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These candy-coated apple slices are made with Dove dark chocolate and M&M's caramel chocolate candies. / Photo c. 2019 Mars or affiliates

The National Retail Federation estimates that shoppers will spend $2.6 billion on Halloween candy this year. Odds are it won't all be eaten Halloween night. (And if it is, that's even odder.)

You can dole it out as snacks for the next few weeks, of course. You could even save the leftovers for next year's Easter baskets, but if you can't finish off the Halloween candy pail before next April, you're not trying hard enough.

Which brings us to a third option: Cook with it.

Like Girl Scout cookies, candy doesn't have to be eaten strictly out of hand. There are multiple ways you can include it in your favorite dessert recipes, especially if you're lucky enough to get candy containing chocolate in the trick-or-treat bag.

Some of our favorite candy, with and without chocolate, is manufactured by the Mars company. In fact, four of Americans' Top 5 Halloween candies are Mars products, according to CandyStore.com. The rankings, based on 12 years of sales data (2007-2018), show Skittles at No. 1, followed by Reese's Cups (the outlier, from Hershey's), M&M's, Snickers and Starburst.

It's especially worth showing some love for M&M's and Twix, both of which are made in Cleveland, Tennessee. In fact, more M&M's are made in Cleveland than anywhere else in the world.

We checked with www.MarsFoodServices.com to find a few recipes for sharing leftover or excess Halloween candy. Twix caramel cookie bars figure prominently, so hold onto those.

 

Candy-Coated Apple Slices Made With Dove Dark Chocolate and M&M's Caramel Chocolate Candies

Makes: 6 slices

3 cups Dove dark chocolate

1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons M&M's caramel chocolate candies, chopped

6 (8-inch) lollipop sticks

1 large Fuji apple, cored and sliced into 6 slices

5 ounces white chocolate

5 drops orange food coloring

Over a water bath, melt Dove dark chocolate.

Stick lollipop sticks in apple slices, about halfway into each slice; pat with a paper towel to remove any juice. Dip into melted chocolate, coating fully but letting excess chocolate drip off.

Place chocolate-covered apple slices onto a silpat-lined sheet pan, and freeze about 1 hour.

Over a water bath, melt white chocolate; divide white chocolate into two vessels. Add orange food coloring to one vessel, and mix completely.

Remove apple slices from freezer, and drizzle with both white chocolates. Immediately cover with chopped M&M's . Drizzle with more of the white chocolates as desired.

c. 2019 Mars or affiliates

some text Cookie-Butter-Stuffed Cookies / Photo c. 2019 Mars or affiliates

 

Cookie-Butter-Stuffed Cookies Made With Snickers and Dove

Makes 24 cookies.

For cookie butter:

18 (1-ounce) pieces peanut butter cookie dough

1 1/2 cups confectioners sugar

1/2 cup vegetable oil

1 cup Snickers bars, chopped

 

For brownie cookies:

3/4 stick unsalted butter

2 pounds Dove dark chocolate, chopped

8 eggs

2 3/4 cups granulated sugar

1 tablespoon vanilla extract

1/4 tablespoon salt

5 ounces all-purpose flour

1/4 teaspoon baking powder

Heat oven to 325 degrees.

Place all 18 portions of peanut butter cookie dough on baking sheets; bake for 16 to 19 minutes, or until light golden brown. Remove from oven and cool.

To prepare cookie butter: Place baked cookies in food processor fitted with a steel blade. Pulse until finely ground. Add confectioners sugar; pulse to blend. Slowly add oil, as needed, until cookie butter has creamy peanut-butter-like texture; transfer to bowl.

Add 1/2 cup chopped Snickers bars to mixture, reserving 1/2 cup, and stir until blended.

For brownie cookies: Melt butter and Dove chocolate over water bath until just melted.

In separate bowl, cream eggs and sugar.

Add remaining ingredients and melted butter/chocolate mixture. Mix until a dough ball is formed. Do not overmix.

To assemble: Spread a portion of cookie butter on flat sides of half the brownie cookies; place remaining cookies on top, and press closed.

Press remaining Snickers pieces around outer edge of filling on each cookie.

c. 2019 Mars or affiliates

 

some text Turtle Pie Slammers / Photo c. 2019 Mars or affiliates

Turtle Pie Slammers

Makes 6 mini pies.

12 uncooked sugar cookies, each 1 1/4 inch

1/4 cup Twix caramel cookie bars, crushed into 1/4-inch pieces

1/4 cup pecans, chopped into medium-size pieces and toasted

3 jumbo marshmallows, halved

Place raw sugar cookies on lined baking sheet 1 inch apart.

Sprinkle 1 teaspoon Twix pieces and 1 teaspoon pecans over each cookie. Press pieces into cookies.

