Halloween Candy Cookies | Loaded Cookie Bars | Handle the Heat

Loaded Cookie Bars (Leftover Halloween Candy Bars)

October 30th, 2022
4.60 from 15 votes
4.60 from 15 votes

Loaded Cookie Bars are stuffed with Oreo cookies, M&M's, and Reese's candy but you can toss in whatever you want! They're thick, chewy, and scrumptious. Perfect for leftover Halloween candy! No mixer required.

Yield: 24 bars

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook: 25 minutes

Tessa's Recipe Rundown...

Taste: Like all your favorite treats combined into one heavenly bar of goodness.
Texture: Thick, chewy, soft, crunchy, and wonderful. Perfect with a glass of milk.
Ease: Super easy. No electric mixer needed, no waiting for butter to come to room temperature, no dough chilling, and no scooping and rolling balls. Watch the video to see exactly how these are made PLUS all the cookie tips and tricks.
Pros: Super fun, easy, and tasty treat. Perfect for using up leftover Halloween candy or whatever odds and ends you have in your pantry.
Cons: None!
Would I make this again? Definitely!

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These Loaded Cookie Bars are perfect for when you’re left wondering what to do with leftover Halloween candy.

leftover halloween candy cookie bars, sliced into bars and ready to serve

These Loaded Cookie Bars are super simple. No electric mixer, no chilling, no scooping. Nada.

Just mix it all together, plop it into a pan, and bake!

Who needs artificial refrigerated cookie dough when it’s this simple?

These cookie bars are truly the perfect way to use up any leftover Halloween candy that will invariably end up in some dark corner of your pantry.

The idea of super chewy, slightly gooey, and ultra tasty cookie bars loaded with all my favorite treats – including Oreos, M&M’s, and Reese’s cups – is enough to make my mouth water.

leftover halloween candy

The best part about these bars is that they’re completely customizable. See all of my baking tips in the pink box below.

all the leftover halloween candy chopped up and incorporated into easy cookie dough, for a super quick and delicious cookie bar!

How to Make EASY Loaded Cookie Bars

How Do I Make Cookies Bars CHEWY?

Use lots of brown sugar, an extra egg yolk, half bread flour, and melted butter. Here’s why:

  1. Brown sugar draws in and holds onto moisture better than white sugar. Not to mention it’s more flavorful! So that one’s a given.
  2. The extra egg yolk adds extra fat and protein, for a richer, chewier bite.
  3. The most effective way to add a chewier texture is to use bread flour. The higher protein content will create stronger strands of gluten that yield a beautiful sturdy texture. If you don’t have bread flour, use all AP flour instead. It won’t be as chewy, but it’ll still be delish.
  4. Lastly, this recipe calls for melted butter. There’s no creaming butter + sugar together, which is why we don’t need an electric mixer. The creaming process also incorporates more air into the dough, which we don’t want. Instead, we want bars that are more dense and chewy, hence the melted butter!
  5. Bonus tip: Don’t overmeasure your flour! I recommend weighing your flour, but if you don’t have a digital kitchen scale, use the spoon and level method, so you don’t accidentally add too much flour. Too much flour can make your bars tough and hard.

How to Tell When Cookie Bars Are Done Baking 

Be sure not to overbake this recipe. You want a little gooey softness to remain. Even if the bars look slightly underdone around the 25 minute mark, you may still pull them out of the oven and allow the residual heat to finish them. The only exception is if you’re using a glass or ceramic pan, which tend to cook more slowly. Learn more about Glass vs. Metal Pans here.

loaded leftover halloween candy cookie bars ready to bake

How to Customize Loaded Cookie Bars

You can add in whatever candy, cookies, and treats your heart desires. Some ideas include:

  • Snickers
  • Hershey’s bars
  • Graham crackers
  • Rolo candies
  • Milk duds
  • Peanut butter chips
  • Chocolate covered pretzels
  • Whatever is left in your kid’s Halloween bucket
  • Whatever your heart desires! Take a look in your pantry before you buy anything else.

