The Best No Flour Monster Cookie Bars + A Cookie Bar Mix Gift Idea

We’ve whipped up these deliciously satisfying No-Flour Monster Cookie Bars and are sharing how you can create your own Monster Cookie Bar Mix to gift to friends this holiday season. This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser, Mars Wrigley Confectionery US, LLC. All opinions are mine alone. #SimplySweetness #CollectiveBias

Holiday baking season has arrived! And you know what that means? Lots and lots and LOTS of dishes in our home. Because when we bake, we bake. I’m sure I’ve mentioned it before but the kids LOVE to help out in the kitchen. And when Christmas rolls around, we stock up on all of our baking necessities (like the big Red & Green Holiday 52 oz. Bag of M&M’S® from Sam’s Club). We wouldn’t want to run out mid-holiday baking. 

One thing I love about baking during the holidays is that it’s an inexpensive way to share our love with others. We don’t necessarily have the budget to purchase a gift for everyone we know so we can make fun little platters filled with goodies for others to enjoy. And one of my new favorite gifts to make are these fun cookie bar mixes so others can make our favorite recipes at home. That way we can whip up a batch to share with them now and provide them with a mix to make them later. Hey, who knows? Maybe they’ll even use the kit to make some holiday goodies for their loved ones! 

Red & Green Holiday 52oz. Bag of M&M’S® are a festive and colorful treat to bring into your baking, decorating and every aspect of your holiday celebrations. The Stand-Up Pack will keep your M&M’S® fresh and ready-to-go in an easy resealable package. Heck, if I wasn’t baking with them, I’d probably give these bags as gifts! What says, “I love you,” better than a big bag of M&M’S®, right? 

But for now we’ll stick with gifting some delicious cookie bars and mixes.

Print

No Flour Monster Cookie Bars

Course Dessert
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Servings 16

Ingredients

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 cup peanut butter
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 4 cups Old Fashioned oats
  • 1 cup M&M'S®
  • 1 cup chocolate chips

Instructions

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 350°F. Line a 13x9-inch metal baking pan with foil.

  2. Add all of the ingredients into the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment,

  3. Cover bowl with dish towel and mix on lowest setting. Once mixed up a bit, increase speed and mix until all of the ingredients are combined. 

  4. Spread mixture onto prepared baking pan and bake for 30 minutes or until golden brown. 

  5. Take out of the oven and let cool for 5 minutes then transfer foil and bars to a cooling rack. Cut into squares and enjoy! 

Remember how I said you could GIFT these bad boys to your friends and family in a fun mix? Well here’s how! 

Monster Cookie Bars Mix

What you’ll need: 

  • 4 cups old fashioned oats
  • 1 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup M&M’S®
  • 1 cup chocolate chips
  • 1 32 oz jar with lid
  • ribbon
  • hole punch

What you do: 

Layer each ingredient in the order it’s shown above into a 32oz plastic or glass jar with lid

Place lid on jar and close tight. 

Print out Monster Cookie Bar Mix printable and cut out and attach to jar with ribbon.

Gift to the ones you love! 

Click on image to download printable

You can find the big Red & Green Holiday 52 oz. Bag of M&M’S® in the candy aisle of your local Sam’s Club. And while you’re there, stock up on the rest of your holiday baking items! That’ll save you a few trips in the long run. 

And right now you can sign up for a free Ibotta account and earn $2 off with the purchase of a 52 oz bag of Red and Green M&M’S®. Offer valid from 11/1/17 until 12/25/17. 

Don’t forget to check out more awesome ideas you can make with M&M’S® by checking them out on Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, and Twitter

Love this recipe? Check out these delicious bites: 

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How to Make Chocolate Peanut Butter Crinkle Cookies Your Guests Will Love

If you’re looking for the perfect holiday cookie this season then look no further than these Chocolate Peanut Butter Crinkle Cookies! Your guests will love their small perfection. Plus they pair perfectly with milk, cocoa, and coffee! 

How was your Thanksgiving? We spent the day baking in the morning with the kids and then enjoying a wonderful meal with our extended family. It was perfect. One of the things we decided to bake up that morning to bring to dinner were these deliciously perfect chocolate peanut butter crinkle cookies. They’re small, bite-size cookies that aren’t too sweet so they were perfect to pair with the pies and enjoy with a cup of coffee or cocoa to drink. 

Normally we make chocolate crinkle cookies but this time my older daughter wanted to add something a bit different to them to change things up. The addition of peanut butter was the perfect touch and added a great flavor combo to these classic cookies. I may try adding a pinch of cinnamon next time too! 

This recipe is one of many we’re sharing on the Houseful of Cookies tour this year. Last year we made another fun cookie recipe: Pfeffernüsse Cookies. You have to try them if you haven’t made them yet! The rest of the cookies on this tour are linked at the bottom of this post. 

When making cookies with the kids I always try to measure everything out before we start mixing so they don’t just dump everything out without knowing what they’re putting in. It helps them to understand the quantities needed for each recipe. 

But one thing we are working on is adding one egg at a time while mixing so each can be incorporated before the other is added. The 2 year old prefers to dump them all in at once! 

This dough is a thicker dough that, once all of the ingredients are combined, form a ball in the mixer. This makes it easier to get out to refrigerate once mixed up. 

And I’ll let you in on a little secret. Even though the recipe does say to chill for 1 hour… I don’t always let it chill. I’ll divide the dough up into two halves and place one in the fridge but will start rolling out the other right away. 

This is a great cookie to make before guests come over if you’re looking for something little to nibble on. Or to give as gifts during the holidays because they’re small and do well in an airtight container. 

Print

Chocolate Peanut Butter Crinkle Cookies

Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes

Ingredients

  • 10 tablespoons butter cut into 10 pieces (1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons)
  • 1 1/4 cups light brown sugar packed
  • 10 ounces bittersweet chocolate coarsely chopped
  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon teaspoon salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup peanut butter
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar

Instructions

  1. Put the butter, sugar, and chocolate in that order into a 2-quart saucepan. Put the pan over low heat and warm the ingredients, stirring occasionally, until they are melted and smooth. Scrape everything into the bowl of a mixer.

  2. Sift together the flour, cocoa, baking soda, and salt.

  3. Working with a mixer with a paddle attachment, add the eggs, one at a time, beating until the eggs are well blended into the chocolate. With the mixer still on low, add the dry ingredients, mixing just until the dough is smooth and shiny; it will clean the sides of the bowl and form a ball. Then add the peanut butter and stir in until just combined. Turn the dough out onto a work surface, divide it in half, wrap each piece in plastic wrap and chill for at least 1 hour. 

  4. Preheat the oven to 350°F and line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

  5. Working with 1 tablespoon of dough at a time, roll the dough between your palms to form firm, shiny balls. (If the dough breaks as you work, squeeze and knead it a bit, then reroll it between your palms.) Add to a small shallow dish filled with powdered sugar and roll in sugar until lightly coated. Place the balls about 1 inch apart on the baking sheets and lightly press each one down a bit with your thumb.
  6. Bake the cookies for 9 to 10 minutes, rotating the baking sheets from top to bottom and front to back at the midway point. The cookies should be delicately firm and crackled across the top. (It’s better to under- than over bake.) Remove the sheets from the oven, let the cookies rest on the sheets for 2 minutes, then, using a wide spatula, gently transfer the cookies to a rack; cool to room temperature.

  7. Repeat with the remaining dough, cooling the baking sheets between batches. 

Looking for more deliciousness to enjoy this holiday season? Don’t forget to check out the rest of the stops on the Houseful of Cookies tour! 

