What to do with leftover Halloween candy

 

 

DSC_0268On Halloween, if you’re expecting a flood of trick-or-treaters and don’t get many, or your kiddo comes home with more candy than you want them to eat, don’t fret, put the leftover candy to use.

There are many ways to repurpose Halloween sweets.

This may sound terrible, but I swipe some candy from my daughter’s pumpkin ever year and it reappears in her stocking at Christmas (she’s never noticed). I don’t like her to eat a lot of candy and I figure she scores enough on Halloween to help out Santa.

I save Hershey’s Kisses to make peanut butter Hershey’s Kiss cookies at Christmas.

Anything peanut related – like Reese’s or Butterfingers- can be used in peanut butter pie.

Kit Kats are wonderful baked into brownies with mini marshmallows – it creates S’mores\ brownies. Bake your favorite recipe according to its directions, and in the last 10 minutes, top it with chopped up Kit Kats and 3/4 cup or more of mini marshmallows. The crunchy cookie in the Kit Kat acts like a graham cracker and then you have the marshmallows and chocolate. It’s delicious.

I also love to make Snickers or Baby Ruth brownies. I simply chop 8-10 mini bars and sprinkle them on top of the brownie before I bake it. Any candy bar with caramel works well because it melts into the chocolate. These will freeze well, too.

This year I decided to put some of my least favorite ingredients to reuse for this column.  I don’t like white chocolate but I made an amazing trail mix using white chocolate Kit Kats.  As a side note, you can use a variety of chocolates in trail mix or party mix. But I blended crunchy pretzels, salty cashews, plump raisins and white chocolate Kit Kats and it was some of the best trail mix I’ve ever tasted.  The sweet and salty, soft and crunchy combinations were perfect. I plan to give away batches for Christmas.

I also decided to play around with infused vodkas- those are not kid friendly. Every year I infuse vodka with jalapenos and give it away as Christmas gifts, but this year I am tinkering with some sweet vodkas. I made one out of Skittles, one from Tootsie Rolls and chocolate, and another from candy corn. To my surprise, the candy corn was the best. I absolutely hate candy corn, but when it dissolves in vodka, it leaves behind a caramel, butterscotch flavor. I plan to make more and give it away with a recipe for a Candy Corn Martini attached.

The Skittles vodka was cloudy and had a layer of foam on top, so I pitched it. I tasted it and it tasted as good as it looked, so I’m not including the recipe.  I just wanted you to know in case you’re tempted to infuse Skittles into your vodka.

The Tootsie Roll vodka was OK, and I transformed it into a Tootsie Roll Coffee Martini (use the vodka in your favorite chocolate coffee martini recipe). You have to strain the vodka first through a fine mesh cloth because it’s a little chunky.

Definitely the crowd winning favorite was the dessert salad I made. I was talking to my neighbor and she told me about a dessert salad her mom makes with Snickers, apples,  and butterscotch pudding- called a Toffee Apple Salad. It sounded incredibly sweet but I loved the idea of a dessert pudding so I came up with my own version. This would be excellent on Thanksgiving. I mixed French vanilla pudding with whipped topping, milk, mini marshmallows, tart Granny Smith apples, and Snickers and Butterfingers. The result was incredible. Everyone who tried this took second servings. It has a caramel apple flavor, but is super light even though it sounds heavy. The tart apple mellows it out and adds crunch. I highly recommend it.

If you aren’t planning to hand out candy but want to try one of my recipes, wait until the day after Halloween when the candy is all on sale and make it then.

Happy Halloween and I hope you enjoy the recipes.candy corn vodka

Candy Corn Infused Vodka

4 cups vodka

2 cups candy corn

Drop candy corn into vodka and store in a cool dark place for 2 weeks. Shake the mixture every day. Then strain it and serve.

 

Tootsie Roll Infused Vodka

1 bottle vodka, minus ½ cup

1/3 cup white chocolate chips

11 large tootsie rolls

Pour out ½ cup of vodka so you have room for the candy. Insert the candy. Put the top back on and shake the vodka. Place in a dark, cool place for 2 weeks. Shake the mixture once a day. After 2 weeks, strain the mixture and use in your favorite chocolate coffee martini recipe, or chocolate martini recipe.

snicker pudding

Candy Apple Pudding

1 (3.4 ounce) package French vanilla pudding

2 cups whole milk

1 (8-ounce) container whipped topping

2 large Granny smith apples, cored and diced

2/3 cup mini marshmallows

12 Snickers minis

5 Butterfinger minis

Whisk together the pudding mix and milk until pudding starts to thicken. Then stir in the container of whipped topping. Core and dice the apples. Chop the Snickers and Butterfingers and stir those into the mixture with the apples and mini marshmallows. Cover and refrigerate at least 2 hours before serving. This keeps for 5 days in the refrigerator. If pudding starts to separate, simply stir it.

Awesome Trail Mix

3 cups mini pretzel twists

1 3/4 cups white chocolate Kit Kat minis

1 ½ cups raisins

1 ½ cups salted cashew halves

Mix all ingredients together. Store in an airtight container.

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