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Recycle excess Halloween candy into chocolate bark

This year may be the first in my kids’ lives that October won’t conclude with a cache of treats far beyond our capacity for eating them.

I always assume I can ration Halloween’s haul through Christmas. The holiday season’s spoils, in turn, sustain them until Valentine’s Day, which affords all the sweets we need until Easter. With the odd Memorial Day or Fourth of July parade to round out the selection, it’s still more than we manage to consume before the annual cycle begins anew.

The coronavirus threat and social distancing to combat it may give us a fighting chance this year against candy that lurks in the cupboards for months. But in case we — or anyone else — is trying to recast Halloween excess for another occasion or improve its image once the initial excitement wears off, there’s this recipe for chocolate bark that could repurpose just about any candy a person could crave.

Happy Halloween!

Halloween Candy Bark

15 pieces or packs assorted Halloween candy, about 1 to 1 1/2 cups

20 ounces milk chocolate

Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil, smoothing out any creases. Unwrap the candy and, if needed, cut into pieces. Set aside.

Create a double boiler by suspending a glass or metal bowl over a saucepan of simmering water, making sure bowl doesn’t touch water. Add the milk chocolate and stir until melted and smooth. Do not overheat the chocolate.

Remove bowl from pan. Pour melted chocolate onto prepared baking sheet, using an offset or rubber spatula to spread it into a 10-by-12-inch oblong, about 1/4 inch thick. Press candy pieces into chocolate, arranging them so each bite has a mix of flavors, colors and textures.

Refrigerate chocolate for 1 hour to completely set before breaking it into large pieces. Store in an airtight container at room temperature for 1 to 2 weeks.

Makes 10 servings.

Recipe by Michelle Buffardi, via Cooking Channel

Tribune New Service photo