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Tricks for those leftover treats

Give leftover Halloween candy another chance with fresh ideas

Published: Wednesday, Nov. 7, 2012 1:49 a.m. CDT
Caption
(Photo by Jessica J. Trevino/Detroit Free Press/MCT)
What’s a person to do when the trick-or-treaters are gone but the candy isn’t?

(MCT) — What’s a person to do when the trick-or-treaters are gone but the candy isn’t?

With Americans spending more on Halloween this year — an average of $79.82 per person, according to the National Retail Federation — this question is likely to come up a lot.

Sure, you could munch on the leftover candy until Easter, but why not have a little fun with it right now?

From ice cream toppings to baked goods, the culinary options abound. Try one or more of today’s recipes that will put those goodies to good use.

And don’t forget about those pumpkin seeds. If you had planned to roast them, save some for our Pumpkin Seed Brittle.

Your sweet tooth will thank you.

CANDY BAR MERINGUES

Makes: 30 / Preparation time: 15 minutes

Total time: 1 hour

4 extra-large egg whites, at room temperature

1/8 teaspoon salt

1/8 teaspoon lemon juice

1 cup granulated sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

30 to 36 miniature candy bars, such as Milky Way, Snickers or Mounds

Preheat the oven to 250 degrees.

Using an electric mixer, beat the egg whites, salt and lemon juice at medium speed until peaks form. Increase the speed to high.

Gradually add the sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time, scraping the sides of the bowl as needed. Beat until just thick and glossy, not stiff. Stir in the vanilla extract.

Line two baking sheets with parchment paper and make sure neither oven rack is in the lowest position.

Using a spoon, coat each candy all around in the meringue, letting it peak attractively on top. Place them about 1 ½ inches apart on the baking sheets.

Bake 18 minutes, then rotate the sheets front to back and top to bottom. Bake 18 minutes more.

Turn off the heat and leave meringues in the unopened oven 30 minutes longer.

Serve warm or store in an airtight container. Makes 30 meringues.

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COOK’S NOTE — These meringues keep well in an airtight container. When cold, the candies return to their caramel chewiness. But they’re incredible when hot, and they stay hot for a long time after leaving the oven thanks to the insulating meringue. So stick them in the oven just before dinner.

From the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Tested by Susan M. Selasky for the Free Press Test Kitchen.

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112 calories (32 percent from fat), 4 grams fat (2 grams sat. fat), 20 grams carbohydrates, 2 grams protein, 61 mg sodium, 31 mg cholesterol, 0 grams fiber.

CANDY BAR TRUFFLES

Makes: 12 / Preparation time: 10 minutes

Total time: 30 minutes

12 miniature Mounds bars

½ cup all-purpose flour

2 eggs, beaten with 1 teaspoon water

2 cups panko bread crumbs

About 1 ½ cups vegetable oil for frying

Confectioners’ sugar for dusting

Rinse the candies under cold water in a colander. Coat each with flour, shaking off the excess, then roll them in the egg mixture, letting the excess drip back into the bowl. Roll them in the panko, then place them on a rack to dry at room temperature for 5 minutes.

Roll them in the egg again, then again in the panko, smoothing the edges with your palms. They may begin to look rounded. Let them dry 5 minutes on a rack.

Add 1 inch of oil to a medium saucepan. Fry the truffles in the hot oil, turning as necessary, until golden. Drain and dust with confectioners’ sugar.

Eat immediately.

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COOK’S NOTE — These treats are great with a bowl of ice cream. The Japanese bread crumbs make the difference. Double-coating creates a soft, thin and gently crisp covering. Panko can be found in the ethnic food aisle at many grocery stores and at Asian food stores.

From the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Tested by Susan M. Selasky for the Free Press Test Kitchen.

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128 calories (42 percent from fat), 6 grams fat (2 grams sat. fat), 16 grams carbohydrates, 3 grams protein, 41 mg sodium, 32 mg cholesterol, 1 gram fiber.

MICROWAVE CHOCOLATE CHEESECAKE

Makes: 1 nine -inch cheesecake / Preparation time:    15 minutes

Total time: 1 hour, 15 minutes (not including chilling time)

¼ cup butter or margarine

1 cup graham cracker crumbs

2 packages (8 ounces each) cream cheese

1/3 cup sugar

¼ teaspoon salt

1/3 cup milk

4 eggs, beaten

1 cup chocolate candy bars, chopped

1 cup sour cream

Chocolate curls to garnish (made with potato peeler from candy bars)

In a 9-inch round microwave- safe baking dish, melt butter or margarine in microwave on high for 45 seconds or until melted. Stir in crumbs. Press on bottom and sides of baking dish. Microwave on high 1 ½ minutes rotating every 30 seconds.

In a large measuring bowl or microwave -safe bowl, microwave cream cheese at 50 percent power for 1 minute or until softened. Whisk in sugar, salt, milk, eggs and chocolate candy. Microwave on high for 5 to 6 minutes, whisking every 2 minutes to break up any of the cheese cake that starts to set. Pour over crust. Microwave on 50 percent power, rotating every 2 minutes, for 6 to 8 minutes or until it is set.

Mixture will firm as it chills.

Remove from microwave and cool for 30 to 45 minutes. Cover with sour cream. Refrigerate for 4 hours or overnight. Garnish with chocolate curls.

Tested by Jeanne Sarna in the Free Press Test Kitchen. Nutritional information not available.

PUMPKIN SEED BRITTLE

Makes: About 24 pieces      Preparation time: 30 minutes

Total time: 40 minutes

You will need a candy thermometer for this recipe. Pepitas are hulled pumpkin seeds. You can remove them from roasted pumpkin seeds or look for them at specialty or bulk food stores.

Butter and margarine for greasing paper

1 cup sugar

½ cup firmly packed light brown sugar

1 cup water

1/3 cup light corn syrup

2 tablespoons butter

1 cup pepitas or 1 ¼ cups dry roasted, salted peanuts

½ teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and grease with butter or margarine.

In a heavy-bottom saucepan, combine the sugars, water and corn syrup. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until the sugar has dissolved; then bring to a full boil.

Continue to boil without stirring until the temperature reaches 260 degrees on a candy thermometer, about 15 to 20 minutes.

Remove the pan from the heat, and stir in the butter and pepitas with a wooden or heatproof spoon. Return the pan to the heat and continue to cook, stirring constantly, until the temperature reaches 295F, about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and quickly stir in the baking soda and vanilla. Be careful; the vanilla will splatter.

Immediately pour the mixture onto the prepared baking sheet. Spread it as thin as possible with a heatproof spatula. Let stand until completely cool. Break the brittle into serving pieces and store in an airtight container or seal in a bag. This will keep up to 2 weeks.

Adapted from “Ghoulish Goodies” by Sharon Bowers (Storey, $14.95). Tested by Susan M. Selasky for the Free Press Test Kitchen.

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97 calories (37 percent from fat ), 4 grams fat (1 gram sat. fat ), 16 grams carbohydrates, 1 gram protein, 31 mg sodium, 3 mg cholesterol, 0 grams fiber.

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