Turn leftover Halloween candy into spooktacular treats and drinks

Posted Wednesday, Oct. 30, 2013  comments  Print Reprints
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Halloween week! Oct. 24: Halloween-themed TV shows Oct. 25: Where to find favorite candies of yesteryear Oct. 26: DIY party and home decorations Sunday: Readers show us their inner villains Monday: Last-minute, no-carve pumpkin creations Tuesday: How much do you know about black cats? Today: Tricked-out treats using leftover candy Thursday: Our annual amazing Halloween maze
More information Reminder: Show your black cat love! Do you have a pet black cat that you adore? In honor of Halloween, post his or her picture on Instagram or tweet it to @StarTelegram using the hashtag #blackcatFW by Thursday, Oct. 31. We’ll put photos into a gallery, and two lucky readers will be chosen at random to win Halloween picture frames.
Candy corn peanut butter bars Makes 16 bars 3 cups candy corn 1 1/2 cups smooth peanut butter (not natural variety) 12 ounces chocolate candy coating 1. Line an 8-by-8-inch pan with foil and spray the foil with nonstick cooking spray. 2. Place the candy corn in a large microwave-safe bowl. Microwave for 1 minute, to help the mix melt evenly. Continue to microwave the corn in 30-second increments, stirring after every 30 seconds to prevent overheating. Cook the candy corn until it is completely melted and smooth. Avoid overheating it, which will cause it to stiffen up. 3. Add the peanut butter to the melted candy corn and stir until completely incorporated. If you have trouble combining them, microwave the candy (10-15 seconds at a time) until it’s warm enough to be easily mixed. 4. Scrape the mix into the prepared pan, smoothing it into an even layer. While the mix is still warm and using a knife or pizza cutter, score it into small bars, 1 inch across and 4 inches long to yield about 16 small bars. The bars can be made larger or smaller as desired. Let the mix cool completely. 5. Once cool, break or cut the bars apart along the scored lines. Melt the candy coating in a microwave-safe bowl, stirring frequently until the mix is melted and smooth. Use forks or dipping tools to cover the bars completely in the coating. Once dipped, hold the bar over the bowl to let the excess coating drip back into the bowl. Place the bar on a parchment-lined baking sheet and repeat until all of the bars have been dipped. Let them harden at room temperature or in the refrigerator before serving. Note: When served at room temperature, the bars have a slight chew to them, but when refrigerated they’re crispier and crunchier. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 1 month. Nutritional analysis per bar: 407 calories, 19 grams fat, 59 grams carbohydrates, 7 grams protein, no cholesterol, 234 milligrams sodium, 1 gram dietary fiber, 39 percent of calories from fat. — J. Rae’s
Stained glass cookies Makes 3 dozen 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter 1/2 cup sugar 1/4 cup brown sugar 1 tablespoon molasses 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract 1 egg 2 cups flour 1/4 teaspoon salt 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg 1/8 teaspoon cloves 3/4 teaspoon baking powder 30-40 hard candies (such as Life Savers), preferably in several flavors/colors 1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or Silpat. 2. In a large bowl, use an electric mixer to cream together butter and sugars until fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add molasses and vanilla extract and continue to mix until incorporated. Add egg and mix until light and smooth, about 1 minute on medium speed. 3. Sift together flour, salt, spices and baking powder. Fold dry ingredients into wet mixture. Use the electric mixer to blend just enough to incorporate the flour to form the dough. Divide the dough in half and flatten into two disks. Wrap disks in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour or up to 2 days. 4. Remove wrappers on candies and separate by color into plastic bags. Use a mallet to crush the candies. 