M&M Cookie Bars

It’s 7pm on a Wednesday evening, a school night. I’ve just come home from field hockey practice and eaten a pizza dinner with my brother. I have a decision to make: study for my first chemistry quiz of the year and grab a bucket of cookies from Stop & Shop for my team dinner tomorrow risking huge disappointment, or put off homework and whip up a batch of homemade cookies for my beloved teammates. Of course I chose the latter. By now it’s 7:20pm, and my goal is to be done baking by 8:00pm, so I decide to go for the simplest crowdpleaser I have in my bag of tricks–cookie bars.

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Excited to finally get to pull out my mixer after several weeks of disuse, I fling open the closet and… Wait, where is my giant bag of chocolate chips? I can’t believe I’ve run out of chocolate chips. Thus began the process of scouring my house for candy to substitute for chocolate chips. I ended up with a big handful of Hershey’s milk chocolate kisses, half a cup of mini chocolate chips, a quarter cup of M&M’s, and a quarter cup of mini M&M’s. Victory.

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These M&M cookie bars are the softest, most chewy cookies I’ve made. I wasn’t quite sure the bars were done when I took the pan out the oven, as it seemed to be jiggling under the golden brown top. But I figured that once it cooled, I’d have a cookie dough-esque center at worst.

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This recipe is extremely convenient and quick to make because rather than scooping out dozens of balls of dough, I just throw all the dough into a 9×13 glass pan and let it bake. Cutting the giant rectangular cookie into perfect little squares is also an enjoyable pastime for me.

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Recipe (modified from Nestle – makes 4 dozen bars)

  • 2 1/4 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup dark brown sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2 eggs
  • 10 Hershey’s kisses, coarsely chopped
  • 1/2 cup mini chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup M&Ms
  1. In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, and salt.
  2. In a stand mixer, beat the butter, granulated sugar, brown sugar, and vanilla until creamy. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.
  3. Preheat the oven to 375°F and line a 9×13 glass pan with aluminum foil, letting the sides hang over the edges of the pan.
  4. Gradually mix in the flour mixture. Do not overmix. Stir in the chopped Hershey’s kisses, mini chocolate chips, and 1/4 cup of the M&Ms.
  5. Pour the dough into the pan and spread evenly. Sprinkle the remaining 1/4 cup of M&Ms on top and press them in gently.
  6. Bake for 20-25 minutes until the top is golden brown, but the inside is still slightly jiggly.
  7. Cool completely on a wire rack and cut into 48 bars.
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