When you live alone, and suffer from a crippling candy addiction, you basically have two post-Halloween choices: bury your face in all those leftover Oh Henrys and Reese’s Pieces in that cauldron, or turn them into something magical that will help you share the wealth–or the diabetic coma–with others. This year, for reasons that remain mysterious, I chose the latter. Last week we had a rainy Halloween night, with fewer Trick or Treaters than usual. My best friend and I dressed up as a cat and a ladybug, respectively, and filled the boredom between knocks on the door with cheap Merlot and heroic candy consumption. Nevertheless, in spite of our best efforts, I still had a generous haul to dispose of come November first.
Nursing a mild school night wine hangover and inspired by a Martha Stewart recipe for candy-topped shortbread squares, here is my version of a buttery, chocolatey, fondant-pumpkin-laden goodie that’s sure to become an annual tradition.
- 1 cup butter, softened to room temperature
- 3/4 cup brown sugar
- 2 cups all purpose flour (substitute for rice flour to make a gluten free shortbread)
- 1 tsp. salt
- 1 tsp. vanilla
- 1 cup chocolate chips OR cup plain-ish chocolate bars, such as Aero or Hershey, chopped
- 2 cups mini chocolate bars or candy bits, chopped (I used a combination of Oh Henry, Kit Kat, Smarties, and mini pumpkins aka my personal Kryptonite)
- 1/4 cup crushed pecans (optional)
- Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C). Grease an 8" x 8” baking pan and add a square of parchment paper to the bottom.
- Cream butter and sugar until well combined. Add flour and mix to form a crumbly dough. Press dough into baking pan and bake 25 minutes or until golden.
- Remove from oven and sprinkle nuts, chocolate chips and candy bits evenly across the top. (I added the Smarties and pumpkins last and then sprinkled a few more chocolate chips on top to bind them to the rest.) Return to oven and bake for 5 more minutes, or till the chocolate melts slightly.
- Remove from oven again and gently spread the melted chocolate around a bit. Let cool for 30 minutes, then chill for 30 minutes, and cut into bars.
- Once chilled and ready to eat, you may require a chisel and/or pickax to cut the cookie into bars. I recommend lifting the entire cookie from the pan using a spatula and cutting with a strong butcher knife on a cutting board.
Now, go check out some of Ship’s fresh salad ideas. After this epic sugar rush, I think we could all use a little greenery.Add to favorites