Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Chocolate Candy Cookie Bars


Spend quality time  with your children around the kitchen
and together you can easily whip up these sinfully delicious cookie bars
loaded with all (...or some) of your leftovers Halloween chocolate candies

I hope you had a fantastic Halloween, and a relaxing, sugar-free Sunday. I meant ... sugar-filled Sunday! We all know what really happens the day after Halloween. The kids go crazy with all the goodies they have collected, and want to eat them all.
The general rule in my house is to let the kids play, count, and compare their treasures. But they can pick only a few pieces to eat. I try to make the rest disappear. Well, not all of it! I would never get rid of chocolate candies. You all know that I LOVE chocolate. I could never say no to a melt-in-your-mouth piece of the finest chocolate, maybe filled with crunchy hazelnuts, and silky gianduia milk chocolate. Are you thinking about those fancy Italian baci too?!? So delicious!

Today I baked with one of my boy these fantastic cookie bars filled with leftover Halloween chocolate candies. This recipe is a great way to use those candies, and it's easy enough that your kids can do it by themselves, or maybe with a little help. You can let your kids decide which chocolate bars to use. From Snickers to Milky Way.Or Reese's Cups and M&Ms. Let them go wild! Just set the limit to about one and a half cups of candies cut in pieces for a batch of these cookies.

My kids love when they get to help in the kitchen.  It gets very messy, but it's so much fun. Cooking is a great learning opportunity, and an amazing way to bring the family together.  Sometimes it's hard to spend quality time with the children, when they are so busy with school, homework, sports and all that after-school activities.
After today's crazy baking experience I can honestly say that I need to bake more with my boys and work on their cooking skills. Neither of them could be the next MASTERCHEF JUNIOR. Not a chance, at least for the moment! Have you seen what the kids on the show can actually cook?!? Simply amazing!
In the finale of the last season, the remaining two contestants had to make a three course meal in only 90 minutes. One of the boys made an Italian inspired menu, starting with herbed homemade ricotta cheese, with roasted beets and pumpernickel bread. Yes, you heard correctly! Ricotta cheese made from scratch. I have never tried and never even thought about making it, until I saw this episode. If an 11 year old can whip up ricotta, I certainly can do it too. Well ... maybe  :)
Next on the menu, there was an impressive dish of beef cheek ravioli with pan gravy and shaved Parmesan. And for dessert a perfectly creamy sweet risotto (rice pudding style) with figs and verjus. Probably you wish you knew what  "verjus" is, right?! Not even my laptop spell-checker knows it really. But I do! And I learned it from the show, of course!
MASTERCHEF JUNIOR is super fun and exciting, for both adults and kids. And it's very inspiring, with all those impressive and mouthwatering dishes. I've actually decided I need to be one of the judges on the show! I can really see myself sitting next to Gordon Ramsey and sharing the fork ;)
So make sure to watch the new season of MASTERCHEF JUNIOR. It's starting this Friday November 6, 8/7 c on Fox.
Just one word of advice before the next show: make sure not to watch on an empty stomach. It will make you hungry,for sure!
Here is the recipe for these soft and gooey, rich and intense, dangerous cookie bars. Every bite is  exploding with everything you love about leftover Halloween chocolate candies.  You can make it as fun or as simple as you wish.

Ingredients: to make an 8x12 inches (20x30 cm) baking pan, cut in about 16 bars
  • 4 oz (115 gr) of unsalted butter, melted
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup packed (200 gr) of brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
  • 2 cups (300 gr) of all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon of baking soda
  • a pinch of salt
  • 1 and 1/2 cups (about 200 gr) of Milky Way and Crunch bars, or other (Snickers, Butterfingers, Reese's cups, ...)
  • 1/4 cup (40 gr) of M&Ms for decoration (optional)


Preparation time: about 40 minutes
Directions:

1. Preheat the oven to 350° F (175° C). Melt the butter in a double boiler, or in the microwave for about 30-40 seconds. Let it cool, while you prepare the rest of the ingredients.
2. In a large bowl add the eggs and sugar. Mix well.

