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Monday, November 11, 2019  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Leftovers: Halloween candy cookies are a hot mess – and that’s OK

By Julia Ditto For The Spokesman-Review

Leftover Halloween candy does not last long at our house. It’s not because we didn’t collect that much in the first place or we boxed it up and sent it to military personnel, although wouldn’t that be lovely if we did?

It’s because I steal it from my kids and eat it at a rate so shocking that it would make Willy Wonka’s eyes bleed. I’m a bit of a legend in this regard. Family lore has it that I have sometimes bagged up the candy and locked it in the trunk of my husband’s car to dissuade myself from getting into it at all hours of the day like a feral squirrel.

But do you know what I’ve discovered? Trunks just aren’t that difficult to open. So if I can do something to get rid of most of the candy in one fell swoop, then I’m all for it.

Enter these Halloween candy cookies, a recipe given to me years ago by my sister-in-law Deena, who has much more self-control and stashes her Halloween candy in the freezer so she can use it throughout the year for recipes such as this. (FYI, freezers aren’t that difficult to open, either).

A soft peanut butter cookie dough base serves as the perfect vehicle for getting candy into your stomach and onto your hips, where they rightfully belong.

For this recipe, I used an assortment of Kit Kats, Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, 3 Musketeers, M&M’s, Milky Ways and Twix bars. You really can’t go wrong regarding which candy to include as long as you stay in the chocolate/caramel/cookie/peanut family.

Nothing like Sweet Tarts or Gummi Bears in these cookies, please, as their inclusion might shock your palate into a confused state from which it might never recover.

Once you’ve selected and unwrapped your candy, pop a few into your mouth while you roughly chop the rest into about half-inch chunks until you have about 2 cups.

You don’t want to get too carried away while chopping, or the candy will end up getting pulverized when you add them to the mixer, which wouldn’t be the worst thing in the world, but I’m just saying.

When it comes time to scoop out the cookies, you’re going to want to put them on a Silpat or parchment paper as there’s likely going to be an oozing caramel situation, not to mention sticky shards of various candy sticking out in random places.

If your cookies look like a hot mess, don’t worry about it. I guarantee that anyone who tastes them is going to think you’re a Grand Baking Witch of the Highest Order.

Halloween candy cookies

Makes about two dozen cookies

1/2 cup granulated sugar

1/2 cup brown sugar

1/2 cup peanut butter

1/2 cup butter, softened

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 egg

1 1/2 cups flour

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon salt

2 cups candies, roughly chopped

1/2 cup M&M’s, optional

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Line a baking sheet with a Silpat or parchment paper. In an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together sugars, peanut butter and butter. Add vanilla and egg.

In a separate bowl, combine flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Gradually add flour mixture to butter mixture just until no dry streaks remain. Gently stir in chopped candies.

Scoop cookies onto cookie sheet and lightly press a few M&M’s on top of each cookie.

Bake for 9-10 minutes or just until set.

Julia Ditto shares her life with her husband, six children and random menagerie of farm animals. Her view of family, firmly rooted in Spokane Valley, also runs in Saturday’s Family section. You can reach her at dittojulia@gmail.com.

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