Is there a recipe that will use up Halloween candy?
October 25, 2015 10:06 AM   Subscribe

This is a weird question about a fantasy my son has about "cooking" with Halloween candy. For months he's been talking about making "Sweet Stew," a "recipe" he made up in which the Halloween candy is ground up in the food processor and then mixed with peanut butter. Is there any real recipe for something we can make with Halloween candy?

I am thinking something like pulsing the various chocolate candy in the food processor and then kind of using them like chocolate chips in a recipe. Or some kind of ice box cookie that uses condensed milk? I dunno. I am willing to try Sweet Stew as writ but I think it would be fun also to make something "real" out of the halloween candy. Any ideas?
posted by pipti to Food & Drink (35 answers total) 19 users marked this as a favorite
Momofuku's Compost Cookies. Which I have made with all kinds of random stuff and they are always good, but they are best with potato chips as part of the mix.
posted by Lyn Never at 10:10 AM on October 25, 2015 [15 favorites]

I don't see sweet stew, but here are 50 Recipes Using Leftover Halloween Candy.
posted by cecic at 10:10 AM on October 25, 2015 [1 favorite]

Momofuku Milk Bar compost cookies are meant for post-Halloween baking. It's easily Googleable and so very good.

And on edit there are different versions. This is the one I use.
posted by daikaisho at 10:10 AM on October 25, 2015 [1 favorite]

(I have no idea why there's a pie crust recipe on that page. It doesn't have anything to do with the cookies.)
posted by Lyn Never at 10:11 AM on October 25, 2015 [2 favorites]

Looks like that version has you make the crust and then put it in, which is altogether too fussy. I am more of a pretzels and potato chips baker. Then again the only variation that didn't work was bacon...
posted by daikaisho at 10:17 AM on October 25, 2015

If your son is of the right age he might enjoy making something where he can really get his hands dirty. You could make a simple bread dough, get him to knead it (fun), watch it rise (cool and sciencey), then wrap the dough around the candy and bake it. Or you could make pancakes (he gets to stir/eat pancake batter) and scatter the candy on the pancakes as they cook.
posted by DrRotcod at 10:27 AM on October 25, 2015

There's this ice cream and candy cake. But I think the candy stew recipe is just as "real," tbh.
posted by jeweled accumulation at 10:40 AM on October 25, 2015 [1 favorite]

I can't recall a "sweet stew" recipe off the top of my head, but if the liquid aspect is a key part of his fixation, why not proceed with the pulse-in-a-food-processor idea and put the crumbled up candy into a base of cold light cream? (Or heavy cream, may as well just go for it.) then you could serve it over slices of shortcake or poundcake, sort of like the sausage gravy over biscuits of the dessert world.
posted by usonian at 10:52 AM on October 25, 2015 [9 favorites]

Actually, "Sweet Stew" sounds kind of awesome; since it's ground-up candy added to peanut butter, I'm envisioning it as a kind of spread. I'd give it a try (in small quantities first, to test) and spread it on toast or something, to see what you both think. (Hel,l I may even try it myself!)

And there are tons of other "using up Halloween candy" options - there's a bakery here in New York that is even selling "Halloween candy croissants," where they swap out the chocolate in a chocolate croissant with different chocolate bars instead. Granted, they're using made-from-scratch croissant dough, but you probably could try the concept with a couple tubes of crescent rolls and "fun size" candy bars.

Or there's these:

Halloween Candy Bark

homemade "Blizzard"-style milkshakes with crushed up candy

Add them to Rice Krispy treats

combine them into insane brownies

And I'm just going to leave this link roundup here because it is making me want to bake something fierce and I don't have any candy in the house right now and can't go get it becuase I've got a sprained ankle. Make something on my behalf.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 10:56 AM on October 25, 2015 [3 favorites]

What's known here as "fridge cake" would likely take a lot of candy in the mix, either ground in a food processor or crushed/chopped. I couldn't find a recipe that wasn't metric, but this guide talks about the different components as well as a giving a metric recipe (though a semi-fancy version; there are also less fancy versions), so there might be enough there to start experimenting from. Also it's super easy to make!
posted by terretu at 11:00 AM on October 25, 2015

