Each time I head home to Minnesota, my mamasita goes out of her way to have gluten-free treats waiting.

This time was no exception — and she outdid herself by taking a family favorite cookie recipe (Grandma G’s Monster Cookies) and made them into bars.

Easier. Less work. More time to sip coffee together. (or White Russians with coffee cubes)


Make them with your mama. Surprise your honey with them. Take some to a neighbor as a random act of kindness.

And speaking of kindness… can we cut the food judging already? Whether you live free from gluten, dairy, soy, eggs, nuts, corn, or any other intolerance or preference (vegan, paleo, no food dyes, etc) can we just let that be? Can we pretty please lay off the negative comments on bloggers’ pages and sites judging their (FREE!) recipes and photos? Eat how you eat for you and your family right now at this moment in time and let that be enough. Let others do the same. Fight the urge to start typing a comment before you stop to think, “this isn’t how I choose to eat, but how would I feel if MY mama made me a special treat and random strangers felt the need to criticize it?” If you still feel like typing that comment? Just don’t. Be kind.

And make these bars for breakfast, dessert, or any time that makes you happy. Add less sugar or more chocolate — I won’t judge. 😉



1/4 cup butter, softened
1 1/2 cup peanut butter
1/2 cup sugar (coconut sugar will work too)
1/2 cup brown sugar (experiment with less sugar if you’d like)
1 cup chocolate chips
1 cup M&M’s (mini, regular, peanut, peanut butter, any!)
3 eggs
2 teaspoons baking soda
4 1/2 cups certified gluten free oats

Preheat oven to 325°.

Mix all ingredients in a large bowl to combine. Spread into jelly roll pan or large baking sheet with edges.

Bake at 325° for 15-20 mins. (you can use other pans as well, just adjust baking time and don’t let them get too crispy!)






*These goodies are linked up to Gluten Free Wednesdays — check out ALL of the awesome recipes each week!


30 thoughts on “MONSTER BARS

  1. Hey Sarah! Just made these! How long do you let them cool before cutting? Do you refrigerate them afterwards? Thanks to you, my kitchen smells amazing and the sight is beautiful!

    • Hi Carmen — to be honest, I’m usually scooping them out to taste before they even cool! 😉 But I’d say if you want a nice perfect square, let them cool completely. There aren’t typically many left to store away, but I just store them on the counter if it’s not too hot.

  2. I know this is almost a year after you wrote this post but I just discovered your blog. My granddaughter (who currently lives in WI and is originally from MN) is GF so I’ve developed quite an interest in it. She and her friend came to visit me in Ecuador so I had to think a little more about what to fix and where to eat. It turns out it’s a lot easier here. Our Tostitos have three ingredients: corn, vegetable oil, salt. That’s it. Anyway, I’m always looking for interesting recipes and information about GF eating/living. I love your blog and am particularly thrilled with you comments about food judging. The less judging we do, the more time we have to be happy and joyous. Keep up the great blogging.

    • Aww, Cynthia….you made my day! Thanks for stopping by and taking the time to comment. Your granddaughter is lucky you have taken such an interest. I’m a WI girl originally from MN too — where in MN is she from? Small world!

      • She lived in Faribault and Morristown as well as in the Cities. Now she’s in Baldwin WI. I moved to Cotacachi, Ecuador a little over three years ago from Minneapolis. I love all the small world stuff. Oh, by the way, I lived in Milwaukee, too, many years ago. I’m glad I could make your day. I’ll be stopping by lots more. I’ve already passed the word to a few of my friends here who are GF. We have a little less access to some things but we have some fun things like yuca flour, platano (plantain) flour, a flour made out of a local bean. It’s great. We make do with what we have–it’s all part of the adventure, right?

      • Even smaller world — we were *just* in the Baldwin area last weekend! My aunt and uncle live near Amery. Everyone has a story, glad ours intermingled a bit. I would love to see Ecuador someday. (add it to our list — we just booked Costa Rica for December!) The flour experimenting sounds like big fun, please feel free to share anything you come up with. Thanks again for your kind words and for sharing my site! 🙂

  3. Pingback: GF Oatmeal Cookies | All Gluten-Free Desserts...All the Time

  4. They look amazing and delicious! I have a sweet tooth and would love to try this one out. I agree with you about food diet bashers. Just be thankful for the graces and stop your criticism.

