What to do with your leftover Halloween candy

By Hae Young Yoo

Courtesy of Accretion Disc/Flickr

The spooky fun of Halloween is over, and now we all have to adjust to reality again. The downside is that this can be hard to do with a mountain of leftover trick-or-treat candy staring you in the face. You know you shouldn’t eat it all, but candy is just too precious to throw out. Instead of sacrificing your leftover goodies, here are some creative ways to use your surplus sweets so it won’t go to waste.

Make s’mores

It’s getting too cold outside to roast marshmallows for s’mores, but making them in the microwave is a snap. The whole process only takes about 15 seconds, and it gives you an opportunity to use up any leftover chocolate. Use a piece of HERSHEY’S chocolate for the classic s’more, or experiment with a REESE’s Peanut Butter Cup or your favorite chocolate treat. Stick a marshmallow and piece of chocolate in between two graham crackers and microwave them on a heat-safe plate. What you will end up with is a gooey, delicious mess that will taste just as good as a summertime s’more made in a real fire pit.

Add to desserts

If you like to bake, you can use your leftover candy and chocolate to decorate your favorite baked goods. Add a piece or two to the tops of frosted treats for a final touch, or use smaller pieces of candy to make embellished designs. You can also bake chocolate and candy into your cupcakes, cakes and cookies by mixing small pieces into the batter or dough.

Make hot chocolate

Hot chocolate is perfect on chilly nights, and the traditional cup can be made more interesting with a few add-ins. You can drop in peppermint candies or a YORK Peppermint Pattie for a minty taste, a few HERSHEY’S KISSES to make it more chocolaty, or even stir your cocoa with a Twix bar or a KIT KAT for that extra chocolate kick. Get creative and see what tastes the best.

Make trail mix

If you are feeling healthy, you can add your leftover candy to some homemade trail mix. It is easy to make your own mix by combining together some nuts, seeds, dried fruit and even pretzels or popcorn. Once you have your base ingredients, grab a handful of M&M’s or cut up a candy bar into small pieces to add to the mix. The nuts and seeds are a healthy source of protein and fiber, and the dried fruit provides the body with essential vitamins and antioxidants. Trail mixes are a great snack that will fill you up and give you energy, and having that little extra kick of sweetness from the candy is always a plus.

Put it into a piñata

Piñatas are always a lot of fun to make regardless of the season. They’re even more fun to beat and break open. You can purchase one at Walmart or Target and stuff it with all the extra goodies you have as a quick and easy fix for large amounts of leftover treats. Bring it to a party, give it to a friend as a gift or keep it in your room as decoration and break it open when you feel that candy craving setting in. Even if nothing comes of it, at least you have a piñata around if life ever gets unexpectedly boring.

Save it for Thanksgiving and Christmas

If you’re totally out of ideas for what to do with your candy surplus, you can always put your leftover candy into a festive bag and bring it home for the holidays. Recycling your extra Halloween candy for use in gift bags is totally thrifty and an easy way to prepare for the gift-giving season.

Just because you find yourself with a Halloween candy surplus doesn’t mean it has to go to waste. There are a slew of creative and delicious ways to repurpose leftover candy, from adding it to new recipes to saving it for the next holiday. Candy and sweets don’t only have to be useful for Halloween trick-or-treaters: candy is dandy all year long.

Hae Young Yoo can be reached at [email protected]