What to do with Leftover Halloween Candy
By: Chef Cristian Feher
As I look across my living room where there was once a dining room table, now stands a glistening pile of Halloween candy - Kit-Kats, M&M’s, Jujubees, Snickers bars, and many other brightly colored, crisply wrapped candy treats. My kid just woke up from a sugar coma and things are going to be OK. But what to do with this mountain of candy?
When I was a kid I had a special drawer in my desk. It started out as my secret Halloween candy stash, but by March it became the place where candy goes to die - kind of like a Florida for candy bars. If you’re like me, you probably can’t stand the thought of taking all that candy and throwing it out, right? So what can you do with it?
Last week I dragged an old air conditioning unit out to the curb where it was quickly picked up by an old guy in a pickup truck. He told me that he drives around town pillaging people’s garbage for scrap metal, which he then sells by the pound. He’s turning free stuff into cash. Pretty smart, right? Well, this gave me an idea. Why not take all this free candy, strip the valuables from it and turn it into edible gold?
Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups - Take all of your peanut butter cups and put them into a food processor with a bit of peanut oil (enough to make the mixture smooth like peanut butter). Then process it into a paste which you can use to spread on sandwiches, or warm croissants. If you think peanut butter is hot stuff, wait till you load your kids up with this in the morning.
M&M’s and Reeses Pieces - These candy-coated chocolate chips are extremely versatile. You can bake them into cup cakes, mix them into pancakes, sprinkle them into your cereal, mix them into popcorn (after popping), use them as ice cream topping, and bake them into cookies.
Kit-Kat Bars - My kid, an experienced candy connoisseur, likes to put them in her pocket for 5 to 7 minutes before eating, for a perfectly warm and soft consistency. Pinkie fingers out.
Solid Hershey’s Chocolate Bars - Can be melted slowly in a metal bowl over a steaming pot of water while stirring with a rubber spatula. The resulting melted chocolate can be used to dip fruits and strawberries into, or it can be cooled and consolidated into a big chocolate brick which can be shaved for cakes, or gnawed at when you’re trying to gain weight in front of the television.
Note that if you get it too hot, it will get grainy and/or separate, and if you get water in it, it might split. But hey, if that happens, you’re not a Swiss chocolatier, and they were free anyways.
Pixie Sticks - You can use the sugary filling to sweeten your coffee in the morning. Or, if you’re an undercover cop about to bust a drug lord, but the drug lord wants you to snort a line to prove that you’re not a cop, just cut a line of pixie dust on a mirror and snort away. Pixie sticks can sweeten coffee, fight crime and keep our streets safe.
Snickers, Musketeers, Milkyway and other chocolate bars - Can be rolled up in puff pastry and baked until golden brown for an amazing, crispy, warm chocolate dessert. You can also do it Scottish style (minus the kilt) by freezing them, dredging them in beer batter, and deep frying them for a red-bearded carnival treat.
If all else fails, just save them for your Christmas gingerbread house where the Lifesavers will turn into roof shingles, Hershey’s bars will turn into front doors, Jujyfruits will line the garden, and Nerds will pave the driveway. You can also awaken your gingerbread men by Frankensteining them to life with Milk Duds, Gobstoppers, Sweet Tarts and a 9-volt battery.