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Feature Fri Nov 02 2007
The day after Halloween is always grim. The streets in my neighborhood are littered with the remnants of the foot traffic from the night before, with chocolate bar wrappers and forgotten parts of costumes dotting the sidewalks and lawns. Partially blackened and molding carved pumpkins sit on doorsteps, their one-night job done.
The worst part of this day, however, is figuring out how to use up leftover candy. Even the most seasoned sweet tooth can’t take eating four pounds of the stuff before it becomes a gooey, dusty mess sitting on a pantry shelf. Here’s where the Drive-Thru staff comes in: several of us have contributed recipes for transforming your candy into dessert greatness.
Staffer Dana Currier contributed a recipe for Milky Way Cake, explaining that "every year my mom buys a bag or two of junior-sized Milky Way bars, hoping that at the end of the night, there are still enough left at the bottom of the trick-or-treat bowl to make this cake." I could see myself cozying up to this glorious treat with a big glass of skim milk and a fork, whispering "You can scream, but no one's going to hear you." Yum.
Milky Way Cake
6 regular-size or 12 junior-sized Milky Way bars
1 cup butter, divided
2 cups sugar
2 1/2 cups sifted flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/4 cups buttermilk
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup chopped walnuts.
Combine Milky Way bars and 1/2 cup of butter in saucepan and melt. In separate bowl, cream 1/2 cup butter and sugar with electric mixer. Add eggs one at a time. Beat well after each. Add flour and baking soda alternately with milk. Stir until smooth. Add candy mixture and mix Well. Stir in vanilla and nuts. Spray tube pan with Pam and dust with flour. Pour mixture into tube pan. Bake at 350° for one hour and 10 minutes. (Recipe originally authored by Laura DiMinno.)
Staffer Bobbi Bowers has two recipes that use up candy corn, which is reportedly the healthiest Halloween candy to eat. However, I don't think Chocolate Candy Corn Truffles or Candy Bar Cupcakes would make a great post-workout snack.
Chocolate Candy Corn Truffles
18 ounces bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
1 cup whipping cream
1 1/2 tablespoons Grand Marnier
1/4 cup orange marmalade
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
64 candy corns
Line an 8" x 8" baking pan with a 12" x 17" sheet of foil or waxed paper. Melt chocolate, cream, Grand Marnier, and marmalade in a double boiler until chocolate is melted. Scrape chocolate mixture into prepared pan, smoothing top. Chill until firm, at least 2 1/2 hours. Put cocoa powder in a shallow bowl. Remove chocolate mixture from pan. With a long, sharp knife, cut chocolate mixture into 64 squares, each about 3/4 inches wide. Roll squares in cocoa powder to coat. Gently press a candy corn into the top of each truffle. Store between sheets of waxed paper in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.
Candy Bar Cupcakes
9 fun-size or 21 mini Milky Way bars
1/2 cup butter
2 cups sugar
1 cup shortening
3 large eggs
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups buttermilk
1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 container chocolate frosting (or, you can always make your own)
Garnishes: additional Milky Way bars, candy corn
Preheat oven to 350°. Melt candy bars and butter in a heavy saucepan over low heat about 5 minutes, stirring until smooth. Set aside. Beat sugar and shortening at medium speed with an electric mixer about 3 minutes or until well blended. Add eggs, one at a time, beating just until blended after each addition. Combine flour and salt. Stir together buttermilk and baking soda. Gradually add flour mixture to sugar mixture, alternately with buttermilk mixture, beginning and ending with flour mixture. Beat at low speed just until blended after each addition. Stir in melted candy bar mixture and vanilla. Place 36 paper baking cups in muffin pans; spoon batter evenly into paper baking cups, filling two-thirds full. Bake at 350° for 18 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Remove cupcakes from pan, and let cool completely on wire racks. Spread cupcakes evenly with frosting. Garnish with candy.
If baking with your leftover candy doesn't sound thrilling, staffer Mandy Burrell recommends the following:
• If you were lucky enough to score Halloween-themed Peeps, take them (along with leftover chocolate bars) to work and turn them into a fun afternoon break for you and your coworkers. Huddle around the microwave and nuke a Peep. It only takes about 15 seconds, but there's something cleansing about watching a brown-colored marshmallow spider double in size. Have some graham crackers and chocolate on hand to make improvised s'mores.
• Chop candy bars up and sprinkle on top of your morning cappuccino for a cheap-o version of those souped-up coffee drinks.
• Donate to a local food pantry or nursing home (check beforehand to make sure that they accept candy)
• Use the ever-popular office candy jar; as you know, food vanishing acts happen all the time in offices. It's there, then it's gone.
• If you have leftover hard candy, you can unwrap it all and toss it in a Ziploc bag, then whack it good with a rolling pin. Whip up a batch or two of your favorite butter cookie dough, then roll it out and sprinkle liberally with the crushed candy to make mosaic cookies. If you want to be all artistic about it, separate the colors before whacking so you can play around with making shapes and mixing colors.
• Melt down your solid chocolate bars into a fondue for fruit.
The shelf life of candy, if stored properly, can last several months. Throwing your chocolate in the freezer or stowing away your lollipops in a cool, dark corner of your cupboard will save flavor and prevent melting. It will also be a nice discovery when you're raiding your cabinets looking for snacks.
Before your candy supply gets whittled down to a roll of Smarties and a coupon for a discounted oil change, make a plan to turn your loot into something even tastier.