Your bucket list for leftover Halloween candy

Halloween Jack o Lantern candy collector with scattered candy over a white background

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 with leftover candy.

Halloween baklava

Makes 16 servings


32 sheets phyllo dough, 14 by 18 inches each


3 cups melted butter (used to coat layers of phyllo sheets)


3 cups walnuts or your favorite mix of nuts

1 cup of your favorite chocolate candy


4 cups sugar

2 cups water

1 teaspoon rose water or orange blossom water


Juice of 1 lemon

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

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. To assemble, take 2 sheets of phyllo and lightly brush the entire surface with melted butter. Sprinkle ¼ 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. 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.

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. 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 g fat, 67 g carbohydrates, 8 g protein, 93 mg cholesterol, 422 mg sodium, 2 g dietary fiber, 61 percent of calories from fat.

— Chadra Mezza & Grill, 1622 Park Place Ave., Fort Worth,

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

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.

Measure 1 ounce of simple syrup and add to a martini shaker. Add the two 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 g carbohydrates, no protein, no cholesterol, 80 mg sodium, no dietary fiber, 0 percent of calories from fat.

— Tillman's Roadhouse, 324 W. 7th St., Dallas,

Candy corn centerpiece

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

Materials you'll need:

Some branchy silk or fresh flowers on a tall stalk.

3- to 5-inch water tubes, if you are using fresh flowers

A tall circular or square glass vase (Best size is 1 to 2 feet tall and 4 to 6 inches in diameter)


3 to 6 bags of candy corn depending on vase size

Extra branches collected in your back yard (optional for depth and variety)

Place tall flowers and or branchy silk flowers inside the vase. (I generally size flowers or branches two to three times the height of the vase.) If you are using fresh gladiolas or any type of tall, fresh flower or branch, you might want to hydrate them to last as long as they can by using water tubes. These will be hidden by the candy corn. Adding a few branches from fallen trees or bushes will thicken the arrangement and add depth. Arrange the stems and branches so they are where you want them to be.

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 as much as possible. 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 butter (1/4 stick)

1 cup Pop Rocks candy (any flavor)

1/2 cup Rice Krispies cereal, crushed

Line a baking sheet with a silicone baking mat or waxed paper; set aside. Place chocolate and butter in a microwave-safe bowl and heat in the microwave, stirring every 30 seconds until smooth.

Fold Pop Rocks and cereal into chocolate mixture until evenly combined. Spread onto baking sheet in an even layer. 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 g fat, 41 g carbohydrates, 2 g protein, 13 mg cholesterol, 72 mg sodium, 1 g dietary fiber, 36 percent of calories from fat.

— J. Rae's, 935 Foch St., Fort Worth,

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