When I was a kid, Aba let all of us keep every single thing in our trick-or-treat bag.
My brother Gary had an uncanny way of parceling out his candy and then teasing the rest of us later on with his sweet riches. In fact, he’d make his Halloween candy last until Christmas… his Christmas candy last until Valentine’s Day… and his Valentine’s Day candy last until Easter… but then he would go into a dry spell and we’d all laugh.
But I digress.
I know there are a lot of you (the good parents) who don’t want their kids sitting on 6 pounds of creamy chocolate, rich gooey caramel, chewy sweet nougat, or crunchy peanutty peanuts.
So here’s what you can do to whittle down that pile of Halloween candy (you are going to let them have some of it, aren’t you?). My tips on what to with leftover Halloween Candy:
Divide candy into different categories (bars, hard candies, jelly candies, etc.) and put it in different Ziploc freezer bags. Once this task is accomplished, you’ll be able to use it in coming months for:
Thanksgiving: Decorate Turkey Day Dinner place cards with M&Ms and hard candies.
Christmas: Create fantastic Gingerbread Houses decorated, of course, with Skittles, licorice and Tootsie Rolls.
New Year’s Eve: Thaw the candies (especially the candy bars) and fill a piñata.
If you want to get the candy out of the house, giving it away is a great idea. Decide how much of the loot the kids have to give up and then let them decide which pieces to share. Before you donate, call ahead.
Nursing Homes: Rather than giving the home one large bag, divide the candy into several sandwich-size Ziploc bags. Also, think about taking the candy to a nursing home in an under-served part of town.
Women’s Shelters: Smaller bags are a good idea here, too, especially since some shelters allow younger children to stay with their mothers.
U.S. Military: There are several organizations that facilitate these donations to American Soldiers, but Mama’s favorite is Operation Gratitude. Make sure the kids write a little note thanking the servicemen for their dedication and courage.
Cook With It
How do you make a calorie-bomb cookie even more decadent? Stick a candy bar in the middle and decorate the top with even MORE candy!
Candy Bar Ice Cream Shakes: Chopped-up candy bars, milk, ice cream and a blender. Need I say more?
Cupcake Surprise: Drop a candy bar mini (those teensy-tiny candy bars) into the center of each cupcake before baking. Decorate the top with M&Ms.
Chocolate Dipped Everything: Melt chocolate bars and then dip strawberries, dried apricots and marshmallows… and then roll them each in chopped up Pay Day or Butterfinger candy bars.
A few other ideas
1. Hide most of the bag and dole it out to the kids as you see fit… school lunches, rewards for jobs well done, or heck, just because it’s Friday.
2. Take it to the office.
3. Use it as gift wrap. Wrap a gift with plain paper and tape on candy bars or candy packets.
So, let’s be honest here. How much candy did YOU eat BEFORE Halloween or while you were handing it out to the trick-or-treaters? Mmm-hmmm…. I thought so. THAT’s why you’re so desperate to get rid of it!