If you’re wondering how to use up that bowl of candy sitting on your counter, these leftover Halloween candy cookie bars are the way to go! They’re perfectly gooey, chewy, and loaded up with your favorite candies. Whether you throw them on top or mix them in, you can’t go wrong with these delicious cookie bars.
What to do with leftover halloween candy
Throw it into a dessert! These cookie bars are a super simple way to put all that candy to good use.
Another option is to make leftover Halloween candy cookies. Use my recipe for easy chocolate chip cookies and throw in your chopped up candy.
For something that’s next level, try my white chocolate brownies stuffed with Reese’s. This would work best with softer candies that are primarily chocolate (or peanut butter).
What kind of candy works best in leftover halloween candy cookie bars?
Any variety of chocolate candies will work in this recipe. This includes M&M’s, Hershey’s, Kit-Kat, Snickers, Twix, Butterfinger, Reese’s, Milkway…the list goes on.
Stay away from any sugar-based candies like gummies or candy corn. They’ll completely melt into puddles on top of the bars…plus they probably just won’t taste that great in this recipe!
Are the cookie bars too sweet with all that candy?
You might be thinking that all this candy could lead to a super sweet and rich cookie bar. BUT this recipe is specifically made to withstand all that extra sugar.
First, these Halloween cookie bars are made with a little extra salt. That doesn’t mean these cookie bars are salty, it just helps to balance out all the candy.
But the ingredient that brings this whole recipe together is molasses. You only need a little bit, but it adds a savory element to these cookie bars that is definitely necessary. I mean after this, I want to add it into so many other cookie recipes!
You also can’t taste the molasses. It’s one of those things that you know it’s there…you just can’t quite put your finger on it. So don’t worry, these won’t taste like gingerbread. It’s not Christmas JUST yet.
How to prep your halloween candy for baking
The make sure your candy doesn’t completely melt in the oven, it’s important to work with chilled candy.
You can either refrigerate or freeze your candy, just make sure they are COLD. It also shouldn’t take too long. About an hour in the fridge or 30 minutes in the freezer and you should be good to go.
Chilling the candy also makes it much easier to create sharp cuts. For thicker candies like Snickers, you’ll want to slice these width-wise unless you’re working with the bite-sized versions. Not only does it look great to expose those layers, but it also ensure each bite is a healthy mix of cookie bar and candy…not JUST candy.
Other than that, you can work with the candy however you like! Chop it up into small pieces and mix it in or leave them somewhat whole and throw them on top…or both!
Tips of baking leftover halloween candy cookie bars
To get these just right, here are a few things you need to know before baking these cookie bars:
- Don’t bake them too thick, meaning don’t use this full recipe for an 8×8 pan unless you halve it. Otherwise, the inside will come out WAY too gooey.
- BUT you can turn this into a skillet cookie following the same directions. Just dig in with a spoon!
- Don’t overcrowd the cookie bars. That is, don’t place a pile of candy on top. This will prevent the center from baking through.
- Make sure the bars are completely baked. The edges should puff up a bit and turn golden brown.
- Let them cool before slicing. While the edges are nice and chewy, the center pieces are very soft and gooey. Allowing it to cool will help set the bars.
How to store your halloween candy cookie bars
These cookie bars are best enjoyed at room temperature, but need to be stored in the refrigerator.
If you leave them in an air tight container at room temperature, they’re dry out very quickly (I learned the hard way). Placing them in the fridge will allow them to keep for up to 5 days.
Either slice the bars and place them into a container, or wrap your pan in foil and store in the fridge.
For more cookie bar and brownie recipes, check out my:
- White Chocolate Brownies Stuffed with Reese’s
- Almond Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars (GF DF)
- Tahini and Peanut Butter Swirl Brownies
- Chocolate Chip Cookie Butter Bars
- Better than Boxed Chocolate Fudge Brownies
Make sure to tag me @butternutbakery on Instagram and leave a review below if you make these Leftover Halloween Candy Cookie Bars. To pin this recipe and save it for later, you can use the button on the recipe card, the buttons above or below this post, or on any of the photos above. Happy baking!Print
Not sure what to do with all your leftover halloween candy? Load up these chewy and gooey cookie bars!
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted
- 1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
- 1 cup light or dark brown sugar, packed
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1 tbsp molasses
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 large eggs
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 cup old fashioned rolled oats
- 3/4 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 cup dark chocolate chips (optional)
- Chocolate-based leftover Halloween candy
- Before you start, make sure your candy is cold. Place it in the fridge for about an hour before baking.
- Preheat the oven to 350F. Grease and line a 9×13 baking pan with parchment paper.
- Combine the flour, oats, salt, and baking soda in a small bowl. Set aside.
- Cream together the melted butter , peanut butter, and sugars until smooth. This can be done with a hand mixer, stand mixer with the paddle attachment, or a whisk.
- Mix in the molasses, vanilla, and eggs. Scrape down the bowl and mix again.
- Toss in the dry ingredients and mix until combined.
- At this point, you can fold in the chocolate chips (optional) or instead/also mix in chopped up Halloween candy. I mixed in a combo of chocolate chips and M&M’s.
- Press the dough into the pan and press in your chilled Halloween candy. Add as much as you like, but be careful not to crowd the bars too much.
- Bake for 25-28 minutes. The edges should be slightly puffed up and golden brown and the center should be dull and golden.
- Let the bars cool completely before digging in. The edges are nice and chewy/soft while the center is extra gooey. Store in the refrigerator.
Keywords: halloween candy, cookie bars, leftover halloween candy, halloween dessert