These festive Christmas M&M cookie bars are packed with red and green holiday M&M's, mini chocolate chips, and white chocolate chips! They're a great start to your holiday baking and a delightful treat for cookie swaps and holiday cookie trays!
Festive Christmas M&M Cookie Bars Packed With Chocolatey Goodness!
It’s official. We’re now well into the holiday season. It’s the two months at the end of the year when we decorate the house, invite the relatives over, and bake everything we’ve ever seen on The Great British Bake Off! Yum!
Start your holiday baking off right with these easy cookie bars that are full of M&Ms, mini chocolate chips, and white chocolate chips! The rich addition of brown sugar and vanilla extract makes these the chocolate chip cookie bars dreams are made of.
This is a great recipe to make with the little ones if they’re around and interested. All it takes is one bowl and a whole lot of stirring. They’ll love sneaking some chocolate as it gets mixed in!
❤️ Why You'll Love This Recipe!
No scooping! Just dump it all in the pan, top with more chocolate and M&Ms candies, and cut after baking!
It’s full of chocolate! With three types of chocolate in this recipe, it’s every chocoholics' dream!
They’re festive! Bright red and green Christmas M&Ms make this a true holiday delight!
Pull out your baking staples; you’re going to need them. You’ll also have to pick up a seasonal item and some extra chocolate if you don’t keep it lying around the house.
*Be sure to see the recipe card below for ingredients, amounts & instructions!*
- 1 cup Butter - Be sure to use unsalted sweet cream for baking!
- 1 cup Sugar - Good old-fashioned white sugar is vital for deliciousness.
- 1 cup Light Brown Sugar - Brown sugar adds that oh-so-good toffee taste.
- 3 Large Eggs - To bind your cookie bars and add richness.
- 1 ½ teaspoons Vanilla Extract - If you can, buy “pure” extract vs. “imitation”. It’s much stronger, and you won’t regret it!
- ¾ teaspoon Baking Soda - This is our trusty leavening agent.
- ¾ teaspoon Salt - Regular table salt will work just fine in this recipe. Use a little less if you've only got salted butter on hand.
- 3 cups All-Purpose Flour - You should stock up on this bakers' staple for the baking season!
- 1 ½ cups Christmas M&Ms - It’s that time of year again. Red and green M&Ms for everyone!
- 1 cup Mini Chocolate Chips - Mixing up the size and type of chocolate makes these bars extra delicious.
- ½ cup White Chocolate Chips - Don’t forget white chocolate to round out the flavor!
Is your store late on putting out the holiday candy? Grab a large bag of M&M's and let the kids pick through for the red and green ones. 🙂
🔪 Step-by-Step Instructions
For this recipe, you’ll need about 15 minutes for prep time. Grab a large mixing bowl, a 9x13 inch pan, beaters, and parchment paper or aluminum foil.
Mix the Cookie Dough
- Preheat your oven. Set your oven temperature to 350℉ (175℃). Take parchment paper or aluminum foil and line a 9x13 inch pan. Leave the ends hanging out in order to make it easier to remove the bars after baking.
- Cream butter and sugars. If you have a stand mixer, get out the bowl. If not, a large mixing bowl is great. Add 1 cup unsalted butter, 1 cup white sugar, and 1 cup light brown sugar and mix on medium or high until light and fluffy.
- Next, add eggs and vanilla. Break 3 large eggs into the bowl with 1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract and continue mixing. Stir in ¾ teaspoon salt and ¾ teaspoon baking soda. Drop in 3 cups of all-purpose flour and mix until combined.
- Fold in chocolate candies. Pour in 1 ½ cup Christmas M&Ms, 1 cup mini chocolate chips, and ½ cup white chocolate chips. Fold everything together by hand using a wooden spoon or spatula. Chocolate should be evenly distributed.
Transfer and Bake
- Transfer to pan. Using a spatula or wooden spoon, take your finished dough, and press it into an even layer in your prepared 9x13 inch pan. Add more chocolate pieces on top, as desired. Press them into the dough.
- Bake it. Put your cookie bars in the oven on the center rack and bake for 35 to 40 minutes. When done, the top will be golden, not raw-looking. If you stick a toothpick into the center of the pan, it should come out clean.
- Remove and cool. Take it out of the oven, and let it cool completely. Then, remove it from the pan and cut it into bars.
These bars are great at any meal dessert is served. If you really want to indulge, eat these with a cup of hot chocolate or some eggnog.
💭 Angela's Tips & Recipe Notes
If lining your pan with foil, make sure to coat it generously to prevent sticking.
