You know that saying, “out of sight, out of mind?” Well it doesn’t work with these cookie bars. No wonder they’re called monster cookies – there’s really no hiding from them because they’ll find you and once you sink your teeth into one, you’ll devour every last crumb. That’s what happened to me recently when a friend of mine made these cookie bars for our gym’s annual summer party. From the second I spotted these decadent and colorful cookies, I couldn’t stop thinking about them – it was love at first sight. I was hesitant to take one for myself since I’ve been gluten free for the majority of my adult life, but the moment I got confirmation that they were indeed gluten free, I practically catapulted myself head first into the cookie tin just in time to grab the last cookie.
These bars are loaded with hearty oatmeal, creamy peanut butter and melt-in-your-mouth chocolate chips and M&Ms. You can also add a few scoops of whey protein into the batter as well to make the cookies even more balanced, especially for those of you who count your macros. These make an awesome dessert, but also can be eaten as a snack. The fiber, fat, and protein you’ll get in the oats, peanut butter, eggs and whey protein make for a satiating combo. Plus if you have a sweet tooth like myself, the chunks of chocolate will make it even more satisfying.
If you have dietary restrictions (i.e. paleo, nut-free, etc) you can make adjustments accordingly to include safe swaps to fit your needs.
- 1 cup packed brown sugar
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) salted butter, softened (i.e. Kerrygold grassfed butter)
- 1 1/2 cups creamy peanut butter
- 3 large eggs
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- Optional: 2 scoops (60g) vanilla whey protein (i.e. CATALYST BY STRENGTH.COM Natural Vanilla Whey Protein Powder)
- 1 1/2 cups quick oats (i.e. Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free Quick Rolled Oats)
- 3 cups old-fashioned oats (i.e. Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free Rolled Oats)
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1-2 cups mini M&Ms
- 1 cup mini chocolate chips or Enjoy Life Mini Chips
This recipe calls for both quick oats and old-fashioned oats. If you use only quick oats the cookies will be more dense and tougher to mix. Splitting the oats will give you a softer and less dense cookie bar.
- Heat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare a cookie sheet by lining it with parchment paper.
- In large bowl, combine brown sugar, granulated sugar, peanut butter, and butter. Mix until pale in color and combined.
- Add the eggs and vanilla extract. Blend together.
- If you’re opting to add some whey protein, we suggest using ½ cup less oats, then with a rubber spatula, add in the quick and old-fashioned oats, whey protein, and baking soda. Mix by hand until well combined.
- Add in the M&Ms’s and chocolate chips (reserve some for top of bars). Stir together well until combined.
- Dump mixture onto your parchment lined cookie sheet and spread out. The batter can be tough to spread, just be patient. Sprinkle the reserved M&Ms and chocolate chips on top. Press them down slightly into the cookie dough.
- Bake for 18-20 minutes. The edges should be lightly browned and the middle should look pale and undercooked. Let cool and firm for at least an hour before eating.
Makes 36 servings | calories: 258 | fat: 13g | carbohydrates: 31g | protein: 7g
This original recipe variation comes from togetherasfamily.com.