No flour monster cookie bars are the perfect back-to-school snack! They freeze really well and who can resist these bars loaded with oatmeal, peanut butter, chocolate chips, and m&m’s?!
Are you ready for back-to-school? This is my first year sending a child to “real school”, like at an elementary school where he is there all day and rides the bus. I’m so nervous but yet so excited. I know he will love it.
With back-to-school comes the dreaded, “I’m starving mom!” the second they walk in the door. I remember doing that growing up, so I am sure my sweet little kindergartner will do the same thing. These no flour monster cookie bars are so delicious and perfect for an after school snack to fill their little bellies after a long day. The recipe makes an entire cookie sheet, so I always freeze some and pull them out when needed. I just put a couple in a Ziploc bag and freeze them that way. They only have to sit out for several minutes to thaw a bit or you could microwave for 20 seconds or so.
I mean, seriously!? WHO can resist that? I am a sucker for all things monster cookie. The combo of peanut butter, oats, and those cute mini rainbow m&m’s just can’t be beat.
I will note that this recipe calls for both quick oats and old-fashioned (regular) oats. You could use all quick, but I have found that using all quick oats results in a tough/dense cookie bar. Splitting the oats results in a soft and delicious cookie bar. Another tip is to use a pizza cutter to cut these into squares. I do that every time and it’s so easy!
Don’t be alarmed if the batter is hard to spread into the cookie sheet. It takes me several minutes to work it and manuever it to fit in the pan. I spray my hands with cooking spray and it seems to always help. Readers have also let me know that if you use the butter wrapper to spread the dough, that it makes it easier too. So, try these tips if you are having trouble.
I find the bags of mini m&m's in the baking aisle or the candy aisle in the grocery store
The bag (about 10 oz) of mini m&m's comes with about 1 1/2 cups of m&m's inside of it. I just use the whole bag. It's less than the 2 cups called for. So, use 1-2 cups of the m&m's. Whatever you prefer.
These bars right out of the oven will look like they are not done. Trust me, they firm up and come together so nicely while they cool. I would not recommend cooking for more than 20 minutes (mine never take that long). Edges should be a light golden brown and the middle should still look under-done and pale.
- 1 cup packed brown sugar
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) salted butter, softened
- 1 1/2 cups creamy peanut butter
- 3 large eggs
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 1 1/2 cups quick oats
- 3 cups old-fashioned oats
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1-2 cups mini m&m's
- 1 cup mini chocolate chips
- Heat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare a cookie sheet by lining it with parchment paper, silpat liner, or spray with cooking spray.
- In large bowl, or bowl of a stand mixer, combine brown sugar, granulated sugar, peanut butter, and butter. Beat until pale in color and fluffy.
- Add the eggs and vanilla extract. Blend together.
- Add in the oats and baking soda. With a rubber spatula or wooden spoon, mix by hand until combined.
- Add in the m&m's and chocolate chips (reserve some for top of bars if wanted). Stir together well until combined.
- Dump onto your parchment lined cookie sheet and spread out. This will take several minutes, but it can be done. Sprinkle the reserved m&m's and chocolate chips on top (if wanted). Press down slightly into dough.
- Bake for 17-20 minutes. The edges will be lightly browned and the middle will still look pale and underdone, but it will finish baking as it cools. Let cool for at least an hour so the bars can firm up and come together. You do not want to over-bake these!
Surprise your kids with these on their first day of school! My kids LOVE these bars and I love that they’re filled with oats and peanut butter to keep them full.
Do you want more monster cookie goodness? Try these ‘TRIPLE PEANUT BUTTER MONSTER COOKIES‘. They’re my all-time favorite cookie 🙂 Or, try this ‘MONSTER COOKIE DOUGH CHEESEBALL DIP‘. Pure heaven combined with some salty pretzels to dip!
Enjoy friends! xoxo
I could not bake without these! No sizing parchment paper, no spraying, just lay this down and you’re done! Plus, it keeps baked goods from browning too much on the bottom. I use it for cookies, bars, everything!
These silicone baking mats make baking so easy and nothing sticks to them! They’re perfect for these cookie bars. No more sizing parchment paper or spraying your cookie sheets only to have it leave that gunk on them. These are my #1 most used kitchen tool ever!
These ones from amazon are cheap (you get 2) and they work just as good as the expensive name-brand silpat liners.