How to Store Leftover Halloween Candy Cookie Bars

Store covered at room temperature for up to 3 days. Add an apple wedge, a piece of bread, or a tortilla on the top of the cookie bars to keep them softer for longer. You can also freeze the bars in an airtight container for up to 2 months. Defrost at room temperature and refresh in a 300°F oven until warmed through, if desired.

loaded cookie bars in slices on a cutting board

More Cookie Bar Recipes You’ll LOVE:

More Halloween Recipes:

4.60 from 15 votes

How to make
Loaded Cookie Bars

Yield: 24 bars
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes
Loaded Cookie Bars are stuffed with Oreo cookies, M&M's, and Reese's candy but you can toss in whatever you want! They're thick, chewy, and scrumptious. Perfect for leftover Halloween candy! No mixer required.


  • 2 sticks (227 grams) unsalted butter, melted
  • 1/2 cup (100 grams) granulated sugar
  • 1 1/4 cups (250 grams) packed dark brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs plus 1 egg yolk, at room temperature
  • 1 1/4 cups (159 grams) all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup (127 grams) bread flour (use all-purpose if you don't have bread flour)
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 20 Oreo cookies, chopped
  • 1 cup M&M candies
  • 1 cup chopped Reese’s (or other chocolate candy)


  1. Preheat the oven to 350°Line a 9 by 13-inch pan with parchment paper and spray with nonstick cooking spray.

  2. In a large bowl, vigorously stir the melted butter, granulated sugar, and brown sugar until very well combined. Add in the vanilla, eggs, and egg yolk and stir until well combined. Gradually add in the flours, baking soda, and salt and stir until just combined. Fold in the Oreos, M&M’s, and Reese’s, reserving some to sprinkle on top.

  3. Remove the dough to the prepared pan, pressing evenly. Sprinkle with the reserved candy, pressing down lightly with a spatula. Bake for 25 minutes, or until golden brown but not overcooked. Cool completely before cutting into squares and serving.

Recipe Video

Course : Dessert
Cuisine : American
Keyword : cookie bars, halloween, halloween cookie recipe, leftover halloween candy

This recipe was originally published in 2014 and recently updated with recipe improvements and additional recipe tips. Photos by Ashley McLaughlin.

Tessa Arias
Author: Tessa Arias

I share trusted baking recipes your friends will LOVE alongside insights into the science of sweets. I'm a professionally trained chef, cookbook author, and cookie queen. I love to write about all things sweet, carb-y, and homemade. I live in Phoenix, Arizona (hence the blog name!)

Tessa Arias

About Tessa...

I share trusted baking recipes your friends will LOVE alongside insights into the science of sweets. I'm a professionally trained chef, cookbook author, and cookie queen. I love to write about all things sweet, carb-y, and homemade. I live in Phoenix, Arizona (hence the blog name!)

Find Tessa on  

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Recipe Rating

  1. #
    Laura — December 8, 2022 at 3:08 pm

    I’ve made these several times. I substituted the cookies and candies with one cup each of chocolate chips, craisins and chopped pecans. I just use all-purpose flour. I follow all cooking directions accordingly. They’re scrumptious.

  2. #
    Bee Bee — December 9, 2021 at 5:09 am

    Hi Tessa.
    Can I use light brown sugar instead of dark?

    • #
      Emily — December 9, 2021 at 9:55 am

      Hi there! We prefer the dark brown sugar as it contributes extra chewy texture and additional flavor to these bars, but you’re welcome to try light brown sugar 🙂 Let us know how it goes!

  3. #
    Jessica — October 26, 2021 at 8:43 am

    Hi! Love all of your recipes and can’t wait to make this with all of the leftover Halloween candy! I was just wondering, if I half the recipe, do I need to half the egg yolk too? Or is it okay to just add 1 whole egg and 1 whole yolk. Thanks!

    • #
      Haley Wehner — October 26, 2021 at 12:17 pm

      1 large egg and 1 egg yolk should work! Your bars will be chewy and delicious 🙂

  4. #
    Sugarboo — August 8, 2021 at 6:29 am

    All I can say is they are the best blondie bar! The best! Perfect! Thank you so much! Now I can use up all the leftover chocolate candy!

