How many times have you been stuck with a bowl full of leftover Halloween candy? Sometimes you snack on it over the next few days or weeks, sometimes you donate to Treats for Troops and then there are the times where you store it in the back of the snack closet or cabinet, never to be seen again. But have you ever considered repurposing that candy into something a bit more interesting? Whether you bought too many bags of Halloween candy or your kids brought home extra filled bags, if you have extra candy in your home, you are looking for ways to use it. These are tasty and fun ways to use up the candy, and bonus, you can share them (or not) with friends and neighbors.
Halloween Candy Cookies
The cookies have a great cookie base, and any chocolate-based candy can be added to it for variety. Consider adding two of three types of candy chopped up for more cookie diversity. For example, mix in Milky Way and Twix bars for caramel lovers, or for peanut butter fiends, mix in chopped-up peanut butter cups and whole Reese’s pieces. Want to go candy crazy? Dump in a bunch of mixed chopped-up and whole candies into the batter.
Consider these candies for the mix-ins. Bars are best if chopped up for mixing:
-Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups – small ones can be pushed into the dough for a type of chocolate-peanut butter surprise center, but larger candies mix-in better if chopped
– Kit Kat
– Milky Way
– Hershey’s varieties of bars – ex: chocolate, cookies and cream
The cookie base is a basic recipe. It does not need a ton of sugar, because the sugar surge comes in from the candy mix-ins. This recipe makes about two dozen cookies. Double the batch for more cookies to share.
- ½ cup butter, softened
- ¼ cup granulated sugar
- ½ cup brown sugar
- 1 egg
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 ½ cup unbleached flour
- ½ tsp baking soda
- ½ tsp salt
- Sea salt (optional)
Cream the butter, sugar, and brown sugar together in a mixer or with a handheld electric mixer. Once combined, add the egg and vanilla. Mix until well incorporated. In a separate bowl, mix the flour, baking soda and salt. Once the dry ingredients are combined, add them to the wet ingredients slowly, making sure the ingredients are combined before adding more. Once combined, mix in the candy combinations of choice and begin forming a ball of uniform size. Ensure the bar’s chopped-up pieces are well-incorporated into the dough to prevent caramel or peanut butter from leaking out of the cookie and onto the pan, which can burn.
Heat oven to 350 degrees F while forming the cookies. Bake the cookies for 8-10 minutes.
Once out of the oven, you can sprinkle with sea salt. This salt helps balance out the sweetness, but also adds to the flavor of the cookie.
Transfer each cookie to a cooling rack and allow it to cool. Store cookies in an air-tight container for up to two weeks, or place on a themed plate or in a jar to gift to neighbors, friends, or co-workers. Consider bringing cookies over to an elderly or new-to-the-neighborhood neighbor.
Halloween Crack Candy
This “candy crack” can be modified for any specific leftover candy or candy preference. You may be surprised by how you can modify this recipe for other holidays throughout the year. Either way, it is a fun and tasty way to enjoy those fall sweets.
-2 sleeves of saltine crackers
– 1 cup salted butter
– 1 cup dark brown sugar
– 12-ounce bag semisweet mini chocolate chip morsels
– ½ -1 cup of your favorite candies – chopped or whole, depending on what you have on hand
– ½ cup chopped pecans
Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
Line a 9×13 cookie sheet with parchment paper, making sure to spray it with non-stick spray or well-oiled. Line the paper with the saltine crackers so they are lined up, side by side. Melt the butter and sugar in a large saucepan, mixing often to prevent burning. Bring the mixture to a rolling boil for about three minutes, continuing to stir, until a toffee is formed. Pour the toffee over the saltine crackers, making sure to pour it as evenly as possible over the crackers. Use a spatula to spread out the toffee further, making sure to do it while the toffee is hot as it can harden quickly. Place the cookie sheet with the saltine-toffee combination in the oven for about 3-5 minutes, until the toffee starts to boil. Once the toffee is soft again, pull out the cookie sheet and spread the chocolate morsels evenly over the saltine-toffee combination. To the top of that, add whatever whole or chopped candies you have chosen, and nuts if desired, making sure to evenly distribute the candy as much as possible. Put the sheet back in the oven for about 5 minutes until the candies and chocolate have melted into the cracker. Once everything is melted, pull out the baking sheet and refrigerate for 2 hours. Once the candy crack has chilled, break it into bite sized pieces. Store the Halloween candy crack in the refrigerator or in an air-tight container on the counter for up to two weeks.
Consider placing the pieces into mason jars to share the candy with friends, family, neighbors, or co-workers.
Go beyond Halloween – if you have a looming PCS and still have candy, these recipes are great ways to utilize that candy. One year, I used all the chopped-up candy with caramel in it to make Salted Caramel Brown Sugar cookies and they were the hit of the office. Get creative with what you have on hand, enjoy, and use up those items before they go to waste!