In three short days, it will be Halloween. Are you ready? I think we are. The girls costumes are all assembled, the candy has been purchased, and I have a little Halloween decor out on the front step. We don’t make a huge deal out of Halloween (like we do for Christmas, per se), but, I like to make it a fun time for the kids. They enjoy getting dressed up and going trick or treating, and for us, that’s all it is. It’s all about the kids – and well, the candy. Because after all, what would Halloween be without the candy?
We only trick or treat in our little area – a crescent of about 50 houses, and my daughters both get a huge bag of treats. Way too many treats for them. They usually sort through them, get rid of the things they don’ t like, trade a little with each other (for instance, my oldest hates anything with nuts in it but my youngest loves them). Anything they don’t like goes in a pile for Dad. And me, well, I just “graze” from time to time, grabbing a little chocolate bar here or a pack of candy there. As long as I don’t take their favorites, they never know. In general, we say one treat a day, but after a week or so of my youngest begging me for treats, I tend to get in the mindset of “The sooner you eat it, the sooner its gone, and the sooner I can stop hearing you ask for it”.
Now here’s where we run into difficulty. My youngest has… what do they call that… no idea of how to “delay gratification”. My oldest tends to hoard things. (She still has a pack of skittles hidden on her top shelf from her birthday in June.) So in about two weeks, when my youngest has her candy devoured, and my oldest pulls out a Twix bar… you guessed it. Stuff starts hitting the fan.
So, last year, I started encouraging my daughter to do things with her Halloween treats to get rid of them faster. One of the things we did was have some friends over for an ice cream party with chopped up treats for toppings. This year, we are going to make some Kitchen Sink Brownies – because you can throw anything but the kitchen sink in them. You could also call these Loaded Brownies, I realized as I taste tested the first bite. They are loaded with chocolate, treats, and so much tastiness!
To make your brownies with leftover Halloween treats, here’s what you’ll need:
- Brownie batter from your favorite brownie recipe, or a boxed mix (it’s okay, I won’t tell anyone)
- Halloween treats, like bite sized Mars, Snickers, or small packages of M&Ms
I used my favorite brownie recipe as a base. Then, I added the treats right before I poured the batter into the pan. When purchasing Halloween treats, I would like to say that I buy whatever I think the kids will like best, but I don’t. I buy what I like best in case there are leftovers – because no one wants food to go to waste! I bought a mixed bag with Mars (my absolute favorite chocolate bar ever – it was all I could do to not open the bag and start munching as I waited to pay in the Wal-Mart check out line), Twix, Snickers, and M&Ms (regular and peanut). This bag will give you a good mix of textures and flavours, since you have the caramel in several, nougat in the Mars, candy shell on the M&Ms, peanuts in the Snickers, and biscuit in the Twix.
I chopped up about a cup of Halloween treats into chunky pieces and mixed it into the batter. I poured the batter into my parchment paper lined baking dish and then baked halfway. Then, I added about five packs of M&Ms to the top. I saved all of the peanut M&Ms for the top, since it would be easy for my non-peanut loving daughter to pick them off and hand them to her sister.
I like my brownies very fudgy and moist so I slightly undercook mine, which makes it a bit more difficult to get a clean cut, but the taste is worth it to me. And boy, do these taste good. They taste so much better then the sum of their parts. My favorite are the little chunks of nougat from the Mars bar – but getting the crunch from the M&M shell tastes pretty fantastic too! And the little cookie pieces from the Twix? To die for.
My oldest daughter will definitely not having any problem sacrificing some of her candy for these!
What about you, do you have any Halloween traditions? How do you tackle Halloween candy (and its “leftovers”) and how long does it last in your house?