Have extra holiday candy? Try this recipe for loaded cookie bars!

Holidays, birthdays and other occasions sometimes leave us with lots of candy hanging around the house. So when life hands you extra candy and cookies — like mini Reese’s peanut butter cups, Twix bars, fun-size Snickers, M&Ms, Oreos and other treats — try this deliciously indulgent recipe for loaded cookie bars, inspired by Handle the Heat. After you take a couple squares for yourself, share the wealth by offering the chocolate-studded bars to co-workers, friends and family.

When you’re making these, think of the candy as mix-ins, and you’ll see why there’s no end to the recipes you can sweeten up — for instance, these loaded bars. The little cookie monsters in your house will love them, but they’ll have to get to them before the adults do!

Sea salt adds that irresistible sweet-and-salty combo to the smooth texture of this dessert. Think blondie bars blended with Oreo pieces and studded with Reese’s cups, M&Ms and Snickers pieces.

ALSO TRY THESE: Brownie chocolate chip cookie dough bars

You can modify this recipe to use whatever candy you have on hand. For example, if your neighbors go wild with the Twix bars this Halloween, chop some bars up and sub them in for the M&Ms. Easter bunny brings you a nest full of Robin Eggs? Mix ’em in. Your loaded cookie bars might be a bit different every time, but they’ll always be delicious.

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Whisk dry ingredients together

Whisks work well for dry ingredients because they help evenly distribute everything.

Dry ingredients are mixed together

Combine brown sugar and melted butter

Wet ingredients get their own bowl and need to be combined separately.

Brown sugar poured into melted butter

Mix together wet ingredients

Whisk until fully combined and sugar is melted.

Wet ingredients are mixed together

Pour flour mixture onto wet ingredients

Mix the two together to begin cookie batter. Be sure not to over-mix.

Combine wet and dry ingredients

Get your candy (and cookies) and chop it all into bite-size pieces

Collect whatever sweets your heart desires, then chop and dice them. Be creative and use any cookies, candies or sweets you can dream up.

Loaded cookie squares with leftover Halloween candy - chopped Reese's cups dumped into candy mixture


Combine candy and cookie pieces with cookie dough

Fold goodies into batter thoroughly so that each bar will have plenty of tasty treats.

Combine candy mixture with cookie dough

Spread loaded cookie bar dough mixture into glass dish

It’s as easy as that! Spread flat so that the bars bake evenly.

Spread cookie dough into glass pan

Place candy pieces on top of the loaded cookie bar dough

Adding more candy and cookie pieces on top just make your bars even more beautiful. Colorful candies are fun here.

Top cookie dough with candy pieces

Candy-loaded cookie bars are great for sharing!

Warning: this will be a recipe people will be asking you for.

Share the bounty with friends and family with these loaded cookie bars!

Bring these bars to parties, bag as gifts or make just to enjoy at home.

Loaded cookie squares with leftover Halloween candy

The perfect combination of chewy cookie and crispy, crunchy candy

You can literally taste this cookie bar!

Loaded cookie bars

Yield 24 bars


  • 1-1/2 cups (6.6 ounces) all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup (4.5 ounces) bread flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 2 sticks (8 ounces) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1-1/4 cups packed dark brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 2 large eggs plus 1 egg yolk, at room temperature
  • 20 Oreo cookies, coarsely chopped
  • 1 cup M&Ms or other candy
  • 1 cup chopped Reese's peanut butter cups or Snickers


  1. Preheat oven to 350F degrees.
  2. Line 9-by-13-inch glass dish with parchment paper.
  3. In medium bowl, combine flour, bread flour, baking soda and salt.
  4. In second large bowl, vigorously stir melted butter, granulated sugar and brown sugar until mixed well.
  5. To large bowl of sugar, add vanilla, eggs and egg yolk. Stir until well-combined.
  6. Gradually add flour mixture to sugar mixture, and stir until just combined.
  7. In another smaller bowl, mix Oreos, M&Ms, Reese’s and Snickers. Reserve 1/2 cup to sprinkle on top.
  8. Fold in Oreos, M&Ms, Reese’s and Snickers.
  9. Remove dough to prepared pan, pressing evenly.
  10. Sprinkle with reserved candy, pressing down lightly with spatula.
  11. Bake for 25 minutes, or until golden-brown but not overcooked.
  12. Cool completely before cutting into squares and serving.
  13. Store in airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days.

Courses Desserts

Cookie dough squares after cooking

Cookie dough squares stacked on top of eachother