Valentine’s Blondie Bars

We’re past the January Whole 30 and sugar-free resolutioners, which means it’s time to go all out with sugar just in time for a sweet Valentine’s Day. I’m coming out of my baking hibernation that always happens after all of the December holiday baking to bring you this super sweet recipe for Valentine’s Blondie Bars. Being a Parks and Recs fan, I should have named these Galentine Bars as these are definitely best enjoyed with your girlfriends, over lots and lots of wine. I personally pair these with a nice Pinot Noir, but some Franzia straight from the box works too. No judgement. 

I realize that I’ve been a little MIA on the blog lately, but given this blog is mostly about indulgent desserts, I try to be nice in not posting drool-worthy treats right after New Year’s when everyone’s trying to be good. But come February, all bets are off. Actually, that’s all a lie. I just got really busy with life and work – selling ham sandwiches on the internet is hard work, no joke. But I’m back with a great recipe, for an even better cause. 

I’m so excited to participate in this Valentine’s event (again). This is the fourth year for our event and we want to continue to make a difference in the fight against pediatric cancer. Cancer is the #1 cause of death of children by disease in the U.S. There are 40,000 U.S. children actively battling cancer right now. The National Cancer Institute’s budget for childhood cancer is less than 4%. It’s such a small number and that’s why I got involved. Help us make a difference by donating to Cookies for Kids’ Cancer! Our goal is to raise at least $3000. Because these three companies: OXO, Mediavine amd Dixie Crystals have each pledged to match our donations raised through this campaign up to $3000! That means when we raise $1, it turns into $4! Thank you to so many of you who have already donated, please help us reach our goal so we can get the full matching donations and help us make an even huge difference! Donate here today.

What I love most about this recipe is that you can modify the cookie bar base with just about any candy preference of your choice. When I originally tested this recipe last week I used peanut butter M&Ms, which was bomb. I originally tried the larger Reese’s hearts, but they did not hold their shape. I also froze the smaller ones for a few hours before baking so they looked a lot nicer and didn’t melt all over the place. You could definitely do this with caramel hearts or some of other M&M flavors, just keep the overall recipe candy ratios the same. 

So whether you are baking for a Valentine, your Galentines, or just in need of something sweet to bribe your coworkers with this week like me, grab some candy from CVS and whip up a batch of these Valentine’s Blondie Bars. Enjoy! 

Valentine's Blondie Bars
Yield: 15 Bars

Valentine's Blondie Bars

An easy and quick treat for your Valentine - customize with your favorite chocolate Valentine's treats!


  • 3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 3/8 sticks (11 tablespoons) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 2 cups brown sugar
  • 1 egg + 1 egg yolk, at room temperature
  • 2 tablespoons vanilla extract
  • 1 cup Milk Chocolate Chips
  • 1 cup Valentine's M&Ms (plain, peanut or peanut butter)
  • 20 Small Reese's Peanut Butter Hearts (Frozen)
  • Flaky sea salt, like Maldon, for topping


  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F and grease a 13”x9” pan with non-stick cooking spray.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cornstarch, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
  3. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter on medium speed until smooth and creamy. Add the brown sugar and mix on medium until light and fluffy. Use a rubber spatula to scrape the bowl. Add the egg, yolk, and vanilla and mix until fully incorporated.
  4. Add half of the flour mixture and mix on low just until the powdery texture of the flour disappears. Immediately add the rest of the flour mixture and mix until combined. Scrape the bowl and mix a final 15 seconds.
  5. Remove the bowl from the mixer and use a rubber spatula to fold in the chocolate chips and M&Ms.
  6. Use a rubber spatula to spread the dough in the lined pan in an even layer. Gently press the frozen Reese's hearts into the dough.
  7. Sprinkle with flaky sea salt and top with remaining M&Ms.
  8. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, until the edges are golden brown and the center is lightly golden brown.
  9. Remove from the oven and let cool on a wire rack for 15 minutes. Slice into squares and serve!
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