Halloween Candy Cookie Bars

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I miraculously still have Halloween candy sitting in a salad bowl (ironically) in my pantry. Every year I roam the aisles of Halloween candy and analyze which mixtures to buy and how many to purchase. This year’s shopping excursion took approximately 20 minutes and looked kinda like this: I walked down the aisle, picked up a bag, found a candy bar that I didn’t like in the mix, and then put it back on the shelf. Then I finally found a bag only to realize it contained a handful of candy; that’s not going to cut it with a huge neighborhood filled with festive kids! Also, can we talk about how expensive candy is?? There’s not much to it; why am I paying $9.99 for a bag of candy?! 

After much deliberation and concentration I settled on four bags and passed out three. I have this irrational fear of having to turn the light off early after running out of candy. So many kids braved the frigid snowy evening to show off their costumes and trick-or-treat; I loved seeing all of the creativity and cuteness.

mm costumecat costume

My husband dressed up as a giant blow-up M&M (hilarious!) and I dressed up as a cat. We started off in the garage passing out candy, but after the snowflakes started falling I packed it up and headed inside to pass out candy instead. I wish I had the kind of enthusiasm and excitement for Halloween that allowed me to trudge through the nasty weather like all those kids. Lola “helped” pass out candy which consisted of a lot of barking and growling depending on how scary the trick-or-treater’s costume was; that girl just cracks me up!

When faced with what to do with the leftover treats obviously cookie bars came to mind. Because what’s better than sugar on top of sugar, right?! I started with a plain cookie base and added chopped Twix, Snickers, and M&Ms. The caramel from the Twix and Snickers melted into the cookie dough creating a gooey, soft cookie bar texture. This recipe makes an 8×8 pan size which was the equivalent to one family dinner dessert for us. The hubby really liked them! :)

Ingredients

  • 1 stick butter, at room temperature
  • 1/2 c. brown sugar, packed
  • 1/4 c. granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  •  1 large egg, at room temperature
  • 1 c. + 2 tbsp. all purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 3 fun-sized Snickers
  • 4 miniature Twix
  • 3 fun-sized M&M packages
  • nonstick cooking spray

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

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In the bowl of a stand mixer beat the butter and sugars together for 2 minutes, until light and fluffy.

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Add vanilla extract and egg; mix well scraping the sides of the bowl, as needed.

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Add flour and baking soda; mix until just combined. Do not over-mix the cookie dough!

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Chop the candy into bite size pieces.

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Add the chopped candy to the cookie dough and stir gently to combine.

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Spray an 8×8 baking dish very well with cooking spray. Spoon dough into the baking dish and spread evenly.

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Dot the top of the cookie dough with M&Ms.

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Bake in the preheated oven for 20-22 minutes until golden brown and fully cooked; a knife will come out clean in the center. Let cool completely before cutting into bars. These gooey chocolately cookie bars are definitely a decadent treat, but Halloween only comes around once a year! I have built in extra walks and trips to the gym to compensate; enjoy! :) 

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