No-Bake Cookie Butter Bars for #SundaySupper

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It’s hard to believe, but change is beginning to settle in the thick, smoggy air. The days are getting longer, the cotton material of my shirt is sticking to my armpit to an increasingly embarrassing degree, and these days I can go until nearly 7:45 PM before the sun starts setting and I actually begin to feel guilty about all the work I haven’t done for the day.

In other words: summer is coming!

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It’s hard to believe we spent the last two perfect weekends outdoors at two of the West Coast’s biggest book festivals–the Young Adult literature festival last weekend, followed by the city’s annual book festival this weekend–surrounded by some of the best, most delightful names in the world of publishing. (For example, yesterday afternoon I met Mac Barnett, one of the friendliest children’s book authors out there, a veritable genius, and a client of one of the lit agents I had worked for years before!)

I spent the first weekend volunteering at the book festival, meeting a variety of YA authors but also getting to interact with thousands of wonderful, vibrant fans (over 6,500 of them turned up!). Last Saturday was brutally sunny, and some of these folks waited in line for over 2 hours just to nab a signed book copy–not to mention the opportunity to exchange a coveted “hello” with their favorite authors. I ended up monitoring the author signing queues, turning away over 200 people in the course of 3 hours because there was simply no way to accommodate every single autograph request.

It was a thankless task at best, but even I was stunned by just how gracious most of the fans were! Most were disappointed, of course, but several of them thanked me for doing my job and for treating that crazy afternoon with a cheerful smile. And of course, comments like those only made me grin all the wider.

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But those grins were nothing compared to the near explosion of excitement I had when I met one special lady. Have I told you guys that I used to write fanfiction? Sappy love stories and alternate envisionments for some of my favorite TV show couples (cough Sailor Moon cough) were my forte: the lyre of love, my instrument of choice. I even had a substantial following in my fandom: nothing like the very best, of course, such as Alicia Blade, but a pretty decent number of followers, reviewers, and fans read my work.

Well, back in the heyday of my writing, I entered a contest in which there were only two entries: mine, and that of the inestimable Alicia Blade. I was incredibly daunted, of course, and fell in love with her story, which featured a futuristic take on the fairy tale, Puss in Boots. To everyone’s immense surprise, and by some crazy turn of fate, my (novel-length?!) entry ended up winning the top prize. It feels strange to even tell this story again after so long a time; I haven’t thought about the episode in years. But life has a funny way of throwing the unlikeliest of people and circumstances together, just when you least expect it….


Yup–that’s a photo of me and Alicia–or should I say, the current New York Times best-selling author of The Lunar Chronicles, Marissa Meyer?!

*does a little fangirl dance*

We met at the end of her author signing line, which I had been monitoring for the entire first half of the festival. I recognized her instantly on sight, did a not-so-subtle double-take, ducked around some nearly trees surreptitiously for a few minutes, and finally worked up the nerve to say hello to her. As it turns out, she’s just as gracious and lovely–if not even more so–than I remembered when we corresponded online for those precious few years of shared fandom nerdery. (Yes, I’m aware that “nerdery” is not a real word. <–artistic license, k?)

It turns out that Marissa remembered everything about me, or at least my contest entry–and, as if that wasn’t enough, she actually tells this story to the folks in her life, too! Of course, her story entry eventually became the inspiration behind her best-selling series, which in itself is a mind-blowingly inspiring feat for such a humble individual. It was a real pleasure to reconnect with her during those precious 5 minutes of conversation, and at the end when I asked if we could take a picture together, she actually handed her phone to her friend as asked that she have a copy of the photo, too!

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Anyway, it’s a great day any day you confirm that your respected and admired heroes are as wonderful as you remember, or imagine, or both. No matter what the weather is like outside for you–whether you’re reading this on a lovely Hawaiian beach or huddled up in your thermal underwear with a steaming mug of black coffee–I hope you are all having a very bright weekend!

Perfect for a picnic (or at least an indoor one), is what I would say.

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And no picnic is complete without these No-Bake Cookie Butter Bars! I’m not kidding you: I brought these to a summery bonfire weeks ago and they were snatched up so fast that I thought somebody had chucked the whole bag out into the ocean for the cookie butter-loving dolphins (my favorite kind, duh) to devour. This couldn’t have been the case, however, because a second later there were five swimmer friends standing in front of me demanding “more of that really good stuff”–which just goes to show that any time chex mix, marshmallows, chocolate, and cookie butter collides in a single treat, it is most definitely A Good Time.

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 What hero/person have you met who inspires you to be a better person? Let me know in the comments!


No-Bake Cookie Butter Bars

5 minutes of prep time is all it takes to WOW! These No-Bake Cookie Butter Bars are filled with marshmallows, chocolate, and (of course) cookie butter to satisfy at any picnic or outing.


  • 1 cup light corn syrup
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 cup cookie butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 4 1/2 cups Chex Mix (or Golden Grahams)
  • 2 cups miniature marshmallows
  • 1 1/2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips


  1. Line a 9x9-inch baking pan with parchment paper and set aside.
  2. In a microwave-safe bowl, combine corn syrup and white sugar. Heat for 30 seconds in microwave, then stir until sugar dissolves. Stir in cookie butter and vanilla.
  3. In a large mixing bowl, combine Chex Mix, marshmallows, and chocolate chips. Pour cookie butter mixture over dry ingredients and toss with a spatula until evenly coated. Pour mix into prepared pan and press evenly into bottom. Allow to set completely before cutting into squares!

Don’t forget to check out the rest of the Sunday Supper crew’s Picnic-themed contributions this week!


