Don't Be Afraid To Take That Leftover Halloween Candy And Throw It In The Freezer

Whether your family went all-out on Halloween, you anticipated more trick-or-treaters than you actually had, or you simply couldn't resist post-Halloween candy sales, ending up with a huge surplus of sweets is quite typical. Of course, savor those mini delights (and those coveted full-sized candy bars), but eventually, even the most ardent candy lover might grow weary of incessant nougat-filled candies and fruity gummies.

Storing your Halloween haul in the freezer can extend the lifespan of most candies, making it an ideal method for chocolates, gummies, and hard candies. First, categorize the candies, as chocolates can easily take on neighboring flavors. That's why you sometimes reach for a piece of filled chocolate, expecting it to taste like creamy peanut butter, but it somehow tastes like cherry from the gummies right next to it. After sorting, transfer candies into airtight containers or sealable plastic bags before placing them in the freezer. This method can keep them tasting fresh for around a year.

Why can't you store candy at room temperature?

When you purchase candy at the store, don't fret: A single bar of chocolate will last you quite a long time. At a cool room temperature, milk and white chocolates generally last about 10 months, while dark chocolate can endure up to two years. Chewy caramels and nougats maintain freshness for around six months, and when stored correctly, hard candies have an almost indefinite shelf life.

But here's the thing — longevity doesn't always equate to preserved taste and texture. Depending on storage conditions and the candy's age upon purchase, the flavor and feel can change markedly. Chocolates and chewy fruit candies might become dry, hard candies could turn sticky, and marshmallow treats may become excessively tacky. While the white coating on chocolate bars is safe to eat, its appearance can be off-putting, and it might alter the texture to be somewhat grainy. Storing in the freezer can mitigate these effects.

What to do with frozen leftover Halloween candy

Dice various chocolate bars into bite-sized pieces and use them as chocolate chip substitutes in cookies, blondies, or brownies. These candy chunks can also serve as excellent toppings for cakes, cupcakes, and cheesecakes. For fruit-flavored candies, classics like hard candies, Jolly Ranchers, and lollipops can be melted to craft stained-glass cookies or crystal-like dessert decorations.

Organize your Halloween candy with upcoming holidays in mind. Candies in shades of orange, yellow, and brown, such as candy corn, suit Thanksgiving treats and fall events. Meanwhile, separate red and green candies for Christmas or Kwanzaa desserts. Indeed, your October candy reserve can be an asset for December's gingerbread houses.

There's no obligation to repurpose Halloween candy. Let them return to room temperature for a delightful bite, or savor them directly from the freezer — some treats, like gummy bears, taste exquisite when ice-cold. If you choose to freeze them, the candies will remain delicious until the next Halloween. With a fresh candy stockpile at your disposal, a world of sweet concoctions awaits.