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13 Clever Ways to Use Leftover Halloween Candy

The average kid can consume up to 7,000 calories on Halloween. (Yes, you read that right.) Put leftover candy to better use with these creative crafts, recipes, and more.

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What to do with leftover Halloween candy?

Last year, Denver mom of two Audrey Kinsman realized Halloween was becoming a problem for her younger son, 4, who has a serious food allergy and can’t eat most of the candy he collected trick-or-treating because they weren’t one of the 7 allergy-friendly candies. On a whim, Kinsman convinced her kids to forfeit their loot after keeping their five favorite pieces, because the “Switch Witch” was going to visit their house that night and swap their candy for a special toy. Kinsman’s kids were enthralled—“they came flying down the stairs the next morning and couldn’t wait to find out what happened with the Switch Witch”—she recalls. Thinking that other parents would also like this fun, magical way to purge Halloween candy, Kinsman transformed her made-up fairy tale into a new Halloween tradition called Switchcrafted. Her book, which comes with a Switch Witch doll (like The Elf on the Shelf), tells a whimsical story about witches who need candy to fuel their brooms and heat their homes. In chatting with Kinsman about the Switch Witch phenomenon, we also discovered many other creative things you can do with your leftover candy. If you don’t want to pass out candy, here are 12 non-candy Halloween treats to hand out that everyone can enjoy

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Do a Candy Science Project

Encourage wannabe Einsteins to conduct candy experiments: recommends the Incredible Growing Gummy Worm, which demonstrates how candy grows bigger when it absorbs water. Learn all about density with Skittles in this Density Rainbow experiment, suggests Build a Sweetie House and test which material makes the best “cement,” proposes Or Dissolve the “M” off an M&M in this fun idea from Coffee Cups and Crayons. For more, Google “science experiments with candy” to stimulate kids’ curious minds—not their sweet teeth. Check out these other 14 cool facts even adults don’t know about Halloween candy.

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Courtesy BusyInBrooklyn

Craft With Candy

The average kid consumes between 3,500 and 7,000 calories on Halloween night, according to Donna Arnett, PhD, chair of the department of epidemiology in the University of Alabama at Birmingham’s School of Public Health, via Convince an artsy kid to make cool crafts instead: Mike and Ike Butterflies from the blog Busy In Brooklyn, Candy Cane Sleighs from the blog One Hundred Dollars a Month, a Candy Potted Plant from, or these Candy Necklaces from The Crafty Crow. Alternately, set aside candy for a holiday gingerbread house in a few short weeks, Kinsman suggests. Before you dive into your trick-or-treat stash, find out which 5 Halloween candies are the worst for your teeth.

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Donate Candy to Our Troops

Send a sweet thanks to our military by donating your candy to Halloween Candy BuyBack. How it works: Local dentists’ offices pay a few bucks for your haul and then donate it to Operation Gratitude, which sends care packages to U.S. troops. Use the location finder on their site to find a donation site near you. You can also mail your candy directly to Operation Shoebox, which also sends care packages to our military personnel.

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Parents-Only: Do a Candy Wine Pairing

Kinsman, who is trained as a sommelier, says pairing wine and candy is a perfect way for parents to enjoy Halloween after the kids head to bed. It also ensures you sample and savor candy mindfully, as opposed to gobbling down the fun-size bars. Combinations she recommends include Butterfingers and a California Chardonnay. “The creaminess of the candy and the acid in the wine bring a nice balance and make the wine even more luscious and buttery,” Kinsman says. Another match is sour candy with a New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc—“the wine’s high acidity balances the tartness of the candy,” says Kinsman. Other pairings to try might be dark chocolate with Merlot; Pinot Noir with red cherry-flavored candy, like licorice; and candy corn with Riesling, which is likewise very sweet. Before you head to any Halloween party, make sure you remember these 20 hilarious Halloween jokes that’ll hit everyone’s funny bone!

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SkittlesCourtesy Mama Papa Bubba

Skittles paint

All those extra Skittles can turn into a surprisingly bright DIY watercolor paint. Half the fun is just making the paint, but the glossy, bright finish makes for a cool finished product. Find out how to make your own Skittles paint from Mama Papa Bubba. Skittles are the most popular Halloween candy in Florida. Find out the most popular Halloween candy in your state with this map.

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Candy-cornCourtesy Sally McKenney

Candy corn pretzel hugs

Make use of extra Hugs and candy corn in one sweet treat. Best of all, they don’t take any measuring, mixing, or beating. Get the full recipe from Sally’s Baking Addiction. Skipping the candy this year? Try these 16 healthy Halloween candy swaps that won’t disappoint.

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Candy bark

The best thing about making candy bark is you can use whatever you have on hand. This recipe calls for Butterfingers, Heath bars, Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, and M&Ms, but any mix of chocolate bars could work. Get creative with the recipe from Brown Eyed Baker. While you’re making this sweet treat with your friends and family, share these 14 facts about Halloween not many people know.

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PB ice box cake

This ice box cake is a heavenly way to use up leftover Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, but adding in some extra chocolates couldn’t hurt. Best of all, you can throw it together without any baking. Find the recipe from Brown Eyed Baker. Did you know that there are 12 Halloween candies you can eat without ruining your diet?

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blondiesCourtesy Kelly Senyei of Just a Taste

Halloween candy blondies

Replace ho-hum chocolate chips with chopped-up chocolates for a blondie that’s equally beautiful and delicious. The Kit Kats on top look particularly striking. Learn how to make your own from Just a Taste. Your sweet tooth has a history–this is why we pass out candy on Halloween. 

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cookie-barCourtesy The Domestic Rebel

Candy cookie bars

Lazy bakers, take note: these chewy cookie bars only call for five ingredients. Plus, it’s totally versatile, so you can throw in whatever leftover chocolates you have on hand. Head to The Domestic Rebel for the directions.

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Candy-barCourtesy The Domestic Rebel

Chocolate PB 7-layer bars

Your usual 7-layer bars get a major upgrade with this recipe from The Domestic Rebel. Instead of coconut and butterscotch, it’s loaded with Reese’s and honey-roasted peanuts. Don’t miss these Halloween candy tips that nutritionists use and you should too.

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Snickers-barCourtesy Confessions of a Cookbook Queen

PB and Snickers candy pie

Sweet and salty lovers, meet your new favorite dessert. This peanut butter and Snickers candy pie loads a pretzel crust with a creamy peanut butter filling, topped with candy. This recipe uses up all your leftover Snickers and Peanut M&Ms, but we bet Milky Ways and Heath bars would work well, too. Learn how to make it from Confessions of a Cookbook Queen.

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smartiesCourtesy Ruthanne VandenBosch

Smarties cake

Rolls of Smarties and packs of SweeTarts are some of the trickiest candies to get rid of once the thrill of Halloween is over. Enter this cake recipe from Easybaked. You might expect a recipe made with Pixy Stix, SweeTarts, and Smarties to put your teeth on edge, but the tanginess of the cake balances things out. Next, here are 7 delicious Halloween desserts you have make this October.