Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Peanut Butter M&M White Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars

Before I tell you about these delicious cookie bars, I am super excited to share with you that our baby boy was born on March 28 weighing 7lbs 15oz. He is absolutely perfect and we couldn't be more happy! Of course the sleep deprivation might take awhile to get used to, but it is worth every minute that we get to spend with him.  So blog posts will probably be brief and sporadic for awhile as we get use to our new lifestyle but I will try to squeeze them in during nap times here and there :)

I made these cookies to celebrate baby K's one week old birthday.  With my busy work schedule leading up to his birth and then being out of commission for a little while after he was  born, I was really itching to be in the kitchen again.  I bought these Easter/Spring peanut butter M&Ms as a post-pregnancy craving one afternoon and I knew as soon as I took a bite that I needed to put these in a cookie.  The next time I was at the store I picked up three more bags (that's only slightly embarrassing, right?) so that I could make cookies and have a stash to snack on too!  

The nutty flavor of the browned butter compliments the peanut butter in the M&Ms really nicely and gives the cookies another level of flavor as well.  The white chocolate chips were a happy accident because I realized that I only had a handful of regular chocolate chips left in the pantry half way through making the cookies.  The white chocolate ended up giving the cookies a wonderful creamy sweetness.  The bars are both chewy and crunchy at the same time and are a great time saver for when you are trying to get a fantastic dessert without too much effort.  Definitely make these with regular peanut butter M&Ms during other times of the year when the Easter candy is not available!    

Peanut Butter M&M White Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars

1 cup butter, browned
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1 tbsp cornstarch
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
2 1/2 cups flour
1 1/2 cups white chocolate chips
1 cup peanut butter M&Ms

In a medium sauce pot melt the butter over medium heat stirring constantly.  The butter will get very foamy and then it will subside. Then the butter will begin to turn a light brown color and have a toasty/nutty fragrance. Turn the heat off as soon as the butter begins to brown because the remaining heat from the pan can make the butter burn if you let it get too browned. Browning the butter will take about 5-7 minutes depending on the strength of your stove.  Let the butter cool for about 15 minutes before continuing with the recipe.

In the same pot, add the sugars to the butter and stir with a wooden spoon until well incorporated.  Stir in the egg and vanilla and then all of the dry ingredients.  Make sure everything is mixed well and then add the white chocolate chips (use regular chocolate if you don't want to use white chips).  Press the cookie dough into a greased 9x13" baking pan and lightly press peanut butter M&Ms evenly all over the top of the dough.  Bake at 350°F for about 20 minutes until lightly golden brown on top.  Cool completely and cut into bars before serving.


Inspired by Pale Yellow