Food & Drink

Creative uses for leftover Halloween candy

Halloween Baklava by Chadra Mezza & Grill
Halloween Baklava by Chadra Mezza & Grill Star-Telegram

Another Halloween has rolled around, and that means another year of figuring out what do with all that leftover candy. (Besides, of course, eating it by the handful.)

To help you get longer-lasting enjoyment from your Halloween haul, we combed through our Life & Arts archives and dug out some of our favorite recipes and crafts to make using leftover candy.

Halloween baklava

Makes 16 servings

For the layers:

  • 32 sheets phyllo dough, 14 by 18 inches each
  • 3 cups melted butter

For the filling:

  • 3 cups walnuts or your favorite mix of nuts
  • 1 cup of your favorite chocolate candy

For the 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. 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.

2. Combine the nuts and candy in a food processor and blend until coarsely chopped.

3. Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

4. To assemble, take 2 sheets of phyllo and lightly brush 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. Roll up the phyllo dough, placing the seam side down. Cut the roll into equal pieces. Repeat until you have 4 rolls.

5. Place the pieces on a baking sheet, leaving an inch between each (this allows the air to circulate). Drizzle each piece with more melted butter. Bake for 40 minutes. Raise heat to 400 degrees and bake for an additional 10 minutes or until the baklava turns golden. Cool to room temperature.

6. Combine sugar, water and rose or orange blossom water in a pot. Bring the mixture to a boil and stir until the sugar dissolves. Reduce heat and add lemon juice. Simmer for 15 minutes. Pour 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;

Taffy tini

Makes 1 drink

  • 2-3 mini Airheads taffies
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 1  1/2 ounces Three Olives Vodka Tartz flavor
  • 3/4 ounce Pinnacle Whipped Vodka

1. Melt Airheads taffies for 30 seconds in a microwave-safe glass, adding 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 vodkas. 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, 324 W. Seventh St., Dallas, 214-942-0988;

Candy corn centerpiece

Your home can have an autumn ambiance in an instant with a foyer arrangement or table centerpiece using candy corn.

  • Some branchy silk or fresh flowers on a tall stalk
  • 3- to 5-inch water tubes, if using fresh flowers
  • A tall circular or square glass vase (1 to 2 feet tall and 4 to 6 inches in diameter)
  • Extra branches collected from your yard
  • 3 to 6 bags of candy corn, depending on vase size

1. If you are using fresh gladiolas or any type of tall fresh flower or branch, hydrate them to last as long as they can using the water tubes. These will be hidden by the candy corn.

2. Place flowers in the vase. (I generally size flowers or branches two to three times the height of the vase.) Add a few branches to thicken the arrangement and add depth.

3. Back-fill the vase with candy corn by trimming a corner of the candy bag and pouring contents carefully into the top of the vase. Fill to the top, shaking the vase a little so the candy settles in.

Place on a foyer entrance table to welcome guests or use as a tall centerpiece on a buffet or serving table.

Clare Miers, Special to the Star-Telegram

“Exploding” chocolate bark

Serves 10-12

  • 10 ounces Hershey’s bars, chopped or broken into pieces
  • 2 tablespoons ( 1/4 stick) butter
  • 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. Let 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, 935 Foch St., Fort Worth, 817-332-0090;