Irresistible peanut butter cookie bars with only 5 ingredients! Kid-friendly, easy to make and so delicious, this bar recipe is dangerous!
Why you’ll love it: This super easy bar recipe is addictively good!
How long it takes: 10 minutes to whip up, 40 minutes in the oven
Equipment you’ll need: mixing bowl, measuring utensils, 8-inch square baking pan, oven
Servings: 16 small bars
I’m not even kidding. There are FIVE ingredients in these M&M peanut butter bars!
1 + 1 + 1 + 1 + 1 + oven = Delicious!
Peanut Butter + M&Ms = Happy!
(5 x 1) + Hungry Kids = Zero!
Math lesson over. Moving on.
These M&M peanut butter bars are not only insanely easy to make but they are so delicious. Soft, chewy, and super sweet. I recommend a big glass of milk or a cup of coffee. And small bites that savor each morsel.
Baking doesn’t have to be difficult. It’s amazing how folks love even the easiest recipes. I’m reminded of the time our family visited the home of our French exchange student. Asked to make dessert for dinner, we whipped up a batch of Rice Krispie treats topped with a layer of melted chocolate and peanut butter. I know, kind of lame, right? It’s more difficult than you think to bake in another country! However, you would have thought it was a gourmet treat! Our French hosts raved about them. It was almost embarrassing.
You’ll love that you can make variations to this recipe, too. M&Ms aren’t the only candies that taste great in bars.
About These Easy Bars
Since there are only five ingredients, this recipe is perfect for beginners. Let your kids help you make peanut butter cookie bars. They’ll love measuring the baking mix and brown sugar. Teach them how to crack eggs into a small bowl before they add them to the peanut butter. They’ll get good practice stirring and blending and they’ll love using their hands to mix the dough and press the M&Ms in.
I’ll give you a quick preview of the recipe here but as always, look for the printable recipe card near the end of the post. It has complete instructions and nutrition information.
What You’ll Need
What are the five magic ingredients? I bet you’ve already figured it out!
- Peanut Butter: Creamy or chunky, doesn’t matter. Avoid the natural peanut butters that have to be stirred; choose a brand like Jif or Skippy.
- Eggs: A couple of eggs hold this business all together.
- Brown Sugar: The molasses flavor adds to the profile of these cookies. Dark brown sugar works as well as light brown sugar.
- All-Purpose Baking Mix: An example of this is Jiffy or Bisquick. The mix comes in a large box and is a shortcut product used to make pancakes, waffles, or biscuits. If you’d like, you can use homemade Bisquick.
- M&Ms: Who doesn’t love these chocolate candies? Use the regular assorted colors or buy a color that’s coordinated with an occasion.
How To Make This Recipe
Turn your oven on, wash your hands, and let’s get started! You’ll need an 8×8 baking pan, or an equivalent of that. Spray it lightly with cooking spray.
In a mixing bowl, blend together the peanut butter and eggs until the two ingredients are nice and smooth.
Add the brown sugar and stir again. The mixture should be well-blended.
Measure out the baking mix and add that to the bowl. Mix it in as well as possible. The dough is very thick. You may have to use your hands to combine it. I usually do.
Add the M&Ms and stir some more. Again, hands are totally permissible. If all of the M&Ms don’t stay in the dough, don’t worry.
Turn the dough out into the prepared pan and press it into an even layer. Press any stray or remaining M&Ms right into the dough.
Pop those babies right into the oven and bake for 35 to 40 minutes or until they turn golden brown. Be sure to notice the sweet aroma emanating from your kitchen.
Cool the bars before cutting into 16 squares or whatever size you like. Maybe 4 big squares!
Bisquick is an all-purpose baking mix used for a variety of products such as pancakes, waffles, cake, biscuits, shortcakes, etc. Bisquick is a brand name that’s been around since 1931. I guess you could almost call it old-fashioned. Jiffy is another popular brand. Look for the words “baking mix” on the box.
Bisquick is a mixture that contains flour, oil, leavening, salt, sugar and other ingredients. It’s meant to be a shortcut, eliminating the need for several different ingredients. If you’re interested in making your own, try Homemade Bisquick Mix.
Make It Your Own
- Try mini M&Ms, peanut butter M&Ms, or Reese’s Pieces. Chocolate chips, white chocolate chips, or mini chocolate chips are great too.
- Make these bars gluten-free by using a gluten-free baking mix, such as King Arthur Gluten-Free All-Purpose Baking Mix.
- Turn the bars into dessert. Top each square with a scoop of vanilla ice cream, a drizzle of homemade hot fudge or homemade caramel sauce, and sprinkle on a few more M&Ms for garnish. This is really, really good when the bars are still slightly warm.
- Love M&Ms? Try my modestly named Perfect M&M Cookies — they really are pretty perfect!
- Don’t want to turn your oven on? Try no-bake peanut butter bars. They taste just like Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups.
Peanut butter cookie bars will keep in an airtight container for up to 3 days on the counter. If you need to store them longer than that, refrigerate or freeze them.
More Yummy Bar Recipes
- Blondies – another super easy treat
- Chocolate Chip Blondies
- Raspberry White Chocolate Blondies
- Oh Henry Bars – love that chocolate and peanut butter combination!
- Cinnamon Toast Crunch Bars
- Oreo Cookie Bars
- Brownie Waffles (brownies in 3 minutes – yeah.)
- 3/4 cup peanut butter (creamy or chunky)
- 2 large eggs
- 1 cup packed brown sugar
- 2 cups all-purpose baking mix (such as Bisquick or Jiffy)
- 1 bag (12 oz.) M&Ms, about 1 ⅔ cups (use regular, mini, peanut butter, Reese's Pieces, or even chocolate chips)
- Preheat oven to 325F°. Spray an 8-inch square pan with cooking spray.
- In a large bowl, combine peanut butter and eggs until well mixed and smooth.
- Add brown sugar and stir until well-combined.
- Stir in baking mix until moistened (I use my hands – it is a very thick batter).
- Fold in M&Ms. Again, using your hands works best for this step. Don't worry if some of the M&Ms don't stick in the dough.
- Spread mixture evenly in greased pan, pressing any remaining M&Ms into the dough.
- Bake for 35-40 minutes or until golden brown. Cool and cut into 16 squares.
- Bars will keep in a covered container on the counter for up to three days. If you want to store them longer, store in the refrigerator or freezer.
- Possible substitutions for plain M&Ms: Reese’s Pieces, peanut butter M&Ms, dark chocolate M&Ms, etc. Chocolate chips or mini chocolate chips are good, too.
- Turn the bars into dessert. Top a bar with vanilla ice cream, hot fudge or caramel sauce, and a sprinkle of M&Ms. Especially good when the bars are still warm!
This website provides approximate nutrition information for convenience and as a courtesy only. Nutrition data is gathered primarily from the USDA Food Composition Database, whenever available, or otherwise other online calculators.