Easter this year is reported to have had a huge surge in spending, possibly due to the later date which gave people more time to shop. According to the National Retail Federation's annual Easter survey, Americans spent approximately $18.4 billion on Easter this year.
According to Candy & Snack TODAY, nearly 90% of children's Easter baskets will incorporate chocolate bunnies, peeps and other popular candies and 87% on other foods into their baskets. This number is particulary interesting to me in a culture where we are demanding harsher regulation on what is allowed in food and what we give our children we are still willing to give mass amounts of candy during the holidays. But no what do we do with the leftovers? I can't be the only one that spent the post-bedtime hours confiscating most of that candy after Easter.
An Easter basket isn’t the only way you can enjoy sweets. Get creative in the kitchen and find new ways to enjoy your favorite candies, such as this recipe that combines ice cream, cookies and Cadbury Crème Egg Candy for a one-of-a-kind dessert from family features.
Other ideas for leftover candy include:
1. Make Jelly Bean art! Kids can paint, color or glue colorful jellybeans into fun pieces of art.
2. Donate to a local homeless shelter or send oversees to our troops. Groups like Operation Shoebox loves donations. Bags of heat-resistant candy can be mailed to:
8360 East Highway 25
Belleview, FL 34420
3. Chop up the chocolate bunnies, peanut butter cups and other sweet treats. You can freeze and use as ice cream toppings or in baking throughout the summer (cookies, yum!). You can also melt it down for a delicious chocolate fondue one night for an extra special treat.
4. Make it an adults-only night. Have a wine pairing dessert party or soak peeps in vodka!
5. Turn that candy into a science experiment. A quick Google search landed me with so many ideas from microwaving peeps to jelly bean sculptures.
Candy Egg Ice Cream Sandwiches
2 cups vanilla ice cream
3 Cadbury Crème Egg Candy
8 large sugar cookies
1/4 cup Cadbury Mini Eggs Candy
Set ice cream on counter for 15-20 minutes, or until it begins to thaw and is easy to scoop.
Unwrap and chop egg candy into small pieces. Pour candy pieces (including gooey center off knife and cutting board) into medium mixing bowl.
Scoop ice cream into bowl with chopped candy. Using plastic spatula, stir candy and ice cream until well combined.
Pour ice cream mixture into rectangular or square 2-quart dish and spread into even layer, making sure candy is evenly distributed. Cover with plastic wrap and place dish in freezer for at least 30 minutes, or until ice cream has set again.
In food processor, pulse mini egg candies until finely chopped.
Remove ice cream from freezer.
Place chopped mini candies in shallow bowl wide enough to fit a cookie. Place 4 cookies bottom up on plate. Top each cookie with scoop of ice cream then top ice cream with another cookie (bottom facing ice cream). Press down on sandwich until ice cream reaches cookie edge.
Immediately roll ice cream edges of sandwich in chopped mini candies, turning sandwich until all edges are coated. Place sandwich on a dish and return to freezer. Repeat with remaining sandwiches.
Serve immediately or wrap in plastic wrap and freeze until ready to serve.