From time to time, I like to repost some of my older favorite recipes to bring them back to life from their little hiding place in my blog’s archives. I recently brought my Funfetti Cake Batter Blondies back to life and I received many reader emails saying they would not have found the recipe otherwise!
This past weekend Kevin and I had a housewarming party to go to – grilled bbq, cold beers, frisbee, sunshine, friends, and sangria. Now if that doesn’t spell S-U-M-M-E-R, I don’t know what does! I was pressed for time, so I wanted to make something spectacular that I knew everyone would like. Something that was quick and a guaranteed crowd pleaser.
To me, baking something quick means BARS. Brownies, blondies, rice krispie treats, you name it. Bars made in under 30 minutes, with no mixer required, no chilling the dough, baking in batches, whipping up buttercream, or waiting for yeast to… ya know… do its thing. When I’m in a rush, I need a recipe that requires NO thought and ONE pan. I turned to an old favorite that NEVER lets me down.
I love making these cookie bars because not only are they completely over-the-top delicious, but they save me SO much time in the kitchen because they start with a pre-made sugar cookie mix! To the mix, you may add whatever goodies your little heart desires. I usually use whatever extras I have laying around. Today I used mini peanut butter cups, peanut butter M&Ms, and chocolate chips. Because you can NEVER get enough PB & chocolate!
These cookie bars bake up pretty quickly, so be sure to watch them right around the 20 minute mark. At exactly 25 minutes, they were done. They were lightly browned on top and pulling away from the edges on the sides. They have the tendency to get too brown and almost burn, so watch them CLOSELY while they bake!
What I love most about these bars is that they are like soft, gooey, fluffy sugar cookies, but in bar form. And they are absolutely loaded with chunks of colorful chocolate and peanut buttery goodness. Plain, dry, crispy sugar cookies have no place in my heart. Soft + chewy + chunky always wins!
I am so glad I made these cookie bars for the party this weekend… they were the first dessert to go and only took me a mere 30 minutes to bake up. Mission accomplished.
Loaded Sugar Cookie Bars
Yield: 16 bars
- 1 package prepared dry sugar cookie mix (plus ingredients called for on the back of the package - for the Pillsbury mix I used, I had to add 1 stick butter + 1 egg) OR use 1 package pre-made refridgerated sugar cookie mix
- 1 cup peanut butter M&Ms
- 1/2 cup chocolate chips
- 1/2 cup mini peanut butter cups (OR 1/2 cup chopped Reese's Peanut Butter Cups)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray 8x8 baking pan with nonstick spray. Set aside.
In a large bowl, thoroughly mix together the called-for ingredients on the sugar cookie mix to make the dough. Once dough is prepared, mix in all of your mix-ins. Don't be afraid to use your hands!
Press dough evenly into the prepared baking dish. Press any extra add-ins into the top of the bars.
Bake for 25 minutes or until edges are lightly browned. Make sure to cool COMPLETELY before cutting into squares. Enjoy!
Feel free to use any add-ins you have on hand.Try white chocolate chips, butterscotch chips, nuts, chopped candy bars, sprinkles, Reese's Pieces, etc.
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I love using packaged cake mixes, cookie mixes, and brownie mixes and jazzing them up to make something even more drool-worthy. Shortcuts are always welcome in my kitchen! Here are some of my favorites using packaged mixes: