Peanut M&M Blondies

Happy December!  Today marks the day when it is officially acceptable to listen and sing along to Christmas songs , eat tons and tons of candy cane, and cap the night off with a cup of hot chocolate.  I’m a summer girl through and through, but I love everything about this time of the year (it’s the most wonderful tiiiiimme of the year): the holiday spirits, the expectation of certain foods (chestnuts roasting on an open fire…), the holiday lights that are starting to appear, and the ending of one year along with the opportunity to start fresh!

The countdown to Christmas is in full effect (on the first day of Christmas…okay okay I’ll stop), with a slew of cookies waiting to be baked and sent off to family and friends.  Are you ready for some cookies?  I thought so.  For the next few weeks, I’ll be sharing some of my favorite cookie recipes with you.  Let’s kick off with a bar cookie, shall we?

While I made these blondies in an effort to use up the party-size bag of peanut M&M’s that had been sitting on my coffee table (and tempting me every so often), don’t let that deter you from whipping up a batch of these if you don’t have M&M’s on hand.  Some regular M&M’s in holiday colors would be nice.  Small pieces of Snickers, Twix, or Reese’s peanut butter cups would work as well.  Feel free to use your favorite candies!

Peanut M&M Blondies
(makes 9 large squares or 16 small square)

1 stick unsalted butter, softened
¾ cup brown sugar, packed
¾ cup sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 ¼ cup all-purpose flour
½ tsp salt
½ tsp baking soda
1½ cup peanut M&Ms

Preheat oven to 350°F.  Line a 9-inch square baking pan with parchment paper.  Set aside.

In a medium bowl, stir to combine butter, brown sugar, and sugar.  Add eggs and vanilla, and mix well.  In a large bowl, whisk flour, salt, and baking soda.  Add the flour mixture to the wet ingredients and stir until combined.  Press half of the mixture evenly into baking pan.  Evenly distribute the M&M’s on top of the dough, and press the remaining cookie dough over the candies.  Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until golden brown.  Cool completely.  Cut into squares or bars.

IMG_5308

* Instead of mixing the M&M’s into the dough, I actually like to press them into the dough for an even distribution.

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