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How to use leftover Halloween candy in your favorite cookie recipe

I have been a food writer, nutritionist and TV host since 1990, and I am the author of ten books, including Robin Takes 5 and the New York Times bestseller, Quick Fix Meals. My show, “Quick Fix Meals with Robin Miller”, aired on Food Net...

Don't trash your Halloween candy overload — make these candy cookies instead

If your pillowcases are overflowing with trick-or-treat goodness, don’t be tempted to cart the surplus to work or — heaven forbid — throw it away. Bring new life to your candy booty by weaving it into the most amazing oatmeal cookies you’ve ever had.

This recipe works with a variety of Halloween staples — M&M's, Heath, Butterfinger, Almond Joy, Mounds, Reese’s, Kit Kat, Twix, Milky Way, Hershey's Kisses, Nestlé Crunch, 100 Grand bars and more. You can even fold in walnuts, raisins and dried cranberries if you want to add something healthy — chuckle, chuckle.

I like to add a variety of candy pieces to my dough before spooning it onto baking sheets. If you prefer customized cookies, spoon the dough onto the baking sheets and then add candies as desired. For example, maybe 12 cookies have Reese’s Cups, 12 have Hershey's Kisses, 6 have M&M’s, 6 have Kit Kit pieces and so on. Here's how to make these awesome gems.

Don't trash your Halloween candy overload — make these candy cookies instead
Image: SheKnows

Halloween oatmeal cookie recipe

Yields: 48 cookies

Don't trash your Halloween candy overload — make these candy cookies instead
Image: SheKnows

Don't trash your Halloween candy overload — make these candy cookies instead
Image: SheKnows

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt (optional)
  • 3 cups oats (I prefer old fashioned but you can use quick-cooking), uncooked
  • 1-1 1/2 cups Halloween candy (larger pieces chopped or broken into small pieces)

Directions: 

  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
  2. In a large bowl, beat the butter and sugars together until creamy.
    Don't trash your Halloween candy overload — make these candy cookies instead
    Image: SheKnows
  3. Add the eggs, one at a time, and mix until blended.
    Don't trash your Halloween candy overload — make these candy cookies instead
    Image: SheKnows
  4. Beat in the vanilla.
  5. In a medium bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt and mix with a fork to combine. Add the flour mixture to the butter mixture in 2 to 3 batches and mix until blended.
    Don't trash your Halloween candy overload — make these candy cookies instead
    Image: SheKnows
  6. Mix in the oats.
    Don't trash your Halloween candy overload — make these candy cookies instead
    Image: SheKnows
  7. Fold in the candy, or, if making customized cookies, add the candy as described below.
  8. Drop the dough by rounded tablespoons onto parchment-lined baking sheets, about 2 inches apart. When making customized cookies, press desired candy into the cookies at this point.

    For example, these candies were pressed into the batter
    Don't trash your Halloween candy overload — make these candy cookies instead
    Image: SheKnows

    These candies were folded into the batter during mixing.
    Don't trash your Halloween candy overload — make these candy cookies instead
    Image: SheKnows
  9. Bake for 8 to 9 minutes for chewy cookies or 10 to 11 minutes for crisp cookies. Cool, on baking sheets, on wire racks. Store tightly covered.
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