Oatmeal M&M Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars

These quick-fix bar cookies are easy to whip up.  The pan will produce chewy edge pieces and incredibly soft, doughy center pieces.  The addition of just a little bit of oats gives them a nice chew and texture, without feeling like an oatmeal cookie and M&M’s on top are extra fun and festive. Use colored M&M’s for an instant holiday theme no matter what time of year!  We love these made ahead of time, and even chilled so the the texture is almost like a fresh-from-the-fridge cookie dough, but in bar form.  They’re also great served slightly warm, over ice cream for a pizzookie-style dessert. Oatmeal M&M Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars are a family favorite at my house!

Chocolate chip cookie bars with sprinkles and m&m's on baking tray

Ingredient & Equipment Notes

  • Butter – use real (salted) butter.  It should be melted, but cooled slightly before mixing.
  • Brown Sugar- light brown sugar is standard, but I’ve made these with dark brown sugar before and it produces a deeper, almost caramel-y flavor.
  • M&M’s – you’ll see in the recipe, I actually like to use chocolate chips in the bars and M&M’s on top!  But you can definitely throw some in the batter if you like as well.  Use standard or mini, any color,  and feel free to experiment with some of the specialty flavors if you like.
  • Parchment Paper – For any style of bar cookie, I like to use a parchment “sling,” (see photo below) which is when you cut a piece of parchment to cover the bottom of the baking pan, but extending over 2 sides by an inch or two.  This makes it really easy to remove the entire slab of cookies once they are cooled and chilled and makes slicing a breeze.  It also promotes even cooking.

Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookie Bars in a blue baking pan

How to Make Oatmeal M&M Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars

Collage of making chocolate chip cookie bars

  1. Pulse your oats in a blender to just break up slightly.
  2. Mix your dough together and add in chocolate chips and oats.
  3. Once everything is incorporated into dough, press into a 9×13 pan.
  4. Sprinkle with M&M’s (and sprinkles if you want!) and Bake.

Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars with M&M's on a baking tray

Serving Suggestions

  • While it seems natural to serve up warm chocolate chip cookies, I think these bar versions are actually best completely cooled!  I usually make them a few hours ahead of time so they can cool all the way and even sit in the fridge to chill.  Then I slice them cold and leave them out at room temperature to serve.
  • That being said, these are amazing served warm with ice cream!  They will fall apart on you if you try to pick them up warm like a bar, because they are so doughy, but warm with ice cream is killer. Here’s my favorite recipe for Homemade Vanilla Ice Cream if you want to go that route!

Showing the cut inside of oatmeal cookie bars

FAQ’S

  • Can you make these ahead?  Yes!  I bake these, cool them completely, and then cover and chill in the fridge for up to 3 days before slicing.
  • Can you freeze these?  Yes.  After baking and cooling, cut entire slab in half and wrap each one well in plastic wrap and then in an air tight bag.  You can also freeze individual pieces.  Best if used before 6 months.
  • How do you save leftovers?  Place in an airtight container at room temp.Did you try this Recipe?  I’d love it if you snap a picture and tag me on Instagram and then come back and leave a rating!
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Oatmeal Chocolate Chip M&M Bars

Oatmeal M&M Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars

  • Author: Sara Wells
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 25 minutes
  • Total Time: 35 minutes
  • Yield: 12-16 servings

Description

Easy, chewy bar cookies with doughy centers and chocolate taking center stage!  Just a little bit of oats give them a great chew.


Ingredients

  • 1 cup old fashioned oats
  • 3 cups (405 g) all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon table salt
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) butter, melted and cooled slightly
  • 1 1/2 cups (320 g) packed brown sugar
  • 3/4 cups (150 g) white sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups chocolate chips
  • M&M’s (No set amount here- I just sprinkle on top till it looks good!  You could grab a couple of the single-serve bags at the check-out, or a party-sized bag if you’d like to toss some extra into your dough as well.)
  • Optional: sprinkles

Instructions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Cut a strip a parchment paper to fit the bottom of a 9×13 pan, but hang over 2 of the edges.  Spray pan with non-stick spray and then place parchment in, pressing paper to spray to help it stick. (Alternately you could line with foil and lightly spray with cooking spray.)  Set aside.

Place oats in your blender and pulse just a couple times to barely break up oats.  You don’t want to create oat flour! They should still look like oats, just broken up a little into smaller pieces. Set these aside.

Combine flour, baking soda, and salt in a bowl and lightly whisk to combine.  Set aside.

In a mixing bowl or stand mixer, melted butter, brown sugar, and white sugar.  Add eggs, one at a time, stirring between each addition, and vanilla.  Add flour mixture in a couple additions until incorporated.

Stir in oats and chocolate chips until just combined.  *I like to just sprinkle my M&M’s on the top of the dough, but if you have a big bag, feel free to toss a small handful into the dough, or substitute M&M’s for a portion of your chocolate chips.

Press dough into prepared pan and press flat.  Sprinkle a handful of M&M’s on top and add sprinkles if you desire.

Bake for about 25-30 minutes. Remove from oven when edges are golden brown and center appears set, but still soft. The center should jiggle a bit when you move the pan.  They will be very doughy in the middle!  Unless you are serving slightly warm over ice cream, cool completely to room temperature.  Note: It’s totally normal for the center to sink down lower than the edges, once cooled! I think these are best when they’ve cooled for several hours and I like to put them in the fridge to chill before cutting, even.  They are great to make ahead!


Keywords: oatmeal cookie chocolate chip bar cookies

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