Our lives get pretty crazy during the holidays—celebrating can be a lot of work! We need a constant supply of goodies to bring to parties (and plenty for ourselves, too), but making those goodies takes a lot of time. All that cookie-cutting and decorating, the painstaking icing— sometimes it can take a little joy out of the celebration. But we've found the key to making a holiday-worthy treat more efficiently. What if—rather than make many cookies—we just made one big cookie? We’ll cut it up afterwards. We’ll make it square, for easy division! That’s right: we’re making bars.
Easy, irresistible, and whimsically festive, these Christmas-themed M&M bars are based on one of our absolute favorite chocolate chip cookie recipes. They have a gooey brown sugar base, a hint of saltiness, and a nice balance of dark and milk chocolates. With proper mixing and baking, you can achieve a crisp crust with a fudgy interior—everything a great cookie needs. As if that wasn’t enough, the red and green M&Ms make you feel like you’re consuming Christmas itself. Now that’s something to celebrate.
In bar form, the cookie texture is denser and fudgier, but well-balanced by a crustier top. Cut them as large or small as you like. Or simply put out the whole block with a cheese knife next to it. The time you save is more time for merrymaking!
- 2 1/2 cup, plus 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
- 1 heaping teaspoon coarse sea salt
- 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 8 ounces/2 sticks cold unsalted butter (cut into small pieces)
- 1 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- 2 tablespoons blackstrap molasses
- 2 large cold eggs
- 6 ounces red and green M&Ms
- 5 ounces dark chocolate chips
Gather the ingredients. Preheat oven to 350 F.
Add the dry ingredients to a large mixing bowl and stir to combine.
In another mixing bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer, cream together the butter, sugar and molasses until light and fluffy. Do not over-cream and try to keep the butter mixture below 68 F.
When color lightens and the texture is a bit fluffy, add in cold eggs one at a time, incorporating the first before adding the second, then mixing only until the egg is absorbed.
Add dry ingredients and mix gently until just combined. Fold in chocolate chips and three quarters of the M&Ms.
Prepare a 9 x 13-inch baking pan with parchment or oil/butter.
Press the dough into the pan to a uniform thickness. Top with remaining M&Ms.
Bake at 350 F for 25 minutes. Remove and cool somewhat before cutting. Store sealed in a cool, dry place for up to five days.