red White and Blue, Halloween or any other holiday plain M&M’s to make this recipe.
No need to refrigerate cookie bars after baking. To keep your bars chewy and prevent them from drying out, store the bars in an airtight container at room temperature. The bars will keep in an airtight container for up to a week at room temperature.
Yes, M&M bars can be baked and frozen. Be sure to let the bars cool completely to room temperature after baking. Store the bars in a freezer bag or freezer container. You can wrap them individually and take out one by one, or store the entire batch in an airtight container. To defrost, remove from the freezer and let thaw at room temperature.
Love baking cookies? Here are some of our popular cookie recipes with chocolate chips:
- Reese’s Pieces Cookies
- The Best Monster Cookie Recipe
- Chocolate Chip Cake Mix Cookies
- Chocolate Chip Pudding Cookies
- Double Chocolate Mint Cookies
- White Chocolate Chip Cranberry Oatmeal Cookies
- Monster Cookie Dough Bites
- Double Chocolate Rolo Cookies
- White Chocolate and Raspberry Blondies
If you loved this cookie bar recipe, check out some of our other similar recipes:
- 1 cup of salted butter, room temperature (2 sticks)
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1 cup light brown sugar
- 3 eggs, large and at room temperature
- 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 3 cups all purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 1/2 cups M&M milk chocolate candies (plus more for topping after baking)
- 3/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips (plus more for topping after baking)
- 3/4 cup white chocolate chips (plus more for topping after baking)
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly spray a 9x13" pan with non-stick baking spray. Set aside.
- In a large mixing bowl using a hand or stand mixer, cream together the room temperature butter, granulated sugar and brown sugar. Add in the vanilla and eggs, mix together until smooth and fluffy.
- In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, and salt.
- Gradually add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients, stopping the mixer occasionally to scrape down the sides of the bowl with a rubber scraper. Once all the ingredients are combine, the dough will be thick and smooth.
- Using a rubber scraper or wooden spoon, fold in the M&M candies, chocolate chips and white chocolate chips to the batter. Mix until just combined.
- Spread the batter evenly into the bottom of the prepared 9 x 13" pan.
- Bake at 350 degrees for 35 minutes or until the bars are golden brown and just set in the middle. Be sure to not over-bake.
- Remove from oven and let cool to room temperature before cutting into squares.
Cutting the bars: this recipe will make 24 squares/bars. Cut the bars 4 x 6(long side). For smaller squares you could also cut 5 x 6 (long side). This will render 30 bars.
Storage: once the bars have cooled completely to room temperature, store in an airtight container at room temperature. The bars will keep for up to 7 days at room temperature. (No need to refrigerate.)
Freezing: these bars can be frozen. Store the cooled bars in a freezer bag or freezer container. You can wrap each bar individually or freeze the entire batch together. Frozen, the bars will keep for up to 3 months. Thaw the bars at room temperature.
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Nutrition Information:Yield: 24 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 316Total Fat: 15gSaturated Fat: 9gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 5gCholesterol: 47mgSodium: 182mgCarbohydrates: 44gFiber: 1gSugar: 30gProtein: 4g