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Red White and Blue Cookie Bars with M&Ms

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Slice up and serve a plate of these chewy, rich red white and blue cookie bars at your next patriotic party. These homemade dessert bars are all dressed up for the holidays – studded with M&Ms and topped with drizzled white chocolate and festive sprinkles.

This is the ultimate patriotic dessert and a must for your Memorial Day, Labor Day, or the 4th of July parties! And you can make this bar cookie year-round by changing the colors of candies and sprinkles.

The homemade cookie dough is buttery and sweet and literally melts in your mouth. And baking them in a sheet pan means they’re easier to make than regular cookies. If you like fruity, bar-shaped cookies, try these raspberry cheesecake cookie treat.

Two squares of red white and blue M&M cookie bars on a flag plate.

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You’ll probably find all the ingredients to make this easy cookie bar recipe in your fridge and pantry. And if you’re missing an ingredient, don’t worry – you should be able to find everything you need at your local grocery store. So grab your favorite patriotic sprinkles and M&Ms, and let’s get baking!

If you love cookies and sliceable desserts, you’ll want to check out these easy recipes – strawberry cheesecake cookiess’mores cookies, and Texas sheet cake cookies

Ingredients for 4th of July cookie bars with labels.

Red White and Blue Cookie Bars Ingredients

  • All-purpose flour: Make sure you measure your flour correctly to get the cookie dough’s proper texture.
  • Baking powder and soda: These are leavening agents and help the bars rise and brown, so you get a soft and light texture.
  • Butter: Use unsalted butter at room temperature for best results.
  • Brown sugar: Adds a light caramel flavor to the cookie dough and also sweetens the bars.
  • Granulated sugar: Using the two types of sugar is vital to get that classic chocolate chip cookie dough flavor. It also helps to create the chewy, crispy edges.
  • Eggs: For easier mixing, use room-temperature eggs. 
  • Vanilla: A splash of real vanilla extract will add an aromatic flavor to the bars and help make the sugars a bit sweeter.
  • Salt: Vital for baking because it enhances all the ingredients, resulting in more intense flavors.
  • M&M’s: For this particular recipe, I used the patriotic M&M’s mix, but feel free to use any color you like.
  • Sprinkles: Grab any festive red, white and blue sprinkles to add texture and color to your bars.
  • White Chocolate: I use Ghirardelli brand to drizzle over the top of the bars and add more color and dimension.

How to Make Patriotic Cookie Bars

Preheat the oven, prep your baking pan as directed, and then set to the side.

Two photo collage of dry ingredients in a bowl and sugars and butter in a second bowl.

Add your flour, baking powder, and baking soda in a medium bowl and combine.

Two photo collage of creamed sugars and butter and adding eggs and vanilla to mixture.

In a separate large bowl or stand mixer, cream the butter, brown sugar, and white sugar for 2-3 minutes until light and fluffy.

Add in the eggs, vanilla, and salt. Mix on medium speed.

Two photo collage of adding dry ingredients to wet ingredients and the dough after mixing.

Slowly work in the dry ingredients and mix after each addition, until the dough is formed. Make sure to scrape down the sides of the bowl periodically.

Two photo collage of M&Ms and sprinkles added to cookie dough and the dough pressed into the baking pan.

Fold in the M&Ms and sprinkles and mix well. Then, transfer dough into the prepared baking pan and spread it into an even layer.

Bake as directed, until bars are golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Allow the cookies to cool in the pan on a wire rack before decorating.

Two photo collage of baked cookie bars and decorated bars.

After the cookies have cooled, melt your white chocolate in a microwave-safe bowl or piping bag. Once melted, drizzle all over the top of your M&M dessert and top with additional M&Ms and sprinkles if desired.

Tips for Making M&M Cookie Bars

  • Room-temperature butter and eggs will mix into the batter more easily and provide the best texture for the dessert bars.
  • Creaming your butter and sugars for 2-3 minutes will help make the bars light and fluffy.
  • Add in 1/2 cup of milk chocolate, semi-sweet chocolate or white chocolate chips to the bars for even more chocolate flavor.
  • You can add extra M&Ms on top of the bars before baking to make them more colorful. Then, after they are baked, sprinkle with additional sprinkles and lightly press them into the warm bars.
  • Don’t overbake the bars or they will dry out and get hard.
  • When you remove the snack bars from the oven, they will be soft. Allow 1 hour for cooling so they have a chance to firm up before you slice and serve.

