Loaded Cookie Bars Using Leftover Halloween Candy
Disclaimer: This post is sponsored by Walmart. Thanks for supporting the brands that support this blog.
I have a love/hate relationship with Halloween. When I was a kid, I was soooo into the holiday. I would plan out my costume months ahead of time and then after school I would go trick or treating with my dad and my dog, Jingles. I loved dressing up, I loved getting candy, and I loved the special time with my dad. But on the flip side, I’m a huuuuuge scaredy-cat. Like I can’t even watch scary movie trailers or I have nightmares. Stranger Things is too scary for me to watch. So that portion of the holiday isn’t exactly my favorite…
As an adult, I haven’t really been into Halloween the past few years besides doing some pumpkin carving and buying my favorite candy apple suckers. In our first year of living at our condo, I bought a ton of candy only to have zero trick-or-treaters stop on by. That was a big fail and Finn and I ended up having so much leftover Halloween candy. When you live in a condo building in the city with only five units, you don’t really have the same kind of foot traffic as other neighborhoods.
Our new house comes with a neighborhood full of kids and I’m soooo eager to be the cool house on the block! I’m going to jazz up our front porch with tons of pumpkins and mums (that reveal is coming soon!) so the kids know we’re in the fall and Halloween spirit, and then I’m going to stock up on the best candy. We gotta be the cool house from year one…ya know?! I talked to my neighbor and he warned me to stock up on lots of candy because so many kids come by, and he told me that he has run out in years past. Hearing that made me even more excited.
A Recipe for Leftover Halloween Candy
We’ve still got more than two weeks before the big day, but I’ve already stocked up on candy at Costco AND I have a plan for what to do if we have any leftover Halloween candy…loaded cookie bars! Finn actually whipped up this recipe a few years ago when we had all of that leftover Halloween candy and it is quite delicious. I’m not a fan of “fancy” desserts. Instead, I usually prefer cookies, brownies, or candy. This recipe incorporates all of those into one delicious dessert!
Loaded Cookie Bars
- 9×13 Baking Pan
- Kitchenaid Mixer (or hand mixer)
- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 3/4 tsp baking soda
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1 cup oats whole grain old fashioned oats, not quick oats
- 1 stick butter softened
- 1/3 cup peanut butter or almond butter
- 1/2 cup light brown sugar packed
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 egg
- 1 egg yolk only
- 2 cups candy bars chopped
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and grease a 9×13 baking pan with butter.
- Whisk together flour, baking soda, salt, and oats.
- In your mixer, blend together butter, peanut butter, brown sugar, and sugar for about 2-3 minutes until it's smooth.
- Add vanilla, egg, and egg yolk and mix well.
- Add dry ingredients.
- Add candy bars and combine well.
- Press the batter into your baking pan. Take some leftover candy pieces and press them on top for extra "presentation points!"
- Bake for 15-16 minutes, until edges are lightly browned.
- Let cool for 30-45 minutes. Cut into squares and enjoy!
I ended up getting a few new baking supplies from Walmart for the fall. We’re hosting Thanksgiving this year (I’m pumped to decorate!), so I wanted to make sure our kitchen was stocked. I ended up getting these pretty linen napkins, a few more aprons, these copper measuring cups, and a new copper baking pan. Having a few extra supplies in the kitchen is always a good idea, especially when you’re hosting (plus, free 2-day shipping on orders over $35 with Walmart).
Loaded Cookie Bar Recipe
Making these bars is similar to making cookies, but instead of making little balls, you press all the batter into a baking dish and cut into little squares. I’m not the best baker in the world, so if I can do this, then anyone can. My best advice is to get all of your ingredients out first and read through the entire recipe. If I don’t do this, I find that I make mistakes and get ahead of myself. Rookie baker over here!
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and grease a 9×13 baking pan. This is the one I used and it was the perfect size. I then whisked together all of the dry ingredients (flour, baking soda, salt, and quick oats).
Next, I chopped up a ton of Halloween candy…all the chocolate goodness. I used a mix of Snickers, Twix, Kit Kats, Reese’s, M&M’s, & Hershey bars. Really, you can use any leftover Halloween candy you’ve got. But I would say stick to chocolate. I chopped up all of the chocolate into small pieces to make about two cups of chocolate for the recipe. Be sure to cut a few extras that you can sprinkle on top at the end to make things look pretty.
We don’t use our Kitchenaid frequently, but when it comes to baking it’s a must! It is so much better than a hand mixer (except I do like the feeling of getting an arm workout with the hand mixer. Oh well). We got this Kitchenaid mixer for our wedding and it has been a great addition to our kitchen. I highly recommend getting one of these bad boys for your kitchen.
In the KitchenAid, mix together the butter, peanut butter, sugar, and brown sugar. We had almond butter on hand, so I used that instead. Mix until fluffy looking (about 2-3 minutes).
Now, add the vanilla, egg, and egg yolk until it’s all combined. Finally (the best part), add in those chocolate candy bars!! Don’t overmix. Just get it all combined.
Now you can press your dough into the greased baking pan and places those pretty chocolates on top. I liked adding lots of M&M’s for extra color.
Bake for 15-16 minutes until the edges get slightly brown. I let mine cool for about 45 minutes.
The Yummiest Fall Treat
In no way is this a healthy recipe, but c’mon it’s Halloween! That sugar rush from the candy comes only once a year, so you might as well live it up. This is a great recipe to get through a nice chunk of that leftover Halloween candy! And who doesn’t love a mix of cookies, brownies, and candy all in one dessert? Heck yes!
Fall Baking Essentials
Halloween is only a couple of weeks away, and then I will be in full Thanksgiving mode over here. I can hardly believe we’re hosting. I think I need to buy more of these pretty linen napkins because I’m obsessed. Oh, and I’ll definitely be making my other favorite fall treat…these pumpkin squares. The pressure is on for a gorgeous holiday…
I’m Casey Finn, the voice behind The DIY Playbook. I’m married to Finn & mom to Rory and Ellis. Together we’re creating our dream home in Chicago, one DIY project at a time.