As a child, not only did Halloween present the chance for me to dress up as someone else, it also brought out my inner brat. I would literally throw back any treats that were “the bad stuff,” for example: candy corn, fruit of any kind and a toothbrush. As a full time college student I find that I have unfortunately come to the inevitable conclusion: I am too old for trick-or-treating.
Though I am going to miss running from door to door in a homemade costume, it does not mean I can no longer celebrate Halloween, specifically the candy aspects of the holiday — and I’m not alone. According to the National Retail Federation’s 2012 Halloween consumer spending survey, 170 million Americans are estimated to celebrate Halloween this year, the most predicted in the last decade, and the total spending on decorations, costumes and candy is estimated to reach $8 billion.
As stated in “Halloween: An American Holiday, an American History” by Lesley Pratt Bannantyne, trick-or-treating was first documented in Wellesley, Massachusetts in the 1920s. However, the custom was not common across the U.S. until the 1950s, making this seemingly ancient tradition fairly new to U.S. culture.
“Kids ringing a stranger’s doorbell in 1948 or 1952 received all sorts of tribute: Coins, nuts, fruit, cookies, cakes, and toys were as likely as candy,” Samira Kawash said in her article “How Candy and Halloween Became Best Friends” for The Atlantic. Nowadays, fruit and other non-candy treats have no business being a part of the Halloween festivities unless they are saturated in chewy caramel, chocolate or sugar.
Every year I gorge myself on caramel apples, Reese’s Peanut butter Cups and pumpkin flavored treats and every year I swear I will never ever touch another piece of candy ever again — but I always do. Unfortunately, I always haul in more candy than I can consume resulting in an unpleasant reminder of my grandmother’s Sunday dinner idiom: “Your eyes are bigger than your stomach.” The freezer can only store so many pounds of my looted goods and I am therefore forced to compromise. Luckily, many solutions have been procured for us “candy hoarders.”
Here are some of my favorites:
- Send your excess to the troops
- Make chocolate treats, such as Butterfingers, REESE’S Peanut Butter Cups, Almond Joys or Whoppers. into milkshakes.
- Some dentists participate in a Candy Buyback program where they pay you money for every pound of candy you turn in.
- Bake or cook with your leftovers:
SweeTarts Milk Shake:
Hands-On Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 10 minutes
- In a blender, blend 16 SweeTarts candies (about 2 tablespoons) with 1 pint softened strawberry ice cream and 3/4 cup milk until smooth.
- Serve in glasses and top with additional SweeTarts, if desired.
Betty Crocker has a recipe for Candy Pizza where candy lovers can incorporate their glut of goods all at once.
Betty Crocker Candy Pizza:
1 pouch (1 lb 1.5 oz) Betty Crocker® peanut butter cookie mix
1/3 cup vegetable oil
Candy toppings such as chocolate bars, pretzels and candy coated nuts
1/2 cup shredded or flaked coconut, if desired, tinted orange
1 cup miniature marshmallow
1/3 cup semisweet chocolate chips, melted
- Heat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Stir cookie mix, oil and egg in medium bowl until soft dough forms. Press dough in ungreased 12-inch pizza pan, forming a narrow rim around edge of pan. Sprinkle choice of toppings on dough; sprinkle coconut over toppings.
- Bake 10 minutes. Sprinkle marshmallows on top. Bake 10 to 15 minutes or until marshmallows are lightly browned and cookie is set at edge. Cool completely in pan, about 1 hour. Drizzle melted chocolate over top. Cut into 12 wedges.
Makes 12 servings
For these and more Halloween candy recipes, visit http://www.bettycrocker.com and http://www.realsimple.com.
To send your candy to the troops visit http://www.halloweencandybuyback.com and http://www.operationshoebox.com