Each year, I buy bags of Halloween candy, just in case a hundred trick-or-treaters decide to drop by my house. Maybe two or three groups of kindergartners will ring the bell.
After dark, it gets very quiet. I watch Children of the Corn on pay-per-view as I wait in vain for scary teenagers to knock on the door. The next morning, my leftover candy begs to be put to use.
There isn't much you can do with truly horrible Halloween leftovers, such as Smarties, Blow Pops and the dreaded Nerds. It's best to save these colorful items to decorate a holiday gingerbread house in a month or two. But here are some ideas for using the good stuff in quick and fun desserts.
Break whole graham crackers into quarters and place half the pieces on a rimmed baking sheet. Top each with a mini Snickers bar and a marshmallow. Place on a baking sheet and broil until marshmallow is melted and toasted. Top with remaining graham cracker pieces and serve immediately.
Chocolate-mint frosted brownies
As soon as you pull your brownies from the oven, cover the surface with leftover Junior Mints. Let stand for 10 minutes, then smooth the melted candy into an even layer with a small metal spatula. Let cool completely and allow the mint-chocolate "frosting" to set before slicing and serving.
Milky Way hand pies
Place a mini Milky Way in the center of a small (3-inch) circle of store-bought puff pastry dough. Fold the dough over to cover the candy bar and seal by crimping edges with the tines of a fork. Brush with beaten egg and sprinkle with sugar. Refrigerate for 30 minutes, then bake in a 375-degree oven until golden, 30 to 40 minutes.
Chocolate-covered strawberry Twizzlers
I like to dip the ends of strawberry-flavored Twizzlers into white or dark melted chocolate, then cover the chocolate with colorful sprinkles or nonpareils.
Twix marshmallow treats
Stir chopped Twix bars into your rice cereal and marshmallow mixture for extra-gooey goodness.
Banana-peanut butter cup 'ice cream'
Peel some very ripe bananas (the ones your kids say are rotten), cut them into 1-inch pieces and freeze for an hour or two. Puree the frozen banana pieces in a food processor until smooth and the consistency of soft ice cream. Stir in chopped peanut butter cups.