Candy Bar Blondies – Joy the Baker

In what I can only describe as an act of pure optimism, my boyfriend bought something like 12 pounds of Halloween candy this year.  I’m taking it upon myself to devise some sort of pulley or boomerang system to safely get as many of these pounds of candy safely to each and every, few and brave, Trick-or-Treaters.   

I am not safe with even one pound of candy in my house. Can you see me shaking my head no?  My willpower goes directly out the window around a peanut butter cup or an M&M. I have to find clever ways to get the candy out. I’ll eat a few pieces but friends, we have to keep it moving.  

A few  years ago I baked every piece of candy in the house into blondie brownies.  We’re bringin the ol’ Candy Bar Blondie out of retirement for 2020.  May this be a place to recycle all of your Halloween candy or may it be a sweet treat in place of a Halloween haul.  Here’s how!  

ingredients in small bowls for candy bar blondies

Here’s what you’ll need for these Candy Bar Blondies. Of course, when it comes to candy, use exactly what you have on hand. This is about using what you have. I’m just crossing my fingers you have peanut butter cups.  

•   all-purpose flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Will it work gluten-free? Sure will! Use your favorite gf flour blend! 

•  brown sugar and browned butter, for good measure.  

•  an egg and vanilla extract, and  that’s the good word.  

• candy, amen. 

eggs and brown sugar in a medium bowl for baking

First, we’ll cream together the brown sugar and slightly cooled browned butter.  It’ll feel grainy and that’s ok.  Beat in the egg and the whole mixture will smooth to glossy. 

creamed sugar and eggs with vanilla extract

Add the vanilla extract though a splash of maple extract would also be nice.  

Whip everything until thoroughly combined.  

flour in a bowl with creamed eggs and sugar

Next, we’ll add the dry ingredients and stir into a thick batter. 

I start with the hand mixer but always finish mixing the batter with a spatula to ensure everything is fully combined. 

Stir in candy.  

It’s normal to sneak a few bites. Baker’s rights.  

Spread the batter into a parchment-lined square baking pan and press a few extra pieces of candy into the top.  Oh good grief this is too good. 

You’ll know it’s baked through when the top looks a bit dry, and the edges are curled up and golden brown. The chocolate will be  melty and the whole situation will feel wholly irresistible.  

Allow to cool before lifting out of the pan, slicing, and immediately giving to the neighbors. 

These are perfect for sharing, though it’s nice to wrap and stash a few away in the freezer. They’re chewy and crunchy when frozen, and truly, few things are better. 

Happy Halloween!

Photos with my dear Jon Melendez (who made ghost doughnuts and pumpkin conchas and you should visit his site for fall recipe inspiration!)


Candy Bar Blondies

The best way to bake with this year’s Halloween candy. 

  • Author: Joy the Baker
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 25 minutes
  • Total Time: 40 minutes
  • Yield: 9 brownies 1x



  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted until browned then cooled slightly
  • 1 cup (200 grams) lightly packed light or dark brown sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 cup (127 grams) all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped Halloween candy of your choosing


  1. Place a rack in the center of the oven and preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease an 8 or 9-inch square baking pan with nonstick cooking spray . Line with parchment paper, leaving two flaps hanging over the edges of the pan. Lightly grease the parchment paper. Set aside.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together browned butter and sugar. Mixture will be grainy. That’s ok.
  3. Whisk in egg and beat by hand until mixture is slightly pale, about 2 minutes. Whisk in vanilla extract.
  4. In a small bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Add all at once to the butter and sugar mixture. Stir until just incorporated. Mixture will be fairly thick. Fold in 1/2 cup  of chopped candy.
  5. Spread batter into prepared pan. Top with remaining candy. Bake for 20 to 27 minutes, or until a skewer inserted in the center of the brownies comes out clean. Brownies will be golden brown and appear dry across the top.
  6. Remove from oven and allow to cool for at least 20 minutes before removing from the pan and slicing into 9 pieces. Brownies will keep, well wrapped at room temperature, for up to 4 days. They’re very popular as offerings to neighbors. 


•  This recipe can be made gluten-free using a 1-for-1 gluten-free flour blend. 

•  This recipe can be doubled and baked in a 9×13-inch pan.  Increase the bake time to 30-37 minutes. 

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