Halloween 2020 is going to be different, but what hasn’t been since COVID-19 entered our lives? Since the tradition of trick-or-treating hasn’t been canceled, you’ll have to stock up on individually wrapped goodies (preferred by health officials), with no clear picture of how much to buy.
There could be a swarm of masked monsters ringing your doorbell or just a smattering of virus-shy ghouls.
So, what do you do with leftover sweets that you’d just as soon not have around the house?
We have a solution. Create a little recipe magic by repurposing those sweets into desserts. Who better to show us the way than a couple of bakers? Deidre Peak, owner of Sweet Addict Bakery, and Kristi Tutt, owner of Sour Patch cooking class, came through with some delicious recipes to transform Halloween candy into reimagined treats.
“The biggest consideration when using candy in another recipe is to ensure that the flavors are complementary,” Peak said. “You certainly don’t want to pair conflicting flavors and end up scrapping the whole thing and wasting that perfectly good candy. Start with candy that you enjoy to begin with and upgrade it into a dessert that you’re likely to devour.”
When it comes to using candy in baking, Peak says, “Any recipe that incorporates chocolate candies into a baked good should do OK. Items such as gummies, candy corn and hard candies, like Jolly Ranchers, will dissolve or scorch if baked, so those items are best incorporated in no-bake desserts or sprinkled on after baking. There are no adjustments necessary for elevation concerns when adding additional candy to baked goods.”
As for Tutt, her favorite thing to do with leftover candy is to use it for topping cupcakes and cookies.
“I also grind it up and use it in homemade trail mix or use it in granola bars,” she said. “Pistachio nuts are my favorite for the granola bars. But, you can use whatever you like.”
The following tips for how to use up holiday candy come from them and from busycooks.com:
• Cocoa and mint go hand in hand, so you can add Junior Mints or Peppermint Patties to hot chocolate for a flavor boost. Or melt Jolly Ranchers or other hard candies into suckers — it just takes five minutes in a 200-degree oven. Save a few of the hard candies for melting into windowpanes for gingerbread houses during the Christmas season.
• Never liked oh-so-sweet candy corn? Pair it with something salty, like peanuts, and say hello to Payday-like candy bars! Or toss the orange-yellow-white triangles in a bowl of salty popcorn for a similar happy marriage. Or go bigger and make peanut butter-candy corn cookies. Tuck 1 cup of candy corn into refrigerated, ready-to-bake cookie dough. Make sure the candy corn is tucked inside the dough, or else it will melt and the cookies will be misshapen and gooey on the edges. Add a cup of roasted chopped peanuts to the dough for flavor and texture.
• Who can say no to candy pizza? Mix one tube of refrigerated ready-to-bake cookie dough with 1/3 cup vegetable oil and an egg until soft dough forms. Press dough in an ungreased 12-inch pizza pan. Sprinkle with your choice of toppings, like candy corn, candy bar pieces and nuts. Bake 10 minutes at 350 degrees. Sprinkle 1 cup miniature marshmallows on top. Bake for another 10-15 minutes until marshmallows are lightly browned and the cookie edge is set. Cool completely in the pan. Drizzle 1/3 cup melted chocolate chips over the top.
• Let’s say (or hope) your child scores some caramel squares and full-size Heath bars. It’ll be tempting to beg for them for a snack, but you’ll love this recipe for Heath Bar Salted Caramel Brownie Trifle. Make a batch of brownies, and when they’re cool, break them into small pieces. Melt the caramel squares in the microwave and crush the Heath bars. Now layer the brownies, caramel sauce and crushed Heath bars in a pretty glass bowl and top with whipped cream.
• For Peak’s chocolate bark, melt 10 ounces chocolate chips in the microwave in 30- second increments, stirring well in between. Once the chocolate is smooth and fully melted, spread on a cookie sheet lined with parchment. Immediately sprinkle on candy of choice. Allow to harden at room temperature. Break into pieces.
One added bonus: Repurposing that pile of leftover treats will leave your family impressed with your skills. Folloowing are more ways to use up the candy bounty.
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