Thursday, March 5, 2015

The Monster Bar of Monster Bars

When you go to a party and the baby grand piano is covered with cookies, bars and bread pudding from a 5-star hotel, how do you decide which treat to grab? Honestly, that is a silly question because there is no way that you just pick one. I went for the bread pudding which I normally don't enjoy, (it is a texture thing), but this one was flaky instead of spongy so it worked. More importantly, I went for the fat, dense, M&M studded bars on the far side of the piano and they rocked my world. I knew I had to make these at home, so as soon as the snow let up I went to the store and bought a bag of M&M's.

I like thick cookies- cookies with loads of bass and no treble (hat tip to Meghan Trainor). Bar cookies deliver that because they tend to hold their shape so much better than their cookie counterparts. These Monster Bars are definitely not a size 2 and every inch of them is perfect from the bottom to the top.

Texture- chewy, rich, perfectly crispy crust, delightful crunch via those candy-coated shells
Flavor- nutty, sweet, oaty, chocolaty, peanut buttery without being overwhelming

It takes a lot for a dessert to make me say,"Mercy," let alone a cookie, but these Monster Bars left me on my knees with a sugary burn in the back of my throat. My husband said it was like eating 4 cookies at once, and he kept saying, "Holy cow!" every time he took a bite. I decided that was a good thing. My two-year-old asked for thirds and didn't melt down when I told him, "No." Even he knew enough was enough. I, on the other hand, ate 4 bars. KAPOW!

It turns out these bad boys can be gluten free, which sounds deceivingly healthy. I'll be upfront- they aren't healthy. When I saw how much sugar was packed into each batch, I considered taking some of it out. But really, why? These are rich enough for your anniversary, and fun enough for an after-school snack. If you are looking for an awesome Monster Bar, better-than-monster-cookies recipe, then this is it.

Monster Bar of Monster Bars


1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup brown sugar
1 stick (1/2 cup) butter, softened
3 eggs
2 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 cups peanut butter
4 1/2 cups quick oats
1- 12 oz bag M&M's
1- 12 oz bag chocolate chips


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9x13 pan or line with parchment paper.
  2. Cream sugars and butter.
  3. Add eggs and baking soda.
  4. Add peanut butter and mix until smooth.
  5. Stir in oats. Then add M&M's and chocolate and stir until evenly distributed.
  6. Spoon into pan and bake for 15-20 minutes. Ideally, the bars should be golden on top and just slightly under-baked. Cool completely (if you can wait!) before cutting and serving. 

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