Monster Cookie Bars (for the 4th of July!)

Some people aren’t big cake fans. And that’s totally cool. When my friends and I gathered for a 4th of July potluck last night, I wanted to give non-cake-lovers and alternate option. What better than Monster Cookie Bars! Because really, who can say no to a peanut butter, oats, chocolate chip, and m&m combo? (Not me-I had 3 fresh out of the oven!)

One of the first, and most important parts of the recipe to remember, is buttering the pan. When the recipe called for one stick + 1 tablespoon of butter, I thought to myself, “It’d be fine if I just used one stick, right? I don’t want to go to the grocery store and buy that extra tablespoon that I don’t have lying around in the house.” WRONG. Buttering the pan ensures stick free cookie bars that stay together when you peel them from the pan after baking.

The recipe also called for a stand mixer, but I used a standard beater which worked just fine! (Remember, I’m a college girl! i can’t afford a stand mixer, so I find easy and effective replacements).

The batter was so simple to create.

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Once you mix most of the ingredients together, you use some arm strength (all of my hot yoga has been paying off!) to fold in the m&ms and chocolate chips with a spatula. The batter smelled so delicious even pre-baking that my entire family was tempted downstairs to the kitchen to sample some.

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I popped these babies in the oven and cooked them for about 13.5 minutes, in between the suggested cooking time of 13-14 minutes. The bars came out BEAUTIFULLY. Melty yet still intact chocolate chips, golden oats, and sprinkles of m&ms.

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I got excited and made the mistake of taking the bars out of the pan before they were cool enough. I’d give it a good few hours of cooling on a wire rick to make sure the bars come out smoothly and stay in nice squares.

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I decorated my bars with some classic store-bought chocolate fudge frosting and 4th of July sprinkles. The toppings were sweet and decadent but many of my friends and family members commented that the bars would be just as good without frosting!

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The recipe makes around 50 bars (with enough leftovers for my 16 year old brother to have one after every meal, which he does).Image

The bars are rich, delicious, and are a one bowl recipe that’s a “piece of cake” to make! 😉