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.
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.
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.
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.
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
- In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, and salt.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Bake for 20-25 minutes until the top is golden brown, but the inside is still slightly jiggly.
- Cool completely on a wire rack and cut into 48 bars.