Loaded Cookie Bars (Leftover Halloween Candy Bars)

Recipe By Tessa Arias
  |  
October 10th, 2019
5 from 4 votes
5 from 4 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.
Appearance: You can see why these are called LOADED cookie bars! Look at all that deliciousness stuffed inside.
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? Oh yeah.

I can’t believe Halloween is just around the corner! I’m ready to get real basic and re-watch Hocus Pocus alongside some sweet pumpkin treats as much as possible until then.

Loaded Cookie bars cut into squares and ready to serve

But if you’re sick of pumpkin (or never liked it to begin with) then this recipe is for you. It’s 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.

Chopped Oreo cookies, M&M candies, and Reese's cups ready to go into the cookie dough

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

Just mix it all together and plop it into a pan and bake. Who needs artificial refrigerated cookie dough when it’s this simple? The best part about these bars is that they’re completely customizable. See all of my baking tips in the pink box below.

Loaded cookie bar squares on a cutting board with a glass of milk

How to Make EASY Loaded Cookie Bars

Loaded cookie dough with chopped Oreos, M&Ms, and Reese's

How Do I make my cookies and bars CHEWY?

The simple keys to chewy cookies are to use lots of brown sugar, an extra egg yolk, and half bread flour.

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 yolks adds extra fat and protein for a richer chewier bite.

And 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 that beautiful sturdy texture we all want when we take that first bite. 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!

Loaded cookie dough pressed into baking pan with chopped Oreos, M&Ms, and Reese's

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.

How to customize 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 cookie bars:

Store covered at room temperature for up to 3 days. Add an apple wedge, piece of bread, or a tortilla on the top of the cookie bars to keep them softer for longer. You can also freeze is 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 bar leaning against glass of milk with a straw

More Cookie Bar Recipes You’ll LOVE

5 from 4 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.

Ingredients

  • 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)

Directions

  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: halloween

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

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!)

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  1. #
    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!

  2. #
    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!

  3. #
    Gaby — October 29, 2014 at 10:42 am

    Oh man, chewy cookie bars are the BEST!

  4. #
    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?!

  5. #
    Angelyn @ Everyday Desserts — October 29, 2014 at 7:04 pm

    ohhhhh man, these out sinful!!

  6. #
    Annalise @ Completely Delicious — October 29, 2014 at 7:57 pm

    These look awesome, Tessa!

  7. #
    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.

  8. #
    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 🙂

  9. #
    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.

  10. #
    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?

  11. #
    Cupcake — December 27, 2018 at 12:03 am

    Can you use just A.P flour?

  12. #
    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!

  13. #
    Sabrina — October 10, 2019 at 6:56 pm

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

  14. #
    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!!!

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