Houseful of Cookies 2017 Blog List

Houseful Of Nicholes – Slow As Molasses Cookies

A Crafty Spoonful – Chocolate Peanut Butter Crinkle Cookies

A Real Urban Mom – Chocolate Chip Cookies

Dash Of Evans – Cranberry Hootycreeks

Divas With A Purpose – Houseful Of Cookies 2017

Everyday Party Magazine – Simple Caramel Cream Sugar Cookies Swirls

Fab Haute Mama – Belgian Waffle Cookies

Good Girl Gone Redneck – Perfect Holiday Saltine Toffee Treat

Happily Homegrown – Old Fashioned Hermit Bar Cookies

Her Life On Purpose – Red Velvet Cake Mix Cookies

Honest & Truly! – Triple Chocolate Dipped Cookie

How Was Your Day – Houseful Of Cookies 2017

Hysterical Mom – Lemon Sugar Cookies

I am the Maven® – Moldy Mice Cookies

Keep Calm & Teach Fifth Grade – Winter Wonderland Sugar Cookies

Kenya Rae – Pecan White Chocolate Chip Cookies

Kiss My Tulle – Chunky Christmas Cookies

Mom On The Side – Hopscotch Crunchies Holiday Cookies

More Than Thursdays – Mint Surprise Sugar Cookies

Mother Of The World – Houseful Of Cookies 2017

Our Crafty Mom – Houseful Of Cookies 2017

Peyton’s Momma – Houseful Of Cookies 2017             

Simplify Live Love – Double Chocolate Pomegranate Cookies

Teachable Mommy – 3 Ingredient Peanut Butter Cookies

The Analytical Mommy – Favorite Lactation Cookie Recipe

The Biswolds – White Chocolate Chip Toffee Cookies

The Olive Blogger – Gingerbread Biscotti

We’re Parents – Cranberry Cheesecake Cookies  

How to Make Moana Kakamora Coconut Ornaments

how-to-make-moana-kakamora-coconut-ornaments

Moana has been and continues to be both of my daughter’s favorite movie. Each of them is glued to the screen as the story unravels every time they watch it. Three thousand years ago, the greatest sailors in the world voyaged across the vast Pacific, discovering the many islands of Oceania. But then, for a millennium, their voyages stopped – and no one knows why.

The story of Moana goes through the history of her people and the reason why they never leave their island. As Moana takes off on a new adventure, we come to learn more about this missing pieces of her story and watch as she creates a story of her own. 

Throughout her adventures, my daughter’s favorite part in the movie is when Moana and Maui encounter the Kakamora. Seemingly sweet and gentle creatures in the beginning, Moana quickly learns of their fierce, warrior-like side. We’re recreating the Kakamora in these fun Kakamora Christmas ornaments for the holiday season.

Don’t want to make these yourself? Purchase one here in our Etsy store! 

how-to-make-moana-kakamora-coconut-ornaments-supplies

How to Make Moana Kakamora Coconut Ornaments

What you’ll need: 

What you do: 

1. Paint a circle around the edge of the wood slice with brown paint leaving the middle wood exposed. 

2. Using the black paint, make two circles for eyes. 

3. With the white paint, make a mouth full of teeth. Outline in black if you’d like. 

4. Add the final touches to the face by adding some designs with red paint.

5. Screw eye screw on top of the ornament and string with ribbon. 

Let dry and hang on the tree to enjoy during the holiday season! 

how-to-make-moana-kakamora-coconut-ornaments-on-the-tree

* This post was originally published on Nov 21, 2016

Pfeffernüsse Cookies To Share The Holiday Spirit

pfeffernu%cc%88sse-cookies-to-share-the-holiday-spirit

This time of year is magical, isn’t it? The holiday cheer, the smiles on everyones faces, and the loads of treats and goodies around every corner. We continue the holiday season even after Christmas is over by celebrating our own Christmas with my husband’s extended family. And that celebration has been dubbed Cookie Christmas. 

Why? You ask? Because we get together the day before the event and bake up 10+ different kinds of cookies to serve the next day. My husband’s aunt spends countless hours the week before the event making all of these doughs to bake up together. And then we all come together on Cookie Christmas to enjoy them all (and bring them home in tubs and bags to enjoy for weeks after). 

Each year there’s one or two recipes we try out to see if it can earn it’s place in the Cookie Christmas line up. We have our classic chocolate chip, our snickerdoodle, yummy sugar cookies decorated by the kids with frosting and sprinkles, etc. This year I thought I’d try out a new recipe or two to see if I could put it on the list of maybes to introduce to Cookie Christmas. And this recipe? It’s a winner! 

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Pfeffernüsse Cookies

  • 1/2 cup molasses
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1/4 cup shortening
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 2 eggs
  • 4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cardamom
  • 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup confectioners’ sugar for dusting

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Stir the molasses, honey, shortening, and butter together in a small saucepan over medium heat. Cook until creamy, stirring consistently. Remove from heat and allow to cool to room temperature. Add the eggs and combine.

