Several people have asked me what to do about candy that didn’t get handed out at Halloween.
Here are my suggestions:
Return it to the store. If you have an unopened bag of candy and the receipt, most grocery stores will refund your money, if you return Halloween candy promptly.
Throw it out and make crafts with the wrappers. You and your family don’t need empty calories but more nutritious foods. See www.marthastewart.com/ for craft ideas.
Give it to a food bank. Low-income people don’t need empty calories either, but it might be better to have a few little candy bar bits than go hungry.
Donate it. You may be able to find a doctor’s office, nursing home, or homeless shelter that will take it. Or find a dentist who is participating in Halloween Candy Buy Back program, which buys candy for $1 a pound and sends it to servicemen overseas.
Stash it and dole it out to the kids for treats. My daughter does this for her twins. It works well. They eat surprise treats, a few a day, for a couple of months after Halloween.
Take it to work or send it with another family member to his or her workplace. At work, you usually can get rid of any type of leftover food.
Make cookies. You can create cookies with peanut butter cups, bake Baby Ruth Cookies, make s’mores, or put bits of chocolate bars in your favorite chocolate-chip cookie recipe.
Make other dishes. You can create biscuits filled with tootsie rolls, a Peanut Butter Crunch Milkshake, Snickers Smoothies, Hot Chocolate Peanut Butter Toast, Poached Pears With Chocolate Peanut Caramel Sauce, or Eggs on a Snowy Log.
Use it for art projects. You can make a make a mosaic with hard candy. Use stiff icing to stick the candies in.
Create decorations for Thanksgiving and Christmas. Make a piñata for Thanksgiving or an Advent Calendar for Christmas.
Store it and use it later or next Halloween. The National Confectioners Association’s offers the following information on candy storage:
Chocolate. Dark chocolate can be kept for one to two years if wrapped in foil and stored in a cool, dark, and dry place. Milk and white chocolate have a more limited storage time – no more than eight to 10 months.
Hard candy such as lollipops, hard mints, and butterscotches. Hard candies can last up to a year when stored at room temperature in a cool, dry location.
Soft candies such as gum drops and jellied candies. If the packaging has been opened, soft candies should be covered away from heat and light at room temperature. Stored in this manner, the candy should last six to nine months. If the packaging hasn’t been opened, soft sweets will last about 12 months.
Candy corn. If opened, candy corn should be stored under the same conditions as soft candies and will last about three to six months. Unopened, packages will last about nine months.
Good luck utilizing your stash of Halloween candy. Let me know your disposal method.
Flickr photo by Matt McGee