An easy way to use up leftover holiday candy using a basic chocolate chip cookie recipe. Chewy and chock-full of flavor! You can also use the leftovers in my leftover Halloween candy bark.
At my age, trick-or-treating is frowned upon. If I dress up as Batman and wander door to door asking people for food, I’d probably get arrested. Or at the very least, scolded and have doors slammed in my face. So instead, I stay inside and let the age-appropriate children do the hard work.
Now, I just sit on my couch and watch horror movies while a big bowl of candy sits idly by, just waiting to be distributed to superheros and princesses. I try to have a decent selection — chocolate candy (with and without peanuts), fruity candy, chewy candy, hard candy.
It kinda kills me that I can’t hand out homemade treats because parents are afraid of razor blades and poison, because I’d much rather do that. But, I can’t. So I buy giant bags of assorted candy and hand them out in exchange for an enthusiastic, “Trick or treat!”
Quick story of a trick or treater
I have to tell you a story about this Halloween. A little girl (dressed as Jasmine, from Aladdin) walked up to my door and asked very politely for five pieces of candy to give her group of friends that are too shy to ask.
I let her pick the candy, she thanked me and said “Happy Halloween!”, and then walked over to her friends and gave them each a piece. She had five friends with her – she didn’t even take a piece for herself.
She wasn’t carrying a bag, didn’t stick any candy in her pockets, nothing. She just melted my cold, black heart with her pure little soul.
Hence, the leftover candy
But because of that sweet, thoughtful little girl, I ended up with a bunch of leftovers. Okay, fine – it was because I wildly over estimated how much candy I needed for the neighborhood kids. I needed to get that candy out of my house, but since Halloween fell on a Friday this year I was going to be trapped in the house until Monday with it all, I had to come up with a plan.
I knew I couldn’t get rid of all of it, but I could at least get rid of some… by injecting them into baked goods.
It’s so simple. Chop and crush up the candy, throw it in with some cookie dough and bake it. You only have to adjust a standard chocolate chip cookie recipe a little bit to account for the extra sugar in the candy – just reduce the granulated and brown sugar a bit and you’re good to go!
What kind of candy should I use?
You can use all different kinds of candy – Hershey’s chocolate bars, Mr. Goodbars, Butterfingers, Crunch Bars, KitKats… the list goes on and on.
But you don’t want to use just any candy you have left in your bowl – trying to chop up Starbursts and toss them in isn’t going to have the best results. I try to stick to chocolate candies that don’t have any kind of soft nougat and caramel that can be chopped up without it sticking all over the knife.
Anything gooey needs chilled dough
Although, if you have those tiny, square, snack-sized Milky Ways you can stick one in the middle of the cookie and wrap the dough around it… that’s pretty darn good. But make sure you stick the dough in the fridge for a few hours to let it firm up before you pop them in the oven, otherwise it might melt all over the place and you don’t want that.
Can I do this for other holidays?
Of course! You could do this after Christmas or Easter, too – you’d just end up with a different combo of flavors (like peppermint at Christmas, where a chocolate cookie might be even better – mmm!).
This is a great way to use up some of your leftover Halloween candy so that you don’t just plop down on the couch with the bowl, covered in wrappers with chocolate all over your face. The people who live with you will thank you.
After you’ve made this recipe, please consider coming back to share your experience with others by leaving a comment below with a star rating!
Leftover Candy Cookies
- ½ cup unsalted butter, softened
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- ⅓ cup light brown sugar, packed
- 1 large egg
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- ½ cup M&Ms
- 3 snack size Mr. Goodbars, finely chopped
- 3 snack size Kit Kats, finely chopped
- 3 snack size, Hershey’s bars, finely chopped
- Preheat oven to 350° F. Line a baking sheet with a non-stick silicone mat and set aside.
- Chop up your candy bars as small as you can and pour into a small bowl, candy dust and all. Set aside.
- In a small bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda and salt. Set aside.
- In a large bowl using a stand or hand mixer, cream together butter, granulated sugar and brown sugar. Add egg and vanilla, mix until well combined.
- Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients and mix until just combined. Add chopped candy bars and M&Ms and stir until combined. If you feel like the dough has gotten too warm, wrap it in plastic wrap and toss it in the fridge for a few hours to let it firm up again. Okay, don’t actually toss it – you might knock a carton of milk over or something.
- Using a medium-sized cookie scoop, place dough onto prepared baking sheet an inch apart.
- Bake for 12 minutes, or until the edges start to turn gold.
- Let cool on baking sheet for a few minutes, then move them to a cooling rack to cool completely. Enjoy!