While I love my dark chocolate, I’ve been keeping a stash of peanut M&M’s at my desk to snack on after the kids are in bed. Peanut M&M’s are my husband’s favorite M&M’s too. Yesterday was his birthday so I wanted to bake something that would hit his taste buds in all the right spots. I made Salted M&Ms Toffee Bars. These baked goods are amazingly buttery, crispy, chocolate-y with a hint of salt. I might have to give them away so I don’t eat them all. The best part is that these bars super easy to bake!
There are so many different flavors of M&M’s that it’s hard to decide which one to bake with. I was tempted to buy the Pretzel M&M’s. However, since this would be for my husband, I went with the Peanut M&M’s. Before you head to the store, make sure you print out this coupon to save up to $2.50 on your bag of deliciousness.
My criteria for this recipe was to find something salty and sweet but didn’t take a lot of time in the kitchen. The ingredients are really simple and a bit decadent. Yes, that’s two sticks of butter in the background. I adapted recipe from the Martha Stewart site because it’s the perfect start for the hero of this recipe: Peanut M&M’s. (Full printable recipe is at the end of the post.)
I’m sure you have some extra graham crackers laying around after building gingerbread houses with your kids, right? Or from impromptu, late night s’mores making? What, you don’t make s’mores late at night when your kids are in bed so you don’t have to share them? I guess it’s just me. You’ll need graham crackers in order to build these bars. There’s no batter or dough to mix. Just lay ’em out and line ’em up!
Now that the graham crackers are lined up, the fun part starts! I layered half a bag of toffee bits, then chopped toasted almonds, then the rest of the toffee bits. To make sure everything sticks together, I melted butter and sugar before pouring it all over our mix. My kitchen smelled amazing at this point! You can’t go wrong with butter and sugar.
While the mixture baked in the oven, it was time to crush the peanut M&M’s. At first I tried to gather them together to chop them with my chef’s knife, but they kept rolling away. I had one of my genius moments in the kitchen. A zip top bag!
Baking tip: Place peanut M&M’s in zip top bag to crush them.
Once they were trapped inside the bag, I just whacked them with my ladle. We used to have a meat mallet, but I think it disappeared when the kids were playing kitchen. You can also use the bottom of a saucepan or skillet.
After the buttery mixture comes out the oven, you have to work quickly. Sprinkle the chocolate chips so they can melt into the bars. Next goes the salty sweet peanut M&Ms. The last step is sprinkling coarse sea salt right on top. Cut the bars with a pizza cutter while it’s still warm. If you wait until it cools to cut, it will crack on you.
These salted M&Ms toffee bars are absolutely amazing! It’s got amazing crunch, plenty of sweetness, and just enough salt to make your taste buds dance. My husband couldn’t get enough of these bars. If Peanut M&Ms aren’t your thing, try them with the Pretzel M&M’s or Peanut Butter M&M’s.
The salted M&M’s toffee bars will keep for a week in an airtight container, but I bet they’ll be in your belly before the week is up. They’re perfect for an office party or your next girls night.
Printable recipe for Salted M&M’s Toffee Bars
- 14 graham crackers
- 1 8 ounce bag of toffee bits
- 1 1/2 cups coarsely chopped toasted natural almonds
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter
- 3/4 cup bittersweet chocolate chips
- 1 cup of Peanut M&M's, crushed or chopped
- 3/4 teaspoon coarse salt
Preheat oven to 350F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper or foil, makes sure to cover sides of baking sheet.
Lay graham crackers in a single layer on the sheet with edges touching. If they're broken but still in large pieces, don't worry about it. It won't matter in the end.
Sprinkle half the bag of toffee bits over the graham crackers. Add chopped almonds, then the rest of the toffee bits.
In a medium saucepan, bring sugar and butter to boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat and cook at a rapid simmer, stirring occasionally until mixture is syrupy. Once it starts to foam, remove from heat.
Immediately pour or spoon over the graham crackers, making sure to coat it entirely. Bake in the oven for 12 minutes.
Remove from the oven and immediately sprinkle chocolate chips over the bubbling sugar mixture. (It's very hot!) Top with crushed Peanut M&M's. Sprinkle salt over the graham crackers.
While the bars are still warm, cut into 2-inch squares with a pizza cutter or sharp knife. Let it continue to cool in the baking sheet.