Festive Oat & Candy Cookie Bars

I’ve been making these bars for years, usually around Easter, Halloween, and Christmas.  The reason?  Well, we always have an abundance of candy leftover, and what better way to use excess candy than to bake with it?  Everyone loves these bars, and you can customize them according to candy preference.  Snickers, Almond Joy, Twix, etc, all good, all gooey.  If you’re going for cute, though, nothing looks better than M&M’s, particularly if you have seasonal colors.  Pastel at Easter, red & green for Christmas, and Halloween?  We’re using regular M&M’s today, because we had oodles of them leftover.  It’s a simple bar cookie, and with the oats, you can at least tell yourself that you’re getting some fiber…

Festive Oat & Candy Cookie Candy Bars Printable Recipe
2 cups oats
1 1/2 cups flour
1 cup pecans, toasted and chopped
1 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup unsalted butter, melted
1 1/2 cups M&Ms, divided
1 14-oz can condensed milk

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Butter or spray a 13×9 pan, then line with parchment paper, so that paper extends over long-side of pan; set aside.
Mix oats, flour, pecans, brown sugar, baking soda and salt together. 
With the mixer on low, slowly drizzle melted butter into oat mixture; mix until crumbly.
Remove 2 cups of mixture and pat remaining mixture into prepared pan.
Bake crust for 10 minutes, then remove and allow to cool; lower oven temperature to 350 degrees.
Melt 1 cup of the M&M’s in the microwave for about 60-90 seconds; remove and combine with condensed milk, stirring well.
Pour over crust and set aside.
Combine reserved crumb mixture with reserved 1/2 cup of M&M’s; sprinkle over M&;M and condensed milk mixture.
Bake for 28-30 minutes at 350 degrees.
Allow to cool completely before cutting into squares

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22 thoughts on “Festive Oat & Candy Cookie Bars

  1. Yes, please! Such a scrumptious way to use up all that candy! I really love the oats in here – they give baked goods the best flavor.

  2. I had a question, do the M&Ms really melt in the microwave or do I need to crush them first before putting them in there? I just bought some M&Ms on sale today and these bars are calling my name. I really want to make them next week – it may even be my post for Week 7.

  3. Hi Mickey! Yes, they are super kid-friendly!

    Hi Erin! Put that halloween candy to good use! I'm going to make another batch for work, and use Almond Joy…

    Thanks, Tracy!

    Hi Lee Ann! Andrew thinks they are “awesome!”

    Hey Laurie! Yes, terrific work treat! My co-workers will get their batch next week.

    Hi Colleen! Thank you!

  4. Thanks, Avril!
    Hi Tracy! Thank you!
    Awesome, Pam, hope you like them!
    Katerina! I though of you when I was making them because I know you're like me and love chocolate!
    Lol, Brenda, you're cracking me up! And, yes, they are gooey – gotta love condensed milk!
    Heather – absolutely best use of Halloween candy, ever!
    Hi Lisa! Yes, I made these with Snickers once, and OMG, AWESOME!

  5. These sound so good and I love how you can use all sorts of other candies in it. That gooey filling is tempting me right now. I'm saving this recipe.

  6. Louanne, as soon as I saw “candy cookie bars” I came running! They look so good and with the sweetened condensed milk they must have that “gooey” think going on too, lol. Awesome!

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