What will we do with all this candy?

swthompson@herald-leader.comOctober 30, 2013 

If you buy large bags of Halloween candy for the trick-or-treating youngsters in your neighborhood, you probably buy too much. You never want to run out, that's for sure. So chances are, you will have bags of the sugary treats left over. If your children are toting home bags of candy themselves, then you'll have much more candy than you can possibly — or should — eat in a year.

Take the tiny bars of Snickers and Kit Kats, and small bags of candy corn and M&Ms, and bake up some goodies. Freeze them, and you'll be a step up on your holiday baking.

We found lots of recipes for using leftover Halloween candy on Pinterest, Google searches and even an article on Seriouseats.com on how to infuse spirits with leftover candies. Farley Elliott, a writer and comedian living in Los Angeles, writes about food, beer and entertainment at OverOverUnder.com. His basic idea: Take Halloween candies and dump them in a jar full of whiskey.

Elliott said you'll need 16-ounce Mason jars, with nice tight lids. When it comes time to strain out the remaining candies at the bottom of your jar, a fine mesh strainer works well, or you can opt for a thin sheet of cheesecloth and just take your time with it.

Here is one of his recommendations for Hershey's milk chocolate and Maker's Mark bourbon:

Take two half-ounce snack size Hershey's milk chocolate bars and let them steep for 24 hours in the bourbon. While it may not look like much is happening, eventually those Hershey's bars will give up that sweet, sweet chocolate flavor.

Try it with a little fresh mint. If you've infused the chocolate correctly, you should have some seriously smooth bourbon with just a hint of darker sweetness. Muddle a few mint leaves gently in the bottom of your glass, add ice and your chocolate bourbon.

The Moms & Munchkins website also has some quick ideas for using left over Halloween candy.

■ Using a rolling pin, crush chocolate bars inside a plastic bag, and mix into slightly softened ice cream. This can be saved in the freezer for a special dessert treat.

■ Bake brownie cupcakes and insert a piece of chocolate bar into the center of the brownie cupcake as soon as it comes out of the oven. These freeze well and can be saved for your holiday dessert table.

■ Crushed chocolate bars make a quick topping for plain cheesecake.

■ Have your children make special treat bags for people like the babysitter, a neighbor, a teacher, or the mail carrier.

■ Save them for a concession stand treat for a movie night at home.Halloween candy bark

1 pound white chocolate chips (about 22⁄3 cups)

1½ cups candy corn flavor coated pretzels, chopped

1 cup Snickers snack-size bars, chopped

1/2 cup Reese's peanut butter cups, chopped

3 ounces semisweet chocolate chips

1 cup M&Ms or Skittles

1/2 cup Kit Kat snack-size bars, chopped

10 to 12 pieces candy corn

Line a 15- by 11-inch rimmed cookie sheet with parchment paper. Set aside.

Using a double boiler, melt white chocolate chips. Spread melted chocolate in the bottom of the prepared cookie sheet. Sprinkle pretzels, chopped candy, and candy corn, over the white chocolate.

Melt semisweet chocolate using a double boiler. Drizzle melted chocolate over the candy. Refrigerate for 30 to 60 minutes, or until set. Break into irregular pieces.

SweeTarts milk shake

16 SweeTarts candies (about 2 tablespoons)

1 pint softened strawberry ice cream

¾ cup milk

In a blender, blend SweeTarts candies with softened strawberry ice cream and milk until smooth. Serve in glasses and top with additional SweeTarts, if desired.

From Real Simple

Candy bar apple salad

11/2 cups cold 2 percent milk

1 package (3.4 ounces) instant vanilla pudding mix

1 carton (8 ounces) frozen whipped topping, thawed

4 apples, chopped (about 6 cups)

4 Snickers candy bars (2.07 ounces each), cut into 1/2-inch pieces

In a large bowl, whisk milk and pudding mix for 2 minutes. Let stand for 2 minutes or until soft-set. Fold in whipped topping. Fold in apples and candy bars. Refrigerate until ready to serve. Makes 12 servings.

From Taste of Home

Dulce de leche candy bar terrine

14 Snickers fun size bars, cut into thirds, about 11/2 cups

2 pints dulce de leche ice cream, softened

Line an 8- by- 4½ -inch loaf pan with parchment. Arrange the Snickers bars on the bottom of the pan. Top the Snickers bars with the ice cream and press in gently. Freeze until firm, about 6 hours. Invert onto a plate and slice.

