Monster Slice (Oatmeal Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip M & M Cookie Bars)

Last weekend our family braved our first family camping trip. We went with our friends the Snaders (who are experienced campers)! It was a success, though I am not so great at sleeping on the ground.

I made some bar cookies for the trip and when I pulled them out for an afternoon snack at the campground, Melinda said, “Oh that reminds me of our Australian friend Rachel.  She always bakes for every occasion, including camping.”  Evidently you always want Rachel at an event because she brings delicious baked goodies. I asked Melinda what all she makes and she said mostly Slices.  I asked what a slice was.  She said “Slice” is what they call “bars” in Australia.  Not plural, “Slices”- singular, “Slice”.  She said she makes different types of Slice: Lemon Slice, Chocolate Slice, Raspberry Macadamia Nut, etc. So fun.

I looked up the definition when we got home and had access to Google again to see what constitutes a Slice.  (One of the refreshing parts of being in the woods was not having phone service!)

Here’s what it said: Slice: (Australia, New Zealand) A class of heavy cakes or desserts made in a tray and cut out into squarish slices.

Why do words seem so much cooler when they have an international influence?

Cheers instead of Hello,
Holiday instead of Vacation,
“throw that in the bin” rather than the trash
stand in the queue rather than the line

I think I’m going to have to adopt the name “Slice” for bars.

I’ve been wanting to post this bar cookie recipe for some time, but needed to get some photos before I could post it.  I got it from Kathryn who kindly made these last year for her Sunday School class in honor of Lucy’s birthday.  Lucy was so honored that Kathryn, her teacher, made a birthday goody and I was so happy that she shared one with me!

I asked for the recipe and held onto it, wanting to make it.  The hang up was that I never seemed to have M & M’s when I wanted to try the recipe.  There is a reason for this.  I can’t keep them in my house.  People snack on them and then they are gone…or at least not enough to make the recipe.  So, this summer, I bought M & M’s and declared them “off limits” for sneaking.

Little did I know the recipe makes a huge amount- an entire jellyroll baking sheet!  I shared them with neighbors and we had them for several days until I froze the rest.  Since then, I have halved the recipe since, to make a more manageable size. Another bonus to this smaller batch is that you only need 1/2 cup of M & M’s.  So that means in my house, there’s a better chance of being able to have enough to make it.

This recipe is Gluten Free if you use Gluten-Free Oats (not all are..so watch it, if you need/want GF).
They are hearty and healthy-ish, in that they have peanut butter and oats and no flour.  But I’m not deceived…they also have butter, sugar, chocolate chips and M & M’s! But most of all they are yummy, easy to make, and they travel well.

Monster Slice 
(Oatmeal Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip M & M Cookie Bars)

16-20 bars
5 ½ Tbsp. butter, room temperature
3/4 cup light brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar
2 eggs
3/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 Tbsp.pure maple syrup
1 cup peanut butter (crunchy or creamy- I use natural peanut butter)
3 cups old fashioned oats
1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/4 cup M&M’s candies, for topping (I like Mini M&M’s)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Beat together the butter and sugars. Add the eggs, vanilla, syrup, and baking soda. Stir in the peanut butter. Add the oats and stir again until well combined. Mix in the chocolate chips.
Press the dough into the bottom of a 8 1/2 X 11  or 9 x 13 baking dish- depending on what you have- the bigger just will make bars a little thinner. Top with the M&M’s and lightly press them into the dough. Bake for 16-17 minutes, until the bars are lightly browned and just past looking wet on top. They will not be firm, but they will set up as they cool.
 
 

 

Monster Cookie Bars -BIG BATCH RECIPE
Makes 32-40 bars
2/3 cup butter, room temperature
1 1/2 cups light brown sugar
1 cup white sugar
4 eggs
1 1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 Tbsp. real maple syrup
2 cups  peanut butter (crunchy or creamy- I used natural creamy)
6 cups old fashioned oats
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup M&M’s candies, for topping (I like using the mini ones)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Beat together the butter and sugars. Add the eggs, vanilla, syrup, and baking soda. Stir in the peanut butter. Add the oats and stir again until well combined. Mix in the chocolate chips.
Press the dough into the bottom of a large baking sheet, or jelly roll pan. Top with the M&M’s and lightly press them into the dough. Bake for 16-17 minutes, until the bars are lightly browned and just past looking wet on top. They will not be firm, but they will set up as they cool.
 
 
If you were hoping for something more seasonal, instead of Monster Slice,
maybe you should click back in my archives and find a pumpkin recipe... click HERE for my favorite Pumpkin Cake
or HERE for Pumpkin Whoopie Pies
 or HERE for consistently delicious Pumpkin Muffins
or HERE for How-To-Roast your Pumpkin Seeds

Or if you would rather read about our Halloween Traditions and recipes, you can click HERE.

Cheers!

4 thoughts on “Monster Slice (Oatmeal Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip M & M Cookie Bars)

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