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Brought to you by the letter M PDF Print E-mail
Written by Darci Tomky   

Today’s column is brought to you by the letter M. Or rather, two M’s.

Whether you like plain, peanut, peanut butter, dark, crispy or pretzel, M&M candies have found their way into the hearts of Americans. (Personally, I’d give my right arm for some peanut butter M&Ms right now! Unfortunately, M also happens to stand for Monday today...)

Just because I know you’re wondering, I’ll give you some fast facts on M&Ms. They were first made in 1941 and sold to troops in WWII, because, as they say, they “melt in your mouth, not in your hand,” so the soldiers could carry them around without having a big mess.

They first got their M printed in 1950, which stands for Forrest Mars Sr. (son of the founder of the Mars Company) and Bruce Murrie (son of the Hershey’s Chocolate president).

Red, yellow and green came along in 1960 followed by orange in 1976 and blue in 1995. Peanut M&Ms are as old as 1954, while the other varieties are much newer.

And M&M obsessions go beyond that little brown bag of goodness. You can special order a ton of colors and even get your name or face printed on them. Not to mention all the fun M&M collectibles with the world-famous M&M characters.

Now that I have you craving those bite-sized chocolate pieces, I won’t have to work hard to convince you that—like most chocolate—M&Ms make everything better. M&Ms are, by the way, the official candy of the millennium. (MM is the Roman numeral for 2,000.) Yep, they’re a pretty big deal.

I finally got the chance to try this recipe for the Easiest Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars EVER from While you could just go with plain ol’ chocolate chips, I used half M&Ms and half chocolate chips for my cake-mix-cookie-bar-brownie-shaped treat. (I’m not really sure what you would classify them as, but they sure are good!)

I’ve also included an oldie, but goodie recipe for mini brownie buttons, which uses mini M&Ms.

Easiest Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars EVER

1 box yellow cake mix
1 small box instant vanilla pudding
1/4 cup water
3/4 cup vegetable oil
2 eggs
1 cup chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine all ingredients in a large bowl. (The batter will be rather thick.) Pour into a greased 10X13 baking dish and bake for 20 to 30 minutes. (The batter should still be shaky and might appear not completely cooked, but this recipe yields a gooey cookie bar. If you prefer a more firm cookie, cook 10 minutes more.)

Mini Brownie Buttons

1/3 cup butter or margarine
2 squares (1 ounce each)
unsweetened baking chocolate
3/4 cup sugar
2 eggs
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup miniature candy-coated chocolate pieces

Heat oven to 325 degrees. Place paper liners in cups of mini muffin pan or spray cups with non-stick cooking spray. In 2-quart saucepan, melt butter and chocolate over very low heat, stirring constantly. Remove saucepan from heat and let cool for 5 minutes. Stir in sugar, eggs and vanilla. Add flour and 1/4 cup of the candies and mix well. Fill muffin cups. Sprinkle remaining candies over batter. Bake 12-13 minutes. Cool 5 minutes on rack; remove brownies.

Holyoke Enterprise June 6, 2013