3. Whisk in the melted butter.

4. Blend in the flour, baking soda, and salt.

5. Stir in the two cups of chopped chocolate bars.

6. Press the dough to the bottom of a 8x12 inches (20x30 cm)  baking pan, covered with parchment paper. Sprinkle the top with the M&Ms if you wish, to give a colorful twist to the bars. Press the  candies down a bit with your finger, so they won't roll around.

7. Bake at 350° F (175° C) for about 20-22 minutes. Take the cookies out by pulling up on the parchment paper, and cut in pieces. To have perfectly cut bars, make sure to wait for the cookies to cool down a bit. Or if you don't mind... we didn't mind and couldn't wait to taste this - just go ahead, cut and enjoy!  I made 16 bars, about 2 by 3 inches each. You could also cut smaller portions and make 24 bars ( 2x2 in ).
Enjoy :)



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125 comments:

  1. My favorite way to cook with kids is to make homemade pizzas together with lots of healthy toppings.
    heather hgtempaddy@hotmail.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Heather!! You can never go wrong with an healthy homemade pizza!! Perfect :)

      Delete
  2. My favorite way to cook with my kids is to give them all special things to do and to make it fun by baking for our family and friends! my4boysand1@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes! I'm sure the kids have fun :) Thank you Stephanie!

      Delete
  3. I tweeted my4boysand1@gmail.com
    https://twitter.com/my4boysand1/status/662049476014702592

    ReplyDelete
  4. I like to have my kids help with measuring by using measuring cups and spoons. They also love to stir items and they also help me wash veggies and fruits.
    Thanks so much.
    rickpeggysmith(at)aol(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Cooking can be very educational for the kids, with all the measuring and counting. Perfect :)

      Delete
  5. Tweeted: https://twitter.com/peg42/status/662085604981776384
    Thanks again
    rickpeggysmith(at)aol(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  6. When they're very young I simply measure out all the ingredients in advance and put them in little bowls so they can dump each one in as we go along and stir. As they get older they can learn how to do things like measure the ingredients and crack the eggs.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Haha!! Yes, my boys love to crack the eggs too... We might have to go fishing in the bowl for shells, but it's fun ;)

      Delete
  7. tweeted
    https://twitter.com/rubylorikeet/status/662166469719928832

    ReplyDelete
  8. We like to cook with our kids when we make vegetable sushi; the kids have fun rolling them up.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Wow!! Sushi! Delicious and super healthy!

      Delete
  9. tweet-https://twitter.com/LuLu_Brown24/status/662230442704154624

    ReplyDelete
  10. I like to make pizza and let the kids add their own toppings.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Tweet
    https://twitter.com/clc408/status/662248795770605568

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  12. I like to get the kids involved with cooking and that begins at the store. We make our shopping list and pick out recipes that are easy for the kids to make and make meals that they will enjoy making and eating together as a family. One recipe we love is Kids Favorite meatloaf. They just love making it!

    jewelwood55(at)gmail(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Julie!!! Just like in the MASTERCHEF Junior show! Haha :)

      Delete
  13. tweet-https://twitter.com/JewelWood/status/662260299945218048

    jewelwood55(at)gmail(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  14. my daughter loves to bake cookies

    freebiel0ve@yahoo.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Mmmmm. Cookies :) Thank you Sephanie!

      Delete
  15. Kristin G
    marleykristin@hotmail.com

    We mainly love to bake and my son loves to help me make homemade pizza. He loves to add the cheese and pepperoni. We enjoy baking cookies and using cookie cutters.

