Leftover Halloween candy bark takes those bottom of the bag bits and repurposes them into something altogether inspired. A handful of candy, a dash of marshmallows, maybe some pretzels…ta-da! It’s magic.
For this leftover Halloween candy bark recipe, use a combination of candy bars, cookies, and chocolate-coated candies. The suggestions below are just that—suggestions. Use your favorites and experiment with interesting combinations.–Jamie Geller
WHAT CAN I ADD TO CHOCOLATE BARK?
Our testers had a good time adding all kinds of other things to their Halloween Leftover Candy Bark, including treats they bought rather than just leftovers. This included gummy bears, dried fruit, flavored baking chips, and most exciting of all…Pop Rocks. Also, you can make Sweet and Salty Bark by swapping crushed pretzels and potato chips for some of the candy. Salted nuts would be tasty, too.
Leftover Halloween Candy Bark
- 1 3/4 pounds good-quality 60% cacao semisweet chocolate chopped
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 1/2 cups chopped candy bar pieces, chocolate candy pieces, broken cookie pieces, crushed pretzels or mini marshmallows
- Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Place the chocolate in a microwave-safe bowl and melt it in the microwave in 10-second intervals, stirring often, until smooth. Add the vanilla and stir well. Gently stir in half the various candy, cookies, pretzels, marshmallows, or what have you.
- Using a rubber spatula, spread the chocolate mixture evenly into the prepared baking sheet and smooth the surface as best you can. Sprinkle with the remaining candy, cookies, pretzels, or marshmallows. Loosely cover and refrigerate until the chocolate is set, 2 to 4 hours.
- Break the chilled bark into pieces. Indulge or package it up and gift it to anyone and everyone to get it the heck out of your house. (You can store the bark in an airtight container, stacking the layers of bark between sheets of parchment or wax paper, at room temperature for up to 1 week. But we don't think it will last that long.)
Recipe Testers’ Reviews
Warning: This leftover Halloween candy bark is dangerously addicting! The recipe itself is super easy and quick to put together. That makes this candy bark recipe a double threat. Using good quality chocolate for the base makes it velvety smooth but not overly rich. I was surprised how much chocolate makes up 1 3/4 pounds.
Melting the chocolate went flawlessly in the microwave. A rubber spatula or scraper is essential to the success of this recipe. Even using a rubber scraper, I found this bark quite messy to make with all the stirring of the melting chocolate, then the stirring of the mix-ins to the melted chocolate, followed by evenly spreading the melted chocolate on a baking sheet.
Three Musketeers, Milky Ways, Snickers, Twix, some potato chips, mini marshmallows, and M&M’s produced a beautiful treat. (I used 11 mini candy bars, 1/2 cup marshmallows, and 1/2 cup potato chips.) It was a huge success and would be appropriate for any party or holiday gathering. This is a fantastic way to use leftover candy or small amounts of potato chips or marshmallows at the bottom of the bag.
Quick, simple, and the combination of flavors is endless. Four grandchildren wanted to make this leftover Halloween candy bark recipe, so I let each one pick out the ingredients they wanted to use, and we made 4 smaller batches. This is very quick to make, but your yield will vary greatly depending upon the ingredients you use. Most candy versions will be heavier than some of the other ingredients. We ended up with 3 1/2 pounds total, but one or two of the grandkids may have gotten carried away with their ingredients.
Here’s what we made:
1. Pretzels, dried cranberries, and a sprinkle of pink salt. It was nice, but we’ll use dried cherries next time.
2. Marshmallows and caramels. Pretty good but very sweet.
3. Pretzels and Heath Toffee Bars. Nice.
4. Marshmallows and Andes Peppermint Baking Chips. This was our absolute favorite. It is a twist on Peppermint Bark and has a very nice refreshing flavor.
My first thought reading this recipe was “What is leftover Halloween candy?” It never appeared when my kids were little. That said, I went out and bought some Halloween candy to make this recipe. I used pretzels, Peanut Butter Cups, Kit Kat bars, Coffee Crisps, and M&M’s. For the topping, I used Pop Rocks. I chose not to use any marshmallows.
I made 2 batches. Melting the chocolate in the microwave is tedious by 10-second increments. On the second batch, I found myself doing 30-second bursts for the first couple minutes and then checking and stirring every 10 seconds after that. That seemed to work better. The chocolate melted much smoother with less stirring. When mixing in the first half of the extras, stir quickly, as when you add the vanilla, the chocolate may seize a bit. Also, spraying a little cooking spray on your spatula will allow the chocolate bark to spread more easily.
To break my bark more easily, I put it into the freezer for a few minutes to completely harden. Since I can’t eat chocolate, I relied on others to taste this for me. My son took this to work, and the results were unanimous. It was a hit! Amazing, inspired, awesome, and when can I have the recipe? were among the comments sent back. Apparently, everyone wanted the pieces with the Pop Rocks on top. If you can find them, use them here.
As for what you’d like to put in these, I think just about anything would work. I think for my next batch, I’ll use potato chips, raisins, M&M’s, O’Henry, and assorted gummies and top it all off with Pop Rocks. This is perfect for the candy that goes on sale after Halloween.
Originally published October 31, 2014