Preheat your oven for the ultimate soft and chewy Monster Cookie Bars recipe made with oatmeal, chocolate chips and peanut butter.
Monster Cookies and I go way back, like 2008 back. We’re talking the pre-Pinterest-dawn-of-hashtags days.
The best recipes stand the test of time (and technology). Monster Cookies are no exception. It’s been six years since I first hit publish on that recipe for Monster Cookies, and dozen after dozen, month after month, year after year, the cookies have popped up at birthday parties and at sports games, as an after-school snack and as a cold weather comfort. Now, they’re getting a makeover, and I don’t know who is more excited about it, me or my sous chef, Wiley.
Monster Cookies, meet your culinary cousin, Monster Cookie Bars. The bars are denser, chewier and more durable for on-the-go snacking than their drop-cookie counterpart. Both desserts are flourless and both desserts contain a whole lot of peanut butter and chocolate. And because they also contain a hearty serving of oats, Monster Cookie Bars are technically a breakfast food. How convenient is that?
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- 1 cup sugar
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 3 large eggs
- 1 1/2 cups peanut butter (smooth or chunky)
- 1 Tablespoon vanilla extract
- 2 teaspoons baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 4 1/2 cups Old Fashioned oats
- 1 cup M&Ms
- 1 cup chocolate chips
- Pre-heat the oven to 350°F and line a 13x9-inch metal baking pan with greased parchment paper with a 2-inch overhang on each short side of the pan.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together the sugar, brown sugar and butter until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes.
- Add the eggs to the bowl, one at a time, beating between each addition then add the the peanut butter, vanilla extract, baking soda and salt and mix until well combined.
- Add the oats and mix just until combined. Stir in the M&Ms and chocolate chips.
- Transfer the cookie dough into the prepared pan, pressing it into an even layer. Bake for about 30 minutes until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. (See Kelly's Notes.) Remove the pan from the oven and allow the cookie to cool in the pan for 20 minutes. Using the parchment paper overhang, lift the cookie out of the pan and onto a cutting board. Slice the cookie into 24 bars and serve.
- For chewier, softer cookie bars, underbake the cookie and allow it to cool in the pan for 30 to 45 minutes before slicing and serving.
- If you are using a glass 13x9-inch baking pan, you may need to decrease the oven temperature to 325°F based on how the heat circulates in your oven.
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Recipe by Kelly Senyei of Just a Taste. Please do not reprint this recipe without my permission. If you'd like to feature this recipe on your site, please rewrite the method of preparation and link to this post as the original source.
Have anyone used this recipe with quick oats?
Quick oats work great!
We love these bars and have made them many times!
Yay! I’m so thrilled you’ve been enjoying the recipe, Julie!
Always get positive feedback and a request for the recipe when i bring these to a party. My family loves eating the edges and corners that I cut off before serving.
Awesome! I’m so thrilled you’ve been enjoying the recipe, Kari!
I used to make these all the and take them to work as a treat for my co-workers, they loved them! Since retiring, my grandkids and dil beg me to bake them. They turn out wonderfully every time!
Yay! Love reading this, Kay!
I too had problems getting these to cook all the way. 30 mins and still very wet on the inside. Going on 50 mins now and still not done. Hoping they don’t completely burn on the edges.
I’m sorry you didn’t enjoy the recipe, Kristin. Ovens and baking pans can cause discrepancies in baking times however, I may need to rework this recipe.
I wish that I had read the comments before making these… I baked mine according to the instructions and they are doughy in the middle. However they looked done on the outside! I’d probably recommend halving the recipe like mentioned above, or spread it out on a larger sheet. It’s a bit much for a 9 x 13 pan. :(
Thank you for your comment, Cassandra. I’m sorry you didn’t enjoy the recipe. Ovens and baking pans can cause discrepancies in baking times.
Do you know the nutrition information for these bars?
Hi there! Every recipe on the site includes estimated nutritional info. All you have to do is click on the purple button below the recipe that says ESTIMATED NUTRITION INFORMATION.
My daughter made this recipe last night. The cooking time said 30 mins at 350 degrees but less for chewy bars in a 9″x13″ pan. I was concerned on cooking time with such thick bars but she followed the instructions as stated. She baked for 26 mins. They were not done. In the end she cooked for an additional 20 mins with no luck. The clean toothpick trick doesn’t work well either when you have melted chocolate that sticks to it. They smelled & looked wonderful, sides more done than center. Our oven is fairly new. She also didn’t realize to save more M&M’s back for the top decorations. She felt it was a waste of her time & money since it is costly to make. Not a good choice to make for an inexperienced baker.
Hi there! I’m sorry you didn’t enjoy the recipe. Ovens and baking pans can causes discrepancies in baking times.
My family can’t get enough of these bars! Thank you!
So glad you and your family are enjoying the recipe, Patti!
I make the full recipe but bake it in my Pampered Chef rectangle cookie sheet. The are the right thickness. I set the time for 20 minutes and go from there as to how long I bake it. My grandkids ask for these any time they need cookies for something.
So glad you’ve been enjoying the recipe, Linda!
For anybody who doesn’t maybe want them quite as thick (they bake up to pretty much fill the depth of the 9X13), I tested this out the second time I baked these… Make half the recipe (the only thing that doesn’t halve easily is the eggs–I just put in 2 eggs) and still put it in the 9X13. I baked mine for 20 minutes then, and they were perfect! Still get to experience the deliciousness of this recipe but in a thickness more common to most cookie bars. We love them!
Kelly, this really is an amazing recipe! Thanks so much for sharing it!
