Tricks for treat surplus

  • Article by: KIM ODE , Star Tribune
  • Updated: November 1, 2012 - 9:04 AM

Can there be too much of a good thing? Yes, even when it comes to Halloween candy. Here are ways to repurpose last night's haul.

Listen -- they're somewhere in the house.

You can hear their wrappers rustling, plotting their slow assault on your child's tooth enamel, biding their time before they leap upon your hips.

They're the Halloween candies the kids dragged home, and you only have a small window of time to thwart their intentions.

We're here to help.

To be clear: We're not talking about a respectable haul of Baby Ruths, M&Ms and Kit Kats. It's Halloween, for pity sakes. No, these strategies are for the lumpy pillow case, the bulging grocery bag, the brimming wash bucket -- a surplus of sweets, as well as the yucky candy that nobody wants. (Circus peanuts, really?)

We asked our Facebook friends, plumbed Pinterest, surfed the Internet and generally asked around for some inventive, fun or selfless ways to use leftover Halloween candy. Here are some of the better ideas:

• Chop up a selection and freeze it to make your own Blizzard-like ice cream treats or toppings for cupcakes and puddings.

• Do a composting experiment with the kids by unwrapping the candy and burying it in your garden. Dig it up halfway through next summer and see what's survived. (We sense a diabolical nature here.)

• Parcel out the sweets with a "countdown calendar" for an event your child is anticipating. ApartmentTherapy.com shows how at bit.ly/WP4sS3.

• Make your own Thanksgiving table ornaments. Just type "candy turkeys" in a search engine and you'll find lots of recipes.

• Ship it to soldiers. Check out OperationShoebox.com, OperationGratitude.com or AnySoldier.com for details.

• Make cookies, bars and other sweet treats. BrownEyed Baker.com has 15 recipes; visit bit.ly/PVnjZY

• Sell it to a dentist. Find a participating office in your area at www.halloweencandybuy back.com.

• Conduct science experiments. There are a dozen at www.candyexperiments.com, including the incredible floating M's from an M&M.

• Add a layer of chopped-up candies as part of a cookie-in-a-jar mix for a great hostess gift. A recipe from Budget101.com uses Butterfingers, but tap your imagination: bit.ly/XvxDIC

• Even BettyCrocker.com has recipes for "candy-infused vodka" and a Google search turns up more. No, we have not tested them. (Ewww.)

• Save the candy to decorate a gingerbread house for Christmas.

• Freeze and save to hand out the next Halloween. (We trust this suggestion was tongue-in-cheek.)

Kim Ode • 612-673-7185

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