Do you know what it means to have a sibling 6 years younger than you are? Aside from being super confused when they’re born, it mostly means that you become highly adept at taking advantage of them, quickly and often. Which is exactly what I did to my sister on Halloween every single year. In New York City, trick or treating is truly an exercise in gluttony, as children snake through the long hallways of giant apartment complexes with shopping bags too heavy for their little arms to carry themselves. After an exhausting evening of candy-grabbing and UNICEF-collecting, my sister and I would dump our treats onto the floor of one of our rooms.
After we had arranged our candy into neat little piles, we would begin the trading that would take us hours, sometimes days to complete. I would somehow convince her to give me king-sized chocolate bars in exchange for tootsie rolls; all her Reese’s for the apple that one guy gave out; packs of Starburst for a lone Jolly Rancher. In the end, I always walked away with an even bigger bag of candy that then, of course, went stale in my room over the course of the next 12 months. Except for the pieces my mom stole while we were at school (what, you thought I didn’t know?).
Now that I’m older, a few things have changed. Candy is still by far my favorite part of Halloween, but I stopped taking advantage of my sister (and she’s not so easily fooled). More to the point, I no longer allow my leftover candy to go to waste. And neither should you. If you’re not sending some to your sister, here are some ideas to put those treats to good use.
**7 Best Uses For Leftover Candy**
1. Chocolate Bark. This is a classic, and BGSK-endorsed way to use up not just leftover candy, but whatever goodies you may have lying around. I wholeheartedly endorse the dump-and-stir method here. Whatever you’ve got lying around will taste good with chocolate, although you probably want to avoid hard candy here.
2. Monster Cookies. I’m not exactly sure how these cookies get their name, but they require little explanation. Many people say they dislike baking because it requires such precise measurements, but I often bake with abandon (and incidentally, Dorie Greenspan and I once had a run-in at Barnes and Noble in which she totally agreed). Once you have a fairly good understanding of ratios, or in the very least, what your batter should look/taste like, you can really go crazy. Want some cinnamon in there? How about some ginger? And the same rule applies to mix-ins. Substitute out chocolate chips from your go-to cookie recipe for a big old handful of chopped up candy.
3. Blondies. So much more than a chocolate-less brownie, blondies get so much of their goodness from what lies inside. Buttery, sugary dough clings to every M&M, miniature peanut butter cup, Oreo chunk, and Butterfinger morsel in what may just be the best unsung candy delivery system known to man. Go crazy, but just make sure not to put too much in there — you don’t want to overwhelm the dough.
4. Pancakes. That’s all I’m going to say about that. Here’s an awesome recipe (just sub out the pomegranate), and if you’re looking for something even sweeter and more fall-flavored, try throwing a handful of candy into one with a pumpkin base!
5. Stuffed Cupcakes. My official recommendation here is to use a miniature Reese’s cup, but to be honest, you can use whatever you want. A chocolate cupcake with a York peppermint patty would probably be great. And you can’t go wrong with any of the Hershey’s chocolate bar varieties. Anything that melts is ideal. When making your cupcakes, pour batter halfway into each cup, then place a candy on top, and cover with more batter. Just make sure the candy is small enough that it won’t sink all the way to the bottom. Wrapping candy in cookie dough for stuffed cookies will achieve similarly delicious results.
6. Homemade Butterfingers. Why not use that leftover candy corn to make…more candy! Check out this recipe for homemade Butterfingers.
7. Incentives. Your friends may be overdosing on candy now, but if you give it a few weeks, it will regain its unique appeal. Trust me. There is nothing better than a good stash of Halloween candy to get people to do things for you. Roommates, friends, classmates — pretty much anyone will help you out for the promise of candy. Or, you could use it to flirt with that cute guy you’ve been eyeing in your seminar. Casually pass him a little piece of candy next time you’re both about to fall asleep in class. Candy makes everyone happier.
Lily Bellow graduated in 2009 from Harvard University with a degree in English Literature. While in college, she bartended and cooked at the campus pub, and as a result has a difficult time eating chicken wings. She is the Managing Editor for Small Kitchen College.