As a kid the moment we returned home from trick or treating, it was divide and swap time. My brother and I would spread our loot out onto a smoothed blanket, divide the candies into treasure piles by type and once we'd carefully hidden our favorite non-tradeables (you know the ones, the items too tasty to give up!) we'd spend hours trading back and forth. I knew I'd always get the tootsie roll pops and I didn't mind giving them up my nasty butterfinger bars to get them, (even though I'd often pretend THOSE were my favorites!). Of course, before we could begin trading we'd have to let our parents get "paid" for driving us around the neighborhood.
While those were some great times, sometimes the kids bring home TOO many treats. Here are some ways to use up the leftover Halloween Candies . . .
Freeze it - Chocolate freezes quite well and can be used throughout the year as treats for the kids or incorporated in your favorite cookie or brownie recipes, added to milkshakes, sundae & ice cream toppings, or yogurt
Support the Troops- while chocolate doesn't travel overseas well, many other candies (particularly lollipops and hard candies!) travel very well and provide a lovely pick-me-up for soldiers.
Emergency Stash- Mix up a bag of various candies to stash in the glove box or trunk of your vehicle, along with your emergency kit.
Good Ol' Fashioned Bribery - let your kids (& their little buddies) "earn" their treats by doing chores around the house. Give them a couple pieces for vacuuming the floor, or raking the flower beds, or add a couple pieces to their daily lunchboxes.
Snack-Size - Create a semi-healthy snack by filling celery stalks with cream cheese or peanut butter and topping with m&m's or chopped candy bar pieces
Donations- donating the candies to local charities, battered women's shelters, churches, community centers, local food pantry's and nursing homes are a wonderful way to share the loot
Crafts- we've found that sometimes candies are rather stale (I guess some folks purchase them the year before during the after halloween candy sales and save them). I've found that these tasteless morsels are best used in various craft projects such as halloween candy wreaths, candy garlands, etc.
Sell it- some Dentists reportedly pay up to $2.50 per pound for candy & even offer free toothbrushes and toothpaste during the "sale" You can find a participating dentist in your area by visiting Halloween Candy Buy Back - Incidentally, Candy that is "purchased" is mailed to our troops overseas.
Christmas is Coming!- use it to help decorate your holiday gingerbread house scene or to create pretty (& dirt cheap) Centerpieces for your table
Flavored Vodka- hard candies have a tendency to dissolve perfectly in vodka, infusing the alcohol with a lovely sweetened liqueur for holiday gift giving
Office Treats- bring a nice basket of treats into the office for your co-workers to share
Learn some Science- Use that leftover candy to learn a little science- like color separation, sink or float, and density rainbow which was created with Skittles! See if you can make a spark with lifesavers, check out a number of Candy Experiments here
Transform the candy into a Delicious Recipe Such as:
Apple Candy Bar Salad
6 apples, chopped
18-20 Fun Size chocolate coated nougat candy bars, chopped (Such as snickers, 3 muskateers,etc)
12 ounces cool whip, thawed
Combine apples and candy bars in a large bowl, carefully fold in the cool whip. Serve immediately! The kids absolutely adore this recipe.
Or Jar Gift Recipes Such as:
- Butterfinger Cookie Mix in a Jar
- Candy Cookie Mix in a jar
- Gumdrop Cookie Mix
- M&M's Cookie Mix
- M&M's Cookie Mix #2
Or even Ben & Jerry's Health Bar Crunch Ice Cream Recipe