Is the abundance of candy this season a trick or a treat?

Your little ghosts and goblins went out into the

night, empty pillowcases in tow, to ring doorbells for fists-full of sweets.

Chances are they returned from their Halloween adventure with more candy than you'd like them to eat in one sitting.

Or maybe you didn't get as many trick-or-treaters as you prepared for and you have a mountain of candy sitting in your home.

So what can you do with your kids' holiday haul?

Crafting, baking and giving it away all are viable options for depleting the pile of miniature chocolates and bags of candy corn.

Chocolate covered apples.
Chocolate covered apples. (DAILY RECORD/SUNDAY NEWS - KATE PENN)

Chocolate-covered apples

What you'll need:

6 apples

2 dozen miniature milk- or dark-chocolate candy bars

6 lollipop sticks

M&Ms or other small or crushed candy or nuts for topping

Rubber spatula

Cupcake cups

Take the stems off the apples and replace them with lollipop sticks.

Smash or break apart desired candy toppings.

Break the chocolate bars into small, uniform pieces and place in a medium-sized pot. Melt them slowly over low heat, stirring constantly with a rubber spatula.

When the chocolate is melted, place the apple in the pot and roll it to coat in chocolate. Remove excess chocolate drips from the bottom of the apple with the spatula.

Place apple in cupcake cup and sprinkle or roll in candy.

Let sit for at least an hour so the chocolate can harden.

Source: www.foodnetwork.com

Chocolate bark

What you'll need:

2 dozen miniature milk- or dark-chocolate candy bars

Other crushed candy

Chopped nuts or dried fruit, if desired

Pie pan

Rubber spatula

Break the chocolate bars into small, uniform pieces and place in a medium-sized pot. Melt them slowly over low heat, stirring constantly with a rubber spatula.

Bark made from melted chocolate bars and candy.
Bark made from melted chocolate bars and candy. (DAILY RECORD/SUNDAY NEWS - KATE PENN)

When the chocolate is melted, pour into pie pan. (You may want to line the pan with foil before pouring the chocolate to expedite cleanup and eliminate mess.)

Sprinkle crushed candy bars, nuts or fruit - or a combination - into the melted chocolate.

Let sit for 15 minutes, then place in the refrigerator until chocolate hardens completely.

Break chocolate apart or cut small wedges from the pan to enjoy.

Source: www.foodnetwork.com

Peanut butter cookies with candy 'sprinkles'

What you'll need:

About 1 dozen miniature candy bars of your choice

Rolling pin

Fork

1-gallon plastic baggie

1 package of refrigerated, peanut butter cookie dough

If you choose to make your own cookie dough, you'll need the following ingredients:

½ cup sugar

½ cup packed brown sugar

½ cup butter, room temperature

½ cup peanut butter

1 egg

1¼ cup flour

¾ teaspoon baking soda

½ teaspoon baking powder

¼ teaspoon salt

For the dough, beat the butter until creamy. Add the sugars, and beat for 2 more minutes. Mix in the peanut butter and egg. Mix together the dry ingredients - flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Stir the dry ingredients into the sugar-butter mixture. Then cover the dough in plastic and refrigerate for at least three hours.

Put the miniature candy bars in the one-gallon bag and break up the candy by rolling over it with the rolling pin.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Shape dough into 1¼-inch balls and place them 3 inches apart on an ungreased cookie sheet. Flatten in crisscross pattern with a fork and sprinkle with candy pieces.

Bake until light brown, 9 to 10 minutes. Cool on baking sheets for a minute; transfer to rack to cool completely. For chewier cookies, bake at 300 degrees for 15 minutes.

- Dough recipe from simplyrecipes.

A wreath repurposing candy as a decoration.
A wreath repurposing candy as a decoration. (DAILY RECORD/SUNDAY NEWS - KATE PENN)
com

Candy wreath

IF YOU'D RATHER NOT EAT THE CANDY, but would like to keep it around to decorate your home, a candy and ribbon wreath might be what the dentist ordered.

