October 31, 2012

Soup to Nuts: Breathing life into leftover Halloween candy

Halloween bucket runneth over? We polled local bakers for some ideas on how to deal with the sugary surplus, and they came up with some sweet ones.

By Meredith Goad mgoad@pressherald.com
Staff Writer

Leftover Halloween candy is equally as delicious on Nov. 1 as it was on Oct. 31.

click image to enlarge


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A Serpent’s Temptation from Eve’s at the Garden at the Portland Harbor Hotel.

Courtesy photo

Additional Photos Below


If you're too old for trick-or-treating tonight, check out some of the spooky drinks that Maine restaurants will be brewing up especially for Halloween revelers.

If you have to stay at home with your little goblins, no worries. You can still make these drinks yourself, because the restaurants have given us the recipes.

For more Halloween cocktail recipes from Maine restaurants, go to bit.ly/TE20xi.


This subtly sweet, slightly bitter cocktail from Eve's at the Garden in the Portland Harbor Hotel is served with a glow-in-the-dark snake wrapped around the stem of the glass. 

1 1/2 ounce Blavod Black Vodka

1/2 ounce sparkling cider

Splash of Chambord

Splash of bitters

Garnish with a cherry.


They're known for their huge selection of beers, but bartenders at The Great Lost Bear in Portland will be mixing up something a little different tonight.

3/4 ounce whipped flavored vodka

1/2 ounce dark creme de cacao

1/2 ounce butterscotch schnapps

Splash of orange juice

Shake and serve in a martini glass with cocoa powder rim. Garnish with candy corn.


The folks at Damariscotta River Grill really get into the spirit with their Halloween cocktails. (Pumpkin not your thing? See their "Bloody Fang here .)

1 tablespoon pumpkin puree

1/2 ounce Maine maple syrup

1 1/2 ounce Absolut vanilla vodka

1/2 ounce Captain Morgan's spiced rum

Shake until smooth, and strain into a chilled martini glass. Rim glass with crushed ginger snap cookie, and garnish with a gummy worm.

ONE OF MY FAVORITE cocktail blogs is "Fashionably Bombed," written by "fashionista mixologist sisters" Flannery and Katherine Good of Fresno, Calif. (fashionablybombed.com).

One is a fashion expert; the other a former New York City bartender. They come up with clever ideas for cocktails and offer suggestions for what to wear while enjoying them.

Sure, they've got a candy corn martini just like everyone else. But nothing will frighten the little monsters coming to your door like this drink, which you can hold in one hand while passing out Kit Kats with the other.


2 ounces lychee syrup (from can)

2 ounces of any red berry-flavored liqueur (we recommend Okanagan's Cherry Liqueur)

1 ounce freshly squeezed lemon juice

1 ounce vodka

1/2 ounce Irish cream


To a shaker add ice, lychee syrup, red liqueur, lemon juice and vodka. Shake and strain into a clear glass, and carefully pour Irish cream into glass on the back of a spoon. Garnish with a bloody eye (instructions below).

BLOODY EYEBALL GARNISH: Take a lychee and fill the hole with a teaspoon of strawberry jam.

Take a blueberry and push it into the hole, making sure to rub some of the jam into the cracks of the lychee.

Go make yourself a Bloody Eye Hemorrhage, and use your new eyeball to garnish it.

Here's lookin' at you!

– Meredith Goad, Staff Writer


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."

(Continued on page 2)

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Bloody Eyeball Hemorrhage

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