5. Roll the dough to 1/4-inch thickness using just enough extra flour to prevent the dough from sticking. Use cookie cutters to cut dough into desired shapes. Transfer cookies to prepared baking sheets, leaving about 1 inch between the cookies. Using a smaller cookie cutter or a knife, cut shapes in the centers of cookies. 6. Use a spoon to sprinkle the crushed candy into the hollowed-out centers of the cookies, filling to the edges. Try to keep the candy within the centers. Any candy specks that fall on the cookie will color the cookie. 7. Bake 9-10 minutes, or until crushed candies are melted and bubbling and the cookies just barely browned. Remove from the oven and allow cookies to cool on pans for at least 10 minutes. (Otherwise, the candy centers may separate from the dough.) After 10 minutes, transfer to a wire rack until cooled completely. Store in an airtight container. Nutritional analysis per cookie: 116 calories, 3 grams fat, 23 grams carbohydrates, 1 gram protein, 13 milligrams cholesterol, 54 milligrams sodium, trace dietary fiber, 31 percent of calories from fat. — J. Rae’s, 935 Foch St., Fort Worth, 817-332-0090, www.jraes.com
“Exploding” chocolate bark Serves 10-12 10 ounces Hershey’s bars, chopped or broken into pieces 2 tablespoons butter (1/4 stick) 1 cup Pop Rocks candy (any flavor) 1/2 cup Rice Krispies cereal, crushed 1. Line a baking sheet with a silicone baking mat or waxed paper; set aside. 2. Place chocolate and butter in a microwave-safe bowl and heat in the microwave, stirring every 30 seconds until smooth. 3. Fold Pop Rocks and cereal into chocolate mixture until evenly combined. Spread onto baking sheet in an even layer. 4. Let the chocolate sit at room temperature until set, about 1 to 2 hours. Break into pieces to serve. Nutritional analysis per serving, based on 10: 266 calories, 11 grams fat, 41 grams carbohydrates, 2 grams protein, 13 milligrams cholesterol, 72 milligrams sodium, 1 gram dietary fiber, 36 percent of calories from fat. — J. Rae’s
Halloween baklava Makes 16 servings Layers: 32 sheets phyllo dough, 14 by 18 inches each 3 cups melted butter (used to coat layers of phyllo sheets) Filling: 3 cups walnuts or your favorite mix of nuts 1 cup of your favorite chocolate candy Syrup: 4 cups sugar 2 cups water 1 teaspoon rose water or orange blossom water Juice of 1 lemon 1. The day before, defrost the phyllo dough in the refrigerator. 2. Before beginning, bring the phyllo dough to room temperature by taking it out of the refrigerator, but do not open the package until the filling has been prepared and you’re ready to assemble. After opening the package, keep unused phyllo dough moist and fresh by covering it with a piece of waxed paper and a cool, damp towel. 3. Combine the nuts and candy in a food processor and blend until coarsely chopped. 4. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. 5. To assemble, take 2 sheets of phyllo and lightly brush the entire surface with melted butter. Sprinkle 1/4 cup of filling over the layer. Repeat this process 3 more times. Drip melted butter over the final layer of nuts. Next, roll up the phyllo dough, placing the seam side down. Cut the roll into equal pieces. Repeat the above until you have 4 rolls. 6. Place the pieces on a baking sheet, leaving an inch between each piece. (This allows the air to circulate.) Drizzle each piece with more melted butter. Place in the oven and bake for 40 minutes. 7. After 40 minutes, raise the heat to 400 degrees and bake for an additional 10 minutes or until the baklava turns golden in color. Cool to room temperature. 8. Combine the sugar, water and rose or orange blossom water in a pot. Bring the mixture to a boil and stir until the sugar dissolves. Reduce the heat and add the lemon juice. Simmer for 15 minutes. Finally, pour the hot syrup over the baklava. Serve after the syrup has cooled. Garnish with additional melted holiday chocolate or shaved chocolate curls. Nutritional analysis per serving: 734 calories, 52 grams fat, 67 grams carbohydrates, 8 grams protein, 93 milligrams cholesterol, 422 milligrams sodium, 2 grams dietary fiber, 61 percent of calories from fat. — Chadra Mezza & Grill, 1622 Park Place Ave., Fort Worth, 817-924-2372, www.chadramezza.com
