Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Don't Trash the Stash! A Recipe for That Halloween Candy!

Happy Halloween!! 
What a fun day filled with traditions, costumes and of course, candy!! You know you are going to stay up tonight, after your kiddos are tucked in, and dig through the loot picking out your favorites! My husband and I do this every year, because we're soooo sneaky.  Snickers for him, Kit-Kat, Twix or Dots for myself!
If you are anything like me, you might have a love-hate relationship with sugar.  I love to bake, to find new recipes and make special treats for my family.  But, I hate how sugar makes me feel when I eat it.  So, to strike a happy balance around here, we try to follow the 80/20 rule with all foods.  80% of the time we eat healthy, the other 20% is freedom to eat what we want (within reason).  This rule has been especially successful with desserts and sugary treats, including those we receive at holidays.

How will we handle having 5 bags of sugarlicious goodies enter the home tonight?? Every Halloween the boys know ahead of time that they get to pick out 5 pieces of fun size candy from their sack to stuff their faces eat when they choose.  They can keep any sugarless gum.  The rest is sorted out for later use.  Anything chocolate is a keeper (duh!).  If you can't have it in the house, that's understandable.  The "out-of-site-out-of-mind" method doesn't work for everyone.  (I would dig to the darkest corners of the basement to unearth a piece of chocolate some days!) But, if that method does work for you, here are some ideas for making the sweets stretch over the next few months:

 Candy bars are perfect for freezing, and later added to:
- Milkshakes or homemade ice cream
- Cookie Dough (instead of chocolate chips)
- Granola Bars (m&m's and Reece's Pieces)
- Snack mix with nuts and raisins

One recipe I love to make with Halloween candy is Candy Bar Cheesecake Bites.  These little brownies are perfect bite-size treats that freeze well and can be wrapped up in pretty sacks or boxes and given as gifts.  Our top pics for toppings are: Reese's Pieces, m&m's, Snickers, Almond Joy and Heath Bars.  They're a cinch to make and the kids love to help! Here's the recipe!
Candy Bar Cheesecake Brownie Bites
{Thank you for Pinning!}
For the Brownies:
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, melted
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 eggs
1/2 cup cocoa (I like Ghirardelli)
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
{2 tablespoons strong coffee and 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon, optional}

Heat oven to 350 degrees.  Spray mini-muffin pan with non-stick cooking spray.  In a bowl, whisk together butter and sugars until smooth.  Add eggs, vanilla, coffee (optional) whisking until well blended. In a separate bowl, whisk together cocoa, salt, cinnamon (optional), flour and baking powder.  Slowly add to the wet ingredients, stirring until completely smooth. Using a small melon-ball scoop, place one scoop of the batter into each cup. Set aside.

For the Cheesecake Filling:
4 oz. cream cheese, softened (reduced fat works fine, too!)
1/2 cup powdered sugar

Whip cream cheese and powdered sugar together until smooth.  Spoon into sandwich size plastic bag.  Seal the top and snip a small piece off of one corner.  Pipe 1/2 teaspoon (or so) into each brownie batter cup.  
Sprinkle the tops of each brownie bite with your favorite candy bar pieces.  Bake for 8-10 minutes, or until edges are visibly done and the center filling is set.  Cool on a wire rack. Makes 24 bites!

Note: This recipe can easily be prepared in a 9" baking dish.  Simply pipe the cream cheese mixture onto the top of the brownie batter in a zig-zag pattern.  Then, use a knife to swirl the cream cheese into the batter.  Top with candy and bake for 20-25 minutes.


  1. These brownie bites look fantastic! I love that you can use up whatever candy bars/pieces you have on hand for unique candy bar bites. Mmmmm.

  2. Love finding uses for left over candy and what I really love is that you can freeze these for later! Great little brownie!

  3. These brownies are awesome!
    They'd be a hit at any party

  4. Yummm. The e-card is hilarious. I'd do it, too, if the kids didn't count their candy to know if I took any :)


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