Thursday, October 9, 2014

Cake Mix Cookie Bars









 Two bags of M&M's in the cabinet. One with almonds and the other one dark chocolate. Did you know dark chocolate is good for you? ( wink)

Picked up the candy awhile ago. Carol and I found a recipe for monster zucchini cookies loaded with m&m's. Carol made them for her grandsons and I wanted to hold off since I was whipping out zucchini recipes right and left .

My sweet tooth was awaken when I went off my diet. It sort of has a GPS for sweets in the house and steered me straight to the cabinet with an unopened bag crying my name.Linda- I'm here!

What to do? You know we were on our way to Florida and no way I wanted that bag to go with us. I opened the bag and begin senseless eating. UGH!

With half the bag gone the "healthy" Linda shouted -ARE YOU NUTS? It took over two months to take off some off the weight and now you want to add more to what you already put back on!

Guilt- I needed to find a recipe to get the candy into and give it to the kids. 

I found a recipe on Parent Pretty.


I wasn't sure what size box of cake mix to use. I'm old enough to have noticed the downsizing of food, including cake mix.

Some of the old ones were 18.25 ounces and now are 15.25 ounces.

The mix I used had pudding included in it so I didn't add the vanilla pudding.

To make up for the loss of pudding I added 1/4 cup of flour.

Ingredients:

1 18.25 oz. yellow cake mix ( used white mix with pudding- see note below regarding using cake mix with less then 18.25 ounces)
1 (3.4 ounce) vanilla pudding ( didn't use)
1/4 cup water
3/4 cup vegetable or canola oil *
2 eggs
1/2 cup semi- sweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup m&m's 

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

Pour the cake mix, the pudding mix ( if your cake mix does not have pudding in it),water,oil ( which I cut from 3/4 cup to 1/2 cup), eggs in a large bowl. I added 1/4 cup of flour to make up for not adding the pudding box. Mix with a kitchen aid or a hand held electric mixer.

You can also substitute applesauce for the oil. Most sources recommend a 1:1 swap. In this recipe you could use 3/4 cup applesauce in place of the 3/4 cup oil.

Add the chocolate chips and the m&m's to the bowl and mix both in until combined.

Prepare a 10x13 with baking spray and spread the batter into the pan.

Bake the bars for 20-30 minutes. The bars should be removed when the edges are brown.

I took the bars out of the oven at 25 minutes. Next time I would insert a toothpick in the bars to test if they are done. The directions state that "if it looks sort of raw in the middle but the edges are brown and starting to get crisp- they are perfect".

The kids came over and loved these. They are sweet and with plenty of m&m's in the bars.

The recipe for Pink Lemonade Cookies has the 3 ounce upsizer. I would use the upsizer if I could not find the 18.25 ounces 






19 comments:

  1. LOL.........Linda.....no wonder I like you so much. A woman with a healthy mind and a "guilty Sweet Tooth". I loved this blog today. What would have happened if you hadn't eaten the half bag of M and M's ? The kids, who are adorable, would have had more to eat. These cookie bars look great. I also use applesauce instead of oil in some recipes. Also thank you for explaining the downsizing. I am clueless. I must try these. Thanks for sharing this recipe and also the picture of the kids who are going to MISS YOU !!!

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    1. Myra- I also had a bag of marshmallows. I got into to them also but gave the rest of the bag to the kids. They were going to do "rabbit" with them. They stuff the marshmallows in their cheeks and see who can get the most marshmallows in!

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    2. LOL Marshmallows........another one of my weaknesses. Glad the kids are going to have fun and play "rabbit". I used to melt marshmallows and put it on my popcorn.....see what a SWEET TOOTH I have.....but I have been good

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  2. Myra's right, those kids are gonna miss you until you get home. it's not just the cookies though. it's that you think of them and make these wonderful treats for them. they'll always have fond memories of you when you're not there. I've done the same thing when making things for the fundraisers at work. it's a pain in the patoot what these greedy companies have done but, the downsizer works great Love the cookies and the story!

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    1. Gabe told me about his grandmother who would give stuff to the neighbor's kids. When they kids grew up they would come over to the house when it snowed and make sure the steps and the driveway was cleaned of snow. Appreciation on both sides.

      We will be gone when the kids are older but I hope they remember "cookiegirl" who loved to bake.

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  3. Okay, not fair. I'm about to get in the car for a long road trip and all I can think of is these cookies. Thanks for sharing at Inspire Us Thursday on Organized 31.

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    1. LOL!

      Have a wonderful and safe trip.

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  4. Oh geez Linda....you have those pesky opened M&M bags that just won't stop calling to you at your house too? Aren't they the most ANNOYING pests? Don't feel bad-you're not alone. I've learned to stay the heck away from the special edition M&Ms now cause if they're here I'll eat them. I'm down in weight now and don't wanna mess that up!

    Those downsized cake mixes are a royal pain...the upsizer I found works great for cookies-Cyndy made one up for cakes using the Duncan Hines mixes.............(*^% companies can't leave well enough alone.

    Those bars look really good and I can see they made for 2 happy kiddos. They sure are gonna miss their "cookie lady" this winter. You know they'll be RIGHT OVER come springtime to "visit"....better have the cookie and bar recipes handy! :)

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    1. Oh Carol . I'm in the dangerous part of the year. Half price candy after Halloween and Christmas!

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  5. Love that your sweet tooth is GPS equipped! Technology has reached Canada and I have the same problem. My answer--no treats in the house!!! I just can not leave well enough alone.

    Your cookie monsters are going to miss you big time, Linda! So nice that the neighbour lady can be trusted to feed the kiddos good things only!

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    1. Angela I really do try to keep the sweets out of the house but all I need is one little taste of something good and it's off to the races!

      The kids are good kids. It brings life to the house and Max loves having young around!

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  6. Well Linda all I can do is drool because I can't have them but oh they look so good. If I had a bag of M&M's they would be gone so they stay in the store . I know the kids will miss you and boy are they cute. Enjoy those extra pounds coming back. It will give you something to do when you get home. I envy those that can eat that stuff and not get Diabetes from it..My Sister In Law can eat anything and she stays thin . Now her Daughter is just the opposite. She is heavy and diabetic.

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    1. When I made them I had to do a taste test and I knew the kids would love them. What's not to like- all that sugar but at 10 years old all you think about is how good it is!

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  7. The minute I saw the pictures of the bars....I thought of your neighbor children. I had to smile when I came to the blog and there were the kids. I can see that being your neighbor has tons of perks.

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    1. I'm the lucky one. I wouldn't have anyone to bake for if they weren't around. Gabe doesn't eat sweet stuff but I know my neighbor in Florida does! She may be in her upper 90's but has the same sweet tooth as the kids.

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  8. What cute taste testers! I have to hide all my baking add ins or the boys get into them. Especially the unwrapped Rolos and M&Ms :)

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    1. Oh Jolene- frozen rolos! Be still my heart. I won't buy them, another one of my favorites.

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  9. I hardly ever bake anymore because I can't control myself around things like these cookies. Especially still slightly warm. Sigh. Well, now I want these cookie bars! I can always take some to work, right?
    Thank you for sharing, Linda. Hope you are enjoying the weekend.

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    1. Having huge computer issues, sorry I didn't get back to you sooner. That's why I make them for the kids- they loved them and I get it out of the house before I eat it!!

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