Main Dishes:


Soups and Salads:


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Filed under Baked Goods and Desserts, Bars

57 Responses to No-Bake Cookie Butter Bars for #SundaySupper

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  5. Zainab

    Ahhh that’s so cool!! It really is great when people you admire are beyond your expectations in real life! So glad she remembered your story and you two bonded!! As for the summer nights coming, these bars are necessary! Totally love everything you put in them!!

    • Yessss, thanks so much, Zainab! I was seriously floored by her, and I hope you have some similar encounters, either under your belt already or soon to come. <3 hope you have a lovely week ahead!

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  8. How fun are these!! Kids and adults would go crazy for them!!

  9. Treats like this are my all time weakness. Easy to make and super addictive. Yum! And glad you had a fun time at the festival and got to reconnect with Alicia. Life’s cool that way sometimes.

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  11. When a craving for sweets arrives I know exactly what to make! The no-bake Cookie Butter Bars are a fabulous treat! Easy to make and pack for a spring picnic.

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  13. Your easy no bake dessert sounds like a great idea for a bonfire or picnic!

  14. Liz

    Oh, what fun that you and Alicia got to reconnect! I’m not surprised she remembered you!!! And these no-bake bars look memorable, too! The cookie butter totally reeled me in :)

    • Awwww–as always, you’re the best, Liz! Thanks for your sweet words. I’m totally planning on reeling you in with some more cookie butter soon! Have a lovely week ahead!

  15. Oooh, if I’d been at your picnic, these amazing bars would have been snatched up EVEN faster!! They are a bit like rocky road, aren’t they, but with cereal in, too = ok to eat lots of!

    • YAY you’re my type of gal then, Helen. A platterful of these and us on the beach would be such a great combo. And yeah, I was totally inspired by rocky road–though let’s be honest, everything’s better with cookie butter! ;)

  16. I have an open bag of golden grahams and an open jar of Cookie Butter. I know what recipe I’m making this week! All of my favorites in one delicious bar.

  17. Oh my, that’s so cool! I love outdoor activities like that though it means need more sun block, but who cares when you get a chance to meet amazing people. And these cookies? Yummmm!

  18. My mouth started watering at “No-Bake Cookie Butter”. Cookie butter allthethings! That is one awesome story. Winning a contest against a write you admired who later went on to become a New Your Times best-selling author? And then reconnecting to find you *both* remember each other? That’s one for the grandkids! :) My college roommates were big on reading/writing fanfiction. I wonder if you guys have read each others work!

    • Dawww it was pretty darn cool, for sure! Thanks, Joy! When you said “cookie butter allthethings” I was just imagining that great meme where the pink-shirted cartoon shouts, “ALL THE COOKIE BUTTER!!!!” Also, send me the title/pen name of your college roommates–I wonder, too! Fandoms can be pretty tight-knit :)

  19. First, I gotta say congrats on your writing contest win! So cool that you got to meet your competitor from that contest during the festival!
    And, second – wow – I totally understand why theses bars were devoured at the party quicker than cookie-butter loving dolphins would tear into them – they sound fantastic!

  20. I love no bake desserts. Perfect for a picnic lunch

  21. If I have these bars I don’t need anything else in this life, haha! Thank you for sharing them wiht us! :)

  22. These sound ridiculously good… now to find me some cookie butter!

  23. It is SO great to meet someone you admire and have them be just as great in real life as you imagined!! Also, you are reviving my love of cookie butter. I totally must buy a jar so I can make these!

  24. Be still my beating, sweet little heart! These are beautiful, and appetite-inducing. Including them on my friday links this week :-)

  25. Oh these are so wrong! And yet, so, so right! Love that they’re no bake too. That means I can get them in my face even sooner! :)

  26. Aaw so fun, loved that you got to meet Alicia and she was just as awesome in person:) Everything in these cookie butter bars sounds amazing! So addicting and delicious! Love that they’re no bake too!

  27. These look fabulous! Cookie Butter is so good, I am literally obsessed with it. If not for the calories, I would finish the entire jar in one go, seriously!

  28. Ala – What an awesome opportunity! It’s amazing when my students get so invested in books or a book series. Some of them get so emotionally attached to characters and that makes me smile. What are some of your favorite YA books this year? I’m always looking for recommendations. The chex mix bars are going to have to be made very soon. These look like complete winners. :)

    • That’s SO cool, Erin! I honestly wish I had some recommendations–in my line of research, most of the work and reading I do is classic/older stuff, sadly. But I’m looking forward to hopping back on the contemporary train again soon :) do you have any recs? send them my way!! xo

  29. Aren’t authors the BEST? My day job :) is working at HarperCollins Children’s Books, and we had so many great authors at the festival – including the phenomenal Mac Barnett who wrote our book EXTRA YARN. Isn’t he great? So glad you had a chance to go! Meantime, these cookie butter bars? I want to reach right through my screen and grab one!

    • Oh AWESOME–I read EXTRA YARN a while back at my agent’s office and loved it. He even gave me a copy to keep! <3 We definitely need to talk soon (it’s been busy–isn’t it always?–but this subject is too rich to pass up!). I’m so glad I got to meet Mac and everyone else. Wishing you a lovely week ahead, Kate!

  30. Good for you for volunteering – I need to do more of that. LOVE these bars!

  31. You made me giggle with your opening para, armpit sticky…. LOL!
    Such fun that you and Alicia reconnected. And anything no-bake is a winner in my eyes, they look amaze. Cant wait to try. :)

  32. I must be the last person left who hasn’t had cookie butter… but your no bakes look incredible, I know they’d go fast here.

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