In walking around my local grocery store yesterday I was flabbergasted to see just how many rows and rows were dedicated to trick or treaters on Halloween. Now while I don’t have kids of my own yet or any distant relatives to spoil, I like looking at all these aisles in hopeful anticipation for the markdowns you’re bound to see come come November 1st. The important thing to remember it’s not just “cheap” candy! So much of it can be recycled into some pretty amazing treats. Whether it’s Halloween we’re celebrating now, or come Easter or Valentine’s day, this guide will take you through what to do with leftovers and even a recipe to make some awesome cookies!
- Freeze them! You can add them into milkshakes, mix into ice cream, or even save them for baking. Candies that work best for freezing include those with chocolate: Thin Mints, Reese’s Cups, Robin’s Eggs, Cadbury Creme Eggs, Butterfingers, Snickers, Milky Way, Three Musketeers, Malt Balls and M&M’s.
- Bake them! Whether it’s brownies, cakes or cookies, there’s a million recipes out there for incorporating leftover holiday candies. Not to mention, stuffing them inside your favorite baked item prior to baking brings on a whole new level of delicious. Consider baking with: Snickers, M&M’s, Oreos, Butterfingers, Milky Way, Reese’s Cups, Robin’s Eggs, chocolate ghosts and chocolate covered marshmallows.
- Melt them! Consider the epic s’mores you could have with Thin Mint’s, Reese’s Cups, Snickers, Milky Ways, Three Musketeers, Peeps, Spooky Cadbury Creme Eggs, chocolate ghosts and chocolate covered marshmallows. Or add them to your morning coffee, tea or hot chocolate. Be careful if you do this not to choke on the chunks! You could even melt them down and mix in with popcorn. And if you find candy corn, melt it down to make DIY Butterfingers. The possibilities are endless!
- Sprinkle them! Leftover candy makes great ice cream toppers, cake finishes, or even yummy bites in your next batch of icing. Consider sprinkling: Nerds, Jelly Beans, M&M Minis, Nestle Crunch, mini candy bars and gummy bears.
- Pair them! If you find yourself with some name brand varieties of chocolate, or even some really nice items from somewhere like Beacon Hill Chocolates or Hotel Chocolat, then consider having a pairing party. With beer, wine or even tea, a match could be made and a party had.
- Sauce them! Break out your double boiler kids – add in your candy and if need be, add in a little cream or coconut oil to thin out your sauce. Top your pancakes, top your ice cream, or even top off the waffles you’re making for mom. You could even have some luck making a ganache to top cakes, cupcakes and even bar cookies. The candies which melt the best are: Reese’s Cups, Cadbury Cream Eggs, chocolate ghosts, Lindt truffles and Thin Mints.
- Mix them! Why not make a DIY trail mix for your next car ride? Or perhaps make a big batch for an upcoming birthday party that shares itself with the season you scored the discounted candy. Look for holiday themed pretzels, M&M’s, speciality nuts, malted milk balls, gummy bears and jelly beans.
- Infuse them! This tip is for adults only, but you should absolutely start infusing vodka with leftover candy. It would make a great gift item or present to yourself when it’s ready a few months later. For this use: Sour Patch Kids, Jelly Beans, Skittles, Air Heads, Laffy Taffy or Sweet Tarts.
What’s your favorite candy, what discounts did you hope to score and just how will you use up your extras?
To full plates and eating your tarte out,
P.S. Here’s my recipe for Malted Oatmeal Cookies where I use up leftover Robin’s Eggs.