Thursday, November 8, 2012

Halloween Candy Shortbread

Since becoming empty-nester's, (years ago:-D) judging how much candy we will need for Halloween has become a crap shoot.  One year we ran out and I had scrambled to find something in the house so as not to disappoint the goblins, witches, princesses, and super heroes; I think I found some gum:-(  And, to make matters worse, weather does not figure into the equation.  Rainy or dry conditions, it makes no difference to the Trick or Treaters who go out here in the Pacific Northwest.

This year, I was away for Halloween, visiting my grandson--which has only happened one other time in our 44 years of marriage.  I knew my hubby couldn't handle running out of candy so I bought a large bag (you know, the ones at Costco!) and then, just a few days before, I bought a couple of smaller bags...just in case.  You may have guessed--we only had 3 come out (on a dry night) and now I'm laden with candy!

I've looked at that dish since I arrived home on Tuesday night, wondering what I could do with all that candy.  Then, I remembered what Ari said to me when we were doing crafts and baking, "Mimi, I've got a good idea," oh, the creativity of children; letting your imagination be your guide! I thought, "why not chop up some of that candy and put it on top of shortbread." Maybe not the most elegant recipe I've thought up, but what a nice treat with a hot cup of cocoa or tea.

Halloween Candy Shortbread

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
3/4 cup confectioners' sugar (icing sugar)
1/4 tsp. salt
1 vanilla bean, split and scraped
2 cups King Arthur all-purpose flour

1 - 2 cups chopped Halloween Candy bars (I used Almond Joy)

Preheat oven to 325F-degrees.  Spray a 9-inch square baking pan with a non-stick baking spray and set aside.

In a stand mixer, using the paddle attachment, cream butter and sugar thoroughly.  Add the salt and vanilla bean and mix on Speed 2 once more, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed with a spatula.
Add the flour and mix on low until the dough comes together; be careful not to over mix.
I placed chunks of dough in the prepare pan.  Pat it smooth with floured hands or use a pastry tamper.

One final step, use a fork to poke some holes in the dough to ensure even baking.
Bake in the preheated oven for 15 to 17 minutes or until the edges are golden brown.
Meanwhile, chopped the candy bars.
When the shortbread comes out, sprinkle the candy on top.  I also added 1/2 cups bittersweet chocolate chips and some extra coconut (also about 1/2 cup).


Lower the oven temperature to 300F-degrees and continue baking another 5 to 7 minutes.  The chocolate will be soft and if you like, take a small off-set spatula to smooth the top.  Let cool completely, then, cut into bars.

Including baking time, this recipe took less than 30 minutes to put together.  Thank you Ari for your inspiration--Enjoy!

BTW...I haven't forgotten about this month's apron, it will be up tomorrow with a recipe for Thanksgiving:-D





27 comments:

  1. My hubby would love this! I can't eat sugar and I sure miss the Halloween candy! lol

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    Replies
    1. We really do try to limit our sugar too, so putting candy on top of these shortbread made it easier to give away to friends!!

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  2. Susan I understand about too much candy. We had one of those huge bags of candy also--No children this year! Our neighborhood is older and there are very few children. Great idea for special topping! xoxo ♥
    Martha Ellen

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    1. I think the concept of "Trunk & Treat" has taken over in our area and I will definitely scale down next year...even if it means turning off the lights when we out of candy:-(

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  3. Oh my! I wish I lived close enough to come over and try this in person. My mouth is watering! My kids and husband don't like coconut so I will have to make this and eat it all by myself. Darn! ;-)

    With Love and Ladybug Hugs,
    Kat

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    Replies
    1. I think the beauty of this is that you could take any of your leftover candy--Heath or Hershey bars, Peppermint Patty, even Reece's peanut butter cups and turn this into a quick treat:-D

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  4. Sounds pretty delicious (and decadent) to me, Susan. You must have sooooo loved that visit with your beloved grandson. He's such a doll. Susan

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    1. Such a good time--we really do have an incredible bond, as I do with Maddie as well. I love kids and was a pediatric nurse for 17 years before I got into creating paper flowers and writing books. The grands love my studio and I'm always happy to expand their creativity with art and baking:-D

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  5. Oh me, oh my. Say shortbread and I'm there, and chocolate plus coconut, LOVE IT.
    XOXO's,
    Marcia

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    Replies
    1. My hubby loves shortbread too--that's why I developed a brownie with a shortbread layer underneath for him.

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  6. This looks so good. We don't have anyone that Trick or Treats in our neighborhood so I just buy a little bit of my favorite candy! hugs, Linda

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    1. I think that's how it's going to be next year for us. The trend clearly points to alternative options kids are doing for Halloween. XOXO

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  7. I just made Butterfinger Brownies with some of my leftovers!

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    Replies
    1. Love Butterfingers!! They weren't in the big bag of candy I bought, but probably wouldn't have made their way to being on top of shortbread...LOL!

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  8. Hmmmmm, easy to veganise...and I have plenty of chocolate chips and coconut!
    Jane x

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    1. I'd love some tips on veganizing bake goods; our oldest daughter is a Vegan, but I have not expertise in the science of it all, XOXO

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  9. Yum! Reminds me of a shortbread cookie frosted with Hershey bars that my mother used to make.

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    Replies
    1. I do have some Hershey bars left...maybe the next batch:-D

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  10. sounds like a good idea to me.....plus extra coconut! yum!
    Susan you lucked out on yet another snow storm here in CT. Didn't have to go out so just looked out of our window to see the winter wonderland.
    stamping sue
    http://stampingsueinconnecticut.blogspot.com/

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    Replies
    1. You all have had some pretty wicked weather and I hope you have fared well. My granddaughter in New Jersey is just getting Halloween tonight because of the areas affected. I do know from living in the Northeast, there are a lot of strong, determined people that will rebuild, just like our friends in New Orleans did after Katrina. Take care and keep warm, XOXO

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  11. I can totally relate to the crap shoot concept of candy buying for Halloween. I've only "run out" once since living here and was left with 3 pieces. Had to turn off the light...This year, for some strange reason, I did okay but now have an over abundance of whoppers! So, now to creat a whopper-inspired, booze filled creation...Got the malted milk powder, got the whopper...Now, just got to pick the booze! I could use one of these yummy choconutty-almondy shortbread right about now, my friend! Lv, me

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    Replies
    1. I'm coming over for the Whopper creation!! Luv you, Me

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  12. Ari is a genius ;-) These candy shortbread look wonderful with coconut shreds.

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  13. P.S. on Friday, Nov. 9 2012. Thanks for your visit and comment, Susan. Kelly IS an angel now, looking down on all, for sure, and putting in a good word. Take care, Susan. Hope your weekend goes swimmingly. Susan in Massachusetts

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  14. Yum! Shortbread is one of my favorite cookies! :)

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  15. OH LORD - now we will be buying extra Halloween Candy just for this yummy delight!

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  16. Mmmm That looks delicious! I also like to added chopped up candy bars to brownies. Have a fantastic weekend!

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