    ReplyDelete
  16. I like to bake with my so and let him mix the ingredients

    elena150980 at yahoo dot com

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  17. https://twitter.com/ElenaIstomina/status/662288802459729920

    elena150980 at yahoo dot com

    ReplyDelete
  18. I m so trilled to try these , we have tons of candy yay

    ReplyDelete
  19. I let my children chop vegetables and encourage them to help measure ingredients

    mummytotwoboys@yahoo.com

    ReplyDelete
  20. tweeted https://twitter.com/mummytotwoboys1/status/662294026419380224

    mummytotwoboys@yahoo.com

    ReplyDelete
  21. Hi Manuela,
    I always enjoy your food blogs,
    This time also you surprise me with this unique cookie bars.
    Amazingly Delicious..!!
    Thanks for sharing with us.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you so much! So sweet of you :)

      Delete
  22. My kids always have great ingredient suggestions to make the recipe even better!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Perfect!! Kids can really have great ideas! I can't always listen to my 7 year old thou ... or I might end up with chocolate and whipped cream in every dish. Haha!

      Delete
  23. I love letting my son decide on a menu and then helping him put it all together.
    dmarie824 at aol dot com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes!! That is great. Kids love to be part of the family dinner preparation! Thank you Denise for sharing :)

      Delete
  24. tweeted - https://twitter.com/dmarie824/status/662358916219600896

    ReplyDelete
  25. My kids love to help me bake, especially banana bread (which is their favorite).

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yummmm!! I love banana bread too :)

      Delete
  26. We like to bake cookies together at holiday time.

    mami2jcn at gmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  27. tweet--https://twitter.com/mami2jcn/status/662398522323431424

    ReplyDelete
  28. My daughter likes to help me make desserts. I let her add the ingredients and use the mixer.

    kellywcu8888ATgmailDOTcom

    ReplyDelete
  29. tweet
    https://twitter.com/Kellydpa/status/662405792381861889

    kellywcu8888ATgmailDOTcom

    ReplyDelete
  30. they love to help pour in the chocolate chips when we make cookies

    groogruxking40 @ gmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  31. tweet https://twitter.com/groogruxking40/status/662408128076509184

    ReplyDelete
  32. I like to make desserts with my son. He gets into it when we are making something sweet!
    reklaw422 at Hotmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  33. My son loves to measure out the ingredients, so baking is a lot of fun for us!
    onefrugalgirl AT gmail DOT com

    ReplyDelete
  34. https://twitter.com/OneFrugalGirl/status/662466276783235072
    onefrugalgirl AT gmail DOT com

    ReplyDelete
  35. My favorite way to cook with daughter is to have her help measure out ingredients, roll out dough or cookie dough to make cookies and find ingredients in the fridge and kitchen. I also have her mix ingredients in a bowl. yarbr012@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  36. https://twitter.com/yarbr012/status/662625983300804608 yarbr012@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  37. I like making baked goods with kids. It’s usually fairly simple, it’s easy to find ways for them to help and they love the finished product so it’s easy to get them into it.
    prettyinhotpink6@gmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  38. Tweet: https://twitter.com/PrettyHotPink6/status/662637132423426048

    ReplyDelete
  39. I let her pick which veggies we're going to have that night!

    ReplyDelete
  40. I like to mix the ingredients myself, then have them help with things like rolling cookie dough into balls, etc. That way we all have a good time.

    chambanachik(at)gmail(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  41. My 3 year old loves to throw the measured ingredients into the mixing bowl for cookies!

    ReplyDelete
  42. https://mobile.twitter.com/michael64263870/status/662740791618498560

    ReplyDelete
  43. https://mobile.twitter.com/kytah00/status/662746631603945472 afjackly@oakland.edu

    ReplyDelete
  44. Letting them cook "with" you and "for" you. So fun! Afjackly@oakland.edu

    ReplyDelete
  45. https://mobile.twitter.com/Esham4life/status/662777185254645760 shawn92379@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  46. My daughter loves to measure out the ingredients and mix them into the mixing bowl for cookies!

