Tonawanda News

October 28, 2012

Some ideas on how to use all that leftover Halloween candy

Staff Reports
The Tonawanda News

Tonawanda News — We have the best intentions about this time each year. Despite regular warnings about childhood obesity, we all stock up all kinds of assorted confections, from candy corn to Butterfinger, from popcorn balls to lollipops.

Most Halloweens we run out of candy, scrambling to the drug store down the block and grabbing up the last bag of whatever happens to be left — yuck, who wants hard butterscotch candy, anyway? 

But sometimes it’s like crickets out there on Halloween night. Did you forget to turn the porch light on? Has your house gotten a bad reputation as being the one that hands out raisins? 

Sometimes you’re left with a ton of chocolate or individually bagged Skittles come post-Halloween morning. Maybe you’re OK eating all that candy. Maybe the idea of ingesting 50 mini Snickers doesn’t sound all that appealing. 

Here are our suggestions on how to use up all that leftover sugar you might have hanging around at home.

Skittles vodka

If you’ve taken a trip to the local liquor store recently you’ve probably noticed what seems like an entire aisle dedicated to the latest craze: flavored vodka.

For years the selections were fairly limited: Stoli’s line of orange, raspberry and lemon. Aboslute Citron, also lemon-flavored, was another option.

But this is America, darn it! Why should we only have four or five flavors of vodka when we could have dozens?

First it was whipped cream. Then it was a syrup-like ode to the childhood candy Swedish fish or the atomic fireball.

And this time of year, who needs a reminder of candy? Households across America are restocking candy jars with Halloween offerings. And the kids are about to double or triple the stach with their own trick-or-treating.

So you’ve got a whole pile of candy and nothing to do with it? It’s a perfect excuse to double down on the flavored vodka craze and turn a favorite kid-sized treat into a tasty adult beverage.

And so we give you Skittles-flavored vodka. It’s easy as pie (or pie-flavored vodka).

1 1.75 liter bottle vodka (please don’t ruin a bottle of Grey Goose on this project)

About 20 ounces of Skittles

Remember you can adjust this recipe depending on how many Skittles you have ... only 10 ounces of Skittles? Just use about half the bottle of vodka.

Separate the Skittles by color into five large containers or bottles with lids.

Divide the bottle of vodka evenly five ways and pour over the Skittles.

Secure lid and shake vodka/Skittles concoctions.

Let sit overnight or until all the candy is dissolved into the vodka. Give it a couple shakes to help the process along.

When you’re done you’ll have five brightly colored bottles and an excuse to knock back a few shots without the embarrassment of sounding like a tipsy coed imploring the bartender to “make something fruity!”

Never one to take the lazy way out of reporting, News Lifestyle Editor Danielle Haynes and Managing Editor Eric DuVall set out to get some firsthand knowledge of this story.

Consensus after tasting all the flavors was that the lemon and lime Skittles made the best flavored vodka. Don’t let the bright colors fool you. Taken as a chilled shot, the Skittles-flavored vodka packs a punch. It is, after all, still pure vodka and though the Skittles sugary flavor lingers on the tongue, there’s no mistaking the strong taste of alcohol often lacking in those super-sweet distilled offerings at the liquor store.

Used in a drink, we found lemon-lime soda (we used Sprite) was the most natural mixer. For those looking to cut the sweetness, club soda and a twist of lemon also makes for a decent option.

Come next week when the mere idea of eating one more piece of candy induces a diabetic coma, Skittles-infused vodka might be just what the doctor (or dentist) ordered.

— Adapted from mixthatdrink.com

by Eric DuVall and Danielle Haynes@Story Sig:.

Ice cream candy cake

This is one of my grandmother’s favorite go-to dessert recipes. It doesn’t take any great culinary skill and I’m sure many folks out there have a similar recipe, but it’s effective and versatile. 

I liken this cake to something like an ice cream lasagna — it’s essentially just layers of different sweet stuff that’s then frozen. Can’t go wrong.

My grandmother’s standard recipe includes traditional ice cream sandwiches layered with Cool Whip, Smucker’s hot fudge and Heath toffee bits. But you can use really any kind of candy you want, though I’d avoid anything chewy. Try it with crushed peppermint for a Christmas treat. Freeze those mini chocolate bars, pound them into oblivion and sprinkle them on top. 

You could even use different flavors of ice cream sandwiches if you can find them.

Be careful though, this stuff is rich!

Two 12-count boxes of ice cream sandwiches (you’ll probably end up with a couple leftovers)

1 (or two) jar(s) Smucker’s hot fudge

1 16-ounce tub of whipped topping

At least two cups of crushed candy of your choosing (I used Heath bar toffee bits)

9-by-13-inch glass casserole dish

Line the bottom of the dish with a layer of the ice cream sandwiches. My dish fit two rows of four sandwiches and one and a half sandwiches laying across the other direction.

Spread the entire jar of hot fudge evenly over the top of ice cream sandwiches.

Spread about half of the whipped topping evenly over the top of the hot fudge layer.

Sprinkle about half of the candy pieces on top.

Lay out another layer of the ice cream sandwiches, the same number and configuration as the bottom layer. 

(This is where my grandmother would spread another jar of hot fudge)

Spread the remaining whipped topping smoothly and evenly on top ... make it look nice, this is what folks will see.

Sprinkle the remaining candy pieces on top.

Pop the entire concoction in the freezer for a couple hours to let the whipped topping harden. Slice and enjoy!

— Danielle Haynes

Candy cookie bars

I’ve had this basic recipe on a card in my recipe box for years. Decades even. Funny thing, though ... I never seem to have any leftover Halloween candy to use for it.

This little project seemed like the ideal time to give it a shot. A bagful of random mini candy bars from the grocery-store bulk section and a few additional ingredients later, I had something a little more substantial and dessert-like than leftover Halloween chocolate, although equally as sweet. 

While the original recipe called for an even cup of chopped candy, I used a little more ... and you can even go higher than that, I think. Six chopped bars was a little shy of 1 cup; I wound up using eight. You could certainly use all one kind of bar, but I went with an assortment — anything chocolate-based will work just fine. Personally, I liked the variety.

1 yellow cake mix

2 large eggs

1 stick butter, melted

1/2 cup brown sugar

1 to 1 1/2 cup chopped candy bars (about 6 to 10 Halloween-sized candy bars)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place mix, eggs, butter and sugar in a bowl and blend with an electric mixer on low for about 30 seconds. Scrape the bowl and blend for an additional minute on medium speed.

Stir in the candy bar pieces. Spread the batter (it will be thick) in an ungreased 13-by-9-inch cake pan.

Bake for 30 to 40 minutes, until golden brown. Cool completely and cut into squares.

— Jill Keppeler