Halloween is now in the rearview and your kids racked up a bucketful of candy that’s staring you in the face. What to do with it? We’ve got some ideas for you!

  1. Mix it into your ice cream. Usually, your basics, like vanilla or chocolate, work best but there really isn’t a limit. Scoop some ice cream into a bowl and let soften for 20-30 minutes. Chop up those candy bars, cookies, or M&Ms/Reese’s Pieces and fold them into the softened ice cream, and re-freeze. If you’re feeling lazy or don’t want to wait for your ice cream to soften, chop up your candy (or candies!) and sprinkle on top of your favorite flavor (bonus points if it has some sauce to cling to).
  2. Make a thick shake. Similar to the steps above, but you’re going to add it all into a blender. Pulse until it’s all incorporated. Pour or scoop into a tall glass. Sprinkle a few more pieces on top, grab a spoon, and enjoy.
  3. Bake it. Cookies, brownies, or blondies are elevated from the basics when candy bars are introduced. Follow your base recipes for the dough or brownie, and mix chopped-up candy pieces into the batter. Don’t stop with just one type of candy; mix a few in there and make “kitchen sink” cookies or bars. Bake as instructed and let cool when done.
  4. Make break-up candy. Break-up candy, also called bark, is so easy and delicious. Simply melt some of those solid chocolate candy bars in the microwave on short bursts until melted. Spread over a rimmed baking pan lined with parchment paper (size depends on the number of candy bars you have on hand). Sprinkle the candy all over the melted chocolate. If you want to be a little extra, sprinkle some flaky salt over the top of everything. You can either leave it on the counter to set for a few hours or place on a flat surface in your fridge to speed up the process. Once hardened, break into large pieces and enjoy!

Finally, most areas of the United States have candy give-back programs where you can send candy to those in the military. You can also check with your local food pantry and donate to them as well. Both organizations usually accept unopened candy donations, even if they are individual pieces of fun-size candy bars that have been removed from a larger package. Check with your local organizations for details.

Now that Halloween is over, who’s ready for Thanksgiving?!