February 17, 2017

Monster Cookie Bars

Monster cookies are a delicious combination of chocolate (in the form of M&Ms and chocolate chips) and peanut butter. They even have the the addition oats, which completely justifies them as breakfast food, right?

For Dave's birthday, I made a couple treats that are riffs off monster cookies. One was these delicious bars from Brown Eyed Baker. The original recipe, which I'm sharing below, calls for a 8 x 8 pan. I doubled the recipe and used a 9 x 13 pan, and I ended up with wonderfully thick bars. The edges got a bit crisp, the fudge was fudgy throughout, and they're quite tasty.

Monster Cookie Bars
1 1/3 cups flour
2/3 cup old-fashioned rolled oats
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 stick butter, room temperature
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup creamy peanut butter
1 egg
1 tsp. vanilla
3/4 cup M&Ms
Fudge Ripple Filling
7 oz. sweetened condensed milk
1 Tbsp. butter
1 cup chocolate chips
1 tsp. vanilla

Preheat oven to 350°F. Line the bottom, and sides of an 8×8-inch baking pan with aluminum foil, leaving an overhang on all sides. Set aside.

In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, oats and baking soda. Using a mixer, beat the butter, brown sugar and sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 2 to 3 minutes. Add the peanut butter, egg, and vanilla one after the other, mixing well after each addition. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed. Reduce the mixer speed to low, and gradually add the dry ingredients, mixing until just combined. Do not overmix.

Press two-thirds of the dough evenly into the prepared baking pan. Stir the M&Ms into the remaining dough. Set aside while you make the fudge ripple filling.

In a small saucepan over low heat, combine the sweetened condensed milk, butter and chocolate chips. Stir until the chocolate chips are melted and the mixture is smooth. Remove from the heat, and stir in the vanilla. Pour the fudge over the bottom layer of dough.

Mold the remaining dough containing the M&Ms into flat pieces and layer on top of the fudge filling. You won’t have enough dough to make one single layer, so some of the filling will be exposed. (Mine completely covered the fudge when I doubled the recipe.)

Bake for 25 minutes, or until the top is lightly browned. Allow to cool completely. Lift the foil out of the pan using the overhang on the sides, and cut into bars. Makes 16 bars.

Note: If doubling the recipe, expect a longer bake time. I think mine baked around 40 minutes.

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