Use up your Halloween candy

Most of the year, candy is a treat eaten occasionally. At Halloween, candy is in abundance. Whether you got too much trick-or-treating or pick it up at the post-Halloween sales, you can turn it into something different for a special snack.

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Halloween Popcorn Mix

12 cups popped popcorn
1 cup candy corn
1 cup dry-roasted, salted peanuts
1/2 cup candy-coated peanut butter pieces, such as Reese’s Pieces
1 pound chocolate almond bark (chocolate confectionery coating), broken into chunks

Line a flat surface or baking sheet with waxed paper or parchment; set aside. In a large bowl, mix popcorn, candy corn, peanuts, and peanut butter pieces. Melt the almond bark in a microwave-safe glass or ceramic bowl in 30-second intervals, stirring after each interval, until smooth, about 1 to 3 minutes. Do not overheat or chocolate will scorch. Pour melted almond bark over popcorn mixture; stir until popcorn is well coated. Spread popcorn mixture onto prepared flat surface. Let dry completely, then break into clumps. Makes 12 servings.

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Candy Bar Salad

1 8-ounce container frozen whipped topping, thawed
1 3.5-ounce package instant French vanilla pudding
2 Granny Smith apples, cored and chopped
2 bananas, sliced
2 2.16-ounce bars chocolate-coated caramel-peanut nougat candy bars, chopped

In a bowl, whisk the frozen whipped topping with French vanilla pudding mix until smoothly combined. Mix the apples, bananas, and chopped candy bars into the pudding mixture. Refrigerate until ready to serve. Makes 8 servings.

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Peanutty Candy Corn Cereal Bars

1/4 cup butter or margarine
1 tablespoon peanut butter
5 cups miniature marshmallows, divided
6 cups honey nut-flavored cereal squares, such as Honey Nut Chex
2 cups candy corn
1/2 cup peanuts

Grease a 9×13-inch baking pan; set aside.

Cook and stir butter and peanut butter together in a saucepan over medium heat until smooth, 2 to 3 minutes. Add 4 cups marshmallows to margarine mixture; cook and stir until marshmallows are melted, 2 to 3 minutes. Remove saucepan from heat.

Stir cereal squares into marshmallow mixture until fully coated and slightly cooled; fold in candy corn, peanuts, and remaining 1 cup marshmallows. Pour mixture into the prepared baking pan, pressing down in an even layer with buttered hands or a buttered wooden spoon. Cool completely before cutting into squares. Makes 12 servings.

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Pantry Pointers

Most Halloween candy can be frozen for future use on sundaes, on ice cream, in plain cookie dough, and in cakes.

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