  5. #
    Sugarboo — August 7, 2021 at 6:25 pm

    THE BEST BAR COOKIES EVER! I’ve been making all kinds of gourmet cookies for 44 years! I always looked for a bar cookie like this! They are absolute perfect! The dough is just delicious on its own and has the perfect firmness to add 3 cups of any kind of chopped up candy. I had a bunch of leftover baking items and made a mix of chocolate covered cashews, caramel covered raisins, covonut flakes, candy corn, m & m’s in plain, peanut, hazelnut, amd caramel filled, toffee bits, and leftover chunks of a Cadbury chocolate bar. More than 3 cups weigh it down too much. 3 cups or less is fine., I used my kitchenaid mixer and mixed all the wet ingredients including the salt., It was a liquid mixer when done. Then added the Floyd and baking powder and blended just until it was all mixed up amd no white areas., I then poured in 3 cups of the candy mix and mixed for about 20-30 seconds., it’s a bit of a stiffer dough then normal chocolate chip cookies. I just buttered my 9×13 non stick pan, and scooped out all the dough into the pan evenly., I baked right away in my preheated oven at 350 degrees in middle rack, for 23 minutes. I have a whirlpool gold small wall oven. Took it out and cooled 345 minutes then cut into 16 bars. Super thick and a hunk of a cookie! They are delicious, and so easy to make, and no special ingredients needed! By far the best cookie ! I’ll be cutting up some butterfinger bars and just adding those next time. Also I did not use parchment paper on ine of the batches, and it still worked out fine and didn’t stick to the bottom. These would be outstanding with just macadamia nuts and some chocolate chips and coconut, and then eat just out of the oven with a scoop of vanilla ice cream!

    • #
      Sugarboo — August 7, 2021 at 6:29 pm

      Sorry for all the typos!

    • #
      Emily — August 9, 2021 at 12:24 pm

      WOW, your add-ins sound AMAZING!! Thanks so much for the positive feedback, so happy you enjoyed this recipe!

  6. #
    Deanna — December 30, 2020 at 9:08 am

    OH MY GOSH, these were so delicious! I used M&Ms, peanut butter cups, dark chocolate chips, semi-sweet chocolate chips, and Reeses pieces… and YUM! They were perfectly soft on the inside. This is officially my go-to recipe for cookie bars.

    • #
      Tessa — December 30, 2020 at 3:58 pm

      Sounds delish! So glad you enjoyed this recipe.

  7. #
    Kaelin — November 9, 2020 at 6:11 pm

    Recipe was so yummy! Definitely a great way to use up Halloween candy! I think we found a new tradition!

    • #
      Tessa — November 10, 2020 at 3:35 pm

      I’m so glad you enjoyed this recipe!

  8. #
    Cathy — November 4, 2020 at 7:54 pm

    Great way to use up all the Halloween candy!

  9. #
    Elizabeth Tschanz — August 1, 2020 at 3:10 am

    Disappointed. I followed the recipe to the dot, and somehow my dough came out fluid and it took forever to cook it (after 25, it was completely uncooked (like raw), and so I recooked it for another 30 minutes and still seemed undercooked (not gooey yummy a bit under-cooked), and the top was dark brown. so not very appetising. Taste very good which motivates the 3 stars, however too load in my opinion. I don’t think I will make it again.

    • #
      Sarah — January 6, 2021 at 3:30 pm

      The same thing happened to me! I have no idea what went wrong. I just re-read the recipe and it seems I did everything exactly, but obviously not because everyone else has been successful.

    • #
      Dream — October 24, 2023 at 12:28 pm

      you did it wrong

  10. #
    Jeff — July 16, 2020 at 6:48 am

    These bars are absolutely insane. Cut them up small, because they are super sweet and quite rich. I only had half a cup of m&ms so I topped it up with some chocolate chips. For the topping, I sprinkled Skor toffee bits and flakey Maldon sea salt on the top. It’s a cool recipe because there’s so many ways you can alter the mix-ins.

