What Can I Do with All Those Mishloach Manos Leftovers?
You worked hard on mishloach manos, thinking of a clever theme to correspond with the costumes. But once Purim is over your creative design and carefully thought out intricacies are relegated to the dining room table where they are scattered and spilled out with all the other goodies you received on this chag. The room looks like you raided Candyland as an array of neon candies, sprinkled pastries, and shiny snack bags cover the surface like a sugary tablecloth concoction. Even after you’ve selected (or hid, if you have little kids) the items you want to keep for yourself, you are left with an abundance of treats to get rid of before Pesach. Sure, you can attempt to ingest them all, but you don’t want to spend Chol Hamoed Pesach at the dentist’s office or at a bariatric consultation. So, what do you do with all those leftover Purim treats?
Some of your stash can be used on Pesach! Those iconic miniature green-hued Kedem grape juice bottles would be perfect for children to drink at the Seder. Even some of the snacks are kosher for Passover; just check the label. You may want to clean the packaging since it has been in contact with chametz.
Win over your co-workers by bringing sweets to the office! Think about others who may want or need the snacks like the office janitor, your babysitter or cleaning lady, mailman, neighbors, sanitation workers, or UPS driver. Put it in a nice package and hand it over to your kids’ school crossing lady or security guard. This would really make their morning! A lovely gesture and kiddush Hashem would be to drop off a nice basket to your local police precinct, firehouse, or even elected official together with a genuine note thanking them for their service.
Here’s an idea for lollipops or hard candy. Crush the candies in a food processor. Roll out some sugar cookie dough, cut your shape, then use a smaller cookie cutter to cut out the center. Place the outlined shape on a baking sheet lined with parchment. Fill the center with your crushed hard candy and bake the required time. The result is a beautiful looking cookie with a “glass” center.
If you have loose or mini chocolate bars, melt them into one giant bar and break up for bark. They can also be melted to make a nice cup of hot cocoa.
Play with It!
You mother always admonished you not to play with your food, but there are many benefits to playing with candy! I don’t let my kids eat those multi-colored powdered fizz snacks, but I do let them spill it out onto construction paper or a shoe box and let them use it for sensory play. There are countless websites (check out http://www.candyexperiments.com/p/experiments.html) devoted to science experiments using candy that can teach your children about density, gravity, temperature, and osmosis.
Did you know that Skittles can be made into paint? Take a big bag of rainbow-colored Skittles, some clear corn syrup, and five small containers. Place 25 candies in each container and pour the corn syrup over them until they are submerged. A few hours later, you will notice that the corn syrup in all of the jars have been colored by the Skittles into a thick paint! Stir the mixture with paintbrushes or even your finger and get to drawing; the neat thing about this is that the paint is obviously non-toxic and even has a great smell. Don’t dispose candy wrappers; they can be used in origami creations. Check out the Origami Resource Center for some really cool ideas!
If none of these ideas suit you, and you are still stressed about what to do with all of this leftover candy, then work off all your aggression by stuffing all the nosh into a piñata and invite some friends over to help you knock it out. Think of all the extra calories you will at least burn.
M& M Skillet Cookie
1 cup butter, softened
1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar
2 large eggs
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
1/2 tsp. salt
2 1/2 cups flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1 cup chocolate chips
2 cups M& M candies, divided (1 cup + 1 cup)
Melt the butter in a 10- or 12-inch cast iron skillet over medium heat. Continue to cook the butter, stirring often, until it starts to foam. When you notice it beginning to brown and have a toasty odor, remove pan from heat. Pour the butter into a bowl to cool slightly before proceeding. (Don’t clean the skillet – just let it cool as is… it is greased now and ready for the cookie dough in a bit!) Preheat the oven to 375ºF. In your large mixer bowl, cream together the butter and sugars until fluffy. Beat in the eggs, vanilla and salt until smooth. Mix in the flour and baking soda until just well mixed and then stir in the chocolate chips and 1 cup of the M&Ms. Press the dough evenly into the prepared skillet, sprinkle the top with the remaining cup of M&Ms, pressing them in gently, and then place in the oven to bake for 25-35 minutes, until the cookie is just set and golden brown around the edges. Cool and then cut into wedges and serve from the pan!
4 gummi worms or other gummi candy
3 small clear bowls filed with 1 cup of water each
Add a spoonful of sugar to one bowl of water. Add a spoonful of salt to another bowl of water. Put a gummi candy in each bowl and set the extra gummi bear aside for comparison. After several hours, check the gummi candies to see what size they are.
Plants use osmosis when they absorb water through their roots and circulate it to plant cells. When you put a gummi worm in fresh water, water flows into the gummi worm diluting the sugary gelatin mix making it expand. You will notice after a day or so that when putting a gummi worm in salt water, the salt water is already concentrated, so less water is needed to dilute the gummi worm making the worm grow less.
Foil-lined baking sheet
Preheat the oven to 300°F and place the unwrapped candy on the baking sheet. Heat the candy in the oven for up to 30 minutes, checking every few minutes.
When taffy is heated tiny air bubbles are formed, making it soft and chewy. The air bubbles also break up light rays when they pass through. When you melt it into a thin puddle, and some of the air bubbles escape, the taffy becomes translucent again.
(Taken from the book Candy Experiments by Loralee Levitt)