Long after the trick-or-treaters have gone home and the costumes have been stowed away, leftover Halloween candy haunts the house, tempting parents to steal their children’s hard-earned treats and leading children to frightful sugar rushes.
If those children and parents are honest, they can only eat so much candy before it gets tiresome. This year, rather than holding a candy eating contest or throwing out all those extras, start the holiday cookie season early by baking them into cookies to share with friends and neighbors.
The story you're reading is premium content from the Austin American-Statesman. Subscribers get total access to all our in-depth news, digital editions and exclusive premium content. You can now also buy a 24-hour digital pass or 7-day digital pass.
For Subscribers: Sign in here if you have already registered your account.Sign In
For Subscribers: Register your account for digital access.Access Digital
Read MyStatesman.com now — 24-hour digital pass99¢ for 24-hours
Read MyStatesman.com all week — 7-day digital pass$3.99 for 7-days
Subscribe to the Statesman for as little as 33¢ per dayView Offers
Pumpkin Butterfinger Cookies
½ cup butter, softened
½ cup granulated sugar
¼ cup dark brown sugar
1½ tsp. vanilla
½ 15 oz. can pureed pumpkin
2 cups all-purpose flour
½ tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1½ tsp. pumpkin pie spice
2 regular or 8 fun-size Butterfinger candy bars, chopped
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.
In the large bowl of a mixer with a paddle attachment, cream together butter and sugars on medium speed. Add egg, vanilla, and pumpkin, one at a time, mixing well after each addition.
In a medium bowl sift together flour, salt, baking soda, baking powder and pumpkin pie spice. Add flour mixture to pumpkin mixture in two additions, scraping down the sides of the bowl and mixing until just combined. Stir in chopped Butterfingers.
Roll dough into 1 1/2-inch balls and place 2 inches apart on cookie sheet. Bake 10 to 12 minutes. Remove from oven and cool 2 minutes on cookie sheet. Transfer cookies to cooling rack and rest for 10 minutes. Makes 2 dozen cookies.
— Adapted from a White Lights on Wednesday recipe by Melissa Martinez
Oatmeal Milky Way Cookies
1/2 cup unsalted butter
1/4 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup dark brown sugar
1 large egg
2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup plus 2 Tbsp. old-fashioned rolled oats
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. baking powder
2 regular or 8 fun-size Milky Ways, chopped then frozen
In the large bowl of a mixer with a paddle attachment, cream together butter and sugars on medium speed. Add the egg and vanilla, mixing well after each addition.
In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder and salt. Add flour mixture to butter mixture in two additions, scraping down the sides of the bowl and mixing until just combined. Manually stir in oats until the dough comes together. Chill dough for 30 minutes.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Roll dough into 1 1/2-inch balls and place 2 inches apart on cookie sheet. Stick 2-3 small pieces of frozen Milky Ways into the tops of the cookies. Bake for 10 minutes, or until cookies are lightly brown on the edges, and cool 3 minutes on cookie sheet. Transfer cookies to a cooling rack and rest for 5 minutes. Makes 1 1/2 dozen cookies.
— Adapted from a Sally’s Baking Addiction recipe by Melissa Martinez
Peanut Butter Milk Dud Cookies
3/4 cup butter
3/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup brown sugar
3/4 cup peanut butter
1 tsp. vanilla
2 cups flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
2 regular or 6 fun-size boxes of Milk Duds
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In the large bowl of a mixer with a paddle attachment, cream together butter and sugars on medium speed. Add eggs, one at a time, vanilla and peanut butter, mixing well after each addition.
In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder and salt. Add flour mixture to butter mixture in two additions, scraping down the sides of the bowl and mixing until just combined. Chill dough for 1 hour.
Roll dough into 1 1/2-inch balls. You can either hide one Milk Dud inside each cookie or roll the dough around the Milk Dud for cookies with a visible chocolate center. Place cookies 2 inches apart on cookie sheet. Bake for about 14 minutes, or until cookies are lightly brown on the edges, and cool for 3 minutes on cookie sheet.
Transfer cookies to a cooling rack and rest for 5 minutes. Makes 2 dozen cookies.
— Adapted from a Taste of Home recipe by Melissa Martinez
- Brown the butter: Melt butter over medium heat in a 2-quart saucepan. As butter melts, it begins to foam, froth, crackle and pop. Swirl and watch the pan as the butter becomes fragrant and turns a golden brown color. Remove the pan from the heat and pour the contents of the pan into a small bowl. Refrigerate for 30 minutes. Browned butter can seem like a hassle, but it adds a wonderful, nutty flavor note to cookies or anything else you use it for.
- Flour gently: Flour is delicate, and too much or too little can make all the difference. Scooping your measuring cup into the bag and packing down the flour typically results in more flour than the recipe calls for. Instead, gently pour or spoon flour into the measuring cup, leveling off the top with a butter knife.
- Parchment paper: Typically, cookies are baked on nonstick or greased cookie sheets, but most of us know they leave behind tiny bits that burn onto the pans. For the easiest cleanup, line your cookie sheets with parchment paper.
- Invest in a cookie scoop: As something of a perfectionist, my favorite kitchen tool is my cookie scoop. It’s less messy for my hands, and it guarantees my cookies will all be the same size.