Cooks Exchange

Use leftover candy in scrumptious desserts

So, what is to be done with all that leftover Halloween candy? Not as many trick-or-treaters showed up, and candy bowls are still full.

Of course, eating it is always an option, but why not make a dessert that puts that candy to use? There will be less temptation in the house, and the dessert can be given away to a friend, relative or neighbor who is not dieting.

A good way to get rid of chocolate-covered wafer candy is to place the thin candy sticks around the edge of an iced cake. It looks pretty, and candy-coated chocolate pieces can be used to cover the top. A cake that looks like it took hours to make!

Before readers get irritated at all the sweets recipes, I'll note that next week's column will have savory holiday dishes. A Florida reader shares one of her favorite holiday dishes. Readers, please send me holiday recipes to include.

I try to accommodate all tastes, and sweets are part of the mix. Here are some tried and true candy cakes or desserts.

HERSHEY BAR CAKE

2 sticks margarine

2 cups sugar

4 eggs, well beaten

2 cans (5- 1/2 ounces each) chocolate syrup

2- 1/2 cups flour

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 cup buttermilk

2 teaspoons vanilla

7 small milk chocolate bars, melted

Cream margarine and sugar. Add eggs and chocolate syrup. In separate bowl, sift together flour, soda and salt. Add flour mixture alternately with buttermilk to chocolate mixture. Add vanilla and melted candy bars. Pour in greased and floured Bundt pan and bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour.

This can will stay moist for at least 7 days if you can keep it that long.

-- From "Lone Star Legacy"

CANDY BAR COOKIES

1 package yellow mix

1/2 cup vegetable oil

1 egg

1 package (14 ounces) vanilla caramels

1/3 cup undiluted evaporated milk

1/3 cup butter or margarine

1 2/3 cups confectioners' sugar

1 cup chopped pecans

1 package (6 ounces) semisweet chocolate pieces

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

For crust, combine dry cake mix, oil and egg in bowl with pastry blender. Spread evenly in bottom of ungreased 13-by-9-by2-inch pan.

Bake at 350 degrees for 15-20 minutes or until light golden brown. While crust is baking, prepare filling.

For filling, combine caramels and evaporated milk in top of double boiler and heat until caramels melt; stir occasionally. Add butter and stir until melted. Remove from heat. Stir in confectioners' sugar and pecans. Spread hot caramel mixture over warm baked crust.

For frosting, melt semisweet chocolate over hot water. Spread in very thin layer over caramel filling. Refrigerate, then cut into bars. Makes 4 dozen small bars.

-- From "Baking with American Dash"

CANDY BAR DESSERT

2 cups graham cracker crumbs

3 tablespoons sugar

1/2 cup butter, melted

1 jar (11-3/4 ounces) hot fudge ice cream topping

Filling:

1/2 cup cold milk

2 packages (3.4 ounces each) instant vanilla or chocolate pudding mix

2 cartons (16 ounces each) frozen whipped topping, thawed

6 to 7 (2.07 ounces each) nougat, caramel and peanut milk chocolate candy bars, chopped, divided

In a small bowl, combine the crumbs and sugar; stir in butter. Press into an ungreased 13-by-9-inch dish. In a small saucepan, heat the fudge topping over low heat until warmed; pour evenly over crust. Cool.

In a large bowl, beat the milk, pudding mix and whipped topping for 2-3 minutes or until stiff, scraping sides of bowl often. Stir in three-fourths of the candy bar pieces. Pour over crust. Sprinkle with remaining candy bar pieces. Cover and refrigerate for 2-3 hours or overnight. Refrigerate leftovers. Yield: 15 servings.

-- From Taste of Home Magazine

When I am grocery shopping, I pick up recipe brochures and in-store recipe magazines. A good cookie recipe, especially for fall, is a candy corn cookie, a recipe in a Save-A-Lot e-mail. I am going to have to make a friend, who loves candy corn, these cookies. She makes great biscuits but doesn't do cookies.

CANDY CORN COOKIES

3/4 cup candy corn

2-3/4 cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1 cup butter

1- 1/2 cups sugar

1 egg

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In a small bowl, mix together flour, baking soda and baking powder. Set aside.

In a separate large bowl, cream together the butter and sugar until thoroughly mixed and smooth,

Beat in the egg and vanilla extract. Gradually blend in the dry ingredients.

Spoon teaspoonfuls of dough into balls and place on greased cookie sheets. Bake 8-10 minutes in the preheated oven.

Remove cookies and place 3-4 candy corns on the top of each cookie. Let sit on cookie sheet 2 minutes before removing to cool on wire racks.

-- From Save-A-Lot

CANDY-TOPPED BARS

1 cup all-purpose flour

1/3 cup packed brown sugar

1/2 cup cold butter

1/2 cup chopped pecans

1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, softened

1/4 cup sugar

1 egg

2 tablespoons milk

1 tablespoon lemon juice

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/2 to 1 cup mini candy-coated milk chocolate candies

In a large bowl, combine flour and brown sugar. Cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Stir in pecans. Set aside 1/2 cup for topping. Press remaining crumb mixture into a greased 9-inch square pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 12-15 minutes or until edges are lightly browned.

In a bowl, beat cream cheese and sugar. Add egg, milk, lemon juice and vanilla; mix well. Pour over warm crust. Sprinkle with reserved crumb mixture.

Bake for 25-30 minutes or until set. Immediately sprinkle with the candy. Cool on wire rack. Cut into bars. Refrigerate leftovers. Yield: 16 servings.

-- From Taste of Home Magazine

MILKY WAY ICE CREAM

1 pound caramel, chocolate and nougat candy bars

1 can sweetened condensed milk

1 pint half and half cream

Milk to fill freezer

1 can (5 1/2 ounces) chocolate syrup, optional

Chop candy bars and melt with condensed milk. Add remaining ingredients. Put in ice cream freezer and freeze according to manufacturer's directions. Yields: 1 gallon.

-- From "Lone Star Legacy"

Andrea Yeager, can be reached at ayeager51@cableone.net.

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