What to do With Leftover Halloween Candy

Halloween Candy
Halloween Candy

So, all of the ghosts and goblins have come and gone for another year.

Many families have strategies for parsing out their children’s candy. From letting them binge for a few days to holding onto the candy and doling it out a little bit at a time.

That’s all well and good, but what happens to the leftover candy? This is the candy that is either picked over or not given out at the door.

If you think that you can just stash it away and use your will-power to nibble on it over time… hmmm, that usually doesn’t work. Not for me anyway. By the end of the week, I usually just end up lamenting all of my binging.

What does make a difference is having a plan. If I have a planned use for the candy, I am much less likely to tuck in and over-indulge.

Freeze It

Freezing has a few benefits:

  • This is a great way to eat candy. It taken longer to consume and can be more satisfying.
  • Keep a stash in the freezer for when you want to bake with them. Label the containers with the name and what they will be used for.

Storage Times

As a general rule, candy will last a minimum of 6 months in the freezer. Here are some more specific times.

  • Chocolate Bars: 10 months to 1 year
  • Peanut Butter Cups: 6 – 8 months
  • Hard Candies: 1 year
  • Caramels: 6 – 9 months
  • Jelly Beans: 8 – 10 months
  • Candy Corn: 6 to 8 months
  • Chewing Gum: 8 to 10 months

Bake With It

Baking with candy is a great way to indulge without eating full on chocolate bars or many bags of smaller candy. This is also a creative way to add pizazz to all the baked goods that will be made over the upcoming Christmas season.

  • Break up hard candies and sprinkle on cookies before baking
  • Cut up chocolate bars and put them in the middle of cookies before baking
  • Sprinkle candies on top of cakes
  • Sprinkle candies on top of chocolate bark before it sets
  • Melt lollipops or other hard candies to make “stained glass windows” for gingerbread houses
  • Use to decorate gingerbread houses


Leftover candy is great for gift giving:

  • Stocking stuffers
  • Include in care packages
  • Donate
  • If you send letters or cards by snail mail, tuck in a candy or two
  • Attach to gift tags during Christmas gift giving

When you look at that bowl of leftover candy, think of all the great ways to make people smile well past Halloween.

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