While the name for this dessert may not be literal, it is definitly one of the more customizable dessert recipes I have, and you can really add whatever you want!
I used to make these when I was in middle school when I used to make the snacks for my church on Sundays, and they were a major hit! After the first week I made sure to bring some photocopies of the recipe with me every time I made them, because so many people asked. I was amazed when I visited once I had graduated from college and that same recipe was pinned up on the bulletin board in the church kitchen!
Can you tell I had a little too much fun on PicMonkey.com? I normally use my iPhone to take my photos, so anything I can do to make them look a little better is ok in my book!
Like I mentioned earlier, these are completely customizable! You can make them vegan, gluten free, dairy free, soy free, however you want! You can do everything homemade, or you can go the quick and convenient route and buy some of your ingredients already made!
Since you really can do so much with this recipe, I’m going to explain what I used, and then at the bottom we’ll discuss substitutions! This basic recipe only calls for 5 ingredients: (although yes, I know, each one of these ingredients probably has a million things I can’t pronounce)
Everything but the Kitchen Sink Bars
Yield: 20-24 bars
What you’ll need:
1- 18 oz. package refrigerated chocolate chip cookie dough
1 jar (7 oz.) marshmallow fluff
1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
1 1/2 cup chex cereal
1/2 cup m&ms
You’ll need to preheat your oven to 350*F.
Grease a 9×13 pan, and spread your cookie dough on the bottom of the pan. You’ll end up spreading it pretty thin, just make sure that there are no holes.
Pop this in the oven for 12 minutes. It won’t be completely cooked, but we’ll be putting it back in the oven a few more times, so it will finish cooking.
When it comes out of the oven, immediately drop teaspoonfuls of the marshmallow fluff and peanut butter over the hot cookie base. It might make the cookie sink in because it’s so soft, but this is ok!
You’ll notice mine were not quite teaspoonfuls, but it still turned out ok. Now put this back in the oven for 1 minute. If your globs of fluff and PB are a little bigger like mine, you may need to leave it in for an extra 30 seconds. We just want to make it melty so we can spread it out without tearing up our soft cookie.
When it comes out of the oven, we want to spread it out. Using a spatula or a knife, kind of swirl the fluff and Pb around so you’ll get a little of both in every bite.
Once everything is spread out, it will look like this:
Now, sprinkle your Chex and m&ms on top.
You might feel the urge to press them down a little so they’ll stick to the fluff, but you don’t really need to. When we put them back in the oven it will remelt the fluff and they’ll stick nicely.
Put it back in the oven (last time, I promise!) and let bake for 7 more minutes. When you’re all done, you’ll get this:
So delicious and so pretty! This dessert is great, because it has all the best dessert components. The cookie is soft and chewy, the fluff and PB layer is creamy and gooey, and the chex and m&ms add a nice crunch!
You’ll want to let these cool completely before cutting (It’ll be hard, I know). I normally cut them either 4×6, or 4×5, depending on how big I want the pieces to be.
There is so much you can do with this recipe! Below, I’ve listed each ingredient and listed some alternatives you can use.
Cookie dough: If you want, make your own cookie dough! I have in the past and it’s worked great. You can do sugar cookie, oatmeal cookie, snicker doodle, or good old chocolate chip. If you’re aiming for gluten free or dairy free, you can use your favorite recipe.
Fluff and PB: If you want it to be vegan, I believe that Smuckers makes their fluff without egg whites, but I’m not 100% sure. Most fluff is at least vegetarian, unlike marshmallows which contain gelatin. Also try out some fun nut butters! I bet almond butter would be great, or even get adventurous and try some cookie butter!
Chex and m&ms: I used chocolate chex here, because I didn’t need the whole box and I knew I would be more likely to eat the chocolate chex as a snack than the regular corn or rice chex. You could really use any crunchy cereal that you like, the possibilities are endless! I think even granola would work, if you wanted to try and make this a little healthier ; ) As far as the m&ms go, you could use just plain chocolate chips, I’ve used Enjoy Life (free of every major allergen!) chips in the past on this when I was making it dairy free. Really though, any type of chocolate or candy would be good!
If any of you try this recipe using any substitutions (or even as is) you’ll have to let me know how it turns out!
Stay tuned for later this week, I’ll have a fun summer drink recipe to share!