Mix the flour, white sugar, brown sugar, cardamom, nutmeg, cloves, ginger, cinnamon, baking soda, pepper, and salt in a large bowl. Add the molasses mixture and stir until thoroughly combined. Refrigerate at least 2 hours.

Roll the dough into quarter-sized balls. Arrange on baking sheets, spacing at least 1 inch apart.

Bake for 10 to 15 minutes. Move to a rack to cool. Dust cooled cookies with confectioners’ sugar. Or get the kids involved and dump 1/2 a cup of confectioners’ sugar into a bag, then add a few cookies, seal the bag and shake shake shake! 

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Interested in trying out some more new cookie recipes? You need to check out the #HousefulofCookies recipes being shared all month! YUM! 

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Sweet Treats: Easy Chocolate Covered Caramel Candies

Chocolate Covered Caramel Candies - perfect for gifts

Giving handmade gifts over the holidays is a simple and inexpensive way to share a little something with those you love without breaking the bank. I love finding new things to bake or make to add to the tin of goodies we prepare every year. And candies pair very well with our normal mixture of cookies and baked goods.

With Valentine’s Day around the corner, these simple and easy chocolate covered caramel candies would be the perfect treat to make as a gift or as a sweet treat. I made them over the Christmas break and loved how quickly they came together. Add a sprinkle of kosher salt on the top for a sweet and salty mix that any friend would love to receive.

Chocolate Covered Caramel Candies

Chocolate Covered Caramel Candies

  • 12 ounces of sweetened milk chocolate chips
  • 24 caramel squares
  • Parchment Paper
  • Candy Sticks or toothpicks
  • Chocolate Melting Pot (optional)

Prepare your chocolate in a melting pot, or if you don’t have a melting pot you can use the microwave or a double boiler over the stove.

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and keep it near.

Prepare the caramel squares with candy sticks down the middle. Alternately, you can use toothpicks. Dip caramel squares into the melted chocolate, cover each square completely with chocolate.

Place chocolate dipped caramels on parchment paper to dry, pulling candy sticks out as you go.

As each caramel hardens, peel it away from parchment paper.

Enjoy immediately or keep in an airtight container for up to two weeks.

How would you dress up these easy chocolate covered caramel candies?

Homemade Cranberry Tealight Candles

Homemade Cranberry Tealight Candle

During the holidays I’m always looking for easy DIY ways to decorate the house. I also love any decoration that could be turned into a makeshift gift. After a little trip to Ikea I found these awesome larger tealight candles that are perfect for making my own candles for different seasons.

This homemade cranberry tealight candle takes a mason jar, some cranberries, and a tealight and makes it into so much more! If you have a few of these supplies lying around why not try your hand at making your own decorative candle for the holidays. Add a bit of twine and you have the perfect centerpiece or mantle display.

How to Make a Homemade Cranberry Tealight Candle

What you’ll need:

  • regular mouth pint sized mason jars
  • bag of cranberries
  • Ikea GLIMMA candles
  • twine (optional)

Homemade Cranberry Tealight Candles supplies

What you do:

1. Take lid off mason jar and discard flat disc.

Homemade Cranberry Tealight Candles take off lid

2. Pour in cranberries.

Homemade Cranberry Tealight Candles  pour in cranberries

3. Stop at the fill line right below the neck of the jar.

Homemade Cranberry Tealight Candles fill to below lid line

4. Place the candle on top of the berries. Make sure it’s flush with the top of the jar.

Homemade Cranberry Tealight Candles add tealight

5. Screw on the lid.

Homemade Cranberry Tealight Candles screw on cap

6. Embellish with twine, or ribbon, and enjoy your candle!

Homemade Cranberry Tealight Candles finished

How do you create a festive atmosphere around the holidays?

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How To Make Salt Dough Ornaments

How To Make Salt Dough Ornaments - a simple craft for kids of any age
E year my son’s school has each class decorate and create ornaments for the kids to gift to their parents. Last year we had fun making reindeer thumbprint ornaments along with a few other great ornament designs. And this year we’re going to be making salt dough ornaments with the first graders. There are so many great ideas and techniques to incorporate when making salt dough ornaments with kids. You can get as creative as you like by simply incorporating different mediums when decorating your ornaments.