- Foil doesn’t quite have the nonstick properties of parchment paper, so you’ll need to add it. Spray with nonstick baking or cooking spray or wipe it with butter or oil–vegetable, avocado, or coconut. Keep in mind the last of these will add a bit of coconut flavor.
If you don’t have a stand mixer, you can use a hand mixer or arm power.
- Stand mixers are great, but they’re not for everyone, especially those with limited space. Hand mixers work really well and pack up fairly small. If nothing else, using your own hands will get the job done. Just be ready for a workout!
Add extra decoration with icing!
- If you opt to ice these, I’d recommend keeping it to a minimum. Make a smiley face or the outline of a star or Christmas tree. Any kind of icing–cream cheese, buttercream, chocolate–would be delicious, but keep in mind these bars are already very rich.
Sprinkles make these tasty M&Ms bars extra festive!
- Use your favorite holiday sprinkle blend, or mix your own! Use sprinkles, nonpareils, or holiday shapes to top off the cookie bars when they come out of the oven.
There’s no need to refrigerate these, but they’ll stay fresh longer. To store extras, put them in an airtight container or wrap with foil or plastic wrap and leave them on the counter for around 3 days. If kept in the fridge, they’ll last closer to a week.
Freezing Christmas M&M Cookie Bars
If you’re making these in advance, store them in the freezer uncut, in the pan, and wrapped tightly in plastic. To store extras, wrap them back up, place parchment paper between each bar to prevent sticking, and put them in an airtight container for freezing.
They’ll be good for 2 to 3 months. To thaw, just set them out on the counter for a few hours.
🎄 More Christmas Cookie Recipes
There are two most likely reasons for this. The first is over-baking. You’ll want to bake them for as little as you can while making sure they’re entirely cooked. Test this with a toothpick.
The second reason could be over-mixing. The more you mix the batter once the flour is added, the more you activate the gluten, leading to harder bars. Keep the mixing to a minimum after you add the flour. You might even ditch the mixer for a wooden spoon.
This will vary among ovens, but the key is to watch it carefully. When the top is dull, not the shiny raw look, take the back of a spoon and press slightly into a bar. The slight dimple should remain.
It’s difficult to get this perfect, but if soft and gooey cookies are your goal, pull them out a bit early and test. You can always add more time, but you can’t reverse it.
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Christmas M&M Cookie Bars
- 1 cup butter (2 sticks of salted butter)
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 cup light brown sugar (packed)
- 3 large eggs
- 1 ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- ¾ teaspoon baking soda
- ¾ teaspoon salt
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 ½ cup Christmas M&M's (plus about a handful more for topping)
- 1 cup mini chocolate chips
- ½ cup white chocolate chips
- Preheat your oven to 350°F (176°C) and line a 9x13 inch pan with parchment paper or aluminum foil leaving a bit overhanging out of the pan to help with removal.
- In a large mixing bowl or the bowl of your stand mixer cream together the butter, sugar, and brown sugar until light and fluffy.1 cup butter, 1 cup sugar, 1 cup light brown sugar
- Add eggs and the vanilla extract, and mix in. Stir in the salt and baking soda, then add the all-purpose flour. Mix until well combined.3 large eggs, 1 ½ teaspoon vanilla extract, ¾ teaspoon baking soda, ¾ teaspoon salt, 3 cups all-purpose flour
- Fold in the M&M's, mini and white chocolate chips. Hand mix until the candies are evenly distributed throughout the cookie dough.1 ½ cup Christmas M&M's, 1 cup mini chocolate chips, ½ cup white chocolate chips
- Transfer the fully combined cookie dough to your prepared 9x13 pan. Use a spatula to spread and press down the dough into an even layer. Add additional candies on top (press them a bit down into the dough).
- Place your 9x13 pan onto the middle of your oven's center rack and bake at 350°F (175°C) for 35 to 40 minutes, or until the top is golden and no longer raw in appearance. Use a toothpick to insert in the center to check for doneness.
- Remove from oven and allow to cool completely before removing and cut into squares. Serve and enjoy.
- If using foil for your 9x13 coat with oil, butter, or non-stick spray.
- If you don't have a hand mixer, you can use a stand mixer or use good old-fashioned elbow grease to work the cookie dough.
Angela is an at home chef that developed a passion for all things cooking and baking at a young age in her Grandma's kitchen. After many years in the food service industry, she now enjoys sharing all of her family favorite recipes and creating tasty dinner and amazing dessert recipes here at Bake It With Love!