The Many Uses for Excess Holiday Candy

I don’t know about you, but I tend to get carried away when it comes to goodies for the holidays – any holiday. Halloween finds me with a huge bowl of lollipops and brown and orange candy kisses. Trick or treaters come and go and the bowl still isn’t empty!

And then there’s Christmas. Who can resist the bright colors and delicious smells of Christmas candy? Candy canes to chocolate Santas cast their spells on me as I try to hurry through the checkout or past the candy aisle… to no avail. I just have to stop and buy “a few” and bring them home to decorate – and of course, to eat at least a little. After Christmas, the bright colors begin to look a little gaudy and the aroma is less tantalizing, and finally, I will put them away, “until next year.” (Next year, I’ll go through the same thing again.)

Every holiday has its temptations. Did you ever know a Valentine’s Day without at least a sugary pastel heart? Or Easter without a marshmallow chick? They’re all made to look absolutely yummy and if you have kids, who can resist?

If, however, you don’t want your kids to eat THAT much candy and after the holidays, you have some leftover, don’t store it until “next year,” and don’t throw it out. You can save money and your sanity by NOT buying candy the next holiday – just use what you already have.

No, you can’t really use chocolate Santas on Saint Patrick’s Day, but think about it a moment. You CAN use green and/or gold wrapped candy kisses (formerly known as Christmas candy!) on Saint Patrick’s Day. And you can use Christmasy peppermint pinwheel candy any time if you crush it to decorate a cake or make peppermint tea.

Those neat little candy canes that brightened your tree last Christmas will make sweethearts for Valentine’s Day. Put them together head to head and you’ll see what I mean. “Glue” them with frosting.

Marshmallow anything goes great in hot chocolate, so you can use those little “peeps” up and be a hero to your kids (or to yourself!). I don’t know what the psychological ramifications might be, but you could even spit roast the little creatures over an open fire. The colored coating is sugar, so it might catch on fire. But then, what good is a roasted marshmallow if it hasn’t been burned?

Leftover chocolate (is there such a thing?) can be melted down and remolded into anything. Or you can make chocolate curls for desserts, or grate it to sprinkle on cakes and ice cream. Melt it and dip spoons in it for a coffee treat, or use it like chocolate syrup in hot milk.

Any hard candy can be used to make a hot drink. Crush the candy and add to a cup of hot water, then stir or let it set until the candy is dissolved. You may have to reheat it, but this makes a special treat on a cold day.

So… got candy? Hang on to it until the next holiday. Then use it up! How else are we going to justify buying it in the first place? And when we’ve got it all used up, we have more room to store next year’s candy…

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