You could adapt a fridge cake recipe, maybe? Just add a few handfuls of crunched up/blitzed sweets to the chocolate mixture in place of boring old raisins and scatter the balance over the top.
posted by HandfulOfDust at 11:01 AM on October 25, 2015

Averie Cooks does a whole bunch of these - check out her recipes for ideas.
posted by Ms Vegetable at 11:07 AM on October 25, 2015

If he really wanted a soup or stew, you could use a base of pudding, custard, or vaniljsås .
posted by Lyn Never at 11:33 AM on October 25, 2015 [1 favorite]

Snickers bar pie, or any variation. I have seen one with smaller chunks of a few different candies mixed in the filling and then bigger pieces artfully arranged on top.

You can also make the classic chocolate chip cookie recipe but put in small bits of any candy bar you like. Do a basic batch of dough and divide it into smaller sections and have your kid mix in the different candies, one per section, and then you have all sorts of different flavor cookies.
posted by Mizu at 11:49 AM on October 25, 2015

For something pretty easy, I bet you could substitute some or all of the toppings (other than the condensed milk) in magic bars with chopped up Halloween candy.
posted by DingoMutt at 11:50 AM on October 25, 2015

I just made a kick ass milkshake with pre-Halloween candy.
posted by Emperor SnooKloze at 12:17 PM on October 25, 2015 [3 favorites]

Anything chocolate can be chopped up small (or added whole, if it's something like M&Ms) to a cookie base. Something like oatmeal might be better since it's slightly less sweet to begin with. Or you can make cupcakes and add a tiny chocolate bar piece to the middle. It might melt a bit, I don't know, or just use it as a topping.

Something like Skittles would be harder.
posted by AwfulWaffle at 12:21 PM on October 25, 2015

The food processor is going to be a hot mess...instead freeze the chocolate bars and m&ms, etc, unwrapped, inside of 2(!) Ziploc bags. Bash with a hammer until smashed and add to brownie batter.
posted by sexyrobot at 1:09 PM on October 25, 2015 [2 favorites]

This isn't a recipe where the candy is incorporated into the cooking process (though I'm 100% with sexyrobot, that's a job for brownie batter.) But I think using the candy decoratively, a la gingerbread houses, but with a Halloween theme, could be awesome fun? Like a haunted village; candy corn on the eves of houses, skittles traffic lights, snickers tombstones, crushed candies in peanut butter forming the stony ground for a graveyard, etc.
posted by kapers at 1:40 PM on October 25, 2015 [2 favorites]

Oh! Follow up idea on the "candy bits in liquid" approach that incorporates peanut butter: maybe heat up and mix the peanut butter in coconut milk, then chill it back down. (Caveat: no idea how it will behave when chilled.) Like a Thai curry made with candy instead of savory meat and vegetables.
posted by usonian at 3:45 PM on October 25, 2015 [1 favorite]

Not what you asked, but possibly useful: candy science experiments.
posted by Jane Austen at 5:19 PM on October 25, 2015


Have him think about what candies will taste best together. A basic chocolate chip cookie recipe can accommodate the candy bars and pretzels. A peanut butter cookies recipe would pair nicely with anything chocolate. Use a sugar cookie recipe for suckers and other hard candies. Roll out your sugar cookies and cut into shapes, cutting circles or squares out of the middle. Fill the middle with broken hard candy. It will melt and turn into candy glass. You can use sweeties and pixie sticks as sprinkles.
posted by myselfasme at 5:45 PM on October 25, 2015 [1 favorite]

I have not tried it, but supposedly mixing melted candy corn with peanut butter gets you something near the inside of a Butterfinger: Homemade Butterfingers made with CANDY CORNS! It sounds like his idea of mixing halloween candy with peanut butter is on the right track.
posted by ndfine at 7:37 PM on October 25, 2015

My fiancé recently googled "Skittles and butter" for ... some reason. He found this pretty delicious looking recipe, which is a really nice video tutorial on YouTube, for a Skittles poke cake with Skittles buttercream.
posted by topophilia at 7:40 PM on October 25, 2015

Response by poster: Thanks everyone! These all look perfectly sickening. (I do not care for Halloween candy.) But he will be thrilled at all the options. Will report back after Saturday!
posted by pipti at 7:49 AM on October 26, 2015 [1 favorite]

Just remembered that in the Ben & Jerry's ice cream cookbook there's a couple random recipes for "[Candy type] ice cream", which is nothing more than sweet cream ice cream base with chopped-up whatevers thrown in during the last two minutes of the churning process. If you have an ice cream maker, you could do precisely this - hell, go all-out and use chopped up bits of everything and call it "Trick or Treat Bag" flavor.

