Plated Peanut Butter Chocolate Cookie Bars with M&M's
Desserts, Video

Peanut Butter Chocolate Cookie Bars With M&M’s

1 comment

My husband came home the other day and announced he needed something for the next day to take to work for a potluck.  I started searching my pantry looking at what I had on hand that I could make that would be good and tasty.  In my search I found a can of frosting, some peanut butter left over from making fudge, a bag of M&M’s and I always have butter, nuts and baking chips on hand. 

Knowing how everyone loves chocolate and peanut butter, this recipe idea popped into my head.  So I thought what could be better than milk chocolate, honey roasted peanut bar cookies that are covered with fluffy peanut butter icing and plain chocolate M&M’s all over the top.  While typing out this recipe for you my mouth is watering just thinking about this combination of flavors. 

The bars can be cut into any size you want, large or small.  They are so easy for anyone to sneak into a break room and grab a quick yummy treat.  My husband came home all smiles because they were a big hit and none were left to bring home.  Lucky for him I had saved a few for his dessert.  I hope you, your family and friends enjoy them as much as we do.  Enjoy!!

Plated Peanut Butter Chocolate Cookie Bars with M&M's
Plated Peanut Butter Chocolate Cookie Bars with M&M’s

Start off by melting the butter in a microwavable safe bowl; I use my 4 cup Pyrex measuring cup.  In the microwave melt butter at 15 second intervals until melted.  Out of the fridge usually takes about a minute. Time will depend on the wattage of your microwave.  Set aside to let cool down.

Mix all dry ingredients together in a large mixing bowl.  I always fluff up my white whole wheat flour before measuring to ensure that I do not over add the flour.  Fluff the flour and measure into measuring cup and level off with knife.  Add to large mixing bowl.  Repeat for a total of two cups flour.

To the flour add baking soda, salt, white sugar, light brown sugar, chopped honey roasted peanuts and chopped milk chocolate chips.  Stir well between each addition.  Set bowl aside.

All Dry Ingredients Mixed Together in a Large Mixing Bowl – Peanut Butter Chocolate Bars with M&M’s

Dough can be mixed by hand in a large mixing bowl, handheld mixer or a stand mixer with an attached cookie paddle.  I am using my stand mixer.   Add the melted butter, vanilla and eggs into the mixing bowl and beat until combined.  Slowly add the dry ingredients into the wet mixture.  Beat until completely combined.

Completly Mixed Cookie Dough Mixture – Peanut Butter Chocolate Cookie Bars with M&M’s

Prepare a large 13 x 9 inch pan.  I used a glass Pyrex pan. Spray the pan with non-stick spray that is made for baking. 

Spoon the mixture into the pan and use a spatula to spread out evenly over the whole pan.  The batter will rise up quite a bit so make sure you use a 13 x 9 standard pan to avoid spillage.  Bake in preheated oven at 325 degrees for approximately 45 minutes.  I baked mine in a convection oven.

Cookie Dough Mixture Spread Out in Glass Pan before Baking – Peanut Butter Cookie Bars with M&M’s

Start checking your bar cookie at 30 minutes.  To check, a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean or with only a few moist crumbs clinging to it.  When done bar cookie should be a golden brown with a brownie like texture on top.  The bar cookie will keep cooking a short while when removed from the oven so try not to over-cook to prevent dryness.  Let the bar cookie cool completely before frosting.

Baked and Cooled – Peanut Butter Chocolate Cookie Bars with M&M’s

In a large mixing bowl combine the peanut butter and frosting and mix thoroughly.  Spoon the mixture on top of the cooled bar cookie.  Reserve a little in the bowl for emergency touch ups.  Spread out the mixture evenly over the bar cookie with a small offset spatula.  Neighbor has my spatula so I used an offset butter knife in the video and it worked fine.

Frosting – Peanut Butter Chocolate Cookie Bars with M&M’s

The bar cookie has a brownie texture on top and is fragile.  The frosting mixture is very thick and will try to tear the fragile top.  If you experience this problem you will want to spread the mixture in one full stroke from side to side.  (See the video)  If you still have problems, you can thin the frosting with a drop or two of milk but it will not be as fluffy.  The extra frosting is to fix any holes in the frosting you may incur.  If no holes occur, the extra frosting becomes chef’s treat!  Upon immediately finishing the frosting on the cookie bar sprinkle M&M’s over the frosting and pat down with a spatula to set the M&M’s.

