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Sliced M&M cookie bars on white parchment paper on a marble counter top.

Chewy Holiday M&M Cookie Bars

  • Author: Laura Bolton - Fork Knife Swoon
  • Prep Time: 20
  • Cook Time: 20
  • Total Time: 40 minutes
  • Yield: 12 Bars 1x
  • Category: Baking, Dessert
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American
  • Diet: Vegetarian


An easy, no-chill recipe for festive Holiday M&M Cookie Bars. These chewy chocolate candy-studded cookie bars are full of nostalgic flavor and perfect for Santa and holiday baking. Shiny tops, chewy centers, and packed with gooey chocolate candy. Dairy-free and gluten-free friendly.


  • 1/2 cup (113g or 1 stick) unsalted butter, melted
  • 11/4 cups (150g) all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp Kosher salt
  • 3/4 cup (150g) light brown sugar, packed
  • 1/4 cup (50g) granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 cup milk chocolate holiday M&Ms
  • 1/4 cup (40g) semisweet chocolate chips


  1. Preheat the oven to 350℉. Line a 8×8-inch baking dish with parchment paper or grease lightly with butter. Set aside.
  2. Melt the butter in a small skillet over low heat or in the microwave at 50% power. Set aside.
  3. In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt, until combined. Set aside.
  4. In a stand-up mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, mix together the melted butter and sugars on medium speed until smooth and creamy, about 1 min. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed, and mix in the vanilla.
  5. Add the egg and mix until completely combined and the mixture has slightly lightened in color, about 30 seconds.
  6. Turn the mixer down to low, and spoon in the flour mixture. Mix until just combined, scraping down the sides of the bowl with a spatula, as needed. Stir in the M&Ms (reserving a few for the top) and about half of the chocolate chips.
  7. Turn the cookie dough out into the prepared baking pan, and use an offset spatula to even out the top and smooth the dough into the corners. The dough will be thick.
  8. Sprinkle the remaining M&Ms and chocolate chips on top.
  9. Bake for 18-22 minutes, until the bars look shiny and set, the edges are golden, and a cake tester inserted into the center comes out clean. Let the cookie bars cool in the pan before slicing. Serve warm. Enjoy!!


Note: If you’re a fan of salted chocolate, these are delicious topped with a sprinkle of flake sea salt such as Maldon.

Make them dairy free: Use a plant-based butter such as Miyokos or Earth Balance Buttery Baking Sticks. I find that while both result in similar textures, Miyokos has a less noticeable flavor. You’ll also need to use a dairy-free chocolate candy instead of M&Ms, which are made with milk chocolate. I like the Unreal Dark Chocolate Gems. Be sure to also use dairy-free chocolate chips.

Make them gluten free: Substitute equal parts of a gluten-free all-purpose flour blend such as Bob’s Red Mill or King Arthur Flour.

Keywords: holiday M&M cookie bars, christmas, candy, chocolate chip cookie bars, chewy, blondies