1. Heat oven to 350°F. Line two 9-inch round baking pans with foil.
2. Beat butter, granulated sugar, brown sugar and vanilla until light and fluffy. Add egg; beat well. Stir together flour and baking soda; add to butter mixture, beating until blended. Stir in milk chocolate chips. Spread half of batter into each prepared pan, spreading to 1-inch from edge. (Cookies will spread to edge when baking.)
3. Bake 18 to 22 minutes or until lightly browned. Cool completely; carefully lift cookies from pan and remove foil. Frost, if desired. Cut each cookie into 8 wedges; serve topped with scoop of ice cream, if desired.
2 teaspoons shortening (do not use butter, margarine, spread or oil)
1. Line cookie sheet or tray with wax paper. Place candies in heavy-duty food storage bag; crush with rolling pin.
2. Place white chips and shortening in medium microwave-safe bowl. Microwave at Medium (50%) 1 minute; stir. Continue microwaving at Medium in 15 second increments, stirring after each heating, until chips are melted and mixture is smooth when stirred.
3. Set aside about 1 tablespoon crushed candies; stir remaining crushed candy pieces into melted chips. Pour mixture onto prepared cookie sheet; spread to about 1/2 inch thickness. Gently tap cookie sheet on countertop to even out thickness of mixture. Sprinkle reserved candy pieces over surface. Repeat tapping cookie sheet on counter until candy is desired thickness.
4. Refrigerate about 30 minutes or until firm. Break into pieces. Store in cool, dry place. About 3/4 pound candy.
* Amount of candy can be increased or decreased according to your own preference.
1. Line tray or cookie sheet with wax paper. Remove wrappers from desired number of peanut butter pumpkins. For each spider, cut 8 matching curved sections from pretzels which will form the legs. Set aside remaining pretzels pieces.
2. Place milk chocolate chips in small microwave-safe bowl. Microwave at Medium (50%) 30 seconds; stir. If necessary, microwave at Medium an additional 10 seconds at a time, stirring after each heating, until chips are melted and smooth when stirred. Transfer to small heavy duty plastic food storage bag. Cut off one corner of bag about 1/4 inch from the tip.
3. For each spider, place peanut butter pumpkin on prepared tray. Attach pretzel legs and white or yellow candy “eyes” to spider with melted chocolate; place dot of melted chocolate on each eye. Allow chocolate to set before moving spiders.
* This amount of chocolate will make about 8 spiders.
1/2 cup roasted peanuts or toasted almonds, coarsely chopped
1. Cover cookie sheet or tray with wax paper.
2. Place chocolate in medium microwave-safe bowl. Microwave at MEDIUM (50%) 1 minute; stir. If necessary, microwave at MEDIUM an additional 15 seconds at a time, stirring after each heating, until chocolate is melted and smooth when stirred.
3. Immediately place peanut butter chips and shortening in second microwave-safe bowl. Microwave at MEDIUM 1 minute; stir. If necessary, microwave at MEDIUM an additional 15 seconds at a time, stirring after each heating, until chips are melted and mixture is smooth when stirred; stir in peanuts.
4. Alternately spoon above mixtures onto prepared tray; swirl with knife for marbled effect. Gently tap tray on countertop to even out thickness of mixture. Refrigerate about 1 hour or until firm. Break into pieces. Store in cool, dry place. About 1 pound candy.
* To toast almonds: Heat oven to 350°F. Spread almonds in thin layer in shallow baking pan. Bake 8 to 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until light golden brown; cool.