(I have an ice cream maker, actually....Hmm.)
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 8:31 AM on October 26, 2015 [1 favorite]

There's a thing called snickers salad that has a lot of variants listed online. I imagine any fun size candy bar would be interchangeable.
posted by fingersandtoes at 8:37 AM on October 26, 2015

There's also a famous recipe for milky way cake. I haven't tried it but I remember reading that it was amazing.
posted by fingersandtoes at 8:50 AM on October 26, 2015 [1 favorite]

There's a Mennonite recipe for Plumi Moos (Plum Mousse) which is a sweet dessert soup. Thick and creamy texture. It could be a good candidate for swapping grapes and apricots with candies and gummies.
posted by Hardcore Poser at 7:39 AM on November 1, 2015

OP, I'm curious whether you tried any of these and how they worked; I'm about to head out and stock up on cheap leftover candy, but will then be cooped up inside for a while, so I'm eager to try things out.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 8:26 AM on November 1, 2015

I have not tried this myself, but a friend tells me that most gummi candy like gummi bears and Swedish fish will melt in a microwave and can be poured into new molds, rolled in sprinkles, etc.
posted by Slarty Bartfast at 11:17 AM on November 1, 2015

You can use Jolly Ranchers or other hard candy (even sugar free varieties) to make cotton candy (but you'll have to buy a cotton candy maker.)
posted by larrybob at 3:54 PM on November 2, 2015

Just as the Empress writes, we have made ice cream with lots of different candies, using the Sweet Cream Base recipe from the B&J's cookbook. Paraphrased:
Chop your candy into small pieces, maybe a cup or a cup and a half all together. Put the pieces in your lidded ice cream tub and stick that in the freezer. (It's not good for the ice cream to get dumped into a warm or room-temperature bowl.)

Whisk two eggs, a lot.
Sift in 3/4 cup of white sugar, very gradually. Whisk some more.
Add 2 cups heavy cream (or whipping cream) plus one cup of milk. Stir to blend
Freeze this in your ice cream maker. When it's thick but not quite done dump in the candy.
That's it!

Add 2 tsp. of good vanilla extract if you want. We often dump in heath bars, a packet of Starbucks Via instant coffee, and maybe some cocoa powder for Coffee Heath Bar Crunch -- but plain ice cream with cut up candy is pretty awesome.

My solemn advice to you is to fill your freezer with many containers of different varieties, then eat them gradually over the weeks ahead to get nicely padded for winter. :7)
posted by wenestvedt at 6:45 AM on November 5, 2015

Doesn't African peanut stew have a lot of warm flavors? You would need to dump the curry power, onions, and probably the rice… But if you are adventurous, maybe you make a cream base, add some of the nutty candies, and then put in some cinnamon and ginger and see what you get. It would probably set into a plank if you didn't eat it promptly, but would make an awesome warm dessert (if the damn weather ever gets properly November-cold).

Maybe you could serve this after pancakes or "dessert pizzas," for a nice, hyperglycemic dinner party? (I would require some effort beforehand, like raking leaves or something.)

Alternately, maybe you could chop and melt some candy in a saucepan, and then dip small things into the resulting sauce as you would with a fondue (for immediate eating)...or as a coating (for later desserts/gifting), like Nilla Wafers, Rice Krispie treats, dried fruits, etc.
posted by wenestvedt at 6:53 AM on November 5, 2015

Response by poster: Thanks everyone! We ended up just eating the candy at top speed. Harrumph. I am going to make compost cookies with him, as well as ice cream and a bunch of other things on this list, so thanks for all the suggestions!
posted by pipti at 10:33 AM on December 2, 2015 [1 favorite]

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