Cookies ’n’ creme truffles Makes 12-15 truffles 2 cups crushed Oreo crumbs 6 ounces cream cheese, softened 10-15 fun-sized Cookies ’N’ Creme Hershey’s bars or kisses, unwrapped 1 package candy melts 1. In a medium-sized bowl, combine Oreo crumbs and softened cream cheese until well mixed. Use a small scoop, about tablespoon-sized, to form the mixture into balls. Place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. 2. Place unwrapped candy kiss or a small portion of the Hershey’s bar in the center of each ball. Roll the ball in your hands to re-form into a ball. 3. Return to baking sheet and refrigerate for 30 minutes to 1 hour, or until firm. 4. Melt candy melts in a microwave-safe bowl according to package directions. Stir until smooth liquid forms. 5. Using a skewer, dip each ball into the chocolate melt mixture, letting extra chocolate fall off as needed. Place each dipped truffle on baking sheet Note: In the last step, sprinkles or other chopped candies can be added to decorate the ball before the chocolate firms. Chill and serve in mini baking cups. Nutritional analysis per serving, based on 12: 319 calories, 18 grams fat, 36 grams carbohydrates, 3 grams protein, 19 milligrams cholesterol, 318 milligrams sodium, 1 gram dietary fiber, 51 percent of calories from fat. — Sugar and Frosting, 126 Taylor St., Keller, 817-562-2500, www.sugarandfrosting.com
Dulce de leche cupcakes Makes 6 cupcakes 6 vanilla cupcakes 20 caramel candies, unwrapped (additional caramels for garnish) 2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon heavy cream 1/4 teaspoon sea salt 1 1/2 cups vanilla buttercream icing 1. Bake 6 vanilla cupcakes with your favorite recipe or box mix. Allow to cool completely before coring the centers. 2. Core cupcakes with a cupcake corer or small paring knife, removing about 1/2 to 3/4 inch of the center, depending on the size of the cupcakes. 3. Place caramels, cream and salt in a microwave-safe bowl. Heat in the microwave for 30 seconds on high power. Remove and stir until melted. Microwave at additional 10-second increments as needed until the candies are fully melted, stirring each time to ensure that certain areas of the mix don’t overheat and harden. 4. Spoon melted candy mixture into the center of each cupcake until full. 5. Once the mixture has cooled, top each cupcake with buttercream icing. To garnish, drizzle remaining caramel mixture over each cupcake or chop remaining caramel candies and sprinkle on top. Nutritional analysis per cupcake: 695 calories, 28 grams fat, 11 grams carbohydrates, 4 grams protein, 45 milligrams cholesterol, 526 milligrams sodium, 1 gram dietary fiber, 35 percent of calories from fat. — Sugar and Frosting, 126 Taylor St., Keller, 817-562-2500, www.sugarandfrosting.com
Salted caramel Rolo popcorn balls Makes 6 balls 20 Rolo candies, unwrapped 1 tablespoon heavy cream 1/4 teaspoon sea salt 1 cup caramel-flavored popcorn 1. Place Rolo candies, cream and salt in a microwave-safe bowl and microwave for 30 seconds on high power. Remove from microwave and stir until melted. If needed, microwave in 10-second increments until the candy mixture is fully melted and smooth. 2. Stir caramel-flavored popcorn into the mixture until the popcorn is well coated and sticky. 3. Using an ice cream scoop, form the mixture into 6 equal-sized balls. 4. Place the popcorn balls on a parchment-lined baking sheet and transfer to refrigerator. Refrigerate until firm. Note: If you want to serve popcorn balls on a candy stick, do this in the final step as you transfer from bowl to baking sheet. Skewer the stick approximately halfway through to the center of each ball. Nutritional analysis per ball: 166 calories, 9 grams fat, 19 grams carbohydrates, 2 grams protein, 10 milligrams cholesterol, 113 milligrams sodium, 1 gram dietary fiber, 49 percent of calories from fat. — Sugar and Frosting
