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SANTA’S COOKIE BARS
I love a good reason to make a totally festive Holiday treat. Like these peanut butter oatmeal cookie bars that just happen to be Santa’s favorite cookie bar… or so I’ve been told 🙂
Loaded with Christmas mix peanut butter m&m’s, chocolate chips, peanut butter, oats, and Christmas red & green sprinkles.
This recipe is based off of one of the most popular recipes on the blog, these oatmeal chocolate chip peanut butter bars. Everyone loves them so I knew I wanted to create a Christmas version of them.
One of my favorite things to do at Christmas time is to wander the seasonal candy aisles at Target. All the red and green candies, Christmas mix sprinkles, Santa shaped chocolates. It’s so fun!
INGREDIENTS NEEDED TO MAKE SANTA’S COOKIE BARS
Of course you will need some pantry staple baking ingredients like all-purpose flour, baking soda, salt, granulated sugar, brown sugar. The usual baking suspects.
But there are few ingredients that make these bars extra special.
- Butter – Don’t try and substitute with anything else. I always use salted butter, but use whichever you prefer.
- Oats – I have found that regular, old-fashioned oats are the best to use in these bars. The quick oats are finer and tend to lead to a drier cookie bar.
- Peanut Butter – Use creamy peanut butter and do not use natural peanut butter. It will make these cookie bars so dry and crumbly.
- Egg + Egg Yolk – The extra egg yolk is so important so don’t skip it. It provides more fat and moisture.
- Christmas M&M’s – I love to use the peanut butter m&m’s but if you can’t find them in the red and green Christmas mix then just use plain M&M’s.
- Christmas Sprinkles – Any kind you want!
MY TIPS FOR MAKING SANTA’S COOKIES RECIPE
- Mini chocolate chips are the preferred ingredient for the chocolate. They are much smaller which pairs well with all the other add-ins in these cookie bars.
- DO NOT overcook these bars. If you do, they will be very dry. They should be pale when you take them out of the oven and the edges only should be very lightly golden brown.
- It’s important to let them cool in the pan for 20-30 minutes so they will come together and make it easier to cut them.
- You can use quick oats in this recipe but note that the finer, ground up texture of quick oats tends to dry out baked goods. So as long as you’re eating these the same day they’re made then you won’t have to worry about it.
- Be sure and mix up a batch of these for Christmas Eve and leave them out for Santa!
TRY THESE OTHER SANTA COOKIE RECIPES
- Christmas Goody Bars
- Santa Claus Cookies
- One Giant Santa Cookie
- Christmas Chocolate Chip Cookies
- Peppermint Bark Pretzel Bites
Santa's Cookie Bars
- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 cup old-fashioned oats
- 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter softened
- 1/3 cup creamy peanut butter
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup light brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 large egg
- 1 large egg yolk
- 1 cup mini chocolate chips
- 1 cup Christmas mix peanut butter m&m's
- 3 tablespoons Christmas sprinkles
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease a 9X13-inch baking pan and set aside. Or you can line with parchment paper or foil, and use the overhang to lift the bars out so they're easier to slice.
- In a small bowl whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt and oats. Set aside.
- In a large bowl, or in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together the butter, peanut butter, brown sugar, and sugar until fluffy looking and light in color. About 2 minutes.
- Add in the vanilla, egg and egg yolk. Blend together and scrape down the sides of the bowl.
- Add the dry ingredients into the wet and mix just until combined. Add chocolate chips and the peant butter m&m's and blend together until mixed in.
- Press the batter into the prepared pan. Top with the sprinkles and gently press them onto the dough. * I reserve some of the chocolate chips and m&m's and press those on top of the dough as well (before baking). This gives the bars a pretty presentation.
- Bake for 14-16 minutes or until lightly browned on the edges. The bars will still look pale and slightly underdone in the middle. That's ok. Don't over bake or the bars will be dry!
- Let the bars cool in the baking pan for 20-30 minutes. Cut into squares and enjoy!