The Halloween trick-or-treaters have now come and gone. Kids will awake tomorrow in a sugar coma, and the adults won’t be much better. On a few occasions, we’ve ended up with not enough candy for the big night and had to run out for more.
The “not enough” is a scary thing, but the “too much” may be even scarier. I’m normally not a big candy eater, and yet each year I find myself eating my share of Halloween candy while we wait on the treat-sters, whether or not I really want it, and the next day…I never want to see a candy bar again! Sound familiar?
Here’s a little list I’ve compiled of some creative things to do with all that leftover candy. Of course you can always just donate it, or eat it yourself…after all, Halloween only comes once a year!
Feel free to add some ideas of your own:
1. These first 3 are the most obvious: Chop up chocolate bars and bake them atop blondies, shortbreads and bar cookies, or put peppermint patties inside brownies, mix heath bars into brownies, etc.
2. Chop and freeze cookie and candy bar bits to top cakes, cupcakes or ice cream later on down the road. Crushed Heath bars and a little drizzle of kahlua or amaretto is pretty special!
3. M&M cookies in plain, peanut or peanut butter, or mixed…need I say more?
4. Use leftover malted milk balls in a protein shake.
5. Homemade flavored vodka recipes? See one for Skittles at Mix That Drink and with Jolly Ranchers at Bake Space. I have heard of people making it with candy corn, too, but I loathe candy corn so much that even vodka wouldn’t make it taste good to me!
6. Add chocolate bars or toffee bars to your hot coffee one morning and finish with a little dollop of whipped cream…this would be really good around Christmas time, so maybe freeze them for that purpose!
7. If you are a gingerbread house maker, you’re all set! And if you’ve never seen the National Gingerbread House Competition at The Grove Park Inn in Asheville, NC, check it out!
8. Make your own trail mix or gorp by mixing candy bits with nuts and dried fruits.
9. Make Frozen REECE’S banana pops! This recipe is from REAL SIMPLE.
10. Compost it. Seriously.
11. Make a Christmas wreath out of lollypops and tootsie pops.
12. Take a peek: Top 10 Scientific Uses For Leftover Halloween Candy! The Christmas ornaments and the Pop Rocks are my personal faves.
If you compost candy, you will draw rats — please do not compost it — it is better to throw it in the garbage, freeze it, cook with it, or give it away.
Hi Sharyn, the article I linked to, amongst others I read before posting this, suggests that if you compost candy, you unwrap it and chop it up into very small pieces, then mix it with organic matter like leaves, paper and even your chopped up pumpkin and put it into an existing and working compost pile. They key is in the chopping and mixing. It’s true that one must be very careful about rats. My suggestion is that if you decide to go this route, make sure it is thoroughly mixed in and well covered in your pile, and be sure to keep adding to the compost as well. Your point is well taken, though! 🙂
Great suggestions, Betsy! But we’re going with the old standby…Bob’s taking it to his office tomorrow and leaving it in the break room.
That is the easiest of all, Nancy! I used to drop mine off at the YMCA as they kept a bowl for folks who’d burned off their calories already, but then they became overwhelmed. Since I’m an office of one, the office thing doesn’t work for me! 😉
So few children trick or treat around here these days that I didn’t even buy candy this year. The fun has moved off of the streets and into private parties in homes, schools, or churches. So, long as the kids have fun, that’s all that matters.
That’s true, John, the point is for the kids to have safe fun. It’s sad that it has become not so safe in so many places. We have fewer and fewer each year, but our neighborhood is fairly insulated and they all trick-or-treat together after a neighborhood party…we had about 35 or so last night. We keep doing it because we enjoy it as much as the kids do!
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I vote compost it! Don’t eat it.. it is BAD! ..ha ha ha .. c
It IS BAD…I agree with you! ~Betsy
I always bought mini Snickers to give out. When I sent a package to someone I would use the left over wrapped candies instead of styrofoam packing peanuts. The receiver was happy for two reasons.
What an interesting and innovative idea, Karen! That would work especially well in the winter months. I may steal that idea from you next year, thanks!
Yes, it works when the weather is not hot enough to melt the candy. My father especially loved his little packages.
I’ll bet! Who wouldn’t love that as a sweet surprise? 🙂