Billions of candy corn are bought in the weeks leading up to Halloween but, like other Halloween candies, not all of those candy corn will get eaten before we start filling our kitchens with food for next couple of holidays. I like candy corn and it rarely goes to waste in my house. When I do have some leftover, however, I will come up with creative ways to use it. I’ve made everything from candy corn simple syrup, which can be used to sweeten drinks and cocktails, and Leftover Candy Corn Cookies, which have a fun pop of color and use up quite a few leftover candy corns!
These are not the prettiest cookies I’ve ever baked because the candy corns tend to melt in the oven. Looks aside, they are surprisingly delicious and have been a huge hit every time I’ve made them. Just call them “rustic” and no one will think twice. I typically buy Brachs candy corn. They are made with real honey and include gelatin in the recipe, where no other candy corn brands do. These two ingredients give the Brachs candy corn (the best selling candy corn out there) a uniquely delicious flavor and a tender, creamy texture that other candy corn don’t have. It also means that they melt in the oven while some other candy corn will keep their shape. I’ll take the melted candy corn any day because they meld so perfectly into the buttery vanilla sugar cookies, which are chewy and benefit from the extra sweetness of the candy.
The cookies have a nice vanilla flavor that is complimented by the honey sweetness of the candy corn. They bake up to be crisp on the outside and chewy in the center. Though they are sugar cookies, they’re not overly sweet, so they’ll appeal to just about everyone – even people who don’t like to eat candy corn straight out of the bag. The cookie dough comes together easily and, though this recipe makes a small batch, it can be doubled if you have a lot of leftover candy corn to use up. Again, I highly recommend sticking with the Brachs for this particular recipe, if you want to get the best results.
Leftover Candy Corn Cookies
1 1/4 cups all purpose flour
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup butter, room temperature
3/4 cup sugar
1 large egg, room temperature
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup candy corn, very coarsely chopped (or 1/2 cup mini candy corn), plus a few more for decorating
Preheat oven to 350F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt.
In a large bowl, cream together butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in egg and vanilla extract until all ingredients are well combined. With the mixer on low speed, gradually blend in the flour mixture until the dough comes together and no streaks of dry ingredients remain. Stir in candy corn.
Shape cookie dough into 1-inch balls and arrange on prepared baking sheet, leaving about 2-inches between cookies to allow for the dough to spread. Place 1-2 candy corns on the top of each cookie dough ball.
Bake for 10-12 minutes, until cookies are just barely starting to turn brown on the edges and are just set in the center. Allow cookies to cool for 3-4 minutes on the baking sheet, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Candy corn on the edge of the cookies may melt and spread, but should not stick to the parchment paper.
When cooled, store cookies in an airtight container, between layers of parchment or wax paper (to prevent candy corn from sticking together).
Makes about 2 dozen.