Dessert Cookie Bar Substitutions and Variations

  • To change up the flavor or color of the M&Ms, mix any flavor or color of candies into the bar-shaped cookies—like peanut butter, dark chocolate, peanut, mint, etc. The same goes for the color of the sprinkles.
  • Instead of M&M’s, use Reese’s Pieces or other candy-coated candies.
  • Mix 1/4 cup of peanut butter or Biscoff into the cookie dough to change up the flavor.
  • Mix in some chopped pecans or walnuts for an excellent crunch factor to the bars.
  • Drizzle different colors of melted chocolate on top of the bars. You can use red, blue, or any other color of candy melts.
Slices of M&M cookie bars on a white plate.

Can I Make The Cookie Dough Ahead Of Time?

Yes! You can make the dough up to 48 hours before baking it. Simply prepare the dough as directed then store it in a covered dish in the fridge. When you are ready to start, uncover it and bake it in the oven as the recipe suggests. You may need to add a couple of minutes to the bake time.

How to Store Leftover Cookie Bars

Store cooled bars in a sealed, airtight container for 3-4 days, on the counter at room temperature. It is essential to ensure the cookies are tightly sealed, as they’ll dry out.

To freeze: I like to make a double batch of bars so I can save some for later. Wrap the bars tightly in plastic wrap then freeze them in an airtight or freezer container for up to 3 months. To serve, thaw them on the counter for an hour or two, or you can eat them straight from the freezer if that’s your jam.

More Patriotic Desserts To Try 

Two squares of patriotic cookie bars on a red white and blue plate with text overlay.

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Two slices of M&M cookie bars, one with a bite removed, on a flag plate.

Red White and Blue M&M Cookie Bars

These scrumptious cookie bars are a great choice for 4th of July. Memorial Day and patriotic gatherings. Easy to bake, with a delicious blend of chocolate and sprinkles, with a perfect balance of a crisp exterior with a soft, chewy interior.
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Course: Dessert, Holiday Treats
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes
Servings: 18
Calories: 344kcal
Author: Lori




  • Heat the oven to 350 degrees F. Prepare a 9×13 baking pan by lining it with parchment paper or spraying with nonstick spray. Set aside.
  • Whisk the flour, baking powder, and baking soda together in a medium bowl and set it aside.
  • Place the softened butter and sugars in a large bowl. Cream together with an electric hand mixer on medium-high speed.
  • Add the eggs, vanilla, and salt and blend on medium speed, just until incorporated.
  • Slowly incorporate the flour mixture, mixing after each addition, until the batter reaches a dense cookie-dough consistency. Use a silicone spatula to scrape down the sides of the bowl and ensure the dry ingredients are mixed in.
  • Gently fold in the M&M’s and sprinkles until evenly distributed.
  • Spread the dough evenly into your lined baking dish.
  • Bake for 30-35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out mostly clean. Minor gooeyness is ok, but you don’t want chunks of cookie dough being pulled out.
  • After baking, place the pan on a cooling rack and let the bars cool for about an hour before decorating.
  • For the topping, melt the vanilla wafers in a microwave-safe piping bag using the microwave's low power or defrost setting. Make sure to knead the bag every 30 seconds for even melting.
  • Cut a small tip off the piping bag and drizzle the melted chocolate wafers over the cooled cookie bars. Add more sprinkles on top if you like.
  • Slice into individual bars before serving.


  • Other M&M flavors can be used in this recipe, like peanut butter, milk chocolate, and dark chocolate.
  • Additional add-ins like nuts or chocolate chips can be added, just reduce the quantity M&M’s.
  • Use red or blue candy melts in place of the white ones.
  • The bars will be soft when they come out of the oven. For easier removal and slicing, allow the bars to cool for 1 hour at room temperature.
  • Store cooled bars in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days.
  • Make ahead: the dough can be prepared ahead and stored covered in the refrigerator for up to 2 days. You may need to bake a few minutes longer.
  • To freeze: slice cooled bars and stack them in a freezer-safe airtight container or bag with parchment paper layered between each slice. They’ll keep for up to 3 months.
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Nutritional Estimate

Serving: 1bar | Calories: 344kcal | Carbohydrates: 49g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 15g | Saturated Fat: 9g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 3g | Trans Fat: 0.4g | Cholesterol: 48mg | Sodium: 214mg | Potassium: 82mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 32g | Vitamin A: 369IU | Vitamin C: 0.1mg | Calcium: 50mg | Iron: 1mg

Nutritional information is provided as a reference, using an online calculator. We recommend verifying the information independently for accuracy.

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