Completed Peanut Butter Chocolate Cookie Bars with M&M’s – Prior to Cutting

Let the cookie bar sit for about 10 minutes to rest.  This allows the frosting and M&M’s to set up.  Cut into bars.  Recipe will make approximately 24 bars, depending on bar size.

Enjoy these delicious cookie bars alone or with some ice-cream…..

Peanut Butter Chocolate Cookie Bars with M&M’s Served with Ice Cream and Topped with Whip Cream, Yummy!

Peanut Butter Chocolate Cookie Bars With M&M’s

Recipe by theresa@theresamroe.com Course: Desserts, Video
Servings

24

servings
Prep time

20

minutes
Cooking time

45

minutes
Total time

1

hour 

5

minutes

Ingredients for cookie bars

  • 2 Cup White Whole Wheat Flour*

  • 1 Cup White Granulated Sugar

  • 1/2 Cup Light Brown Sugar Packed**

  • 1/3 Cup Honey Roasted Peanuts, Chopped, Can use a pre-packed 1.75 oz bag

  • 1 Cup Milk Chocolate Chips, chopped

  • 1/2 Teaspoonful Baking Soda

  • 1/2 Teaspoonful Salt, table***

  • 1 Cup Unsalted Butter (two sticks), melted****

  • 1+1/2 Teaspoonful Pure Vanilla Extract*****

  • 2 Eggs Large, at room temperature

  • INGREDIENTS FOR TOPPING
  • 1 Cup Jiff Natural Creamy Peanut Butter, Low Sodium

  • 1 +1/2 Cup Better Crocker Buttercream Whipped Frosting (12oz tub)******

  • 1 Cup Plain M&M’s

Directions for cookie bars

  • Preheat over to 325 degrees
  • Start off first by melting the butter. Set aside to let cool down.
  • Mix all dry ingredients together in a large mixing bowl. Flour, baking soda, salt, white sugar, light brown sugar, chopped honey roasted peanuts and chopped milk chocolate chips. Stir well between each addition. Set bowl aside.
  • Mix all wet ingredients together. Add the melted butter, vanilla and eggs and beat until combined. Slowly add the dry ingredients into the wet mixture. Beat until completely combined.
  • Prep 13 x 9 standard glass baking pan with non-stick spray for baking.
  • Spoon mixture into pan and spread out evenly.
  • Bake at 325 degrees approximately 40 – 45 minutes. I cooked mine in a convection oven.
  • Start checking the cookie bars at 30 minutes. To check, a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean or with only a few moist crumbs clinging to it. When done bar cookie should be a golden brown with a brownie like texture on top. The bar cookie will keep cooking a short while when removed from the oven so try not to over-cook to prevent dryness.
  • Let bar cookie cool completely before frosting. The bar cookie tends to sink slightly in the middle while cooling.
  • DIRECTIONS FOR FROSTING
  • In a large mixing bowl combine the frosting and peanut butter and mix thoroughly. Do not make ahead because frosting will become too firm. If too firm add a drop or two of milk to thin.
  • Spoon mixture on top of the bar cookie and spread out evenly.
  • Sprinkle M&M’s over the top of the bar cookie and tap down into the frosting with a spatula.
  • Cut bar cookie into sections and ENJOY!

TIPS

  • *Can substitute All Purpose Flour. Set aside two additional tablespoonfuls to add to batter if batter is too thin.
  • **I used light brown sugar because that is what I had on hand. Dark brown sugar can be substituted and would work well for this recipe and give you a richer flavor.
  • ***If using salted butter, omit the 1/2 teaspoonful table salt.
  • ****Let butter cool down before using. If the butter is too hot it will start to cook the eggs. Do not substitute out the butter for other fats. Bars will not turn out correctly.
  • *****If not using pure vanilla extract, add an extra 1/2 teaspoonful vanilla.
  • ******I used whipped buttercream frosting but you can substitute cream cheese or vanilla in its place.

One Comment

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