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Friends this is it…THE ONE dessert you need for any event, gathering or late night sweet craving you get…a super yummy Cookie Dough Bar (yes you’ve read that right)! A safe-to-eat cookie dough filled with chocolate chunks and M&M’s and topped with peanut buttery chocolate…O-M-G! Now, if you are like me, when you make regular cookies you lick the bowl, spatula and beater…I mean we ALL do it right!? With this Cookie Dough Bar you are not running the risk of that icky tummy ache you get from the raw eggs in regular batter, and are rewarded with the most incredible treat that has ever hit your mouth. Add to that a nice little shot glass of milk and you are in for a real treat!
This recipe was adapted from the version I saw on Coupon Cravings and after a couple of small adjustments I am telling you that you will keep this recipe for years to come. I brought it to my brother-in-laws 40th birthday party the other week and the entire tray was devoured! I am not kidding you guys, there were 20 squares (plus more at home for when hubby and I got a craving a day or two later) and they were gulped down like they were a piece of candy. That is how you know you have a real winner! We cut ours into about 24 bars, but you can get up to 40 if you want a smaller bite-sized piece (recommended if you are serving to little ones as they are quite a sweet and decadent treat). I have already added this to my Christmas Baking List (check out last years 13 different cookies, bars and more) and will use the lovely red and green M&M’s you can find around the holidays to make them festive. They are going to be a huge hit on my cookie trays I give away…if they make it there!
I mean guys seriously, looooook at these beauties:
Okay, okay, what am I waiting for right? You guys just want me to get to the recipe! The only thing I will mention ahead of time here is that you NEED to make these in advance…they are not like a traditional cookie that is baked and ready in 30 minutes. Also, you will need to make sure you have a few good pieces of equipment to get the best turnout (and not have them stick to the pan). You will need:
- Parchment Paper (this is always good to have on hand for any baking you do, leaving your pans clean and your cookies will never stick)
- 8×8 Baking Pan (you can use a glass one or your traditional baking pan as you will be lining it with the parchment paper)
- Offset Spatula (this is a MUST HAVE to make this square, you need it for the chocolate on top to ensure it spreads nicely over the base, and quickly!)
- Stand Mixer (another must have, for any kind of baking really, but it works wonders with this one as you need a nice creamy texture for the batter. You do not want any lumps or granulated sugar left as it doesn’t get cooked away like a traditional cookie)
- ½ c (1 stick) butter, softened
- ¾ c packed light brown sugar
- 2 c all purpose flour
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 (14 oz.) can sweetened condensed milk
- 1 c chocolate chips
- 3/4 cup m&m’s
- ½ cup crunchy peanut butter
- ½ cup milk chocolate chips
- Line an 8×8 inch pan with your parchment paper and set aside.
- In stand mixer (or lg bowl), mix together softened butter and brown sugar until fluffy for (2-3 minutes)
- Add in vanilla until combined. Alternate adding flour and sweetened condensed milk until well combined (will become creamy and smooth).
- Mix in the chocolate chips and M&M’s.
- Press the cookie dough into the bottom of a parchment paper lined 8×8 pan and cover. Refrigerate for at least 3 hours, overnight is fine.
- Flip the cookie dough out onto a cutting board or plate and carefully peel back the parchment paper. Place back in the fridge while you make the “icing”.
- Combine the peanut butter and ½ cup chocolate chips in a microwave safe bowl. Microwave on medium-high and be sure to stir every 30 seconds until melted. Pour and spread using your offset spatula over the top of the chilled dough. Chill until topping has hardened. Cut into pieces and serve!
- *we cut ours into about 24 squares but you can make them more “bite-sized” and get even more out of this recipe!