    s2s2 at cox dot net

    ReplyDelete
  47. https://twitter.com/susan1215/status/662799005269647361

    s2s2 at cox dot net

    ReplyDelete
  48. I have my granddaughter pick out recipes as well as help me do the meal planning & preparing dinner. She also helps me bake a few times per month.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you!! It sounds like she is really lucky to have a great grandma :)

      Delete
  49. Tweeted-https://twitter.com/birdiebee52/status/662894069148950528

    ReplyDelete
  50. We like to cook with the kids measuring ingredients and mixing them together.
    MCantu1019 at aol dot com

    ReplyDelete
  51. We love to bake together. my son loves cake and cookies.
    tina19820115@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  52. https://twitter.com/HappyTina0115/status/663174425135685632
    tina19820115@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  53. We love baking together, from sugar cookies to cupcakes.
    tcarolinep at gmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  54. tweet-https://twitter.com/tcarolinep/status/663212936517693440

    ReplyDelete
  55. Friday is pizza night at our house and we all get involved. I make the dough up a couple days in advance and usually have the cutting/chopping done by the time the kids get home from school. We finish homework and the boys get to top their pies however they wish, usually pepperoni or plain cheese. It's my favorite night of the week!
    jlammers002 at woh dot rr dot com

    ReplyDelete
  56. I shared your blog post on Twitter with the handle @FireRunner2379: https://twitter.com/FireRunner2379/status/663408577130995713.
    jlammers002 at woh dot rr dot com

    ReplyDelete
  57. We also always like doing pizzas. I give them each dough and let them make individual pizzas with the toppings of their choice.

    ReplyDelete
  58. https://twitter.com/suburbsanity/status/663541215254724608

    ReplyDelete
  59. I let my sons help as much as they can & as much as it's safe. Their favorite has to be baking & decorating of course! From cookies to cakes, fun quality time!

    ReplyDelete
  60. Shared on twitter! https://twitter.com/cdhabolt/status/663807214495227904

    ReplyDelete
  61. We like making pizza and drop cookies

    dlatany at gmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  62. https://twitter.com/sweetums82/status/664244903950606336

    dlatany at gmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  63. kids can help put measuring ingredients and mixing them up

    debbiebellows (at) gmail (dot) com

    ReplyDelete
  64. we love to bake cakes and cookies

    ReplyDelete
  65. https://twitter.com/purplelover04/status/664338796968673280

    ReplyDelete
  66. My favorite ways to cook with kids is let them decide the menu, we shop for the ingredients together, cook and clean up together. My kids love cooking. So glad they like cleaning up too.

    amy [at] utry [dot] it

    ReplyDelete
  67. tweeted:
    https://twitter.com/uTry_it/status/664341402696835072

    amy [at] utry [dot] it

    ReplyDelete
  68. i posted a tweet:

    https://twitter.com/bellows22/status/664411431979237379

    debbiebellows (at) gmail (dot) com

    ReplyDelete
  69. My son and I love to bake chocolate chip cookies.

    Thanks for the chance to win!

    wildorchid985 AT gmail DOT com

    ReplyDelete
  70. tweet--https://twitter.com/WildOrchid985/status/664474543982043136

    wildorchid985 AT gmail DOT com

    ReplyDelete
  71. I enjoy baking with my daughters. They like to chop and mix ingredients.

    ReplyDelete
  72. I tweeted. https://twitter.com/poisonsix9/status/664521788072861696

    ReplyDelete
  73. My favorite way to cook with my boys is to let each one have their turn deciding what we'll make. They usually pick brownies every time.

    eswright18 at gmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  74. tweeted

    https://twitter.com/eswright18/status/664606354733010944

    eswright18 at gmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  75. They stir the cupcake mix for me
    pokergrl8 at gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  76. https://twitter.com/aes529/status/664771270811254784
    pokergrl8 at gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  77. I've never cooked with kids, as there are no kids in my life. When I was a kid, I loved cooking with my mom and dad. I especially loved making iced sugar cookies with my mom!
    Angie
    14earth at gmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  78. I tweeted here: https://twitter.com/MsTofuFairy/status/664818861125013504
    Angie
    14earth at gmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  79. One of my favorite ways to cook with my kids is during the holidays. They love making Christmas cookies with me and their Nana!
    nuthouse(at)centurytel(dot)net

