Baked Goods

The Busy Mom’s Easy {Gluten-Free} Monster Cookie Bars

Delicious cookie bars filled with peanut butter, oats and chocolate. There is something for everyone!

The Busy Mom's Easy {Gluten-Free} Monster Cookie Bars

Can’t forget about the cookies!

This holiday season has me running around like a chicken with my head cut off. It is my daughters first “real” Christmas. Technically it was last Christmas since she was born on the 23rd, but we were in the hospital, so it doesn’t really count. There is so much excitement surrounding her first Christmas. Taking pictures and buying presents, I almost forgot about making out favorite holiday cookie. Monster cookies are awesome and I needed a cookie for our cookie exchange. They have something in them for everyone- peanut butter, m&ms, oatmeal, chocolate chips. I knew they would be perfect.

Busy Mom's Gluten-Free Monster Cookie Bars

I’ve got to be honest with you.

These really did start out as monster cookies, but while I was making them, my daughter started getting bored. Apparently, the whisk I handed her to play with while I was baking was not entertaining enough. She was fussy and I was looking at a bowl full of cookie dough when a light bulb came on.

Why do these have to be individual cookies, why can’t I just put it all in a pan?

Turns out you can. Thank goodness, because I just really didn’t have time to bake all the cookies individually. It is so much easier just to put it all on a pan, bake it and then cut it into bars. The bars are just as good as the cookies and you can cut them whatever size you like. They were a hit at my cookie exchange!

Santa will love these #glutenfree monster #cookie bars! Don't forget the #milk! Share on X

Yes, you can also make individual cookies with this if you have time, but if you are a mom (or just incredibly busy) bar cookies are the way to go!

I promise, Santa won’t mind if his cookies are shaped like a square, as long as there is a glass of milk to go with them!

Need another yummy cookie recipe? Try these Soft and Chewy Raspberry Thumbprint Cookies from TexanaErin. Looking for non-edible gifts? Try this How to Make Stovetop Potpourri from One Lovely Life. It would make a great gift!

Happy gluten-free baking!

Print Recipe
5 from 3 votes

The Busy Mom’s Easy {Gluten-Free} Monster Cookie Bars


  • 1/4 cup softened butter
  • 1/2 cup gluten-free peanut butter
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3 cups gluten-free old fashioned rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup m&m's plus a few for the top
  • 1/2 cup gluten-free chocolate chips


  • Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
  • Cream together butter and peanut butter.
  • Add sugars, 2 eggs and vanilla. Stir well.
  • Add oats, baking soda, and salt. Stir well.
  • Add m&m's and chocolate chips. Stir well.
  • Spread into lightly greased 9X13 pan. Sprinkle m&m's on top.
  • Bake at 325 degrees for 30-35 minutes.
  • Let cool completely before cutting.


These can easily be made dairy free by substituting Earth Balance bars (or another dairy-free butter) for the butter and by using dairy-free chocolate chips, such as Enjoy Life.

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  • Reply
    Easy Gluten Free Breakfast Bars with Peanut Butter and Oatmeal
    May 12, 2019 at 12:53 pm

    […] Could I make a healthier version of my Busy Mom’s Monster Cookie Bars? […]

  • Reply
    November 13, 2016 at 4:16 pm

    So many of my favorite things in one yummy cookie bar!!! Nom nom nom! Thanks for sharing!

  • Reply
    November 12, 2016 at 10:09 pm

    I love monster cookies, I’m not sure why I haven’t thought of making them into bars before.

  • Reply
    November 12, 2016 at 11:21 am

    Wow, not only do these cookies bars look great but I bet they taste amazing! Thank you for sharing.

  • Reply
    November 12, 2016 at 10:36 am

    I have a friend who is gluten free. These will be a perfect treat for her.

  • Reply
    November 12, 2016 at 10:00 am

    These will be great to send to school for the bake sale! It’s always nice for the kids to have a gluten free option:)

  • Reply
    Just Jo
    November 12, 2016 at 2:59 am

    Oh this have my mouth watering right now, even though it’s breakfast time! I saw them on Instagram and I must say, I love the cute little Christmas tree plate too – so sweet 😀

  • Reply
    Dahn @savor the Best
    November 12, 2016 at 12:40 am

    oh this looks so good and just in time for cookie season. Who doesn’t love monster cookies 🙂

  • Reply
    Heather @Boston Girl Bakes
    November 11, 2016 at 7:26 pm

    Oh I love monster cookies and in bar form even better!

  • Reply
    Lisa | Garlic & Zest
    November 11, 2016 at 5:43 pm

    Impatience – the mother of invention! Love this story!

  • Reply
    Julie | Bunsen Burner Bakery
    November 11, 2016 at 5:37 pm

    I love that these are gluten free, but use all typical ingredients found in the pantry. Perfect for those of us who are not gluten free, but occasionally bake for friends who are.

  • Reply
    November 11, 2016 at 5:15 pm

    Cookie bars sound like a great idea and I’m pretty sure Santa would love them 🙂

  • Reply
    Hannah Healy
    November 11, 2016 at 5:07 pm

    Wow! Looks decadent and delish!

