Need to use leftover Halloween candy? Bake a batch of soft and chewy candy corn chocolate chip oatmeal cookies!
Are you team candy corn or a candy corn hater? My not-scientific research has convinced me people either love candy corn or hate it. Our family is divided an even 50/50 between the two camps. I like it and will eat a few each year, because fall, and the Godfather will pass. Unless I bake the candy into these candy corn oatmeal chocolate chip cookies. He likes these… a lot.
The inspiration for these cookies came from celebrity baker Christina Tosi at MilkBAR in NYC. She made some candy corn oatmeal cookies and they popped up in the “food news” section of my phone’s news app. Problem, I’m nowhere near NYC, but I wanted a cookie.
How can we solve this problem? Drop everything, bake nothing but candy corn cookies for 2 days straight to get the texture right, and problem solved. Be a problem solver, darlings. 😉
Tips for baking with candy corn
The biggest challenge I found to making these candy corn chocolate chip oatmeal cookies actually came from working with the candy corn. Unlike brownies that use candy, cookies are not so forgiving when candy melts and spreads. There are two ways to address this…
The first option is to use a little less candy corn and chop the pieces small before adding to your cookie dough. That minimizes the spreading while still giving you the candy corn flavor in the dough. I opted against this option because I didn’t feel like chopping candy corn. A food processor didn’t seem like a good option either because the pieces would be uneven. That wasn’t going to work either.
Option 2, and the choice I settled on, was using the whole candy corn. The only cookies where I had an issue were those where the candy ended up at the bottom edge of the cookie. To keep all the cookies pretty, I just used a knife sprayed with a little nonstick spray to cut off the still warm candy while the cookie was resting on the baking sheet. Easy!
Out of a batch of about 2 dozen, I had to trim maybe 5 cookies. You may not have to trim any if you make sure that no candy corn are sitting at the bottom outside edge of your scooped cookie dough balls before baking.
A few more things I found helpful for these chocolate chip oatmeal cookies…
I don’t usually chill my cookie dough. With these chocolate chip oatmeal cookies though, I preferred it. Whether chilled or not, the cookies still tasted delicious, so don’t worry if you don’t have time! The chilled cookies were just a bit puffier, which I like. If you have time, I recommend it. If not, bake away!
That being said, you now have a great excuse to make a double batch and freeze some unbaked dough for later. This oatmeal cookie recipe is really good for baking from frozen.
Once I had the texture thing down, my biggest challenge was decided if I wanted to “decorate” the cookies with a candy corn or not. As you can see, the cookies look perfectly delightful either way. In the end, I let a neighbor’s child choose and she voted for candy corn.
If you also vote for candy corn on top, don’t add the candy corn before baking. It will melt just like the other candies in the batter. Great for a chewy texture, not so great for decorating. Add the decorative candy corn right when the cookies come out of the oven.
The cookies will be warm enough to melt the candy on to the cookie without making it lose its shape. In my experience, all the candies stayed attached even after the cookies were bagged for delivery.
I hope you enjoy this candy corn chocolate chip oatmeal cookie recipe! Happy baking, darlings!
- 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 cups rolled oats (old fashioned or quick, either works)
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
- 2/3 cup candy corn, plus additional for topping if desired
- Preheat the oven to 375 F (if baking immediately)
- Cream the butter and sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, or a large mixing bowl with a hand mixer, until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes.
- Add the eggs one at a time, scraping the bowl after each addition.
- Sift together the flour, oats, baking soda, baking powder, and salt in a bowl.
- Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients in 3 batches, stirring each until just combined.
- Fold in the chocolate chips and candy corn with a spatula or stiff mixing spoon.
- Scoop the cookies on to a parchment lined baking sheet using a medium cookie scoop, and refrigerate 2 hours, or freeze for baking later. If baking immediately, place on parchment lined baking sheets, allowing at least 2 inches of space between each cookie.
- Bake cookies for 10-12 minutes until the edges are lightly browned.
- If you are topping the cookies with extra candy corn, place the candy on each cookie as soon as you pull the sheets out of the oven.
- Allow the cookies to "set" on the baking sheet for 5-10 minutes after removing from the oven. Trim any melted candy corn puddles if needed. Carefully transfer to a cooling rack to cool completely.
- Cookies will keep up one week in an airtight container at room temperature.
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