Monster cookie bars are a quick and easy lunchbox treat. These are over the top, filled with Reeses Peanut Butter Cups for even more peanut butter flavor. M&Ms and dark chocolate chips are folded in with salty pretzels. It’s the perfect combination of salty and sweet! Warning: These cookies contain A LOT of peanut butter and they don’t necessarily look like peanut butter bars. Be sure to label them as having peanut products if you are taking these to a group function or serving to people you don’t know.
For this recipe you’ll need: flour, quick oats, salt, butter, peanut butter, sugar, brown sugar, baking soda, eggs, vanilla, plain M&Ms candy, mini pretzels, dark chocolate or bittersweet chocolate chips, miniature Reeses Peanut Butter Cups.
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I don’t think there’s anyone that doesn’t like Monster Cookies, unless maybe they don’t like peanut butter. Who can resist a cookie that’s full of candy, too?
I don’t have time to make cookies very often. It can take a couple of hours to mix, shape, and bake them and, let’s be real, I don’t necessarily want to spend my off time in the kitchen. Monster cookie bars are definitely the answer! You mix them, you bake them, you eat them.
For as long as I can remember I have been partial to red M&Ms. Oh, for sure I’ll eat any color but the red ones? Well they are my favorite. When my kids were little and got candy at church or at a Harvest Party I’d remind them that the red M&Ms were for Mommy. They were kind of like a tithe. They’d solemnly pick out the red ones and give them to me every single time. When my husband and I got married we had red M&Ms at the reception.
It’s no different now. My husband keeps a big bag of M&Ms in his nightstand in case his blood sugar tanks during the night. He pulls the red ones out as he finds them and puts them in a separate bag for me.
It’s the little things. It’s totally stupid of me to like red M&Ms better. They taste the same, take the shells off and they look the same but there’s just something about them that makes me happy.
I have SPD (sensory processing disorder) and for a long time I thought I was just weird and picky. In the 1960s there was no such thing as SPD or ADD or even Autism — it was just a “discipline” problem. I learned to compensate for my “weirdness”. Sometime in the 1980s or 90s I first read about SPD and it was like coming home. I cried, I literally cried.
There it was in black and white, all of my symptoms and some I didn’t even have. As I studied I wondered if SPD was on the high functioning autism spectrum but every “expert” I talked to said no. Lately I’ve been seeing more and more experts delving into the possibility. The general consensus at the moment is that while autistic people generally have SPD people with SPD aren’t necessarily autistic.
The world may never know.
All of those years when I just thought I needed to “get over myself” I ignored stuff that made me happy in favor of what made other people happy even if it was a simple thing. Like red M&Ms.
God forbid anyone would think I was weird.
I guess my point is that just because you have preferences that other people don’t have, or you are sensitive to sounds, or don’t like crowds — whatever — doesn’t mean that your preferences are not important or too off the wall to be important. If red M&Ms make you happy then just eat the red ones and throw the others out or give them away, or make a stepping stone for the garden with them. If you need alone time to recharge then make sure you get it. Not taking care of yourself doesn’t make you more spiritual or better or anything. It doesn’t make other people appreciate you more.
It just makes you miserable.
So, when you see the images of these yummy Monster Cookie Bars you may notice that the red M&Ms are somewhat scarce. I may or may not have picked them out as I was making these. The flavor of these is sweet and salty with a nice chewiness from the oatmeal. The flavor is better when they are completely cool.
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The quality of vanilla that you use makes a huge difference in any baking you do. I like Nielsson-Massey Vanilla and although I do try other vanillas from time to time this is my favorite.
Monster Cookie Bars Recipe
Monster Cookie Bars Stuffed with Reeses
- 3 cups flour
- 2 cups quick oats
- 1 teaspoon of salt
- 1 cup butter, softened
- 1 cup peanut butter
- 1 1/2 cups sugar
- 1 1/2 cups brown sugar
- 2 teaspoons baking soda
- 2 teaspoons water
- 4 eggs
- 2 teaspoons vanilla
- 1 1/2 cups M&M's
- 1 cup broken mini pretzels
- 1/2 cup dark chocolate chips
- 28 Cups Reese's Peanut Butter Miniatures, wrappers and papers removed.
- 1 cup white chocolate chips
- 1 tablespoon white vegetable shortening
- 2 tablespoons peanut butter
- Preheat the oven to 350F.
- Grease a 13x9-inch baking dish.
- Mix the flour, oats, and salt.
- Set aside.
- Blend the butter and peanut butter until completely combined.
- Add the sugar and brown sugars.
- Beat well.
- Blend the baking soda and water until the baking soda is dissolved.
- Pour into the butter mixture.
- Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each one.
- Stir in the vanilla.
- With the mixer on low, slowly add the flour mixture beating until well blended.
- Stir in the M&Ms, mini pretzels, and chocolate chips.
- Spread a thin layer of the dough on the bottom of the baking pan.
- Arrange the peanut butter cups evenly over the dough.
- Carefully top with the remaining dough, pressing down slightly to make sure there are no holes.
- Bake for 40 to 45 minutes, or until done.
- Let cool.
- Drizzle on the glaze.
- Cool completely before cutting.
- Melt the white chocolate chips and shortening on 50% power for 2 minutes (or until melted) stirring every 30 seconds.
- Stir in the peanut butter until mixture is totally combined and smooth.
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