Healthier Monster Cookie Bars
A few weeks ago I was asking the ladies in my bible study for recipe ideas.
Let’s be clear.. these friends are the type of girls who get up at 5am to work out, while I sleep for at least 2 more hours. Maybe I need to spend more time with them and it will eventually rub off on me. But I am pretty partial to afternoon workouts.
They said that they like when I post healthier dessert recipes (layered cakes are out the window, boo) but I thought about it, and I like when I share healthier desserts too, because I am more likely to re-make a quick & easy healthier sweet treat than a 3 layer cake and I figured there’s probably a lot of you who agree with me!
I’ve been dreaming about healthier monster cookie bars so I knew that was a good place to start.
This healthier recipe calls 3/4 cup of m&ms, and before you start commenting that m&ms are not healthy, I’m saying that this recipe is healthier than regular monster cookie bars. In a traditional monster cookie bar recipe you’ll find 2 cups of sugar, a stick of butter, and up to 3 cups of m&ms and chocolate chips.
First, we scaled the recipe down to fit in a 8×8 square pan. Less in the beginning = less to eat :)
Second, we replaced the granulated and brown sugar with coconut sugar and/or honey. Still sugar, but healthier!
Third, we omitted the chocolate chips altogether and cut the m&ms back to 3/4 cup. Next time, I’d even scale it back to 1/2 cup. You could also use mini m&ms! You can go (semi) crazy because they’re healthier!
Healthier Monster Cookie Bars
- 1 cup creamy peanut butter
- 2 tbsp honey
- ⅓ cup coconut sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1 ½ cups quick cooking oats
- 1 tsp baking soda
- ¼ tsp salt
- ¾ cup m&ms
- Preheat the oven to 350º F.
- Spray or line an 8x8 inch square baking pan with cooking spray or aluminum foil/parchment paper.
- In a mixing bowl, combine the peanut butter, honey and coconut sugar, using a spatula or electric mixer.
- Add in the eggs and vanilla, mix until incorporated.
- Add the quick cooking oats, baking soda, and salt. Mix gently by hand.
- Mix in the m&ms.
- Pour the monster cookie mixture into the pan and use a spatula or your hands to evenly distribute the batter. The batter will be thick.
- Bake for 18-23 minutes, or until the bars begin to turn golden on top.
- Remove from the oven and allow the bars to cool completely before cutting.
- Store in an airtight container.
I love healthier dessert recipes, too, because I just can’t have cake around the house…I’m the only sweet tooth so that means I’ll probably end up eating the WHOLE thing (eek!) I love the looks of these cookie bars! I need to try coconut sugar. I’ll have to keep an eye out for it!
I love the combination of honey and coconut sugar you used here! And the oats make these bars so much healthier :) Pinning!
Monster cookie bars are my favorite! Love that you made them healthier!
Hi Beth, thank you for sharing this recipe. You’ve given me the idea to make a healthy meal of a packed lunch of my son. My Son was very surprised and pleased with the Healthier Monster Cookie Bars.
Where do I find coconut sugar? I’ve haven’t heard of that before?
Hi Janice! You can find coconut sugar in the baking aisle. Probably near the stevia.
Thank you. Can’t wait to try!
You will enjoy them!
Are old-fashioned rolled oats (not quick-cooking) going to work in this recipe? I know they will be chewier, but anyone tried it that way? I prefer the original oats in other cookies…
I think the old-fashioned rolled oats would work!
What is the difference between regular and the coconut sugar in terms of sweetness, just in case I can’t find the coconut sugar?
Hi Lanis! We used coconut sugar as a healthier alternative, so if you want a healthier alternative you should be able to find coconut sugar in the baking aisle to your grocery store. If you want to use something else I’d suggest using 1/3 cup of brown sugar!