Loaded Sugar Cookie Bars

sugar cookie bars with m&m candies and chocolate chips on a white plate

To me, baking something quick means BARS. Brownies, blondies, rice krispie treats, you name it. Depending on the recipe, some bars are made in under 30 minutes with with no mixer required. And you usually don’t need to chill the dough or batter, either.

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.

For a homemade version, use my sugar cookie bars recipe and leave out the sprinkles. Add whatever add-ins you’d like.

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.

sugar cookie bars with m&m candies and chocolate chips on a white plate

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sugar cookie bars with m&m candies and chocolate chips on a white plate

Loaded Sugar Cookie Bars

  • Author: Sally
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 25 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour, 30 minutes
  • Yield: 16 bars
  • Category: Bars
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American

Description

Soft sugar cookie bars loaded with chunks of colorful chocolate and your favorite candy add-ins. Use a store-bought cookie mix or see my recipe notes for the homemade version.


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)

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350Ā°F (177Ā°C). Spray an 8-inch or 9-inch square baking pan with nonstick spray or line with parchment paper. 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. Dough will be very thick.
  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. For neat, clean cuts, cool completely before cutting into squares.

Notes

  1. Add-Ins: 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.
  2. Homemade Version: Instead of pre-made mix, you can use the dough from my homemade sugar cookie bars instead. Leave out the sprinkles, if desired, and add your favorite add-ins as called for in this recipe. Bake for 25-26 minutes or until the edges are lightly browned.

Keywords: sugar cookie bars

42 Comments

  1. Averie @ Averie Cooks says:

    All those M & Ms….make me want to start baking!

    1. God I love M&Ms. Baking with them is so fun – so much color!

  2. Why Oh Why….aren’t we neighbors?? =)

    1. That’d be SO fun!! Wish I lived in sunny CA near you! šŸ™‚

  3. 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!

    1. Abby!! So nice to hear from you again. Thank you so much for the compliment, it truly means a lot. šŸ™‚

  4. Jocelyn @BruCrew Life says:

    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!

  5. Yes, please. I’ll take three.

  6. Erin @ Dinners, Dishes, and Desserts says:

    Love all the chocolate and peanut butter in these!

  7. 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.

    1. I love cookie bars, Reeni! I hardly have to think about it when I make them – they are so easy!

  8. Ashley @ Kitchen Meets Girl says:

    Hee, you probably think I am CRAZY. I got your site link via Back4Seconds in the group e-mail she sent. =) Anyway, I am in love with your blog!

  9. Gorgeous and awesome. Bars are so easy and versatile–one of the reasons why I’m OBSESSED with making them šŸ™‚ 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).

  10. Julie @ Table for Two says:

    you should come make these for my housewarming party in July! haha.. I love that you’re remaking so past recipes, i need to do the same so I can retake the crappy pictures!!

  11. Barbara @ Barbara Bakes says:

    What a fun recipe! Love how quick and easy it is.

  12. Back For Seconds says:

    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!

  13. This is such a dreamy dessert bar.

  14. 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. šŸ™‚ Have a great weekend!

      1. LOL yeah… I love freebies! I think I signed up for it on BetterCrocker.com…..

  15. 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. Let me know how you like them!

      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!

      2. I have to try them with greek yogurt. I’m so happy you all loved these Jackie!

  16. Anna {Herbivore Triathlete} says:

    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. Anna {Herbivore Triathlete} says:

        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 šŸ™‚

        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!

  17. 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 šŸ™‚ 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.

  18. 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!

    1. Hey Jen! About 1 week. But they won’t last that long!

  19. 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!

  20. 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!

    1. unfortunately PB is not a substitute for butter. how about you make these peanut butter bars instead? https://sallysbakingaddiction.com/2014/01/24/whole-wheat-peanut-butter-blondies/

  21. How long do I bake these if I wanted to double the recipes?

  22. 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 šŸ™‚

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

  24. 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. šŸ™‚

    1. Hi Lydia! Yep, you can use my from-scratch sugar cookie bar base instead.

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