As if a freak snowstorm for Halloween wasn’t bad enough, I’m sure most of you were all dressed up with nowhere to go, left with unworn costumes and loads of undistributed Halloween candy.  Nevermind the stash your children should have brought home with them—doesn’t it somehow seem worse to be stuck with all that candy that was not yet given away in the first place?  (My husband might disagree, especially if Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups are involved, but he’s not reading this right now so we’ll just keep going.)  What is one to do with such a supply, short of contributing endlessly to your family’s—or your office’s—sugar hangover?  I’ve searched the Web for some creative solutions.

  • Bake with it.  Okay, so it’s candy in a baked-goods costume, but maybe you can be convinced that some of these ideas from Real Simple are semi-healthy, such as Frozen Reese’s Banana pops (cue the drooling from Hubby).  Besides, these make for a fancier presentation when entertaining, much nicer than plopping a bowl of assorted candy in front of your houseguests.
  • Get crafty.  If you can practice the restraint, save the candy for holidays to come: building materials for a gingerbread house, or treats in an advent calendar, or stuffing in a birthday piñata.  If stored properly, the candy will be tasty for months (see below).
  • Check out  They have an interesting program which partners with participating dentists, orthodontists and other businesses to take the bought-back, bartered or donated candy and convert it and other items into care packages for troops overseas through Operation Gratitude.  Just enter in your ZIP code to find local participants; or, read up on how to start a drive yourself.
  • Use select candies in home-infused vodkas (you’re welcome).

Still want to save this year’s stockpile for yourself?  That’s okay too.  If wrapped in foil and kept in a cool, dry place, dark chocolate will keep for up to two years; eight to ten months for milk and white varieties.  Hard candies are best up to one year; soft candies like gumdrops will keep for twelve months; and, in an unopened package, candy corn will keep for nine months.

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