Tillman’s s’mores martini Makes 1 drink 1 ounce UV Whipped Vodka 1 ounce Baileys Irish Creme 1 ounce Dorda Double Chocolate Liqueur 1 cinnamon stick 2 mini Hershey’s chocolate bars 1/4 graham cracker sheet 1. In a martini shaker, add in each liqueur and the cinnamon stick. Shake and strain. 2. Chop 1 of the chocolate bars into small pieces and crush the graham cracker into fine crumbs, mixing the two together when finished. Rim a lightly wetted martini glass for a chocolate-graham garnish. 3. Fill the glass with the drink. Shave chocolate curls from the second Hershey’s bar for garnish. Serve chilled. Nutritional analysis per drink: 300 calories, 9 grams fat, 15 grams carbohydrates, 2 grams protein, 4 milligrams cholesterol, 48 milligrams sodium, trace dietary fiber, 53 percent of calories from fat. — Tillman’s Roadhouse
Taffy tini Makes 1 drink 2-3 mini AirHeads taffies 2 teaspoons white granulated sugar 2 tablespoons water 1 1/2 ounces 3 Olives Vodka, Smarties flavor 3/4 ounce Pinnacle Whipped Vodka 1. Melt AirHeads taffies for 30 seconds in a microwave-safe glass, adding white sugar and water to help the candy melt down into a simple syrup mixture. Stir until all ingredients are dissolved, and microwave for 10 seconds or so, if needed. 2. Measure 1 ounce of simple syrup and add to a martini shaker. Add the two vodkas. 3. Shake and strain into a martini glass or serve on the rocks. Note: Add a leftover gumball or jawbreaker candy for a fun garnish. Nutritional analysis per drink: 288 calories, no fat, 35 grams carbohydrates, no protein, no cholesterol, 80 milligrams sodium, no dietary fiber, 0 percent of calories from fat. — Tillman’s Roadhouse, 2933 Crockett St., Fort Worth, 817-850-9255, www.tillmansroadhouse.com
Mali-boo martini Makes 1 drink 2-3 orange Pixy Stix 1 1/2 ounces Malibu coconut rum 1 ounce black raspberry liqueur Splash of Sprite soda 1. Open 1 of the Pixy Stix and pour onto a smooth, dry surface. Rim a lightly-wetted martini glass in the candy powder. 2. Carefully pour both of the liqueurs in the rimmed glass, adding in half of the second Pixy Stix candy. Mix well. Add remaining Pixy Stix dust for a sweeter drink. 3. Chill and serve with a splash of Sprite for a fizzy finish. Nutritional analysis per drink: 266 calories, no fat, 26 grams carbohydrates, no protein, no cholesterol, 3 milligrams sodium, no dietary fiber, 0 percent of calories from fat. — M Lounge
Count Choco-tini Makes 1 drink 4 peanut butter cups 1/2 cup water 1/4 cup white sugar 1 ounce chocolate vodka 1 ounce cream or half-and-half 1 ounce Baileys Irish Cream 1. Melt 2 of the peanut butter cups into a small saucepan, slowly adding in the water and sugar. You may need to add more water and sugar until you reach a syruplike consistency. 2. Once the syrup has cooled down a bit, but is still in liquid form, mix with the chocolate vodka, cream and Baileys Irish Cream in a shaker with ice. 3. Chill and serve with the remaining peanut butter cups for garnish. Nutritional analysis per drink: 505 calories, 16 grams fat, 66 grams carbohydrates, 3 grams protein, 26 milligrams cholesterol, 89 milligrams sodium, 1 gram dietary fiber, 35 percent of calories from fat. — M Lounge
Make-your-own cherry flavored vodka Makes 1 drink 10 ounces plain vodka 4 cherry-flavored Tootsie Pops 1. Pour vodka into a Mason jar. 2. Unwrap the Tootsie Pops, removing the sticks by simply pulling out or cutting at the base of the pop. Place them in the jar with the vodka. 3. Place the jar in a cool place overnight. 4. The next day, strain the vodka and refrigerate or freeze until ready to serve. Note: The Tootsie Pops can be substituted for any flavored candies, including Runts or Skittles. The longer the candies are left in the vodka, the more pronounced the fruit flavor will be, but longer than 48 hours is not recommended. Nutritional analysis per drink: 75 calories, no fat, 2 grams carbohydrates, no protein, no cholesterol, trace sodium, no dietary fiber, 0 percent of calories from fat. — M Lounge, 835 Foch St., Fort Worth, 817-850-9900, www.mfortworth.com

