Halloween Leftover Candy!

There is a wide selection of suckers, hard candy, chocolate bars and gummies. So my first thought is to set aside the colourful suckers or lollipops for later in November when I’ll be getting ready for my cookie exchange. Crushed and melted into cookies they make great stained glass cookies. I set aside all the milk chocolate bars as those are a favourite of all the little people in the house and they are perfect for a little lunchbox treat or after school pick me up.

One of my favourite things to do with candy is make bark. Melting chocolate and adding whatever I can get into it and then letting it harden to enjoy the surprise you get into each mouthful. (This is a great way to use up the candy no one likes too!)  It’s a good way to use up odds and sods of candy and then makes for a yummy treat that keeps in the fridge for a later date, like for unexpected company or a late night sweet snack.

I recommend that you go into your kitchen and start creating and testing out recipes to use up your chocolate. Chop them up and add them to cakes, cookies and brownies-you’ll be pleasantly surprised at how tasty those treats will be. 

Chocolate Bar Surprise Cupcakes

These cupcakes are surprisingly not too sweet! The flavour changes with whatever chocolate bars you add. Mine had a variety of flavours in each bite because I used a mixture of Oh Henry, Coffee Crisp, Kit Kat and Hershey bars (plain and caramel). Depending on the size of those little snack bars you can use up to 12 of them. The cream cheese surprise adds another little nugget of taste as well.

1/2 cup (125 mL) unsweetened cocoa powder
1 cup (250 mL) hot milk
2 cups (500 mL) all purpose flour
1 tsp (5 mL) baking powder
½ tsp (2 mL) baking soda
Pinch salt
½ cup (125 mL) butter, softened
¾ cup (175 mL) packed brown sugar
2 eggs
1 ½ cups (375 mL) chopped chocolate bars
Surprise Filling:
½ cup (125 mL) cream cheese, softened
2 tbsp (25 mL) granulated sugar
1 tsp (5 mL) vanilla

In small bowl, whisk cocoa powder into milk and set aside.

In another bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, soda and salt; set aside.

In a large bowl, using electric mixer beat butter and sugar until fluffy. Beat in eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in flour mixture, alternating with cocoa mixture with 3 additions of flour and 2 of cocoa until well combined. Stir in chocolate. Divide half of the batter among 15 paper lined muffin tins; set aside.

Surprise Filling: In bowl, beat cream cheese, sugar and vanilla until fluffy. Divide mixture among muffin tins in centre of each. Top with remaining chocolate batter.

Bake in 375 F (190 C) oven for about 20 minutes or until firm on top when touched.  Let cool completely.

Sprinkle with icing sugar before serving.

Makes 15 cupcakes.

Helpful Hint: Wrap each cupcake individually and freeze for up to 2 weeks. Keep refrigerated for up to 5 days and warm up in the microwave or oven before serving to soften up the cupcake and chocolate bar texture.

Candy Chocolate Bark

Leftover candy of all sorts can be used to make bark. You may be pleasantly surprised at how tasty it can be. In my version I managed to sneak in a few varieties of candies we had around like Rockets, sour candies, Gummies, Swedish berries, Smarties and Reeses Pieces. 

12 oz (400 g) milk, semi-sweet or bittersweet chocolate, chopped
1 cup (250 mL) candies

In bowl, set over saucepan of hot (not simmering) water, melt chocolate. Remove from heat and stir in candies. Pour onto parchment paper lined baking sheet and spread out to desired thickness (about ½ inch (1 cm) thick is good). Refrigerate for about 2 hours or until firm and set. Cut into pieces and pack in airtight container and refrigerate for up to 1 month.

Makes about 2 dozen pieces.

Creamy Kiss Dip and Apples

A twist on a favourite of caramel apples but you can dip the wedges into the dip and enjoy. Or refrigerate the dip until it’s cold and use it as a cake filling or icing for cupcakes.

12 caramels, unwrapped
10 Halloween kisses, unwrapped
1/4 cup (60 mL) 5% light cream
1/2 cup (125 mL) light cream cheese, softened
1/2 tsp (2 mL) vanilla
4 apples, cored and cut into wedges

Place kisses and caramels in saucepan with cream and melt over low heat. Stirring occasionally, melt mixture until smooth.

In a large bowl, beat cream cheese until smooth. Slowly add kiss and caramel mixture into cream cheese while beating until smooth. Beat in vanilla. Serve with apple or pear wedges, strawberries or cookies.

Makes about 1 cup (250 mL).

Ginger Oatmeal Bars

These decadent bars can be served to guests with a scoop of ice cream and they will never know Halloween candy are in them!

12 caramels, unwrapped
8 Halloween kisses, unwrapped
1/3 cup (75 mL) 5% light cream
1 1/4 cups (300 mL) large flake oats
1 1/4 cups (300 mL) all purpose flour
2/3 cup (150 mL) packed brown sugar
1/2 tsp (2 mL) baking soda
1/4 tsp (1 mL) ground ginger
3/4 cup (175 mL) butter, cubed
1 1/4 cups (300 mL) chopped chocolate bars with nuts (about 12 small bars)

In a saucepan, combine caramels and kisses with cream and melt over low heat until smooth. 

In a large bowl, combine oats, flour, sugar, soda and ginger. Add butter and blend together using your hands until mixture is crumbly. Press half of the mixture into the bottom of a parchment paper lined 9 inch (23 cm) square baking pan. Bake in 350 F (180 C) oven for 10 minutes. 

Sprinkle bottom with chocolate bars and drizzle with kiss and caramel mixture. Sprinkle remaining oat mixture evenly over top. Return to the oven for about 25 minutes or until golden and bubbly.  Let cool completely before cutting into bars. 

Makes 20 bars.


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