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M&M brown sugar cookie bars

Inspired by one of my most popular recipes (my M&M brown sugar cookies), these cookie bars are packed with light brown sugar and brown butter for the most incredible cookie bar taste and texture. You get an added crunch from the M&Ms and melty bites from the semisweet chips. The light brown sugar brings a soft texture, and of course you can't beat the flavor that comes from brown butter. These cookie bars are sure to be a crowd pleaser.

Similar to a blondie, these cookie bars have a shiny, almost brownie like, top. With the added M&Ms and chocolate chips on top, it makes for such a beautiful dessert that anyone will be excited to enjoy.

We only use one type of sugar in this recipe, light brown. It adds not only a great flavor but it brings a moisture and chew to the bars that just adds to the overall experience. We also get a bit of added chew from the extra egg yolk. If you're looking for a way to use the extra egg white, I always recommend my chewy italian almond cookies.

I always love baking with M&Ms because around the holidays you can find fun color themed M&Ms, so this is a great option for holidays like Hanukkah, Christmas, or Valentine's Day. I haven't baked these yet with another type of M&M, like peanut butter, but I'm sure they would be delicious.

Browning butter can sometimes seem intimidating, but I promise the steps are simple and it's so worth it in the end. If you want to skip that step though, you can simply use room temperature or melted butter in its place and the bars will still be delicious.


  • 1 1/2 sticks (3/4 cup, 12 tablespoons) unsalted butter 170g

  • 1 cup light brown sugar 192g

  • 1 large egg + 1 large egg yolk

  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

  • 1 1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons all purpose flour 195g

  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda

  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

  • 3 oz (1/2 cup) semisweet chocolate chips

  • 2/3 cup full size M&Ms 140g

Total time: About three hours

Prep time: 15 minutes

Chill time: 1-2 hours

Bake time: 23-26 minutes

Servings: 16 cookie bars


  • 9x9in square pan (or an 8x8 and increase the cook time a bit)

  • Spatula or large spoon (optional whisk)

  • Parchment paper

  • Heavy bottomed non stick pot

Cooking instructions:

Brown your butter. Place your butter in a pot or pan (I recommend using a nonstick heavy bottomed pot) on the stovetop on a low to medium heat. After it melts, you'll hear it begin to crackle. Stir the melted butter and watch it carefully as it can burn easily. You'll start to smell a nutty aroma (you'll know it when it happens). Once you see the color turn to a light brown or amber, remove your pan from the heat and transfer your butter and all of the brown bits at the bottom into a large, heat proof bowl. Set aside to cool slightly.

In a medium bowl, combine your dry ingredients - flour, baking soda and salt.

Into your large bowl with your brown butter, add your light brown sugar. Use a whisk, spatula or spoon to combine your brown sugar into your butter. Next, add in your vanilla extract, egg and egg yolk. Continue to mix until thickened and smooth.

Add your dry ingredients in, and fold in using your spatula or a large spoon. As your dough begins to form, add most of your chocolate chips and M&Ms - reserving some for the top of your bars. Continue to mix until your dough has just formed and your M&Ms and chips are evenly dispersed.

Line a 9x9 inch square pan with parchment paper and press your cookie dough down evenly into your pan, make sure to reach the corners. Take your reserved chips and M&Ms and sprinkle them across the top of your dough. Gently press down your chips to make sure they are secured.

Place your pan into the fridge for one to two hours to chill.

Once your dough has chilled, preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Bake your cookie bars for 23-26 minutes until lightly golden on the top but still soft.

Allow your bars to cool before slicing (about an hour) and enjoy!

They taste best shortly after baking and the day of, but will stay fresh in an airtight container at room temperature or in the fridge for a few days. You can always pop them into the microwave for 5-10 seconds to rewarm. You can also wrap the baked bars in plastic wrap and freeze to enjoy later.

Carb and serving info:

Servings: 16 cookie bars

Carbs per serving (1 of 16): 25

Carbs for full recipe: 407

Carbs from chocolate chips: 55

Carbs from M&Ms: 106

Note: Carb information is calculated based on the specific ingredients I used to cook with to help guide my own insulin to carb ratio when dosing before I eat my home cooked recipes.

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