What you'll need:

9 yards of 1½-inch thick wired ribbon in black, orange, purple or color and pattern of your choice

3 yards of ¨-inch ribbon in contrasting color (wired or un-wired)

Hot glue gun and glue sticks

Twist tie or floral wire

9-inch foam wreath shape

Scissors

Hard, wrapped candy, such as Mary Janes, Tootsie Rolls or gumballs

Wrap the 1½-inch thick ribbon around the foam wreath, making sure to hot-glue each end of the ribbon to the wreath. It should take about 6 yards to wrap the whole wreath.

Cut 1 yard of ¨-inch ribbon and tie or glue it to the top of the wreath. This is the ribbon the wreath will hang from when you display it in your home.

Make a bow. The wreath in the photo above has a multi-loop bow, with a traditional two-loop bow glued on top. You can make whatever kind of bow you'd like. (See instructions for making a multi-loop bow below.)

Hot-glue the bow on top of the ribbon you will use to hang the wreath.

Glue the hard candy to the wreath. Depending on how many pieces you are willing to part with, you can cover the whole thing in candy - it will adhere much better to the ribbon than to the foam - or strategically place pieces around the wreath.

To make a multi-loop bow:

Leaving the desired length for a "tail," place the beginning of the bow between your thumb and index finder, keeping the right side of the ribbon toward you. Twist the ribbon, keeping the twist between the thumb and index finger, and twist again so the right side of the ribbon is up on both sides of the twist.

Create the first loop by bending the ribbon and bringing the end of the first loop between your pointer and middle finger. Repeat, alternating sides of the bow, for at least six loops (three on each side).

Tie-off the center of the bow with the twist tie or floral wire and "fluff" the loops. Trim the "tail" to the desired length, angling or creating a "V" at the ribbon's ends.

Give the candy away

YOU COULD TAKE SACKS FULL OF CANDY TO YOUR OFFICE for your co-workers to enjoy, or you could sell it to area dentists.

The Halloween Candy Buyback program lets kids sell their Halloween haul to local dentists for $1 per pound. The program then sends the candy and care packages to military men and women serving abroad.

Last year, about 125 tons of candy was shipped overseas through the program.

Participating dentists within 30 miles of York include the following:

· East Berlin Smiles, 418 W. King St., East Berlin, 717-259-9596 or amber@eastberlinsmiles.com

· Healthy Smiles Dental, 144 S. Centerville Road in Lancaster, 717-945-7440 or office@healthysmilesdentalpa.com

· Wenger Dental, 1013 W. Main St., Suite 6 in Mount Joy, 717-653-8177 or hewenger@aol.com

· Smiles on Trindle Dental Care, 5229 E. Trindle Road in Mechanicsburg, 717-697-4606 or appointments@smilesontrindledentalcare.com

· Hereford Dental Health, 16918 York Road in Monkton, Md., 410-357-0099 or longeneckerdds@gmail.com

· Drs. Null, Seidel and Dental Associates, 353 York St. Front in Gettysburg, 717-334-8193 or DrsNullSeidelMarketing@gmail.com

· The Smilecare Group, 18 S. Duke St. in Lancaster, 717-399-8444 or contact@smilecaregroup.com

· Premier Dental Care, 2730 Hanover Pike in Manchester, Md., 410-374-4882 or mdavis@premierdentalcare.net

Coming in November

ARE YOU A VEGAN or vegetarian? How do you deal with all the food-oriented events during the holiday season from Thanksgiving through New Year's?

Do family and friends prepare special dishes for you, or do you make do with the vegetables accompanying the main course? Do you bring a vegan or vegetarian dish to holiday meals to share with non-vegans? If you're not vegan, but some of your guests are, what dishes do you prepare to accommodate them?

The Weekly Record would love to hear your stories about navigating food offerings at holiday get-togethers. Feel free to share some

favorite vegan/vegetarian recipes, too!

Send your holiday vegan/vegetarian stories, recipes and photos to Rose Hayes, Weekly Record, 1891 Loucks Road, York 17408; email rose@ydr.com or call 717-771-2077.