College Kitchen: I want candy

Halloween treats 2.0

These gooey post-Halloween candies are more grown-up versions of your favorite Halloween regulars.

Image by Bridget Bennett

These gooey post-Halloween candies are more grown-up versions of your favorite Halloween regulars.

by Lucy Nieboer

As the final porch lights were dimmed and jack o’ lanterns extinguished, the flurry of sorting, cataloging and trading began. When every piece was accounted for, the costumed kiddie with the biggest stash was awarded bragging rights for a full calendar year.

College students no longer bask in the luxury of free candy. Milk Duds and Laffy Taffy don’t feed straight into our sugar high anymore. They contribute to the freshman/sophomore/junior/senior 15. Fun-sized Snickers are less appealing when you have to pay through the nose, only to have half the bag eaten by your intoxicated roommate.

The candy of your childhood can still be enjoyable, but it’s about time it did some growing up. You have a more mature palate now, and your candy choices can reflect that.


If you loved Caramel Apple Pops, try:

Ginger and Apple Salted Caramels

There is nothing sophisticated about sucking on a lollipop, especially when that lollipop turns your tongue a particularly fluorescent shade of green. With this recipe, you get to enjoy the combination of salty, gooey caramel and tart apples without the obnoxious, bright green sour-apple flavoring.

2 tablespoons grated ginger

1 cup chopped dehydrated apples

3/4 cup heavy cream

1/2 teaspoon vanilla

1/2 cup light corn syrup

1/3 cup brown sugar

2/3 cup sugar

4 tablespoons salted butter

1/4 teaspoon sea salt, plus more for topping

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Place grated ginger on a cookie sheet, and bake in the oven for about seven minutes. Add the ginger and diced apple chips to a greased and foiled loaf pan.

In a small saucepan, bring the cream, butter, vanilla and quarter teaspoon of salt to a boil. Remove from the heat, cover and set aside. In a bigger pan (at least four quarts), heat the two sugars and corn syrup. Stir until a uniform mixture is formed, and then using a candy thermometer, watch carefully until the syrup reaches 310 degrees. Remove from heat and stand back as you add the cream mixture. (The candy will bubble up fiercely.) Stir until a slightly thick, light brown mixture develops. Reheat to 260 degrees. Turn the heat off and add remaining butter. Stir until smooth.

Pour on top of apples and ginger in the loaf pan. Let cool for ten minutes, then sprinkle with a generous portion of sea salt. Once the mixture is completely cool, remove the foil and slice into one inch squares. Wrap in wax paper. Enjoy with hot apple cider for a quick afternoon pick-me-up. Adapted from David Lebovitz’s Salted Butter Caramels recipe.


If you loved candy corn, try:


Sweetcorn is so scrumptious and flavorful on its own and its orange, yellow and white imitator — so plentiful this time of year — is lackluster in comparison. A bright addition to any harvest table, this dish uses natural flavors to satisfy your corn cravings — and it’s healthy too.

1 10 ounce bag frozen corn OR 3 ears fresh corn

1/2 red pepper

1 carrot

1/2 red onion

1 cup apple cider vinegar

1/2 cup sugar

1/4 cup water

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon celery seed

1/4 teaspoon pepper

1/2 teaspoon mustard seed

Put ears of corn in boiling water. Cook for 3-5 minutes and drain. If still on the cob, remove kernels with sharp knife. Dice onion and pepper. Shred carrot. In a large bowl, mix veggies and remaining ingredients. Let stand for one day. Serve cold.


If you loved Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, try:

Spicy Dark Chocolate Peanut Clusters

In the College Kitchen’s very informal and unscientific Halloween candy poll, Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups came out as the favorite. With the same base flavors as the cups, these clusters are given an adult-sized kick of spice that makes them the best confection for any grown-up affair.

1 bag dark chocolate chips

1 tablespoon chili powder

1 & 1/2 cups unsalted roast peanuts

Hot red pepper flakes

1 dash of salt

In a completely dry pan, melt the chocolate chips. When they are completely liquid, stir in the chili powder and salt. Adding them a handful at a time, stir in the peanuts, making sure they get an even coating of chocolate. Remove from the heat. On a cookie sheet lined with wax paper, add a dollop of the chocolate peanut mixture. Sprinkle a small pinch of hot red pepper flakes on each cluster. Refrigerate for one hour. Serve with coffee for a piquant after-dinner delicacy.


Abstaining from candy consumption during Halloween would be like skipping the turkey on Thanksgiving. With these recipes, you can skip the childish treats of your past and still get your seasonal sugar fix.