Before you are tempted to gobble up the kids' Halloween candy stash hidden under their beds, barter them for some of the treats to make these delectable Candy Bar Muffins. A good way to remove temptation and change it to a healthier indulgence. (Skip to recipe.)
The goblins have gobbled, the pirates have looted and the ghosts have slithered away. Halloween is over and now you’re left with that handful of treats in the bottom of the candy bowl and the pillowcases full of temptation hidden under your kids’ beds. You’ve rifled through and picked out your favourite candy bars (only fair since you were chief costume designer and Halloween organizer) - but how do you keep the rest of those treats from becoming your family’s main food group for the next few weeks?
You commandeer the treat bags, and implement a few of the following tricks:
1. Unwrap crispy types of chocolate/candy bars (Skor, Crunchie, Crispie Crunch, M & M’s, Twix, etc.) and place them in a zip-top plastic bag. Crush them with a rolling pin until you have uniform crumbles. Store the crumbles in the freezer and use them to top parfaits, yogurt, pancakes, rice pudding, sprinkle onto muffins before baking, fold into whipped cream. Combine them with chopped nuts and top your morning oatmeal for a divine treat. Use them wherever you’d like a touch of sweet crunch.
2. Dice chewier chocolate bars (Mars, Oh Henry, Snickers, Wunderbar, Caramilk, etc.) and mix them with a dusting of cornstarch (this also prevents you from sneaking frozen bits). Store in the freezer and use them to replace chocolate chips in cookies, fold them into muffin batter, loaf cakes or cheesecake batter. Fold them into pancake batters or warm puddings. Mix them into granola or trail mix. (I love them in banana loaf - they melt into pockets of gooey goodness.)
3. Dice 'meltable' chocolate bars (milk chocolate, Mars, Caramilk) and stir them into a saucepan of simmering milk. Whisk until melted and smooth for the ultimate, decadent caramel hot chocolate to drink.
4. Donate wrapped treats to the food bank or shelters or group homes.
5. Give them to a family with skinny teenagers.
6. Feed them to your chickens (Don't laugh. I've done that in the past - the chickens loved me!)
7. Or play with some new flours and make these muffins. The diced chocolate bars form sweet melty little bursts of flavour inside and bake into crunchy crackly bits on top. Yum.
* * * * *
Kitchen Frau Notes: Alternative flours are filled with fiber and nutrients. They are available in health food stores or the natural foods section of supermarkets. Using some good-for-you ingredients in the muffins minimizes the junk-food impact of the candy bars. It’s all about balance. I figure if you spread the love (and sugar) around a bit, you can indulge every now and then.
If you can't find ground golden flax seeds, use regular flax seeds. Their flavour is a bit more assertive, but they will work equally well.
***If you wish to make these muffins with regular wheat flour, replace the flours, starch and flaxseeds in the ingredients list with 1½ cups white flour, or use half white and half whole wheat flour.
Candy Bar Muffins (or Raid-the-Halloween-Loot-Bag Muffins)
( gluten-free if using gluten-free candy bars)
- ½ cup (75gms) brown rice flour
- ½ cup (65gms) sorghum flour
- ¼ cup (35gms) tapioca starch
- ¼ cup (30gms) ground golden flaxseeds
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon ginger
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1 large egg
- ¼ cup (60ml) oil
- ¼ cup (60ml) liquid honey
- 1 cup (240ml) unsweetened applesauce
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 8 fun-sized candy bars* (gluten-free if necessary). Or use a heaping half cup chopped larger candy bar, or regular chocolate chips.
Preheat ove to 375°F. Line a muffin tin with paper liners.
Whisk together dry ingredients and set aside.
In a large bowl, whisk the egg. Whisk in the oil, honey, applesauce and vanilla. (Tip: if you measure the oil first, then the honey – the honey will slide out of the cup like magic!)
Dump the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients and stir until evenly moistened. Dice or coarsely chop 6 of the candy bars and stir into the batter.
Evenly divide the batter between the 12 muffin cups.
Finely dice or chop the remaining 2 candy bars and sprinkle the bits evenly over the tops of the muffins.
Bake 15 to 20 minutes, until the tops spring back when lightly touched.
Makes 12 muffins.
Let cool slightly before devouring, as the melted candy bars can be super hot.
*Some candy bars which are made without wheat are Crunchie, Caramilk, Snickers, Oh Henry, M&M’s, but always double check the ingredients, as they can change without warning. Bars made for sale in other countries can contain different ingredients. Some of these candy bars are made in facilities that manufacture other products with wheat, so if you are feeding someone with Celiac disease or a severe wheat allergy, stick to known, safe, candy bars or use gluten-free chocolate chips.
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