Well, you know what they say: If you're drowning in leftover Halloween candy, add more sugar and butter and turn it into even more fattening treats for you and your loved ones. Okay, maybe not, but if you're sick of eating Laffy Taffy from the wrapper and are looking for ways to either rid that candy from your pantry (Pumpkin Snickers Bars make for a great hostess gift) or jazz it up a bit, here are five recipes to peruse Nov. 1.
Michelle Stark, Times food editor
Butterfinger Pies in a Jar
For this recipe, you'll need some ovenproof jars or other small glass vessels. A mason jar or ramekin would even work. Start by making a graham cracker crust that will serve as the base for the dessert. Use a food processor to crush 6 whole graham crackers into crumbs, then add 1 tablespoon brown sugar, 3 tablespoons melted butter and pulse or mix further to combine. Place about 2 tablespoons of the mixture into each of your jars, then place on a baking sheet and bake in a 350-degree oven for 5 to 7 minutes. Cool completely while you work on your filling. Beat 1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese until smooth, then add 1 cup powdered sugar and 2 tablespoons brown sugar. Beat again, then mix in ½ cup creamy peanut butter and ½ teaspoon vanilla extract. In another bowl, beat 3/4 cup whipping cream until stiff peaks form. Add 1 cup of the whipped cream to the peanut butter mixture and use a rubber spatula to carefully fold the mixture together. Chop up some Butterfinger candy bar, then assemble your pies. Sprinkle some candy onto the crust, then divide peanut butter filling among the jars and top with more candy. For best results, chill for a couple of hours or overnight before serving. Recipe adapted from crumbsandchaos.net.
Candy Corn and White Chocolate Cookies
Candy corn is a divisive sweet, which means having some left over may not be a good thing. But don't let it go to waste. Even if you don't go for the waxy cones, you'll likely still find these cookies appealing. Start with 1/2 cup unsalted butter, 3/4 cup light brown sugar, 1/4 cup granulated sugar, 1 large egg and 1 tablespoon vanilla extract. Add ingredients to a large bowl or bowl of a stand mixer and beat until light and fluffy. Scrape down the sides of the bowl, then add 2 tablespoons cream or half-and-half, 2 cups all-purpose flour, 2 teaspoons cornstarch, 1 teaspoon baking soda and a pinch of salt. Mix on low speed until combined, careful not to overmix. Add 1 1/2 cups candy corn and 1 cup white chocolate chips, and mix again. Place heaping mounds on a plate, flatten slightly, then refrigerate for at least 3 hours, or up to 5 days, before baking. When you're ready to bake, preheat oven to 350 degrees and coat a baking sheet with cooking spray. Place cookies on sheet about 2 inches apart and bake for about 10 minutes, or until the tops are just beginning to set. Allow cookies to cool for a few minutes before serving. Makes about 20 cookies. Recipe adapted from averiecooks.com.
Pumpkin Snickers Bars
This seasonally appropriate recipe for soft, cookielike bars calls for Snickers, but you can use any chocolate candy you'd like. To start, preheat the oven to 350 degrees and grease a 9- by 13-inch baking pan. Then, in a bowl, whisk together 2 cups all-purpose flour, 1 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice, 1 teaspoon baking soda and 3/4 teaspoon salt. Set aside. In another bowl or the base of a stand mixer, add 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter and 1 1/4 cups granulated sugar and beat until smooth. Add 1 large egg and 2 teaspoons vanilla extract and beat until combined. Mix in 1 cup canned pumpkin puree, mix again, then fold in about 2 cups chopped Snickers. Add mixture to dry ingredients, and mix well. Spread batter in prepared baking pan and bake for 35 to 40 minutes. Let bars cool in pan, then cut into squares and serve. Recipe adapted from twopeasandtheirpod.com.
This is a brilliant way to use the sweet-sour candies that often get left behind when sexier options like Snickers are in the mix. To make two milkshakes, collect about 16 SweeTarts candies, plus a few more for garnish. Blend the candies in a blender with 1 pint strawberry ice cream (vanilla works, too) and ¾ cup milk until smooth. Place a handful of SweeTarts on a towel, fold the towel over so candy is covered, then pound the candy gently with a meat mallet or another hard kitchen utensil, until they are crushed slightly. Sprinkle on top of milkshakes and serve. Recipe from Real Simple.
Halloween Candy Bark
Have a wide assortment of different candies to use up? Work them into this candy bark. Start by melting a pound of semisweet chocolate chips, either in a double boiler on the stove or in a glass bowl in the microwave, in 30-second increments. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper, then spread melted chocolate onto the paper. Sprinkle with 1 ½ cups crushed pretzels, 1 cup chopped Twix bars, 1 cup Reese's Peanut Butter Cups and another cup of whatever chocolate candy you have on hand. Press candy down slightly with your hand so it sticks to the chocolate. Then, melt 3 ounces white chocolate almond bark using a double boiler or microwave and drizzle it over the chocolate bark. (The easiest way to do this is to dip a fork into the white chocolate, then wiggle it over the bark to create thin ribbons.) Sprinkle with two handfuls of M&M's, then refrigerate for 30 to 60 minutes until set. Break into pieces and serve. Recipe adapted from ihearteating.com.