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Sweetest hangover

It may seem implausible, but it's true. Some people will not only have leftover Halloween candy, they may even be sick of it. They've tried everything to get rid of those lingering Tootsie Rolls and Jolly Ranchers gathering dust in the kids' cand...

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It may seem implausible, but it's true.

Some people will not only have leftover Halloween candy, they may even be sick of it.

They've tried everything to get rid of those lingering Tootsie Rolls and Jolly Ranchers gathering dust in the kids' candy pails. But their attempts to slip Gummi Worms into the spouse's flapjacks or to invent Candy Corn-Glazed Carrots have led to familial revolt.

Here's a better idea: Use those leftovers in tried-and-true recipes. Many cookies and bars are only bolstered by the rich, nutty flavor of a peanut butter cup or the crunchy sweetness of M&Ms.

Even better, several of these recipes are Thanksgiving- or Christmas-appropriate, so you can get a head start on your holiday baking.

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Candy Bar Fudge

(Uses Snickers or any favorite fun-size chocolate bar)

6 (2.07-ounce) bars Snickers candy (or the equivalent in fun-size Snickers, unwrapped)

3 cups sugar

¾ cup butter (no substitutes)

2/3 cup evaporated milk

2 cups semisweet chocolate chips

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1 (7-ounce) jar marshmallow cr?me

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Line a 9-inch square pan with foil. Butter the foil and set pan aside. If using larger candy bars, cut into ½-inch slices; set aside.

In a heavy saucepan, bring sugar, butter and milk to boil over medium heat, stirring constantly. Cook and stir until a candy thermometer reads 234 degrees Fahrenheit (soft-ball stage).

Remove from heat. Stir in chocolate chips, marshmallow cr?me and vanilla until smooth. Pour half into prepared pan. Sprinkle with candy bar slices. Top with remaining chocolate mixture and spread evenly. Let stand at room temperature to cool. Lift out of pan and remove foil. Cut into squares.

Turkey Cookies

(Uses candy corn, miniature M&Ms)

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1 (16.5-ounce) roll refrigerated sugar cookies

1 container (16 ounces) creamy chocolate frosting

Candy Corn

Miniature candy-coated chocolate baking bits

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Bake cookies as directed on package. Cool completely, about 20 minutes.

Spoon chocolate frosting into pastry decorating bag or resealable food-storage plastic bag; seal bag. Cut small hole in bottom corner of bag. On each cookie, pipe frosting on outer edge of half of cookie. Arrange candy corn over frosting for feathers.

Pipe icing onto each cookie to resemble turkey beak and feet. Use icing to attach baking bits to turkey face for eyes. Pipe brown dots of icing on baking bits for pupils of eyes.

Chocolate Pretzel Rings

(Uses chocolate kisses, M&Ms)

48 pretzel rings or twists

1 (8-ounce) package milk chocolate kisses

¼ cup M&Ms

Place pretzels on greased baking sheets; place a chocolate kiss in the center of each ring. Bake at 275 degrees for 2-3 minutes or until chocolate is softened. Remove from oven. Place an M&M on each, pressing down slightly so chocolate fills the ring or twist. Refrigerate for 5-10 minutes or until chocolate is firm.

Peanut Butter Cup Cookies

1¾ cups all-purpose flour

½ teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon baking soda

½ cup butter, softened

½ cup sugar

½ cup peanut butter

½ cup packed brown sugar

1 egg, beaten

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 tablespoons milk

40 mini peanut butter cups, unwrapped

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Sift together flour, salt and baking soda; set aside.

Cream together butter, sugar, peanut butter and brown sugar until fluffy. Beat in egg, vanilla and milk. Add the flour mixture; mix well.

Shape into 40 balls and place each into an ungreased mini muffin pan.

Bake for about 8 minutes. Remove from oven and immediately press a peanut butter cup into center of each cookie. Cool and carefully remove from pan.

Stained Glass Cookies

(Uses Jolly Ranchers or fruit-flavored Lifesavers)

1 batch of your favorite sugar cookie dough or 1 box of sugar cookie mix, prepared

Hard candies, assorted colors

Oversized (4- to 5-inch) ornament-shaped cookie cutters

Smaller cutters (1- to 3-inches), round or square

Line baking sheets with aluminum foil and spray lightly with cooking spray.

Roll out dough, ¼- to Zc-inch thick, on a lightly floured surface. Cut out cookies with oversized cookie cutters. Place cookies on prepared baking sheets. On each large cookie, cut out a round or square shape with the smaller cutters. If cookies are to be used as ornaments, make a hole at the top with a straw. Chill in refrigerator for 30 minutes.

While cookies chill, place unwrapped hard candies, sorted by color, in separate resealable bags. Seal bags; crush candies with rolling pin. Set aside.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Remove cookies from fridge and fill centers of cookies with crushed hard candies. (Try to keep the candies within the centers. Any candy specks that fall on the dough will color the cookie.)

Bake 9 to 10 minutes. The candy should be melted and bubbling and the cookies just beginning to brown. Place pans on wire racks to cool. Allow cookies to cool on pans at least 10 minutes, or the candy centers may separate from the dough.

When cookies are completely cooled, remove and store in an airtight container. String with ribbon if you want to hang as an ornament.

Readers can reach Forum reporter Tammy Swift at (701) 241-5525

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