These little shortbread cookie bars are just AMAZING, and they’re a great way to use up leftover Halloween candy. Buttery shortbread cookie bars laden with candy bits make for one amazing treat!
If you’ve ever been stuck with way too much candy after a less busy than anticipated trick or treating day, this recipe for shortbread cookie bars is what you need! You still get to enjoy that candy in a new fun way. Plus, you can bake these up and give them away as gifts if you’d prefer.
What Halloween candy do I need for these shortbread cookie bars?
- That’s the best part! You can use any candy you have leftover. Simply throw them in a food processor to get the pieces nice and small and add them to the shortbread mixture. Read the full recipe below for the how-to.
- For this recipe, we used 2 Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, a ½ cup Whoppers, and ⅓ Cup Heath Bars
You’ll need to unwrap those little candies and they may just be the most time consuming part of this whole process!
Once you have your favorite candies mixed up into tiny little pieces, it’s time to add them to your shortbread mixture.
After combining the delicious leftover Halloween candy with shortbread dough, you’ll simply spread the dough and get it baked!
Right when these bars come out of oven, cut them however you’d like. We do little triangles because it’s the perfect bite-sized treat. Next up comes the frosting!
How long do these shortbread cookie bars last?
- They keep very well for a few days as long as you store them in an air tight container.
- We like to make these for an event like baby shower or game night so feel free to make them a couple of days ahead of time.
What candy will you use in your leftover Halloween candy shortbread bars? Leave a comment below and let us know!
And, if you’re looking for another great Halloween treat to make, try these Frankenstein cookies!
Trashed Up Shortbread Cookie Bars (that use leftover Halloween candy)
For the bars
- 3 sticks butter unsalted, at room temperature (1 1/2 cups butter)
- ⅔ cup powdered sugar
- 2½ cups flour
- ⅓ cup cornstarch
- 1 cup candy crushed (we used 2 Reese's Peanut Butter Cups, a ½ cup Whoppers, and ⅓ Cup Heath Bars)
- ⅛-1/4 cup water
For the frosting
- 3 Tbs Butter melted
- ¼ cup milk
- ½ tsp vanilla extract
- 1½ cups powdered sugar
- 1-2 Tbs sanding sugar for topping
- Preheat oven to 350. Line a 9x13 baking dish (I use this one) with parchment paper and set aside.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer or with a hand mixer, beat butter for 1 minute, then scrape down the sides and add the powdered sugar and beat on low until incorporated. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and add the flour and the corn starch. Beat slowly until the dough resembles a crumbly mixture.
- In a food processor, dump your bite-size candies in. Pulse until candies are broken up into small pieces.
- Next add the cup of candy pieces and beat until incorporated. If it is very dry and crumbly, add ⅛-1/4 cup water so that the mixture comes together.
- Spread/press into the prepared baking dish and bake for 20-25 minutes until golden brown on the edges. Remove from oven, and immediately lift/transfer the parchment paper and shortbread bars to a cutting board or flat surface and cut them into squares, and then cut each square diagonally.
To make the frosting
- While the shortbread bars are baking make the frosting. To do so, mix all the frosting ingredients in the bowl of a stand mixer until they are creamy and well mixed together. Pour frosting over the warm, cut shortbread bars. If using sanding sugar sprinkle it on top of the frosting.
- Allow bars to cool completely, then separate them with a butter knife by running the knife along the lines you have already cut. Then enjoy!