  • Reply
    November 11, 2016 at 4:55 pm

    Oh I love the idea of not rolling them individually but cutting them into squares.. Sounds so delish.!

  • Reply
    November 11, 2016 at 3:13 pm

    How much more fun are the Holidays once the kids can get involved!! My little ones love christmas baking – we just picked up all our supplies yesterday to spend this rainy weekend getting started 🙂

  • Reply
    November 11, 2016 at 11:03 am

    What a great idea! My kids would absolutely love this recipe, I need to make it for them and soon!

  • Reply
    December 28, 2015 at 8:20 am

    Yum yum! These look amazing!! I have to make these for my husband.

    You should come link up at our Bloggers Spotlight party, we pin everything to our group board and have two separate link-ups, one for posts and one devoted to pins so you get even more exposure!

  • Reply
    December 27, 2015 at 10:46 pm

    Love these cookie bars,. Amanda. No one would ever know that they were the result of a busy moment. Yum. Hope you had a happy Christmas. 🙂

  • Reply
    December 23, 2015 at 8:10 pm

    I think we’ve all had that moment of wondering why we have to make a couple dozen individual cookies when we could just spread them in a pan. So glad you went with your instincts there 😉 Merry Christmas!

    • Reply
      December 25, 2015 at 9:23 pm

      Thanks! I am realizing that I just don’t always have the energy to be super mom! Merry Christmas!

  • Reply
    Elle @ Only Taste Matters
    December 23, 2015 at 2:41 am

    I love cookie bars and these look amazing! Pinned!

    • Reply
      December 23, 2015 at 5:07 am

      Cookie bars are the best! Enjoy!

  • Reply
    December 22, 2015 at 4:01 pm

    Anything to make life easier right? 🙂 Yum!

    • Reply
      December 22, 2015 at 4:29 pm

      Yes! Easy is key!

  • Reply
    December 21, 2015 at 10:52 pm

    I love how bar cookies save time too!! These look so good…my kids would be in heaven!

    • Reply
      December 21, 2015 at 11:22 pm

      They do dave time…and since I only had to use one bowl there was minimal clean up!

  • Reply
    Erica D.
    December 21, 2015 at 10:31 pm

    Good for busy cat moms too 🙂

    • Reply
      December 21, 2015 at 11:21 pm

      I’d agree!

  • Reply
    December 21, 2015 at 9:55 pm

    Yum YUM! Santa would love to be so spoiled at my house! These look delicious!

    • Reply
      December 21, 2015 at 10:23 pm

      Thank you!

  • Reply
    December 21, 2015 at 8:43 pm

    These look delicious and I love the bar idea over individual cookies. Time savers are so important this time of the year. Thanks for sharing! XO

    • Reply
      December 25, 2015 at 9:49 pm

      There never seems to be enough time! I’m always looking for short cuts that don’t take away from the taste!

  • Reply
    December 21, 2015 at 12:52 pm

    These look so good, and you’re right – bars are so much faster to make than individual cookies!

    • Reply
      December 25, 2015 at 9:50 pm

      Much easier! Some cookies benefit from being made individually, but Monster Cookies are just as good in bar form!

  • Reply
    Chrystal @ Gluten-Free Palate
    December 21, 2015 at 10:42 am

    I love the idea of making monster bars instead of cookies. Definitely saves time in the kitchen.


    • Reply
      December 21, 2015 at 10:25 pm

      Before my daughter I used to love spending all day in the kitchen, but now days it is about making good food fast!

  • Reply
    Gluten Free With Emily
    December 21, 2015 at 10:27 am

    What a great treat!!

    • Reply
      December 21, 2015 at 10:24 pm

      Thanks Emily, Everyone agreed they were really tasty!

  • Reply
    December 21, 2015 at 10:21 am

    I LOVE monster cookies! Sometimes we use peanut butter chips instead of M&Ms though (is is still a monster cookie if you do that??) and you’re right, making bars would sure be faster than dropping individual cookies.

    • Reply
      December 21, 2015 at 10:52 am

      I don’t know if they still are, but it sounds good to me!

  • Reply
    Jennifer Priest
    December 21, 2015 at 10:00 am

    Great recipe idea. Love how you got the kids involved!!

    • Reply
      December 21, 2015 at 10:15 am

      Thanks Jennifer! If you make it, let me know how it goes!

  • Reply
    Rebecca @ Strength and Sunshine
    December 21, 2015 at 9:34 am

    So cute and festive!

    • Reply
      December 21, 2015 at 9:48 am

      Thanks! I’m sure they would be great anytime, I just love the red and green m&m’s for the holidays!

  • Reply
    December 19, 2015 at 11:17 am

    These cookie bars look yummy! I agree on cookie bars…they are quicker to make and sometimes we just need a little bit more time! :o)

    • Reply
      December 19, 2015 at 11:29 am

      So much quicker, just put it in the oven and move on to the next holiday activity!

  • Reply
    Revathi Palani
    December 19, 2015 at 10:42 am

    These cookie bars looks beautiful and believe that tasted delicious too 🙂 Not rolling it into individual cookies is perfect for lazy people like me 😀

    • Reply
      December 19, 2015 at 11:28 am

      Me too! I just don’t have the time now that I have my little one…plus I honestly think we liked them better!

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