Since this year is my youngest’s first Christmas, I decided to make an example for the kids by using her hand print and turning it into Santa. My other daughter wants to use her footprint to make a reindeer but I’ll be sticking with hands for the first graders. I’ll also be using cookie cutters for the kids who don’t want to do hand prints and I’ll have them add two thumbprints to create hearts in the middle of their cut out. They’ll get to color and decorate their ornaments after I bake them up.

How To Make Salt Dough Ornaments - decorate ornament after baking

How To Make Salt Dough Ornaments

What you’ll need:

  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/2 cup salt
  • 1/2 cup water (more or less depending on dough)

What you do: 

Preheat your oven to 250 degrees.

Grab a medium bowl and mix flour and salt until well incorporated.

Slowly add in water. Start with 1/4 cup and mix in, then add in a bit more until the dough forms and is lightly tacky but not sticky.

How To Make Salt Dough Ornaments - combine ingredients into dough

Grab a piece of parchment paper and lightly flour. Turn dough onto floured surface and knead a little more until the dough is smooth.

Roll dough out with rolling pin to 1/4 inch thickness.

Grab a kid and put a hand print in the dough and/or use some cookie cutters to cut out some designs.

How To Make Salt Dough Ornaments - make a handrpint

If you’re using a hand print, make sure to cut a circle around the hand print leaving room for a hole at the top.

Remove excess dough and set aside. Place parchment paper with ornaments on a cookie sheet. Using a plastic straw, poke a hole at the top of each ornament (for Santa, make sure you put the hole at the palm/bottom  of the hand). Now grab a kid and let them blow on the straw until the little ball of dough that was just punched out pops onto the counter.

How To Make Salt Dough Ornaments - make hole with straw before baking

Bake ornaments for 2-3 hours or until hardened. Let cool completely before decorating.

How To Make Salt Dough Ornaments - decorate ornament after baking

What is your favorite part about the holidays?

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*** This giveaway is closed ***

Congrats Janet!

Easy Homemade Gifts: Coffee Truffles

Coffee Truffles - an easy homemade gift

This time of year is filled with holiday baking in our home. And while cookies are usually center stage, I try and get in a few different goodies like these coffee truffles to balance out the dessert spread.

These truffles are also the perfect way to share your love of baking and making with friends and family! Simply grab a few tins and pack up some truffles to gift to those you love.  [Read more…]

Peppermint Holiday Ornaments

Peppermint Holiday Ornaments - easy to make and fun to display!

Are you looking for a festive and frugal ornament idea? Then why not give these melted peppermint holiday ornaments a try?

Using just a few crafting supplies, you can make your own, perfect for decorating your tree or for gift giving. Here is how you can get started crafting a set for yourself! [Read more…]

15 Santa Crafts

15 Santa Crafts - fun santa crafts to do during the holidays with or without the kids

‘Tis the season, for SANTA CRAFTS! I love love love doing Christmas crafts, so of course I have been on the look out for some cute Santa crafts, and boy did I find some. Below is a list of the CUTEST Santa crafts! I mean who would have thought, Santa hat chair covers?

Well obviously someone thought of it, and they super cute! I want them in my kitchen, like right now! From gifts to décor this list has it all! Enjoy and be sure to tell be below which ones you plan to try! I am thinking Santa hat chair covers, followed my Santa suit hand towels!

Merry Christmas and happy crafting!

 15 Santa Crafts

  1. Salt Dough Santa Ornament 
  2. Santa Treat Box (PICTURED)
  3. Santa Hat and Beard (PICTURED)
  4. Santa Stocking Holder (PICTURED)
  5. Santa Belly Jar (PICTURED)
  6. Santa Slime
  7. Santa Wreath
  8. Santa Footprints
  9. Santa Hat Decor
  10. Santa Gift Jar
  11. Santa Suit Hand Towels
  12. Santa Gift Bow
  13. Christmas Countdown Santa Printable
  14. Santa Hat Chair Covers
  15. Rudolph and Santa Ornaments


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