Don’t waste great trick-or-treat tastes by tossing them in haste.
Zealous young costumed trick or treaters have tromped eagerly from door to door, collecting all sorts of delicious chocolate bars, fruity lollipops, and other candy treats throughout the neighborhood. Their Halloween totes or pumpkin buckets are filled to overflowing.
Many families also have lots of Halloween candy remaining in their giant give-away bins. Perhaps the novelty of overindulging is already wearing off for parents and youngsters alike.
What can be done with all sorts of Halloween treats after the trick-or-treating festivities have come and gone, but before chocolates and other candies become stale and must be discarded?
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10 ways to use up Halloween candy leftovers
Consider these 10 practical ways to put all that remaining Halloween trick-or-treat candy to creative and constructive use, even after October 31 has gone by.
1. Donate leftover Halloween candy to a homeless shelter or food pantry.
Of course, the most altruistic solution to using up leftover Halloween candy is to donate the surplus to a worthy charity. Homeless shelters, food pantries, soup kitchens and youth centers usually welcome such contributions. In fact, candy donors may even ask for donation receipts for tax purposes.
2. Take leftover Halloween candy to work.
Many employment locations have break rooms or shared coffee stations. Why not pack up a pretty basket or bin of leftover Halloween candy and place it at work to share with colleagues?
3. Freeze leftover Halloween candy for later use.
Many folks choose to freeze trick-or-treat candy out of sight in a zippered plastic bag or a plastic container in the freezer, and ration it out in smaller batches after Halloween. This tactic makes leftover Halloween a special treat, instead of a sugar overload. Plus, frozen candy takes considerably longer to consume, deterring dieters from over-consuming high-calorie Halloween treats.
4. Toss leftover Halloween candy into ice cream mixers.
Candy-mix-ins have become a frozen-treat favorite at ice cream shops, diners and fast food restaurants. These tasty ice cream desserts are easy to make at home. A blender, a tub of ice cream and a few favorite candy bars can quickly be transformed into a delicious indulgence – while using up leftover Halloween candy.
5. Tuck leftover Halloween candy into Operation Christmas Child shoeboxes.
Although trick or treaters may enjoy a surplus of Halloween candy, many children in the world may not have such a luxury. An entire family may enjoy packing a shoebox of treats, including leftover Halloween candy, for Operation Christmas Child, an organization that delivers wrapped shoeboxes filled with treats and small toys to needy children globally. Shoebox donations are usually collected by mid-November, so the timing is perfect.
6. Use leftover Halloween candy to fill a Thanksgiving turkey piñata.
Children of all ages love to play the piñata game at parties – even Thanksgiving. Why not make a Thanksgiving turkey pinata, and fill it with leftover Halloween candy for a family gathering on Turkey Day?
7. Make a Thanksgiving pie from leftover Halloween candy.
Why not bake up an alternative to the traditional pumpkin pie for Thanksgiving? Try a delicious Peanut Butter Cup Pie, using leftover Peanut Butter Cups from Halloween trick or treating.
8. Use leftover Halloween candy to bake Christmas treats.
Before the last Halloween skeleton cut-out has been stowed and the last Halloween costume stowed or recycled, many folks begin baking Christmas and holiday treats. Did you know that you can use leftover Halloween candy to make these delicious seasonal sweets?
- Make Butterfinger cookies from leftover Halloween candy
- Make Milky Way brownies from leftover Halloween candy
- Make Peanut Butter Cup pie from leftover Halloween candy
- Make peppermint patty ice cream topping from leftover Halloween candy
- Make Snickers fudge bars from leftover Halloween candy
Why not use leftover M&Ms, Red Hots, Reece’s Pieces, or multi-colored Skittles to decorate Sugar Cookies for the holidays? Or toss them into a tasty trail mix.
9. Make a holiday wreath from leftover Halloween candy.
Christmas wreaths make super holiday gifts and decorations. Leftover Halloween candy may be tied onto a simple evergreen, grapevine, corn husk or straw wreath as a special gift or party centerpiece. Some folks choose to make candy Advent wreaths, encouraging children to remove one candy each day, from the first of December until Christmas.
10. Save leftover Halloween candy for Christmas stockings.
Finally, if any leftover Halloween candy remains in the home, Santa might be able to recycle the goodies by tucking the treats into Christmas stockings.
Better yet, why not leave the candy out for the jolly old elf to enjoy – and possibly to share with his reindeer on the roof on Christmas Eve? Rumor has it that magical flying reindeer even have a hankering for candy corn.