Halloween has come and gone, the jack-o-lanterns have been tossed and the Halloween decorations packed up for next year. What's left? Bags and bags of candy.
Not only are you left with extra bags that you over-eagerly purchased from anticipating hordes of trick or treaters that in my case didn't come, but if you have kids who went trick or treating, your left with giant bags of assorted candies haunting you with visions of children's stomach aches and hefty dental bills (why exactly to I love Halloween so much?).
I heard on the radio today that there is a dentist in New York City that is offering to take the candy off of your children's hands by paying them per pound of candy turned in-our family Orthodontist has a similar plan but you get tokens for gift cards. But aside from a few thoughtful dental care providers what's a mother to do??
1. Let them eat as much as they want on Halloween night then take the bag and just toss it.
2. Keep the bag for them in the kitchen and dole out candy in a miser like fashion on a daily basis.
3. Let them choose a few of their favorites then donate it to a teacher to use as rewards at school.
4. Let them choose a few of their favorites then donate it to a shelter.
The first option seems rather cruel not to mention wasteful, they did after all work (sometimes for hours) "begging" for this candy which was in fact purchased by some neighbor's hard earned money. The second option while on the surface seems like the logical choice, I know I've read in countless magazines that it would not be a dentist's first choice-think about it-a daily, steady flow of sugar-yeah, maybe not such a good idea.
Myself, I like the last two, but perhaps with a few variations. I like to pull out some of each kids' favorites put them in a Ziploc bag and save them for when we go to the movies. (Yeah, I know, I know, no outside food-but that's the (only) beauty of fun size: they fit inconspicuously into your purse and at $13.00 a movie ticket, I'm bringing snacks in my purse!)
I also like to use a bunch for baking. Sunday night we had a church function to attend and I needed a quick dessert so I came up with a trick-or-treat bag riff on the ubiquitous potluck dessert 7-Layer bars. The bars came out super tasty and reduced my daughter's trick or treat bag quite nicely.
What ideas do you have for surplus candy bars? (And don't say eat them yourself!)
Trick-or-Treat Bag Bars
1/2 cup butter (1 stick)
1 1/4 cup finely crushed pretzels
1 cup grated coconut
3 cups assorted chopped candy (I used Butterfingers, Snickers, Special Dark, Hershey Bars, Crunch, Twix and Kit Kat)
1 can sweetened condensed milk
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Place the butter in a 13 x 9 inch glass baking dish and melt the butter in the preheating oven.
Add the pretzels, coconut and candies in even layers-without stirring. Pour the sweetened condensed milk evenly over the layers. Bake for 25 minutes. Allow to cool completely before cutting into bars.