  5. My head spins just thinking about cookie bars and white Russians at the same time – I hope you had a nap afterwards! Thanks for posting on the diet-bashing. Food should be about love 🙂

  6. These look amazing and I know my daughter will love them!! I just have one question, I live overseas and it can be hard to find certain items, I don’t think iv seen any certified GF oats here, can I leave that out or do you have any other suggestions on what to replace the oats with? Thanks! Can’t wait to try them 🙂

    • I wish I could be of more help with an oats substitution, because it is the bulk of the recipe, I worry some of the typical substitutions (ground flax for instance) wouldn’t translate well because it is such a large amount. Not sure if it would be any easier to get quinoa flakes? That’s the only other thing that came to mind right away. Not sure on your location, but I order mine online, would that be an option for you? Let me know what you think — happy to help make them work for you!

  7. This recipe looks awesome! Easy, tasty, no expensive ingredients, WOW!!! My Grandkids will love them. (So will I.) Thanks! I am so sorry that some people can be so disagreeable. I just hope the rest of us make up for it.

  8. I had to drop by again now that I’ve actually HAD these! As someone who loves both healthy and “not healthy” GF treats, I must say that these were really great! Nice and chewy, something different than a cookie, and I love that they have PB, chocolate and oats. Yum!!!! If you’re thinking about making these, just go for it! 🙂

  9. just made these..I personally do not like peanut butter but the kiddos can’t wait to try them. this recipe was incredibly easy to mix up and bake..if the kids like these, they will become a staple here because I am always looking for something tasty for my daughters and these are the same as most breakfast bars peanut butter, oats (GF yay!!!) some chocolate and some sugar..I am really crossing fingers and toes that they like them

    • Let me know if they are kiddo approved at your house — my nephews love them! And feel free to make it more of an actual breakfast bar. (they really are treats for our family) But you can omit some of the chocolate, ditch the M&M’s, add raisins, nuts, dried fruit, whatever works for you guys! Enjoy!

      • i did limit the amount of sugar and the kiddos love them…so I am thinking fruit will be a great addition to our recipes! They took some extras to camp this morning (no peanut issues with anyone there) and a few kids could not believe they were GF

  10. Oh, this post is great in so many ways!

    1. These awesome looking bars
    2. Coffee cubed White Russians
    3. Everything you said about being respectful and kind re blog comments!

    Can’t wait to try these!

  11. I’d like to try these, and need to ask– Truly no flour needed? There is none listed and want to make sure
    it wasn’t accidentally left off.

  12. I think they look wonderful and would definitely give them a try! I don’t know why people feel the need to be nasty to others. Keep on keepin on….and White Russians are delicious!

  13. Random acts of kindness (simple, free or complex, cost money) or even just a smile are key to my life.
    ~US Veteran

  14. I loved the recipe, and it is right up my alley. They look so good on the picture that I wished I could put out my hand and grab one! I agree with negative comments: people have no right to go to someone’s site and drop a nasty comment. I appreciate all the hard work that goes into writing a blog, and posting recipes and pictures. If it’s something I can’t eat, I look at changing the ingredients, but I don’t criticize someone because of their choices. Lord knows when you have food allergies, there will be enough rude and/or thoughtless remarks to last an eternity. My parents never understood why I “chose” not to eat gluten or dairy, and neither did a lot of other people. And they always felt compelled to bring it up! My kids always make sure that they have something special for me when I visit them, and I feel loved and full when I leave. Same with recipe blogs: I feel lucky and happy to see what other people are making. I always get some great ideas. Thanks for the hard work and for a wonderful recipe that will be put in rotation immediately. These are just amazing on so many levels. Can’t wait to eat one. I say one, because my husband will probably earthen rest of them unless I hide them!

  15. Thanks for another great post! I couldn’t agree with you more…be kind whenever possible. And it’s always possible to be kind. 🙂

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