    ReplyDelete
  80. tweeted: https://twitter.com/KerryBishop/status/664868870650511360
    nuthouse(at)centurytel(dot)net

    ReplyDelete
  81. cute, bake, and decorate cookies

    ReplyDelete
  82. We like to make muffins and cinnamon rolls together.
    maddiembrubaker {at} gmail [dot] com

    ReplyDelete
  83. My granddaughter and I pick a new recipe to bake 1-2 times per month. She also helps me do the grocery shopping.

    ReplyDelete
  84. Tweeted-https://twitter.com/birdiebee52/status/665046377865588736

    ReplyDelete
  85. The kids love to help out in the kitchen. We keep it simple and have them help measure, mix and frost things.
    cshell090869 at aol dot com

    ReplyDelete
  86. tweeted
    https://twitter.com/cshell202/status/665076281235542016
    cshell090869 at aol dot com

    ReplyDelete
  87. No kids of my own, but when I'm at my friend's house her granddaughter helps in the kitchen. We put the veggie tray together and put the dip in the bowl.
    Thanks for the contest.

    slehan at juno dot com

    ReplyDelete
  88. https://twitter.com/slehan/status/665079959824678912

    slehan at juno dot com

    ReplyDelete
  89. My grand kids like to help crush crackers or cookies and tear bread for stuffing. They are great at decorating cakes and cupcakes.

    ReplyDelete
  90. My children are all adults now but they always loved to make their favorite foods. Cooking is always more fun when you are looking forward to biting into something you love.

    willitara [at] gmail [dot] com

    ReplyDelete
  91. Tweet - https://twitter.com/willitara/status/665133698124087296

    willitara [at] gmail [dot] com

    ReplyDelete
  92. Tweet link: https://twitter.com/shala_darkstone/status/665147168790061056
    maddiembrubaker {at} gmail [dot] com

    ReplyDelete
  93. My daughter loves to help out in the kitchen. Her favorite activity is chopping up mushrooms or other soft vegetables for me.
    aleksnearing gmail com

    ReplyDelete
  94. We like cooking "fun" food like burgers and pizzas ; my son love cooking desserts too, we make a chocolate cake every sunday. He likes to measure and pour !
    My email is redaurelie(at)gmail(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  95. My tweet https://twitter.com/AurelieRed/status/665195269882060800
    My email is redaurelie(at)gmail(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  96. I like to make pizza with my son.

    rounder9834 @yahoo.com

    ReplyDelete
  97. tweeted
    https://twitter.com/thomasmurphy40/status/665207766865330176

    rounder9834 @yahoo.com

    ReplyDelete
  98. I like to bake with my girls, so they usually add the ingredients and mix and then pour the batter

    tbarrettno1 at gmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  99. tweet https://twitter.com/ChelleB36/status/665299326462263296

    tbarrettno1 at gmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  100. My favorite way to cook with our kids is to cook recipes with 6 ingredients or less, such as Sloppy Joes & 3-Ingredient Peanut Butter Cookies. I also do love cooking more difficult recipes with our kids that have been in the family for years so that they learn how to make family favorites! To avoid disasters when cooking with our kids, I don't let them measure over the dish we are preparing. I have them measure over a paper plate in case they spill over.

    andysavi.mom@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  101. I tweeeted

    https://twitter.com/saverang/status/665308789722058753

    andysavi.mom@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  102. We love to bake cookies together.

    ReplyDelete
  103. Tweet https://twitter.com/Lindiac/status/665338600662298626

    ReplyDelete
  104. These cookies look so adorable! I can make this with children during weekend and I bet they'll sure will like it so much! Thanks for sharing

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Randy! I'm sure they will be so happy - to help out and especially to eat these :)

      Delete
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