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4 delicious desserts to make with leftover Halloween candy

Drowning in leftover Halloween candy? Here are four creative (and delicious!) ways to use those extra sweets.

Snickers cheesecake

WHAT YOU'LL NEED: For the crust: 1
Photo Credit: Tony Jerome, Recipe by Amy Pincus


WHAT YOU'LL NEED:

For the crust:

1 cup graham cracker or cookie crumbs
2 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
4 tablespoons butter, melted

For the cake:

1 1/2 pounds cream cheese, room temperature
3/4 cup sugar
4 large eggs, room temperature
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
16 mini Snickers bars, chilled or frozen, 12 chopped into 1/4-inch pieces and the rest sliced for garnish

For the topping:

24 ounces sour cream
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

HOW TO:

1. Combine crust ingredients and press into a 9-inch springform pan.

2. With a standing mixer, beat cream cheese until light and fluffy, about 1 minute, scraping down sides of the bowl often. Add sugar, eggs and vanilla and beat until smooth, scraping down the sides. Fold in chopped candy.

3. Bake at 350 for 50 to 55 minutes or until lightly golden at the edges and slightly puffed. Remove from oven and let cool 15 minutes, leaving oven on. The cake will fall while cooling.

4. After the cooling period, evenly spread the topping on the cheesecake and return to oven for 10 minutes. Let cool and refrigerate. Top with additional chopped candy.

Note: To make the recipe using a premade graham-cracker pie shell, use the following quantities for the cake: 1 pound cream cheese, 1/2 cup sugar, 3 large eggs, 1 teaspoon vanilla extract, 12 mini Snickers bars (8 for the filling, 4 for garnish); topping: 8 ounces sour cream, 1/2 cup sugar, 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract. Bake 50 minutes, cool 15 minutes, then bake another 10 minutes with topping on.

Halloween candy blondies

WHAT YOU'LL NEED: 1 1/2 cups unbleached
Photo Credit: Eve Bishop, Recipe by Lauren Chattman


WHAT YOU'LL NEED:
1 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter
1 1/2 cups firmly packed light brown sugar
1 large egg
1 large egg yolk
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
16 mini peanut butter cups
1 cup M&M's

HOW TO:

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line an 8-inch-square baking pan with heavy-duty aluminum foil, making sure that the foil is tucked into all the corners and at least 1 inch overhangs the top of the pan on all sides.

2. Combine flour, baking powder and salt in a small mixing bowl.

3. Melt butter in a medium saucepan over low heat. Remove it from heat. With a wooden spoon, stir in the brown sugar until it dissolves. Quickly whisk in the egg, yolk and vanilla. Stir in flour mixture until just incorporated.

4. Set aside 1 cup batter and spread the rest into the prepared baking dish. Arrange peanut butter cups on top of the batter in the pan, with about 1/2 inch between each candy. Smooth the reserved 1 cup of batter over peanut butter cups. Sprinkle with M&M's.

5. Bake brownies until they are just set in the center, 30 to 35 minutes. Let cool completely on a wire rack.

6. Grasping overhanging foil on either side of the pan, lift out the brownies and place them on a cutting board. Cut into 32 pieces. These blondies will keep at room temperature in an airtight container for up to 3 days. Makes 16 blondies.

Kit Kat Ice-Cream Cake

WHAT YOU'LL NEED: 1/2 gallon vanilla bean
Photo Credit: Tony Jerome, Recipe by Wayne Harley Brachman


WHAT YOU'LL NEED:
1/2 gallon vanilla bean ice cream
8 full-size Kit Kat bars
1 cup heavy or whipping cream
1/4 cup confectioners' sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
Chocolate sauce (store bought)

HOW TO:

1. Line an 8 1/2-by-4 1/2-inch loaf pan with plastic wrap, lengthwise and crosswise. Make sure there is more than enough wrap to overlap edges of the pan. Place in freezer to chill.

2. Let ice cream soften about 15 minutes. Place in a bowl or standing mixer and beat until the consistency of soft-serve ice cream. Immediately spoon all the ice cream into loaf pan, using a spatula to pack down and smooth.

3. Push 2 Kit Kat bars into the softened ice cream so that they are standing up on their long side, about 1/2 inch from the long side of the pan. Repeat with remaining Kit Kats, leaving at least 1/2 inch between the "rows" of bars. Smooth down the ice cream on top to make a level surface. Cover with plastic wrap. Freeze for at least 2 hours.

4. Place large bowl and whisk (or whisk attachment) in freezer or refrigerator to chill. Pour whipping cream into bowl with vanilla and beat until cream starts to thicken. Add confectioners' sugar and continue to beat until the consistency of shaving cream.

5. Remove loaf pan from the freezer. Unwrap top and invert over a freezer-proof plate or small cutting board covered with foil. Remove plastic wrap from the ice cream. Spoon whipped cream all over loaf, letting it remain soft and fluffy. Return to freezer for at least 1 hour.

6. To serve, cut with a hot chef's knife, cutting straight down. Drizzle chocolate sauce over each slice. Makes 6 to 8 servings.

Peanut butter cup brownies

WHAT YOU'LL NEED: 1 cup (2 sticks)
Photo Credit: Tony Jerome, Recipe from "Chocolate" by Nick Malgieri


WHAT YOU'LL NEED:
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, cut up, plus 2 tablespoon to butter pan
8 ounces bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, cut into 1/4-inch pieces
4 large eggs
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup packed dark brown sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 cup flour
20 Reese's Peanut Butter Cups (full size)
1/2 to 1 cup roasted peanuts, chopped

HOW TO:

1. Butter a 9-by-13-by-2-inch pan, then line with foil and butter foil. Set aside.

2. Bring saucepan of water to boil and turn off heat. Combine butter and chocolate in heatproof bowl and set over the pan of hot water, stirring occasionally until melted.

3. Whisk eggs in large bowl. Whisk in salt, sugars and vanilla. Stir in chocolate and butter mixture, then fold in flour.

4. Pour 1/2 of batter into prepared pan and spread evenly. Place peanut butter cups on top of batter, spacing evenly. Pour remaining batter over peanut butter cups and spread evenly. Decorate top with chopped peanuts.

5. Bake on middle rack at 350 degrees about 45 minutes or until top has formed a shiny crust and batter is moderately firm. Cool in pan on wire rack for at least 2 hours or in refrigerator for 1 hour to allow peanut butter cups to firm up again before cutting. Wrap pan in plastic wrap and keep at room temperature or refrigerate until next day to make brownies easier to cut. Or you can wrap pan in plastic wrap and freeze for several weeks.

6. To cut brownies, unmold onto cutting board, remove foil and place another cutting board on top. Turn cake right side up and trim away edges. Cut into 2-inch squares. Wrap individually in plastic wrap and place in layers between parchment or wax paper in tin or plastic container that has a tight-fitting cover. Store at room temperature or freeze. Makes 24 (2-inch) pieces.

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