Cookie Bars are a delightful treat that combines the chewy texture of cookies with the convenience of a bar. This recipe is a dream come true for cookie lovers, incorporating the classic flavors of a yellow cake with a twist of vanilla pudding, chocolate chips, and mini M&M’s to create a colorful and irresistible dessert. These bars are incredibly easy to make, requiring just a handful of ingredients and minimal preparation time. Whether you’re looking for a fun baking project with the kids, a sweet addition to a party spread, or just a delicious snack to brighten your day, these cookie bars are sure to hit the spot.
- 1 box Yellow Cake Mix
- 1 box Instant Vanilla Pudding (small box)
- 2 Eggs
- 1/2 cup Vegetable Oil
- 1/4 cup Water
- 1/2 cup Chocolate Chips
- 1/2 cup Mini M&M’s
Step 1: Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C). While the oven is warming up, take a 9×13 inch baking pan and lightly grease it or line it with parchment paper to prevent sticking and ensure easy removal of the bars.
Step 2: In a large mixing bowl, combine the yellow cake mix and the instant vanilla pudding mix. Stir these dry ingredients together to ensure they are well blended.
Step 3: To the dry mix, add the eggs, vegetable oil, and water. Mix these together using a hand mixer or a sturdy spoon until you have a smooth and well-combined batter. The mixture should be thick but spreadable.
Step 4: Fold in the chocolate chips and mini M&M’s into the batter, reserving a small amount of each to sprinkle on top before baking. This not only adds a burst of chocolate in every bite but also makes the bars visually appealing.
Step 5: Spread the batter evenly into the prepared baking pan. Use a spatula or the back of a spoon to smooth out the top. Sprinkle the reserved chocolate chips and mini M&M’s over the top for extra sweetness and color.
Step 6: Bake in the preheated oven for 20-25 minutes, or until the edges are lightly golden and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean or with a few moist crumbs. The exact baking time might vary depending on your oven, so it’s a good idea to start checking at the 20-minute mark.
Step 7: Allow the cookie bars to cool in the pan on a wire rack for at least 30 minutes. This cooling time helps the bars set, making them easier to cut into squares or rectangles.
The addition of instant vanilla pudding to the batter not only enhances the vanilla flavor but also contributes to the moist and soft texture of the bars.
Cut the cooled cookie bars into squares or rectangles and serve them as is, or with a scoop of vanilla ice cream for an extra special treat.
- For a twist, try using different flavors of cake mix or pudding to customize the recipe to your taste preferences.
- Adding a pinch of salt to the batter can help balance the sweetness and bring out the flavors.
- Ensure not to overmix the batter after adding the chocolate chips and M&M’s to prevent the colors from bleeding.
- 10 minutes
- 20-25 minutes
- 30-35 minutes (plus cooling time)
- Calories: Approximately 200-250 per bar
- Protein: About 2-3g per serving
- Sodium: Approximately 150-200mg per serving
(Note: The nutritional values are estimates and can vary based on specific ingredient brands and sizes.)
These Cookie Bars are a testament to the joy of simple baking, combining classic ingredients in a new and exciting way. Perfect for any occasion, from casual get-togethers to special celebrations, these bars offer the perfect balance of chewy, crunchy, sweet, and chocolatey in every bite. Easy to make, delightful to eat, and fun to share, they’re a surefire way to bring a smile to anyone’s face.