Sweet ideas: Try these tricks to repurpose those leftover Halloween treats

FARGO - A pillowcase, the classic Halloween candy receptacle, can hold approximately 1,690 pieces of candy - that's a lot of candy. It's inevitable that trick-or-treaters will bring home a surplus of sugar tonight. Instead of throwing the collect...

Conquering the candy conundrum

FARGO - A pillowcase, the classic Halloween candy receptacle, can hold approximately 1,690 pieces of candy - that's a lot of candy.

It's inevitable that trick-or-treaters will bring home a surplus of sugar tonight. Instead of throwing the collected candy in the garbage, get creative.

Tempting treats and clever crafts use up leftover candy.

Homemade Butterfingers

Make more candy out of candy. Candy corn melts with peanut butter to form a gooey, Butterfinger-like bar. Even the most skeptical candy corn hater will be pleasantly




1 pound candy corn

1 16-ounce jar of peanut butter

1 16-ounce package of chocolate candy coating


1. Melt candy corn in microwave on high for 1 minute.

2. Stir and continue cooking in 15-second intervals until melted, stirring after each interval. (Be careful to not overheat the candy corn. It will turn into a sticky, hard mess.) Stir in peanut butter.


3. Spread mixture in an 8-by-8 inch pan lined with parchment.

4. Let it cool completely. Cut the cooled mixture into squares and dip in melted chocolate candy coating. (I gave the bars a double dip in the chocolate.) Lay on waxed paper to set.


Jolly Ranchers grow up

Dissolve the hard candy in vodka for this adults-only flavored drink.

How to: Place 12 Jolly Ranchers of the same flavor in a 32-ounce Mason jar. Pour in approximately 1½ cups of a mid-quality vodka (like Smirnoff), cover and wait for the Jolly Rancher to dissolve. Mid-quality vodka is best for this since the taste isn't totally masked by the Jolly Rancher flavor.


Shortbread Candy Bars


These treats have only six ingredients. Chocolate candies decorate a simple shortbread for an easy treat.

Shortbread Candy Bars

Makes 16 bars


1 cup (two sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature

¾ cup packed light brown sugar

1¼ teaspoons coarse salt

2 cups all-purpose flour, (spooned and leveled)


1 cup semisweet chocolate chips

2 cups assorted chocolate candies or roughly chopped candy bars (12 ounces)


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Using an electric mixer, beat butter, brown sugar and salt on medium-high in a large bowl until light and fluffy, about three minutes. With mixer on low, add flour in three additions and beat until combined (dough will be crumbly). Press dough evenly into an 8-inch square baking dish. Bake until golden brown and firm, 30 to 35 minutes.

2. Scatter chocolate chips on top of shortbread. Bake until soft, about 1 minute. With the back of a spoon, spread chocolate evenly over shortbread. Scatter candies over top.

3. Let cool on a wire rack 30 minutes. Refrigerate briefly to set chocolate, then cut into 16 bars.


Halloween Compost Cookies


Clean out the pantry and use up leftover candy in these salty-sweet cookies. Consider them a fancy version of monster cookies.

These cookies mix crunchy with chewy, and are inspired by the Compost Cookies baked at famed Momofuku Milk Bar in New York City.

The dough needs to be refrigerated for at least one hour, so plan ahead. Chilling it overnight is best.

Halloween Compost Cookies

Makes about 30 cookies


16 tablespoons (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened

1 cup granulated sugar


2/3 cup packed light brown sugar

2 tablespoons corn syrup

1 egg

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 1/3 cups flour

½ teaspoon baking powder

¼ teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon salt

2 cups black and orange M&Ms (or any color)

2 cups potato chips

2 cups caramel rice cakes, broken into small pieces (I skipped this ingredient.)

2 teaspoons ground coffee (optional but adds depth to the flavor of the cookies)


1. Combine the butter, sugars and corn syrup in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment and cream together on medium-high for 2 to 3 minutes. Add the egg and vanilla, and beat for 7 to 8 minutes.

2. The batter should be very light and fluffy. While it's beating, in a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.

3. Reduce the speed to low and add the flour mixture. Mix just until the dough comes together, no longer than 1 minute. (Do not walk away from the machine during this step, or you will risk overmixing the dough.) Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a spatula.

4. Still on low speed, add the M&Ms and coffee, and mix just until incorporated, about 30 seconds. Add the potato chips and rice cakes, and paddle, still on low speed, until just incorporated. Again, be careful not to overmix.

5. Cover the dough with saran wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour, or up to 1 week. Do not skip this step.

6. Heat the oven to 375°. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

7. Take your chilled dough out of the fridge and scoop out spoonfuls to create balls. The dough will break apart a bit, and that's OK.

8. Gather the bits together to create a ball that's about 2 inches across in size (roughly three generous tablespoons of dough).

9. Arrange the chilled dough a minimum of 3 inches apart because the cookies spread. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes until the cookies are faintly browned on the edges yet still very light in the center. They should still look quite underdone.

10. Let the cookies sit for 5 to 8 minutes until mostly cooled so they can finish cooking, then carefully move to a tray to cool.

11. Transfer to a plate or an airtight container for storage. At room temp, cookies will keep fresh for five days; in the freezer, they will keep for 1 month.

Source: Recipe by Clara of "Channeling Contessa" for Glitter Guide 

Candy buy-back

No time to create or bake? Donate extra candy to a cause. Patrick Capp's dental office, 105 13th Ave. E., West Fargo, will collect candy donations from 5 to 7 p.m. Thursday.

The collected candy is sent overseas to soldiers through nonprofit organization Operation Gratitude. The soldiers use the candy to "spoil the local kids," and they also look forward to the packages as a connection to home, said Tami Kurtyka, office manager for Capp.  

Children are given $1 and a bag of prizes donated from local businesses for each pound of candy donated. Adult "kids" also have a chance to get a prize from a door prize drawing, also donated from local businesses. People can donate candy now through Nov. 8.

Last year, more than 330 pounds of candy were donated. 

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