Saturday, November 1, 2014

What to do with Leftover Halloween Candy

When I was growing up Halloween was my favorite holiday of the year. I'd choose what I'd want to be early and make sure my seamstress grandmother had time to complete it. I didn't go in for store-bought costumes. I wanted an original. I would design it, and my Bubby would sew it, and I'd be there every step of the way watching her and learning sewing techniques. Project Runway contestant in the making?

On Halloween night, all the children on my block were out. We had no safety worries. We knew every single house on the block would have  a treat, almost always candy. There was always the disappointing little box of raisins, but that was o.k. After we moved to the suburbs the ante went up with whole candy bars and more expensive loot.

Needless to say, there was always a lot of candy left over. I mean, how much could one child eat? We weren't allowed to keep our stash in our rooms (to protect against bugs and mice--as if they would appear in my mother's super clean house), so all the candy was relegated to the kitchen. My sister and I noticed it being depleted, but usually too late. Most of it found its way into my pediatrician father's waiting room. Other kids who didn't walk those mean streets, knocking on doors, and yelling 'trick or treat' benefited from the fruit of our labors.

Now as an adult, I buy candy for trick or treaters. Every year that candy sits in a bowl by the door --unloved, uncalled for. We don't get a lot of Trick or Treaters where I live. Maybe it's the times; maybe it's the Hills. Several years ago, I started buying only candy that I liked. Who wants to be stuck with candy you'll never eat? So there's usually a lot of leftover candy at my house. I'm sure there is at yours, too, particularly if you have very few goblins and ghosts and Hogwarts pupils who made the Halloween pilgrimage. Here are several ways to turn that left over candy into culinary delights or needed donations.

1.  Use chopped Candy Corn or chopped Candy Bars in place of chocolate chips in cookies or brownies.

2. Chopped up Candy and Candy Bars can also be used as toppings for ice cream sundaes or over yoghurt.

3. Freeze it for another time when you get the munchies.

4. Make homemade flavored vodka. It needs some time to infuse, but experiment with different flavors.

5.  Make Trail Mix with chocolate candy, raisins, peanuts and any other soft chewy candy.

6. Mix up a batch of biscuits and fold in some chopped Tootsie Tolls or Peanut Butter Cups.  

7. Add chopped candy corn to candied yams.

8. Make a Cookie Dough Pizza.  
Betty Crocker recipe: Mix 1 pouch of peanut butter cookie mix with 1/3 cup vegetable oil and an egg until soft dough forms. Press dough into ungreased 12-inch pizza pan. Sprinkle with your choice of toppings such as candy corn, candy bar pieces and nuts. Bake 10 minutes at 350 degrees. Sprinkle 1 cup miniature marshmallows on top. Bake for another 10-15 minutes until marshmallows are lightly browned and cookie is set at edge. Cool completely in pan.

9. Pudding/Candy Parfait: Layer instant pudding with candy.

10. Use the candy to decorate your Holiday Gingerbread House.

11. Keep some in the car or your purse for emergencies (probably not chocolate which melts).

12. Donate: Nursing homes, doctor's offices, women and family shelters will take wrapped candy. Check first.

13: Donate: Operation Gratitude ships candy to U.S. troops in Iraq, Afghanistan and the Middle East for Christmas time. (chocolate is more perishable)

14. Donate:  Ronald McDonald House will accept donations of wrapped Halloween Candy in many locations. Check first.

And here's a Link to the Huffington Post's round-up of leftover Halloween candy recipe blogs.

And two more recipes in case you haven't baked enough for Halloween:

1. BUTTER FINGER CAKE

Ingredients
1 angel food cake, crumbled
1/2 cup sweet butter
4 egg yolks
2 cups confectioners sugar
1 tsp Madagascar vanilla extract
16 ounces Cool Whip, thawed slightly
8 large Butterfinger candy bars

Directions
Freeze candy bars in wrappers for at least two hours.
Crush bars (while in wrappers) using rolling pin.
Cream butter, egg yolks, sugar and vanilla and add Cool Whip.
In a 9 x 13 inch pan layer half of angel food cake; layer half of Cool Whip mixture; then layer of half of crushed candy bars; repeat. Keep refrigerated.

IF YOU WANT TO OMIT EGG YOLKS, SUBSTITUTE A SMALL PACKAGE OF INSTANT VANILLA PUDDING MIXED ACCORDING TO DIRECTIONS.

II. MILKY WAY BAR CAKE
Adapted from M&M/MARS. You can substitute other candy in place of Milky Way Bars.. depending on what you have left over.

Ingredients
1 to 2 Tbsp vegetable shortening
1/4 cup finely chopped nuts
15 bite-size (mini) Milky Way bars
1 cup low-fat buttermilk, plain yogurt or sour cream, divided
2 1/2 cups flour
1 tsp salt
3/4 tsp baking soda
1 cup sweet butter
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/2 tsp Madagascar vanilla
4 eggs

GLAZE
5 bite-size Milky Way bars
2 Tbsp sweet butter
2 tsp water

Directions
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease 12-cup Bundt pan or 10-inch tube pan with shortening. Sprinkle coated pan with nuts; set aside.
In heavy medium saucepan over low heat, melt candy bars with 1/4 cup of buttermilk, stirring often until mixture is smooth.
In medium mixing bowl, combine flour, salt and baking soda. In large mixing bowl, beat together butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Blend in vanilla. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.
Add flour mixture alternately with remaining 3/4 cup of buttermilk, mixing just until the dry ingredients are moistened. Then, blend in melted candy bar mixture until thoroughly incorporated.
Spoon  batter into prepared Bundt pan. Bake for 55 to 60 minutes or until wooden pick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean. Remove from toven and cool 10 minutes. Invert onto wire rack and cool completely.

To Prepare Glaze: Melt candy bars with the butter and water until mixture is smooth. Drizzle glaze over cooled cake.

Still want to make something?  Cakespy suggests Deep Frying... be still my heart. Literally! 
I do have Reese's Peanut Butter cups left over. Do I dare?

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