Bake cookies according to package directions, and let cool.

Place 6 cookies upside down on microwave-safe plate.

Place half of one large marshmallow on each cookie, and top with another cookie, right side up.

Microwave on high for 20 seconds. Press cookies together slightly so that marshmallow is dispersed between the cookies.

Serve immediately.

 

Suggestions:

* Use two large cookies to serve a larger version of the Turtle Pie.

* Substitute 3 miniature marshmallows for each jumbo marshmallow half.

c. 2019 Mars or affiliates

 

 

Chocolate Croissant Made With Twix

2 tablespoons water

1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons granulated sugar

1/8 teaspoon kosher salt

1/4 cup heavy cream

1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 pound prepared all-butter puff pastry dough

8 Twix cookie bars

1/4 cup Twix cookie bars, chopped into 1/4-inch pieces

In a small saucepan over medium-high heat, combine water, sugar and salt.

Stir until mixture starts to boil, then lower to a simmer, slowly stirring.

When syrup becomes medium brown, add heavy cream and vanilla, and immediately reduce heat to low.

Continue stirring until sauce reaches a smooth texture, then cool.

Heat oven according to directions on the puff pastry package.

Divide puff pastry into 8 croissant triangles.

Place a single Twix cookie bar on the edge of each pastry triangle. Roll up to the point of the triangle, ensuring that the Twix bar is completely enrobed.

Transfer to lined baking sheet, and bake for 10 to 12 minutes or until golden brown, then cool slightly.

Top with salted caramel sauce and chopped Twix cookie bars.

c. 2019 Mars or affiliates

 

some text Top to Bottom Cheesecake / Photo c. 2019 Mars or affiliates

Top to Bottom Cheesecake

Makes 1 serving.

1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon Twix caramel cookie bars, crushed into 1/2-inch pieces

2 tablespoons caramel sauce

1 cup whipped cream

1 small slice plain cheesecake

1 tablespoon chocolate sauce

Spoon 1/4 cup crushed Twix bars into bottom of a chilled dish.

Top with caramel sauce.

Top with whipped cream.

Place slice of cheesecake onto whipped cream, sinking it one-quarter of the way into whipped cream.

Drizzle dessert with chocolate sauce.

Top with remaining crushed Twix.

Serve immediately.

 

Suggestions:

* Experiment with different flavors of cheesecake.

* Try crushed Snickers bars instead of Twix.

c. 2019 Mars or affiliates

 

some text Pumpkin Pecan Rolls / Photo c. 2019 Mars or affiliates

Pumpkin Pecan Pull-Apart Rolls Made With Twix

Makes 16 servings.

 

For pumpkin dough:

2 teaspoons active dry yeast

cup warm water

2 cups all-purpose flour

cup granulated sugar

2 teaspoons cinnamon

teaspoon nutmeg

teaspoon ground ginger

1/8 teaspoon ground cloves

1 teaspoon salt

teaspoon baking soda

teaspoon baking powder

cup butter, unsalted

cup 100% pure pumpkin puree

cup buttermilk

1 egg

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 cup Twix cookie bars, chopped into -inch pieces, plus cup Twix cookie bars, chopped into -inch pieces

 

For pecan topping:

cup butter, unsalted

1 cup pecans, chopped

cup light brown sugar, packed

cup heavy cream

cup honey

To make pumpkin dough, dissolve yeast in warm water and set aside.

In a stand mixer, combine flour, sugar, spices, salt, baking soda and baking powder.

Cut in cold butter until crumbly. Add pumpkin puree, buttermilk, egg, vanilla and yeast mixture, and fully combine. Fold in -inch-chopped Twix bars. If dough is too sticky, add more flour as needed.

On a floured surface, knead dough about 5 minutes. Place in a greased bowl, and cover overnight.

The next day, prepare pecan mixture. Melt butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. Add pecans, and stir until fragrant. Add brown sugar, heavy cream and honey, and stir until the sugar is dissolved and the mixture begins to thicken.

Pour pecan mixture into a 9-inch-square baking dish, and place in the refrigerator to cool for 15 minutes.

While the pecan mixture is chilling, remove the dough from the refrigerator, roll out into the shape of the 9-inch pan and cut into 16 squares. Remove the 9-inch pan with the pecan mixture from the refrigerator, and place the cut dough squares on top of the pecan mixture. Let the dough rest at room temperature for 20 minutes while heating oven to 350 degrees.

Transfer pan to heated oven, and bake about 25 minutes, until golden brown.

When rolls are finished baking, invert them onto a platter, and immediately top with -inch chopped Twix pieces. Cool and serve.

c. 2019 Mars or affiliates

Contact Lisa Denton at ldenton@timesfreepress.com or 423-757-6281.

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