For those of you with kids, I am sure you are wondering what to do with all that leftover Halloween candy…unless you are one of those parents who let them eat as much as they want knowing it will only make them sick. It’s not a bad plan and I’m not judging! Ultimately you are hoping that it will teach them a lesson. Yet, I’ve seen the “eat as much as you want” plan backfire on more than one parent. However, I’ve discovered as a parent, you are either a “rationer”, who saves the candies for school lunches, road trips, or even party favors, doling out only a little at time, or you are a “hands-off and all in” parent, who lets them go at it.
Put simply, we are the rationers. In our house we currently have enough candy to put a 700 pound man into a coma. In fact, I once had a friend, who was benignly looking for a glass in our kitchen when he come across our stash and described it as the “Willy Wonka cupboard.” In fact I think there is still candy in there from last Halloween. We’ve got to clean it out. So I started thinking about what to do with all the candy we are storing in the cupboard like a squirrel hoarding nuts for the winter.
We do have a tradition on Thanksgiving morning in our house. We watch the Macy’s Day Parade and in an attempt to give the kids the full experience, we hand them paper bags with their names on them and occasionally throw candy to them on the living room floor. They love it. But this year was the first year our daughter asked, “Where are you getting all this candy?” We are going to have to give that some careful thought for next year.
You can use extra Halloween candy to decorate gingerbread houses, make edible necklaces, stuff stockings, or even…you knew it was coming…bake in biscotti!
So this year, as every year, our kids discover a new candy around Halloween. This year our daughter fell in love with Nerds. You remember those little hard candies that resemble pebbles and come in a variety of colors and flavors. So when I asked if she would like to experiment and make biscotti with some of her Halloween candy, Nerds was her pick.
As we were almost ready to make the logs, she threw me a curve ball. In addition to the Nerds she insisted on melted chocolate, which is something we have topped biscotti with, but never put into the batter. We found a full-size Hershey’s Dark Chocolate bar in our s’more stash and melted it down. As we kneaded it into the dough, it left a marbled effect that was wonderful and delicious.
Chocolate Nerd Biscotti
YIELD: approximately two dozen
2 ½ cups all-purpose flour
1 cup granulated sugar
2 teaspoons double-acting baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
½ cup Nerds candy (any flavor or mix them all together)
1 full-size Dark Chocolate Hershey bar, melted
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and place the rack in the middle of the oven.
2. In a large flat bottomed bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt.
3. In a smaller bowl, whisk together the eggs and vanilla extract.
4. With a rubber spatula, stir the egg mixture into the flour mixture until the dough just starts to come together. Dust your hands with flour and knead the dough in the bowl until all the ingredients are incorporated and the dough is tacky.
5. Add the Nerds. Knead the dough until incorporated, about 10 – 20 times.
6. Add the melted chocolate. Knead until the dough has a marbled effect, about 5 – 10 times.
7. Separate the dough in half. Form two logs, approximately 3 inches wide and 1 inch high on a parchment lined baking sheet. Leave several inches between the logs, the dough will spread as it bakes.
8. Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 30 minutes, or until the tops begin to crack or split. Transfer logs to a wire cooling rack to cool completely.
9. Transfer biscotti logs to a cutting board. Slice the biscotti on a diagonal and place cut side down on the same parchment lined baking sheet. Bake for an additional 20 minutes, turning the biscotti once halfway through. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool completely.
What to do with the ends #88: Use the ends to create a long curvy parallel pathway on a table top. Then grab two straws and some Nerds and see who can get their Nerd to the finish line first by blowing them down the pathway with the straw. The winner gets to eat both Nerds.