These soft and chewy bars are studded with colorful M&M's that add sweetness and crunch. Enjoy Easy M&M Cookie Bars as a special treat, or make them for a holiday gift basket!
During the holiday season or any time of the year, having great cookie recipes on hand is key. This recipe takes the magic of cookies and turns them into bars using a sheet pan!
For this easy cookie bar recipe, you'll use simple baking ingredients to make a cookie base, such as butter, sugar, and eggs. Then you'll add colorful M&M's for that fun crunch and sweetness.
Once assembled, instead of shaping them into round cookies, simply press the dough into a greased sheet pan. Top with more M&M's, then it's off to the oven!
After baking and cooling, you'll have delicious M&M sheet pan cookie bars that are ready to share with family and friends or at a holiday gift exchange!
Why You’ll Love This Recipe
- Enjoy the taste of soft and chewy cookies with a unique and fun shape that's easy to eat.
- Cookie bars are easier to make than cookies as it requires no scooping or rolling.
- You can customize the flavors and colors of the M&M’s to fit any occasion!
- They can be enjoyed for the holidays, birthdays, or when you're craving a sweet treat!
Ingredients You’ll Need
- Softened Butter - Makes up the rich oil base of the cookie and also provides a buttery flavor.
- Sugar - A mix of light brown sugar and white sugar comes together to sweeten the cookie and make it chewy and soft.
- Vanilla Extract - Imparts a light vanilla flavor throughout the cookie that helps balance it.
- Eggs - Binds the ingredients together while adding richness to the cookie dough.
- All-Purpose Flour - The main dry ingredient, flour, adds structure to the cookie while holding all of the ingredients together.
- Baking Soda & Salt - This combination of dry ingredients helps the cookies rise while baking.
- M&M's - Colorful chocolate-coated candy goes inside the cookie bars and gets pressed on top for a beautiful presentation.
- Mini Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips - Provides additional chocolate flavor throughout the bar as well as texture.
How To Make M&M Cookie Bars
Prepare for baking: Preheat oven to 350°F. Spray an 18"x13" sheet pan with nonstick cooking spray and set aside.
Mix the wet ingredients: Add the butter and sugar to a stand mixer with the paddle attachment. Mix until light and fluffy. Add in the vanilla and eggs and mix until fully combined.
Add the dry ingredients: To the wet ingredients, add the baking soda and salt. Then, add the flour in batches until well incorporated.
Add the chocolate: Stop the mixer and fold in the M&M's and chocolate chips with a rubber spatula until evenly incorporated.
Assemble the cookie bars: Press the cookie dough into the prepared sheet pan in an even layer. Press in the remaining M&M's on top.
Bake and cool: Add to the preheated oven and bake for 20-25 minutes or until the cookie dough is set and is golden brown. Let cool before slicing and serving. Enjoy!
- For best results, use room-temperature ingredients. This helps the ingredients mix together easier and will create the best texture for your cookies!
- Make sure to use a light-colored sheet pan, as dark pans may cause the cookie bars to burn on the edges before they are finished baking.
- When mixing the cookie dough, be sure not to overmix. This can lead to tough and dry cookie bars!
- Let the cookie bars cool completely before slicing, as they need time to set up and become firm enough to cut.
Variations & Mix-Ins
- Christmas M&Ms: Swap out the regular M&M's for red and green Christmas M&M's for a festive look!
- Peanut Butter: Replace some softened butter with creamy peanut butter for a nutty twist.
- Reese’s Pieces: Instead of M&Ms, use Reese’s Pieces for an extra chocolatey treat.
- Chopped Nuts: Add some chopped walnuts, almonds, or pecans for a crunchy addition.
- Coconut Flakes: Add in some shredded coconut flakes for an extra tropical flavor.
- Sprinkles: Top the bars with a handful of your favorite sprinkles for some added color.
- Flavor Extracts: Swap out the vanilla extract for almond, peppermint, or lemon extract.
Storing & Freezing
Storing: Once cooled, sheet pan cookie bars can be stored at room temperature for up to 4 days. Place them in an airtight container or sealable plastic bag. You can also store them in the fridge if preferred.
Freezing: Sheetpan cookie bars can be frozen for up to 3 months. Wrap each piece individually in plastic wrap, place in a freezer-safe container or resealable plastic bag, and freeze until ready to enjoy. Thaw at room temperature for 30 minutes or until the cookie bars are thawed.
Yes, be sure to use a gluten-free 1:1 baking flour, such as Bob's Red Mill all-purpose gluten-free baking flour. Also, make sure your other baking ingredients do not contain wheat.
A chewy cookie starts with butter. Be sure to use room-temperature butter and mix until light and fluffy for a soft, chewy texture. Also, don't overmix once you add the dry ingredients.
No! M&M's hold their shape perfectly when baked. They add a beautiful burst of color and texture to the cookie bars.
More Dessert Recipes
- Peppermint Sugar Cookie Bars
- Brownie Cookies
- Twix Thumbprint Cookies
- Strawberry Pretzel Salad
- Soft & Chewy Snickerdoodles
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M&M Cookie Bars
- 1 cup butter (softened)
- 1⅓ cup light brown sugar
- ⅔ cup granulated sugar
- 1 tbsp vanilla extract
- 2 eggs
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp salt
- 2 cups M&M's (reserve ½ cup for the top)
- 1 cup mini semi-sweet chocolate chips
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Spray an 18"x13" sheet pan with nonstick cooking spray
- Add butter and sugar in a stand mixer bowl and mix well.
- Add vanilla and eggs and mix until light and fluffy.
- While the mixer is on, add baking soda and salt. Mix well. Slowly add flour until well blended.
- Carefully stir in chocolate chips and M&M's.
- Spread the cookie dough on the prepared cookie sheet. Make sure the dough is spread evenly. Place the remaining M&M's evenly over the top of the dough.
- Bake for 20-25 min. or until the dough is golden brown.
- When the cookie bars are cool, serve and enjoy!
*All nutrition information provided is automatically calculated and is an estimate and will vary based on ingredients, brands, and changes in cooking methods listed in the recipe. If you need exact numbers on your ingredients, I would recommend calculating them with your prefered nutrition calculator.
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