From Real Simple

Frozen peanut butter Butterfinger pie

8 ounces cream cheese, softened

1/2 of a 14-ounce can sweetened condensed milk

1/2 cup peanut butter

1/4 cup powdered sugar

8 ounces Cool Whip, thawed

8 fun size or 3 full size Butterfinger candy bars, chopped

Chocolate or Oreo pre-made crust

In the bowl of a mixer, combine cream cheese, condensed milk, peanut butter, and powdered sugar. Beat on medium until smooth and completely combined. Using a rubber spatula, fold in the Cool Whip until combined. Add chopped candy. Pour mixture into pie crust. Cover and freeze until firm.

From Confessionsofacookbookqueen.com

Emeril's candy bar-stuffed baked apples

4 medium apples (7 to 8 ounces each)

1/4 cup Skor candy bar, coarsely chopped

1/4 cup Snickers candy bar, coarsely chopped

2 tablespoons unsalted butter

1/4 cup Skor candy bar, finely chopped

1/4 cup Snickers bar, finely chopped

3/4 cup apple cider

1 tablespoon granulated sugar

Position rack in center of oven and preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Place the apples on a cutting board. With a sharp knife, carefully cut the top 1/2-inch from each apple. Using an apple corer or a small melon baller, scoop out the stem, core, and seeds from each apple, leaving the bottom intact. Stand the apples in a 9-inch square baking dish, cut side up. Divide the coarsely chopped candy bars among the apples, about 2 tablespoons of candy per apple.

Place 11/2 teaspoons of the butter inside each apple, on top of the candy bar pieces. Again, divide the finely chopped candy bars among the apples, about 2 tablespoons of candy per apple, placing candy on top of the butter inside each apple.

From Emeril Lagasse

Chocolate biscuit puffs

1 package refrigerated flaky buttermilk biscuits (7.5 ounces)

1 milk chocolate candy bar (1.55 ounces) or 4 mini Almond Joy candy bars, cut in half to make 8 pieces

2 teaspoons cinnamon-sugar

Flatten each biscuit into a 3-inch circle. Break candy bar into 10 pieces; place a piece on each biscuit. Bring up edges to enclose candy and pinch to seal. Place on an ungreased baking sheet. Sprinkle with cinnamon-sugar. Bake at 450 degrees for 8 to 10 minutes or until golden brown. Makes 10 servings.

From Taste of Home

Twix brownies

4 ounces unsweetened chocolate; coarsely chopped

3/4 cup unsalted butter, cut into cubes

11/4 cups sugar

3 large eggs

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 cup all-purpose flour

12 fun size Twix bars, each cut into thirds, or 12 Reese's peanut butter cups

Caramel topping:

10 individually wrapped caramel candies

2 tablespoons heavy cream

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line an 8- by 8-inch baking pan with foil and spray with nonstick cooking spray. Microwave chocolate and butter in a large microwave-safe bowl at medium (50 percent power) for 3 to 4 minutes or until butter is melted. Stir until chocolate is melted. Whisk in sugar, eggs, vanilla and salt. Gradually add in flour; stir until just combined.

Spread 1/2 the batter into prepared pan. Add an even layer of chopped Twix candy bars and cover with remaining 1/2 of brownie batter. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes; do not over bake.

Remove to cooling rack to cool completely. Just before serving, cut brownies and prepare the caramel sauce.

To make the caramel sauce: Place the caramels and heavy cream in a microwave-safe bowl. Microwave on 50 percent power in 30-second increments until the caramels begin to melt; stir frequently. Continue warming and stirring the caramels until you have a smooth, creamy mixture. Drizzle over each brownie and serve immediately.

Note: The brownies are very fudgey, make sure you allow them to cool completely before cutting into them.

To make Reese's cupcake brownies: Place cupcake liners in cupcake pan, and place one Reese's peanut butter cup in each. Fill 3/4 full with brownie mix. Bake about 25 minutes.

From Mybakingaddiction.com

Kit Kat-filled angel food cake

¾ cup heavy cream

1 tablespoon sugar

5 Kit Kat snack size bars, chopped, about ¾ cup

Ready-made 9-ounce angel food cake

Cocoa powder, for topping

Chocolate sauce, for topping

In a medium mixing bowl, beat heavy cream with sugar until stiff; fold in Kit Kat bars. Cut angel food cake in half horizontally. Hollow out each layer slightly. Fill bottom with the cream mixture; replace top. Dust with cocoa powder. Slice; serve with chocolate sauce.

From Real Simple

Sharon Thompson: (859) 231-3321. Twitter: @FlavorsofKY. Blog: Flavorsofkentucky.bloginky.com.

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