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Some families trash them, some freeze them, and some feed them to their little ones, one by one until the next sugar-coated holiday arrives. But come Friday, keeping all those treats your children tricked for on Halloween night will become a trick of its own.

We asked restaurants, bars, and bakeries around town for their most creative ways to use leftover candy. Treat yourself to a Mali-boo martini or take your hard candies into the Christmas season with stained glass cookies.

These food and drink recipes let you get creative with leftover confections.

J. Rae’s Bakery

Culinologist Chris Hamilton and Mandy Hamilton, co-owners

They’ve got sweetness down to a science at J. Rae’s Bakery, where culinologist Chris Hamilton, 34, and his wife, Mandy Hamilton, 33, bake up some of the most creative cookies and cupcakes in town. The couple have two children of their own, and they know the problem of Halloween leftovers all too well.

Chris said he has never been a fan of candy corn, but that changed when he tried these easy candy corn peanut butter bars that taste like Butterfingers.

Mandy likes shocking friends and family with what she calls an “unassuming chocolate bark” with Pop Rocks that add explosive bite to chocolate as it melts in the mouth.

The kids get involved in baking, too, with stained glass cookies that are easy to make and look pretty in your kitchen. Simply swap out different cookie-cutter shapes and hard-candy colors to fit with the holiday season.

Tillman’s Roadhouse

Kristen Swanhart and Carrie Lucio-Tipps, assistant managers/bartenders

They found Food Network fame for their signature s’mores dessert, and now the duo has made it drinkable. The campfire classic puts boring Hershey’s bars to good use in a chilled Tillman’s s’mores martini.

The bartenders also had fun concocting a taffy tini that gets playful with an AirHeads simple syrup and a gumball garnish.

Sugar and Frosting

Melody Fitzgerald, pastry chef

The queen of cakes at Sugar and Frosting, Melody Fitzgerald, 25, turns old-fashioned caramel candies into gooey fall desserts. Warm up to a scrumptious dulce de leche cupcake that’s caramelized to its core or have a ball with her other well-known specialty, popcorn balls.

Fitzgerald created these salted caramel Rolo popcorn balls, and they put her test kitchen in a craze.

If caramel doesn’t do it for you, try her cookies’n’creme truffles for an Oreo crunch that comes with a smooth white chocolate finish.

M Lounge

Katy Cox, general manager

Halloween is a kid-centric holiday, so squeezing in some itsy-bitsy ’tini time for yourself is a must. M Lounge general manger Katy Cox is the creative mind behind these grown-up martini treats.

Fruity-drink lovers will love the Mali-boo martini, which gets its sweetness from Pixy Stix dust, whereas chocoholics will be saying “I vant to drink your chocolate!” after tasting the Count Chocotini.

And with gift-giving season coming up, why not plan ahead with her DIY recipe for a cherry vodka that lets you mix and present in the same jar — just tie on a festive bow and deliver.

Chadra Mezza & Grill

Nehme Elbitar, chef and owner

Chadra Mezza is all about fusion, blending Lebanese and American culinary traditions to offer dishes you can’t find anywhere else.

For Halloween, the Elbitars get creative with the Lebanese version of American apple pie, baklava. The sweet, flaky pastry is usually layered with caramelized sugars and toasted walnuts, but this recipe puts those countless candy bars to good use in the most versatile way.

Collect a cup of Milky Ways for a caramel-nougat dream, Almond Joys for a sweet coconut twist, or whatever you’ve got left at the bottom of the bag. You can’t go wrong with chocolate.

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