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These Loaded Cookie Bars are perfect for when you’re left wondering what to do with leftover Halloween candy.
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.
The best part about these bars is that they’re completely customizable. See all of my baking tips in the pink box below.
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:
- 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.
- The extra egg yolk adds extra fat and protein, for a richer, chewier bite.
- 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.
- 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!
- 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.
How to Customize Loaded Cookie Bars
You can add in whatever candy, cookies, and treats your heart desires. Some ideas include:
- 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.
More Cookie Bar Recipes You’ll LOVE:
More Halloween Recipes:
sticks (227 grams) unsalted butter,
(100 grams) granulated sugar
(250 grams) packed dark brown sugar
large eggs plus 1 egg yolk,
at room temperature
(159 grams) all-purpose flour
(127 grams) bread flour
(use all-purpose if you don't have bread flour)
fine sea salt
Oreo cookies, chopped
(or other chocolate candy)
Preheat the oven to 350°Line a 9 by 13-inch pan with parchment paper and spray with nonstick cooking spray.
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.
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.
This recipe was originally published in 2014 and recently updated with recipe improvements and additional recipe tips. Photos by Ashley McLaughlin.