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If you’ve ever wondered why Halloween is linked with candy and what to do with all those leftover sweets, Kim Haasarud has a treat for you.

Most people partake in some form of Halloween celebration where the themes and costumes can range anywhere from comedic pop culture to historical figures to scary and horror-laced outfits. But, one thing is constant … the candy. Where did the act of trick or treating and candy come from?

While the history of Halloween dates back to Celtic times, BC, the act of trick-or-treating derived from “souling,” an act where people would dress up and go the wealthy houses, asking for money or food in exchange for prayers to dead relatives that once inhabited the house. Later, the tradition was picked up by children who would often perform a “trick” in exchange for a “treat” like food, like a cake, nuts, or even money. The practice really didn’t solidify until the baby boomer generation were children (1950’s) and trick-or-treating became community-based. The industrial revolution also gave rise to candy manufacturers being able to mass-produce, distribute and market their candy, specifically around Halloween.

Currently, Americans spend about 4.6 billion dollars on Halloween candy, making Halloween the nation’s second-largest commercial holiday, according to the National Retail Federation. And, especially this year, with the pandemic, people are looking for an experience more than ever. This paves the way for a number of new and different ways to put Halloween candy to good use, aside from giving it away or eating it yourself. There can be Halloween cakes, cookies, and, my favorite, milkshakes!

Over the past several years, I’ve gotten to be somewhat of a Milkshake Maven. Below are two different milkshakes using two different types of candy – chocolate-based (“Rocky Road to Mexico” and fruity-based (“The Mad Hatter”).

Rocky Road to Mexico

Ingredients

This first milkshake is called “Rocky Road to Mexico”. I make this milkshake even when it’s not Halloween, it’s so tasty. It incorporates lots of nutty chocolate goodness and texture. I use Don Julio Anejo as it has a lot of caramel and chocolate aromatics and flavors to it – it is incredible in this milkshake.

STEP ONE: You want to start by unwrapping the candy and putting them into separate bowls. In some bowls, include candy that is going to fit and look good on top of the milkshake as a garnish. The other bowl can be candy that you really love. It’s okay if it looks a little beaten up or semi-melted. It’s going to go in the blender anyway. We want about a quarter cup that will be blended and close the same amount for the garnishes. Feel free to add any additional ingredients (per the above) that you have in your fridge or pantry.

STEP TWO: Pull out the ice cream to let it soften for a bit. (It should be relatively easy to scoop with just a little resistance.)

STEP THREE: Add 2-3 scoops of vanilla or chocolate ice cream, milk, and Don Julio Anejo to the blender cup. Blend on HIGH until smooth. (If it’s pretty liquidy, add more ice cream. If it’s having a hard time blending, add a little more milk.)

STEP FOUR: Pulse in the candy. Personally, I like this milkshake a little chunky, so I just pulse it until it gets to the texture and bite-size that I want. (About 4-5 times.) For creamier versions, just blend it until smooth.

STEP FIVE: Swirl a rim of chocolate sauce at the top and the inside of the glass and let it drip down.

STEP SIX: Pour the blended milkshake into the chocolate swirled glass, leaving about a half-inch from the top. Top with whipped cream and add the garnishes.


The Mad Hatter

Ingredients

This milkshake uses Tanqueray No 10! The botanicals such as juniper, coriander, and lime give it a fresh lift and goes well with the vanilla, strawberry, and fruity candy.

STEP ONE: You want to start by unwrapping the candy and putting them into separate bowls. In some bowls, include candy that is going to fit and look good on top of the milkshake as a garnish. The other bowl can be candy that you really love. It’s okay if it looks a little beaten up or semi-melted. It’s going to go in the blender anyway. We want about a quarter cup that will be blended and close the same amount for the garnishes. Feel free to add any additional ingredients (per the above) that you have in your fridge or pantry.

STEP TWO: Pull out the ice cream to let it soften for a bit. (It should be relatively easy to scoop with just a little resistance.)

STEP THREE: Add 2-3 scoops of vanilla ice cream, milk, and Tanqueray No. 10 to the blender cup. Blend on HIGH until smooth. (If it’s pretty liquidy, add more ice cream. If it’s having a hard time blending, add a little more milk.)

STEP FOUR: Pulse in the candy. Also, add any fresh berries or mint, if desired. I recommend pulsing the blender until it gets to the texture and bite-size that you want. (About 4-5 times.) For creamier versions, just blend it until smooth.

STEP FIVE: Swirl a rim of strawberry sauce at the top and the inside of the glass and let it drip down.

STEP SIX: Pour the blended milkshake into the strawberry sauce swirled glass, leaving about a half-inch from the top. Top with whipped cream and add the garnishes.

Feel free to add some extra flair and décor to the milkshake.