  11. #
    Lada — November 10, 2019 at 10:43 am

    I ended up making this 3 times – for my family, for the dorm room, for the office. Huge hit every time. So much better than just eating leftover Halloween candy! (Although I usually avoid substitutions, I did make this with all purpose flour and light brown sugar, and it turned out fantastic). I personally liked using Reeses minis/pumpkins best in these, as well as any kind of M&Ms. Whoppers tended to get a little hard, and Kitkats a little mushy, but still tasted very good. I didn’t try any sugary candies, but would be interested to hear if anyone else did.

  12. #
    Nan — November 9, 2019 at 8:18 am

    Such a versatile bar. It was so good! This will be my go-to blonde recipe from now on out! I went exactly by the recipe except I browned my butter first. I used leftover Halloween Snickers, Kit- Kats, and Milky Ways. I also added Ghoulish PB MM’s and sprinkled Milk Chocolate Toffee Bits over the top before baking. Superb! I know my family are going to want me to make these again. Thank Goodness, I still have more leftover candy.

  13. #
    Lada — November 2, 2019 at 9:06 am

    Would sugary candies (Twizzlers/lollipops/jolly ranchers) work in this recipe too? or do you have another recipe for using those up? Not many trick-or-treaters this year… 🙁

  14. #
    D. Johnson — November 2, 2019 at 8:50 am

    Recipe looks good. Video was pretty long winded and she didnt cut the bars up at the end so we could see them.

  15. #
    Megan — October 16, 2019 at 6:23 am

    I was very skeptical of the bread flour in these bars, but you have made a believer out of me. These bars are absolutely DELICIOUS!!!

  16. #
    Sabrina — October 10, 2019 at 6:56 pm

    nice way to deal with leftover candy, great idea, thank you!

  17. #
    Bob Liggett — May 11, 2019 at 1:08 pm

    I made these cookie bars for my bike club. They were a big hit! I’ve been told to put them on the list of cookies I can make again!

  18. #
    Cupcake — December 27, 2018 at 12:03 am

    Can you use just A.P flour?

  19. #
    Danielle — October 26, 2018 at 5:39 pm

    If I sub the Oreos with something else would Iuse about a cup of mixins or so?

  20. #
    Keith — October 24, 2018 at 2:20 pm

    Great video. Yes prefer on camera. short and to the point.
    Really like the anicdotal tips. Like why melted butter and why only baking soda.

  21. #
    Liz Rogers Alvarado — October 3, 2016 at 11:21 am

    LOVED the video – thanks for the tips on bread flour also! I am going to make these tonight – just to practice up for Halloween leftovers 😉

    • #
      Tessa — October 4, 2016 at 6:23 am

      Yay! Enjoy 🙂

  22. #
    Jana — November 1, 2014 at 3:39 pm

    You are an amazing cook. Thank you for taking the time to break down recipes to find out how to get the best results. I also love that you use ingredients that I already have and clearly describe the directions so that I can replicate your successes.

    These are on my gotta-make list and I know they will be met with rave reviews.

  23. #
    Annalise @ Completely Delicious — October 29, 2014 at 7:57 pm

    These look awesome, Tessa!

  24. #
    Angelyn @ Everyday Desserts — October 29, 2014 at 7:04 pm

    ohhhhh man, these out sinful!!

  25. #
    Andrea | Cooking with a Wallflower — October 29, 2014 at 4:09 pm

    Oh my god. These cookie bars look amazing. Crunchy, chewy, thick, and easy to make? What’s not to like?!

  26. #
    Gaby — October 29, 2014 at 10:42 am

    Oh man, chewy cookie bars are the BEST!

  27. #
    Alice @ Hip Foodie Mom — October 29, 2014 at 5:04 am

    I don’t know what it is but I’ve been so tired lately too. . and I never need to take a nap! Well, thank goodness we get an extra hour of sleep this weekend! Daylight savings to the rescue! I love the idea of using up leftover halloween candy for these!!! love and pinned!

  28. #
    Taylor @ Food Faith Fitness — October 29, 2014 at 4:29 am

    I’m only in a warm daze because I’m curled up under a heated blanket and am pounding back coffee. It’s another cold and rainy day in Seattle.
    I don’t have any kids to bring me candy to make these AMAZING bars, but that means less sharing for me 😉 Pinned!

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