Let’s be honest, when it comes to Halloween we’re only in it for the candy and it’s never enough. Halloween may not be traditional in every part of the world, but the custom has certainly caught on. From Ireland (where Halloween originated as All Hallow’s Eve) to The United States (where the custom was brought over by the first settlers), and even to Japan! Halloween has become a global phenomenon that is famous as the one night where you have permission to dress up as your favorite fantasy character. And sure, the costumes, parties, and trick-or-treating are all fun, but at the end of the day it’s all about the Halloween loot, and there’s tons of it. That leaves families all over the world with the same situation every year: Wondering what to do with extra Halloween candy. So here’s a list of 10 smart candy-packed ideas for your leftover Halloween candy to try.
Bake it Into Cakes
What’s better than Halloween candy? Only Halloween candy in your cookies and cakes! Try peanut butter cup cookies or brownies with fun size candy bars inside. Or just put it on top of cakes and cupcakes, or stir it into icing. There are plenty of amazing recipes out there, don’t be afraid to experiment!
DIY Trail Mix
Saving the leftover candy for later seems like the most obvious thing to do. And there are ways to do that too. What about making your own trial mix perfect for a quick sugar fix at work or school? Mix little candies like Reese’s, M&Ms, mini Snickers and make your own trail mix by adding pretzels, nuts and dried fruit.
Did you know you can freeze chocolate? This knowledge probably has zero value any other time of year, it’s only on Halloween when you might face a problem of too much chocolate. So, go ahead and pop the sweet leftovers in a freezer and use it throughout the year. Add it to milkshakes, sundaes, ice cream, brownie batter, and plain cookie dough.
Use it For Kid’s Birthday Parties
Have a kid’s birthday party coming up? That’s where you can make those leftover Halloween candy really work! Put the candy in favor bags, stuff into a piñata, make a board game and use the candy as playing pieces, or even create DIY candy necklaces. The options are really endless here. Ask your kids for help if you need more ideas.
Pair it With Wine
It is somewhat challenging to pair wine and chocolate together, but the right pairings get your taste buds ready to experience something out of the ordinary! Here’s a quick cheat sheet. Try salted caramel with Sauvignon Blanc, vanilla truffles with Chardonnay, peanut butter cups with a crisp Chenin Blanc, and chocolate cake with Shiraz. Dark chocolate goes really well with any type of dry red wine; while white chocolate goes perfectly with Rosé or Vintage Port, Muscat or Orange Muscat, and Lambrusco.
Chocolate + Coffee
If you are a sucker for chocolate and coffee just like we are, then you’re going to like this.For a quick and easy mocha, add 4 tablespoons of your favorite chocolate bar shavings (you know like those bite-sized candy bars we all love) and 1/2 cup of cream or milk into a cup of freshly brewed coffee. Warm the mixture up in a microwave (or stove) and enjoy your own delicious homemade Halloween candy mocha.
Use your extra Halloween candy to make gifts, and don’t worry about tissue paper wrapping. Stuff your leftover candy in gift bags, or put it inside coffee mugs or mason jars. Use your imagination and create a simple, sweet gift with a reusable keepsake. The recipients will surely enjoy this sweet touch.
Make Homemade Flavored Vodka
What about some homemade, creatively flavored alcohol? Yes, please. Just drop 2-3 oz of dark chocolate (in pieces) in a bottle of vodka and let it sit for about a week until chocolate is dissolved. Store your chocolate flavored vodka in the freezer and serve on its own or mixed with cocktails. You can do the same thing with sweet fruit candies like Skittles, Jolly Ranchers, or Smarties. Cheers!
Well, you don’t have to eat it all if you don’t want to – donate Halloween candy to people who might not have gotten as much. Where can I donate Halloween candy? Just bring it into your office or school. Look in your local paper for organizations that will donate candy to soldiers, or who’ll donate the Halloween candy to children’s hospitals. It will disappear in no time, we promise. Doing candy donations makes lives of those in need a little sweeter without much effort.
DIY Halloween Costumes Out of Candy
Going to a last minute Halloween party? Here are some great ideas on how to use candy and turn it into simple, affordable, and sweet DIY Halloween costumes and accessories. Make a marshmallow necklace and tutu; a pair of jellybeans sunglasses and bracelet; or a t-shirt with smarties and so many other awesome ways to use leftover Halloween candy are in this fun video:
Bonus Halloween Trivia!
Not every country celebrates it the same. So what are other countries doing for Halloween?
France – In France Halloween was introduced by American tourists. Halloween there is sort of a novelty that people get more and more familiar with each year. They’ve blended Halloween with masquerade to create fun and frilly events that are true spectacles.
China – Halloween is popular in areas with a lot of expatriots. In these regions they do a blend of traditional Halloween décor and regional decorations meant to honor and ward off spirits.
Japan – Halloween became popular here thanks in large part to Tokyo Disney and other exports. There’s a huge subculture devoted to imitating American customs, so they stay very true to the idea of costumes, scars, and sweets on Halloween.
Ireland – Where Halloween is considered to have originated has some not so familiar customs. Instead of knocking for treats, kids will knock on neighbors doors and try to run away before the doors are answered (called “knock-a-dolly” there but perhaps better known as “ding-dong-ditch” to those in the US). They also traditionally eat fruit cake called “barnbrack” that typically has a treat baked inside of the cake.
England – England is actually to thank for Trick-Or-Treating. The custom originated there, though they would often hand out homemade treats rather than the store bought stuff (GASP!) Other than that, it is very similar, full of costumes, parties, and more traditionally carved beets instead of pumpkins.
Now you know how to avoid post-Halloween coma. Now what?