Shortbread Candy Bars

Halloween Candy Shortbread Bars
This is a belated Halloween post.  It was a great way to use up leftover chocolate candy from the kids’ Halloween haul.  This may have been one of the sweetest and most decadent desserts I have ever made.  The secret was to make each serving SMALL- otherwise, it truly was too much of a good thing.  This recipe is from Everyday Food.
Yield: Makes 16 bars
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 3/4 cup packed light-brown sugar
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons coarse salt
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour, (spooned and leveled)
  • 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
  • 2 cups assorted chocolate candies or roughly chopped candy bars (12 ounces)
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, beat butter, brown sugar, and salt on medium-high until light and fluffy, 3 minutes. With mixer on low, add flour in three additions and beat until combined (dough will be crumbly). Press dough evenly into an 8-inch square baking dish. Bake until golden brown and firm, 30 to 35 minutes.
  2. Scatter chocolate chips on top of shortbread. Bake until soft, 1 minute. With the back of a spoon, spread chocolate evenly over shortbread. Scatter candies over top. Let cool on a wire rack 30 minutes. Refrigerate briefly to set chocolate, then cut into 16 bars.

Back to School Blondies

We started making these blondies for Halloween using red, brown, orange and yellow m&m’s.  Because my kids love making them (& eating them) we have changed the color theme to transform them into Christmas and Easter blondies as well.  This year, when I asked the kids what they wanted for a special dessert after their first day of school it was a unanimous BLONDIES! Festive and delicious.

This recipe for Halloween Blondies is from Everyday Food.

  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, melted, plus more, room temperature, for pan
  • 1 cup packed light-brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour (spooned and leveled)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons coarse salt
  • 1/4 cup each red, orange, yellow, and brown candy-coated chocolates (from a 12.6-ounce bag)
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees on convection. Brush an 9-inch square baking pan with butter; line pan with parchment paper, leaving a 2-inch overhang on two sides. Butter paper. (I used cooking oil spray.)
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together butter and sugars until smooth.
  3. Whisk in eggs and vanilla.
  4. Add flour and salt; stir just until moistened.
  5. Transfer batter to prepared pan and smooth top. Arrange candies in 12 rows (about 12 per row, 2 rows per color, repeating once) on top of dough. 
  6. Bake until top of cake is golden brown and a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean, 30 to 35 minutes on convection, or up to 50 minutes in a standard oven. Set pan on a wire rack and let cool completely. Using parchment overhang, lift cake from pan and transfer to a cutting board; cut into 16 squares.

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