Leftover Halloween candy is equally as delicious on Nov. 1 as it was on Oct. 31.
But a week from now, you’re going to be staring down at that Tootsie Roll, and it’s going to be about as appealing as a witch’s breath.
Most people either give their leftover Halloween candy away or freeze it for later. There are also organizations like operationshoebox.com that will gladly take your candy and send it to the troops. Sometimes, local dentists will buy it back to send to the troops (halloweencandybuyback.com).
I asked several local bakers what they would do with leftover Halloween candy, and they came up with some great ideas. In many cases, the candy-studded baked goods they suggested can be frozen to eat later.
If you don’t have a lot of time to bake during the holidays but like to have treats on hand for guests, these ideas could help you out in a pinch.
• Let’s start out simple. Chop up the candy and throw it into your favorite bar, brownie or blondie recipe.
Stacy Begin, owner of Two Fat Cats in Portland, has a simple coffee bar recipe she makes at home that’s usually filled with chocolate chips. She says leftover M&Ms or peanut butter cups would be a great substitute.
“You can make a huge pan of it and freeze part of it,” Begin said. “Then you already have snacks in the freezer for when you get a hankering.”
• Bevin McNulty, owner of Bam Bam Bakery in Portland, says her personal favorite is brownies with peanut butter cups on top.
“Rice crispy treats are another good vehicle for leftover candy,” she said. “Chopping up candies and adding them to cakes or cupcakes is great. I like Heath bars broken up in the middle layer of cakes.”
• Make chocolate bark using M&Ms or your chopped-up candy bars. Add some little pretzels for a sweet-salty treat.
Buy at least 12 ounces of chocolate, melt it down and throw in the candy. Spread it in a pan, chill it and break it apart. It’s that easy.
“The great thing about that is bark freezes really well,” Begin said. “You could wrap it, put it in an air-tight container, put it in your freezer. You could pull it out for the holidays later in the year, and it’s kind of a fun treat.”
• Alison Pray, owner of Standard Baking Co. in Portland, says her favorite homemade cookies growing up were her grandmother’s toffee cookies, which were made with crumbled Heath candy bars. She thinks using leftover Halloween M&Ms or chopped-up peanut butter cups in your favorite chocolate chip or oatmeal cookie recipe would work just as well.
• Freeze some Snickers bars, Kit Kats or Milky Ways, then roughly chop them up and use them as an ice cream topping, Pray says. Or use the candy as a crumble topping on a frosted cake or cupcake, or layered inside a cake.
• Begin still makes “banana boats,” an old Girl Scout campfire treat that is a perfect vehicle for leftover Halloween candy.
Here’s how to do it: Keep the banana in the skin. Slice it down the middle, but not all the way through, so it makes a little “pocket.”
“In the Girl Scouts, we used to stuff it with little Hershey candy bars and marshmallows and put it in the camp fire,” Begin said. “But at home, I either bake it in the oven, or if we’re really hungry and in a hurry, I just throw it in the microwave for 30 seconds. And it’s great. The banana gets nice and warm, and a little soft, and the chocolate melts and the marshmallow melts.”
“You could do the same thing with all those great little candy bars that you get,” Begin says. “Break them apart, chop them up, put them into your banana. If you had leftover nuts at home, you could put that on top. Either toast it in the oven, or put it in the microwave long enough to get it nice and gooey, and then you just take your spoon and you scoop it out and you eat it. And it couldn’t be simpler.”
• Another idea from Begin: Make a pan of shortbread and put your chocolate bars or other candy on top while it’s still hot. Let it melt and spread it across the top of the shortbread like frosting. Or make the candy-studded bark as described above and spread it on top of the shortbread before it sets.
• Make a muffin with a “surprise filling,” Pray suggests, by scooping half the batter into the cup, adding candy to the mix, then filling with the remaining batter.
• Donna Piscopo, owner of The Cookie Jar in Cape Elizabeth, says her husband Tom loves Snickers bars, so that’s what they always give out on Halloween. “Unfortunately,” she said, “we have a very dark neighborhood, so we don’t get many trick-or-treaters these days.”
What to do with all those leftover Snickers, then? The Piscopos make this Snickers Pie, and agreed to share the recipe:
THE COOKIE JAR PASTRY SHOP SNICKERS PIE
8 ounces Philadelphia cream cheese
½ cup creamy peanut butter
1½ cups 10X confectioner’s sugar
16 mini Snickers bars
16 ounces whipped cream
Caramel sauce (to drizzle)
Chocolate crumb crust
CHOCOLATE CRUMB CRUST INGREDIENTS:
2 cups chocolate crumbs
½ cup granulated sugar
½ cup melted butter
DIRECTIONS FOR CRUST:
Combine all ingredients in mixing bowl and mix well. Press crumbs into a 10-inch springform pan; make sure to coat sides well.
Bake at 350 degrees for 8 minutes. Do not over-bake. Cool completely.
DIRECTIONS FOR FILLING:
Beat cream cheese, sugar and peanut butter until creamy. Stir in chopped Snickers bars. Gently fold in whipped cream until mixed. (Do not over-mix.) Pour filling into crust. Refrigerate overnight.
Staff Writer Meredith Goad can be contacted at 791-6332 or at: firstname.lastname@example.org