Loaded Sugar Cookie Bars

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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

Ingredients:

  • 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 refrigerated 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)

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray 8x8 baking pan with nonstick spray. Set aside.
  2. 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!
  3. Press dough evenly into the prepared baking dish. Press any extra add-ins into the top of the bars.
  4. Bake for 25 minutes or until edges are lightly browned. Make sure to cool COMPLETELY before cutting into squares. Enjoy!

Sally's Tip: 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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© Sally’s Baking Addiction. All images & content are copyright protected. Please do not use my images without prior permission. If you want to republish this recipe, please re-write the recipe in your own words, or link back to this post for the recipe. Some of the links above are affiliate links, which pay me a small commission for my referral at no extra cost to you! Thank you for supporting Sally’s Baking Addiction.

 

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:

Oatmeal Lemon Creme Bars

 

Cake Batter White Chocolate Fudge

 

Fudgy Cookies n Cream Oreo Brownies

 

52 Comments

All Comments

  1. Hi Sally! I commented on your blog a few weeks ago when I first found it and wanted to tell you again that I love it! You’re so creative!

  2. Soft chewy colorful cookies always win over dry ones! Especially ones that start from a mix…gotta love that!!! I know some people who never use a mix, so I am so happy that you like mixes as much as I do! You always have so much color you always in everything you bake!!! It makes me happy to come over here and drool!!!

    1. Jocelyn, thank you! Cookie/cake mixes RULE. Love shortcuts in the kitchen. So glad you enjoy all of the girly colors all over my blog!

  3. I am in love with cookie bars lately! These are so decadent and irresistible looking – it’s no wonder they disappeared first! I’d head right for them.

  4. Gorgeous and awesome. Bars are so easy and versatile–one of the reasons why I’m OBSESSED with making them 🙂 throw whatever you’ve got on hand and cut those suckers up and you have dessert in no time. I’m sure your friends were beyond impressed and delighted when these showed up to the party with you. I would be (and would promptly hoard the pan and lock myself in a back bedroom).

    1. Housewarming party! I know you will make some FABULOUS eats! I like to remake old recipes and get rid of some (embarassing) photos! lol

  5. OH, Sally. A girl after my heart. You are 100% right, you can never have too much PB and Chocolate!! And M&M’s are my weakness! I can eat a whole bag in one sitting. Sooooo bad ;/ These look perfect to me. I would choose the very same add ins! Yum Yum!

  6. Hi Sally, I just saw this picture on Foodgawker and couldn’t stop appreciating the clicks!! The recipe looks delish!My kids love cookies and I have to keep them happy by learning and baking. Loved your recipes and will be back again and again. Will try your version of M&M cookies and lot more!

    1. So glad to hear that Anamika! These sugar cookie bars are so easy and I know that kids love them! They are colorful, bright, sweet, and full of m&ms! You’ll love the M&M cookies too.

  7. Made these last night and they were wonderful!!! Was looking for something to do with the bag of sugar cookie mix that Betty Crocker sent me, other than plain old cookies. We used regular M&M’s and chocolate chips. Thanks for the great idea!

    1. Hey Val! Betty Crocker sent you sugar cookie mix? I’m jealous! I love their sugar cookie mix, especially in this recipe. So glad you made these! Thanks for letting me know. 🙂 Have a great weekend!

  8. WOW these look amazing! I’ll be making these later today, but I’m going to try to cut back on the butter. We’ll see how they turn out!

      1. I might just go out and buy 5 more boxes of sugar cookie mix in order to make more of these bad boys, they are THAT good! I used 3 T of butter and 2 T of greek yogurt to “healthify” them, but who was I kidding..I threw in a pack of M&M’s and 2 T of chocolate chips, a little chocolate couldn’t hurt, right? They turned out great, and I think my family would agree judging by how fast they gobbled them up!

  9. My 14 year old daughter was bored so I asked if she wanted to bake something. She said sure, that sounds like fun.

    I pulled up your blog and told her to pick anything she wanted and she could make it. There were several contenders!

    In the end, these sugar cookie bars won! (So easy to make, perfect for a 14 year old!) She ended up using peanut M & M’s and pretzel M & M’s because peanut butter M&M’s no longer exist?!?!

    They were a huge hit with the kids! I think they ate half the pan as soon as they were cool enough.

    1. I’m glad you chose my site to bake from, Anna! I love your daughter’s choice of add-ins. Peanut Butter M&Ms no longer exist?!?!??! Where have I been? That’s a huge disappointment! I loved those. Anyway, I’m glad these were a hit!

      1. Hi again!

        My daughter wanted to bring a snack to school and since this recipe was so easy, she wanted to make another batch. This time, she chose peanut butter cookie dough, mini Reese’s Pieces, peanut butter chips, chocolate chips and Heath bar crushed up.

        I love this recipe, it’s easy enough for her to make on her own and the combinations are endless!

        Thanks Sally 🙂

        PS~Happy Birthday!!

      2. I must try this with peanut butter cookie dough! Your daughter is so creative. Heath + peanut butter sounds so good. Thanks Anna!

  10. OMG I made these for my boyfriend and sent some to my brother in college….they are both sugar freaks! They LOVED it! I put peanut butter m&ms, mini chocolate chips, and chopped walnuts…delicious! I think I’m going to try some dark chocolate m&ms instead of peanut butter ones next time 🙂 Great recipe!

    1. Hey Heather! SO glad you made these. And they are the perfect recipe to send to loved ones because they package so nicely. Dark chocolate M&Ms would be SO good.

  11. These sound wonderful, so happy that I came across them while looking over your site. Just a question, how long do they stay fresh covered at room temperature? Thanks so much!

  12. has anyone had the issue of the middle being completely raw? I could only find the betty crocker mix but also added an extra stick of butter and an egg so maybe that’s why mine isn’t working? I’m usually not incompetent in making these types of things?

    1. That’s why your bars aren’t coking – too many wet ingredients! I suggest sticking to the recipe. Thanks Christina!

  13. Hi! These look fantastic and as soon as I get a reply (if I can wait!) I WILL be making two pans! This might be a silly question, but would they still turn out if I used half a stick of butter and made up for the rest in peanut butter? I only have regular M&Ms and I NEED peanut butter in my cookies=) thanks in advance!

  14. Just made these for a Super Bowl party, I pulled out just the blue and orange peanut butter m&m’s and called them Bronco Bars, so yummy, everyone loved them! I baked them for a few minutes over the called for 25 minutes and they were perfectly gooey yet fully cooked. Thanks for the idea and recipe 🙂

  15. Just wondering if the fudge ripple
    Monster bars freeze well? This was the closest recipe I could find to them on the site hahaha

  16. Hey Sally! These look so easy to make, and are so colorful! I’ll be making them for a potluck tomorrow. If I wanted to make it again, without the premade mix, could I use your sugar cookie bar base? (Like the one for the Frosted Sugar Cookie bars) or would it not be able to handle the add-ins? Or do you have a different recommendation? Just for those days when I have a bit more time. 🙂

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