by Julia Malakoff
Published in the Reston Patch, 11/13/2012
It is mid- November and my kids are still munching away at their Halloween candy. Four kids equals three king size pillowcases and one bucket full of candy left on top of my refrigerator and inside of my cabinets. Each child has chosen their own “secret” spot to hide their bounty. Nice idea, however the candy is creeping out of every crevice in my kitchen and I am ready for it to all go way. We have negotiated with our children to donate half of their candy and it will usually go to a shelter or my husband’s office, for I am sure the people in his corporate workplace must come from families where they don’t have enough sweets of their own and can’t wait to dive into our leftover treats. Nevertheless, even after half of the candy is donated, and all trading has been set aside, we still have too much for one household. I personally am not a big candy person, but, I do enjoy a well baked cookie treat. A few years back, when a cookie mood may have struck and I may have been lacking in chocolate chips, I recall turning to my kids and asking them if anyone had any chocolates in their Halloween candy collection.
All four of them quickly snapped open their bags and literally dove into their pillowcases and bucket pulling out bars, pieces and chunks of chocolate. They sorted the candy by brand and a few minutes later, I had more than enough chocolate to fulfill an army sized batch of chocolaty cookies. The kids and I unwrapped and chopped the candy bars into small bits. We used it all, Hershey bars, Snickers, Milkyways, Kisses, Heath Bars and MnMs for color. I decided to follow an old fashioned oatmeal cookie recipe, to keep things a tiny bit healthy and traded the usual raisins and morsels for a double load of chocolaty treats. When I doled out the spoonfuls onto the trays, it was easier to use a tablespoon and keep the cookies big and chunky. I popped the cookies into the oven for ten minutes and “Voila!” delicious treats to be shared by all. Once the candy has been converted into cookie form, it is much easier to set aside and freeze or even give away as gifts. And best of all it means another few pounds of candy gone, and me a little bit closer to reclaiming my kitchen.