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Peanut M&M Cookie Bars

I actually made these a few days ago as a surprise for Fritz and they are long, long gone.  Fritz inhaled them in matter of 48 hours, tops.

Good surprise, then.

He likes to have snacks for study time, and if you know Fritz, then you know peanut M&Ms are his kryptonite. ¬†He can’t resist them. ¬†For Christmas last year, Mom and Dad filled his stocking with peanut M&M paraphernalia as a joke and he was probably the happiest I have ever seen him. ¬†In fact, he’s probably eating peanut M&Ms right now, wrapped in his yellow M&M blanket and wearing his new peanutty PJs (a recent gift from dad).

I really loved the cookie base of these bars, but I’m not a huge fan of peanut M&Ms, so I was just an edge nibbler of these guys–actually a good thing, since I’m still recovering from the holidays sweet shock.

Peanut M&M Cookie Bars (adapted from Cate’s World Kitchen)

  • 2 1/2 C all-purpose flour (I actually used half whole-wheat and half all-purpose)
  • 1/2 t salt
  • 1/2 t baking soda
  • 12 T unsalted butter, melted (1 1/2 sticks)
  • 1 C brown sugar
  • 1/2 C white sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 T vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2-2 C peanut M&Ms

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and line a 9″ x 13″ baking pan with foil, and lightly grease it.

I did this recipe the easy way–combine the dry ingredients (flour, salt, baking soda, brown sugar, and white sugar).

Add the wet ingredients (eggs, butter, and vanilla extract).

Mix in the peanut M&Ms.

Super quick–and it just gets easier, since we are making bars instead of cookies.

Spread the cookie dough into a thin layer on the bottom of the pan–it’s okay if it’s thinner than you thought it should be at first. ¬†If it’s really thin, then you probably ate too much dough and should use a smaller pan.

It happens to the best of us.

Bake on the middle rack for 20-25 minutes until the top is a nice golden brown and the cookies are set.  Let them cool before cutting so they can firm up.

Slice ‘em and go for it!

My favorite part about these cookies was how chewy and thick they were.

Fritz’s favorite part was…well, everything.

It’s that M&M thing I told you about.

Henry has been feasting on a snack of another kind–my new baby spider plant that my sister gave me for Christmas. ¬†It’s a baby that has been passed down from my grandmother’s original plant, and it stresses me out a great deal that Henry keeps chewing on the leaves and uprooting it from the pot.

What to do?  Any suggestions?

Also–I ran three and a half miles today! ¬†My furthest run ever! ¬†And I feel pretty good–the best part was at the end I could have gone further. ¬†I chose to stop running. ¬†And that is a pretty good feeling coming from a previous running-hater like myself.

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  1. Caitlin

    You could invest in a Scat. It sprays air at them via motion sensor. You just place it by the plant so if he gets near it he’ll quickly learn it’s no fun.

  2. Bernadette

    There’s a product called Bitter Apple Spray that you can spray or dab on the plant. It has to be applied once a week but it usually works without any harm to the cat. From the reviews I read at Amazon it doesn’t deter all cats. I used it years ago and found that it did work for me. Worth a shot.

    You could also grow some cat grass (also available at Amazon) for Henry and explain to him that this is his to chew on as he wishes. Good luck with that. :-)

    As a last resort you could hang the plant out of his reach.

    1. SCE

      I don’t know about the effectiveness of that Bitter Apple Spray based on personal experience. Granted I had a dog, so that may be the key difference. Let me tell you though, I bought that stuff and sprayed my plants (and mini-blinds) to keep him from chewing them up only to come home one day and find the pump on the actual bottle mangled beyond use. It’s like he figured out that the taste was coming from that spray and went nuts chewing it so it resembled melted plastic never to be used again. It also didn’t stop him from chewing up the plants and the mini-blinds. My beloved dog has been gone now 6 years and remembering that still makes me crack up. :)

  3. tinytearoom

    My husband would go nuts for this. He loves all M&M’s. This would be a great crowd pleaser. Fantastic photos too.

  4. Tasha Orshoff

    Hi, there are cat grasses and herbs that you can buy. I see them at Petco all the time. There may be some nutrients that he is missing. Do you let him go outside? Does he eat grass when he is outside? I would just replace the plant with something he can eat.
    Otherwise I would just move it so that he can’t get to it.

    Love the idea of having the peanut inside the chocolate in the bars!

    1. Lauren Zietsman

      He’s an inside cat only, so I can imagine he probably needs some green stuff. Maybe I’ll try something like that!

  5. Anna

    The spider plant will grow fast and will do best hanging in a window. Buy a plant hanger now and hang it up. Your cat will have a hard time getting it then.

    1. Lauren Zietsman

      Hmm…good idea–I’ll have to find a new plant to put in the pot, though, because my sister made it for me and I love it!

  6. heidi

    I have heard, though not tried, watering your plant with a hot sauce water mixture. My cats eat all of my plants, I’ve given up trying to keep them in the house.

    Congrats on the 3 1/2 miles. I know how great that feels.

    1. Lauren Zietsman

      Intriguing! Somehow I can imagine that my cat loves hot sauce and he’ll think I’m just spicing up his daily menu

  7. Pauline

    I followed your recipe but it didn’t look as soft as yours. It was very dry. Are you sure those measurements are correct for butter & eggs? Your pictures look gooey versus mine.

    1. Lauren Zietsman

      I think so, but I’d have to make it again to test!

  8. Dee

    Try planting some cat grass in a small container that the cat can nibble at.

  9. natasha

    buy some cat grass. its a plant but it attracts them to it. my cat ate my plants til i got one. it works. makes them mellow too lol

  10. Ashley

    I googled “peanut M&Ms recipes” and this one was one of the first that showed up. Just commenting to say that there is no way this dough could possibly fit in a 9×13 (and no, I did not eat any of the dough). It fit just fine in an 8×8 and would be okay in a 9×9 pan. Also, I barely used 1.5 cups of peanut M&Ms and that seemed to be way too much in ratio to the actual dough? I’m not sure if this is just me or if the proportions of the recipe are a little off.


  11. Sando

    Hi Laura. What temperature should the oven be?

  12. Alida Barnes

    Thanks so much for this recipe! I’ve made these severl times EXACTLY the way you did and they worked perfectly every time! These are so great for groups and they are super duper easy! Thank you, thank you, thank you!

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