These Candy Cookies are the BEST way to use up leftover candy bars from Halloween or any festive holiday! They’re chewy, ooey-gooey, and can be baked from fresh or frozen.
I have the biggest sweet tooth known to man and I absolutely ADORE candy, but even I get tired of eating it plain. The solution? Candy cookies! This recipe uses 4 CUPS chopped candy, so this is a great solution for using up all those leftover candy bars!
- Butter – adds flavor and tenderness. In this cookie recipe, butter is melted which results in a chewy cookie. Using unsalted butter allows you to control how much salt goes into the recipe. If salted butter is the only butter available, simply reduce the salt by 1/4 teaspoon per 1/2 cup of butter called for (these cookies use 1 cup of butter, so reduce salt by 1/2 teaspoon).
- Brown Sugar and Granulated Sugar – brown sugar contains molasses which yields a rich flavor and moist, chewy cookie whereas granulated sugar encourages spreading and caramelization.
- Eggs – helps bind the cookie together while also adding a chewy texture. Because we’re using melted butter, you’ll need to use room temperature eggs.
- Vanilla Extract – adds flavor depth and a touch of sweetness. Pure vanilla extract or imitation vanilla may be used based on what you have on hand. In a recipe like today’s cookies, you won’t be able to tell if you’re using pure or imitation. The stronger flavors from the Halloween candy will mask any differences.
- All-Purpose Flour – a good base for all different kinds of baked goods, especially cookies. The amount of flour added in a recipe will produce different textures — more flour = drier cookie that will hold its shape whereas less flour = chewy. Drop cookies, like today’s recipe, is somewhere in the middle. These cookies will hold their shape, but aren’t dry; they are perfectly soft, yet chewy!
- Instant Vanilla Pudding Mix – made primarily with cornstarch and sugar. Instant pudding adds an additional sweet, vanilla flavor and keeps the cookies tender. Use whatever instant pudding mix flavor you have on hand: butterscotch, chocolate, etc.
- Salt – a must for any sweet treat! Salt enhances other flavors in the cookies while also balancing out the sweetness from the sugars and pudding mix.
- Baking Powder and Baking Soda – our leavening agents. Why use both? The combination of the two gives the best “lift” to the cookies while maintaining a pleasant flavor. Too much baking powder and you’ll end up with a bitter cookies.
- Halloween Candy – use whatever leftover chocolate-y candy you have on hand. You’ll need 4 cups chopped. I used about 7 mini pieces/packages each: M&Ms, Reese’s, Twix, Kit Kat, 3 Musketeers, Heath, Whoppers, Snickers, needed Milky Way.
How to make
- In a large bowl, whisk together melted butter, brown sugar, and granulated sugar until smooth, then whisk in eggs and vanilla.
- Fold in flour, instant pudding, salt, baking powder, and baking soda, then stir in chopped candy.
- Line 4 baking sheets with silicone baking mats, then use a large cookie scoop to portion the dough out into 36 balls. Place 9 onto each baking sheet.
- Bake immediately at 350 degrees F for 15 minutes, or chill/freeze until ready to use.
- Make them pretty. Press a couple pieces of chopped candy into the top of the cookie before or after baking.
- Different candy will cause the cookies to spread more or less. Cookies with a lot of caramel (Milky Way) may cause the cookies to spread more. Use the back of a spoon to press the cookie back into a “perfect” circle.
The best halloween candy for cookies
The only candy I would avoid in candy cookies is the fruity stuff: skittles, sour patch kids, starbursts, gummies, etc. Here are some of my favorite candies to use:
- Kit Kat
- 3 Musketeers
- Milky Way
How to store
Leftover cookies will last in an airtight container at room temperature for 1 week, in the fridge for 2 weeks, or in the freezer for 3 months.
To enjoy again, microwave to warm!
How to freeze cookie dough
Don’t want to enjoy the cookies right away? Freeze the dough!
- Make dough as directed and scoop the dough using a large cookie scoop on a silicone mat lined baking sheet.
- Place the baking sheet into the freezer until the dough balls have frozen, at least an hour.
- Transfer the cookie dough balls into a freezer safe ziplock baggie, then store in the freezer for up to 3 months.
- To bake from frozen: bake as directed, adding an additional 1-2 minutes, if necessary.
Other ways to use leftover candy
Equipment for this recipe
- 1 cup unsalted butter melted
- 3/4 cup brown sugar packed
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 2 large eggs room temperature
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 2 1/2 cups all purpose flour spoon and leveled
- 1 (3.4 oz) box instant vanilla pudding mix
- 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 4 cups chopped halloween candy I used 7 mini pieces/packages each: M&Ms (don’t chop), Reese’s, Twix, Kit Kat, 3 Musketeers, Heath, Whoppers, Snickers, Milky Way
- Place butter, brown sugar, and granulated sugar into a large bowl, then whisk until smooth.
- Whisk in eggs and vanilla until combined.
- Fold in flour, instant pudding, salt, baking powder, and baking soda until incorporated, then stir in the chopped candy.
- Line 4 baking sheets with silicone baking mats.
- Use a large cookie scoop to scoop out 36 dough balls — place 9 onto each prepared baking sheet.
- Optional - chill in the fridge for 30 minutes. This helps the cookies from spreading.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F, then baked the chilled dough balls for 12-15 minutes.
- Cool slightly, then transfer to a wire cooling rack to finish cooling.
- Take 5 seconds to rate this recipe below. We greatly appreciate it!
*Note: Nutrition information is estimated and varies based on products used.