How To Sort Your Halloween Candy To Get A Head Start On The Holidays

If your children are too young to read this independently, proceed without caution. But if you have school-aged children, you may not want to leave this article open on your laptop. It may incite a riot when they realize it's about taking away some of their well-earned Halloween candy, and rightfully so.

In order to organize the Halloween haul, you can patiently wait for the novelty of hiding candy in their bedroom to wear off or sort through their loot once they fall asleep and take what you can use (I know, it sounds harsh). Inevitably, there's always leftover Halloween candy two weeks into November; this 'exercise' gives you a jump start on candy you can recycle into holiday baking supplies and redistribute the rest for other projects. 

Like any organizing, the first step is assessing what you have, so dump all the candy out and begin sorting it into piles. Depending on the age of your children and how generous your neighbors are, you may have a pile of non-edible toys, candy your kids don't like (that you can eat), snack packs (like Goldfish crackers), gummies, and chocolates. Sweets that are good for holiday baking you'll want to set aside.

How to recycle Halloween candy for baking

Candy-coated chocolates like M&Ms or Reese's Pieces are obvious choices for baking. Not only do they not melt in your hands, but they are delicious in cookies and bars. Sort them into colors if you want only holiday colors, or add them all for a pretty rainbow effect. Substitute the candy for chocolate chips in your recipe, or use both.

Bar candies like Twix, Kit Kat, and Milky Way (a few of our favorite things) can also be used for holiday baking if you first give them a rough chop. While cookies are a great way to recycle Halloween candy, pies and cakes can benefit from the chocolate love. Try topping cheesecake with chopped Snickers bars and drizzles of caramel.

Holiday baking doesn't need to be limited to chocolate. Add your favorite sugar candy to the next batch of Rice Krispie Treats, giving new life to colorful candies like Nerds. If candy corn isn't your thing, you can't deny that they make adorable turkey beaks on Thanksgiving cupcakes. Hard candies like Jolly Ranchers make beautiful stained glass cookies or flavored vodka for the grownups. 

TikToker Healthy Family Doc suggests further managing their Halloween candy by setting aside what you deem is appropriate for your children to consume now and stashing some to fill Advent calendars, eliminating having to shop for those little treats. Of course, there's the Buddy the Elf method, piling it all on spaghetti and watching your kids get after it.