Thanks for your comment, Lacie. And I’m so glad you’ve been enjoying this recipe!
sounds good, do you think 1/2 cup of flax meal is ok to add? If so, when should I adds it?
Hi there, Nita! That should work, although it may alter the texture. I would add it at the same time you add the oats. Let me know how it turns out if you give it a shot!
Hi , What can you use other than peanut butter ?
Hi Nyda! You can use another type of nut butter, such as almond butter, however the texture might be slightly different.
Can I use quick oats instead of old fashioned cause that’s all I have and I have a bunch of it? Also if I use a jelly roll pan will they come out chewy still ?
That should work!
Hi Kelly, these are definitely my new go to recipe also. I don’t even need the recipe anymore..it’s “all in the vault”. It’s so much nicer making bars as opposed to cookies, whole lotta wasted space between those cookies don’tcha know. I made the original a few times…AWESOME!! Then I added a tbs of cinnamon…also delish! I also subbed granola for the oats..also delish…But..the coo de gra..er however you spell it, was subbing Cinnamon Toast Crunch for the oats…seriously The BOMB!! Try it sometime and Thanks for all the great recipes. =) Hargo
Love all of these twists on the recipe, Hargo! Thanks for sharing and so glad you’re enjoying the recipe :)
I put my cookie bars in the oven for 40 minutes but when i stick a toothpick in it still comes out unclean. What should I do?
Hi Emily – Are you using a glass baking dish?
Hi Kelly! That was really cool! Can’t wait for making this cake. Thanks for the recipe!
I want to ask you something,what is the size of cup that you use ?
And the oatmeal, can i use with a different brand?
Kelly! I have had such good luck with your recipes, so I was so excited to try this one tonight. I can’t figure out what happened, but I know I used the exact ingredients listed (Jif PB) and used a 10×15 Pyrex pan to make them thinner, and after 25 minutes the tester looked clean, but after sitting for 20 minutes they were practically goo in the middle. I put them in the oven again for 25 for minutes and they still don’t look done. Any ideas? They smell delicious, at least. :)
Hi Kelly – these bars look amazing- I also love that they use oatmeal – and I am going to bring them to work next week :-) My only concern is the peanut butter as there are peanut allergies… What would you suggest that I use to substitute the peanut butter?
Hi Michele – The peanut butter is what really binds these cookies together so I’ve never made the recipe with an alternative ingredient. Let me know if you find a substitute!
Made these for a work potluck and they were great! Made them exactly as the recipe is written using all natural peanut butter. I cooked them a little under 30 minutes and they were perfect. Because they are so thick they went a long way. Thank you for the great recipe!
Awesome! So glad you enjoyed the recipe, Bridget!
Do you really use a 9×13 pan? Mine are baking like a cake. Very thick
Hi Beth – Yes, these are cookie bars, so they’re thicker than average cookies.
Hi Kelly – I made these today with Old Home refrigerated 100% all natural creamy peanut butter and they were delicious! I haven’t made them with any other type of peanut butter so I’m not able to compare to how yours would be but they turned out! I did refrigerate the dough for about 10 minutes before baking which is supposed to help when baking with all natural peanut butter. I also used Sun Drops in place of M&Ms, they’re essentially M&Ms but without the artificial colors! These were a hit! Thanks!
Where did you get the Sun Drops? I haven’t heard of these, but I am all about cutting out artificial dyes
Hi, I am looking forward to making the Monster Cookie recipe, however I would like to use roasted almond butter from Trader Joe’s. Do you think that will work?
Hi Dawn! I’ve never tried making this recipe for roasted almond butter, so I can’t say with certainty if that would work. Let me know if you give it a shot!
Can I add 1 cup of white chocolate chips? :)
Can I add white chocolate chips? :))
Just pulled these out of the oven, they seem awfully thick to me, and I made them in a glass 9×13 pan. Have you tried them in a jelly roll pan for less time?
Hi Amy! These cookie bars are definitely on the thicker side. If you prefer thinner cookies (that will be crispier and less chewy), you can definitely use a bigger pan. Hope that helps!
YUM!! These look fantastic!! Can’t wait to try them!
These look wonderful, can’t wait to try! Curious if I could use refrigerated all natural peanut butter in this recipe?
Thanks, Cherie! I’ve never used all-natural peanut butter in this recipe, so I can’t say with certainty how it might affect the texture/results. Let me know if you try it!
These look SO amazing! I love cookies (seriously like the Cookie Monster ;-) ) and I love m&m’s so I’ m going to need to try these! And made into bars is even better cause they’re thicker ;-) yum!
I love that you sliced these bars into triangles instead of squares. I need to do that more. Triangular foods are so much fun.
I’ve never made bars with all oats before except for no bake granola bars from Averie Cooks.
I’ll have to try these.
Thanks so much, Jennifer!
These are so fun and perfect for back to school and then Halloween!
These look awesome. Did you use quick oats or old fashioned oats?
Thanks, Tobie! I used Old Fashioned oats and have updated the recipe to include that :)
I love that these use oats instead of flour! I also love that it makes a giant slab of cookie, so I can chow down on it, Cookie Monster-style. :)
I adore monster cookies and these bars look even better – yum!!
My kids would do a happy dance if I slipped some of these into their lunch boxes. What an awesome treat!
Thanks so much! Hope you all enjoy them :)
Love how you cut these into triangles, and your buddy Wiley is adorable! Pinning to try soon!
Loving that you made these flourless! We love the time saved by making bar cookies, especially now that school is back in session:) Pinned!
When I saw these on IG earlier in the week I was hoping they were monster cookie bars. I love your monster cookies!