Kids aren’t the only ones who want to know how to store Halloween candy so it stays fresh. We’re all guilty of digging into our candy trove the night of, but our eyes are always bigger than our stomachs. So, how do you store leftover Halloween candy?
To keep your sweets in tip-top shape, the National Confectioners Association shared some candy-storing advice that will keep your haul creamy, crunchy, chocolatey, and anything in between.
Pantries are the best place to store candy.
Most candies do best in cool, dark environments, as this will prevent mold and bacteria from forming. Pantries obviously fit the bill, though it may be tough to avoid the temptation of easily accessible Halloween candy snacking. To prevent the candy nightmare of eating an entire bag in one sitting, you can also store candy in the basement (just make sure you don’t have any problems with creepy-crawlies or rodents).
We might also wonder “Does chocolate go bad?” Well dark chocolate can last up to two years if it’s still in foil and stored properly in a pantry or attic. Milk and white chocolate have a shorter lifespan — roughly eight to 10 months — but none of this should be a problem if chocolate doesn’t last long in your house. It certainly doesn’t in ours!
Separate moist and absorbent candies.
There’s nothing worse than biting into your world-famous fudge only to discover it’s become hard and chalky. To prevent moist candies from drying out, store them in separate containers from absorbent candies, like caramels and mints. In general, hard candies are absorbent and shouldn’t be stored with moist sweets.
To properly store soft, moist candies like caramel and taffy, wrap them in cellophane to lock out moisture. It’s a bit more effort to wrap each piece individually, but it’s the only way to ensure they stay fresh.
Candies with nuts and fruits are an entirely different beast.
Fruits and nuts provide the perfect tartness or savoriness to a sweet piece of chocolate, making them an ideal treat for someone who wants multiple flavor notes in their candies. However, these desserts require different storage methods.
Nuts and fruits tend to go bad faster than the chocolate surrounding them, especially if you’ve already opened the bar. Rather than risk having to eat around spoiled bits, you’re better off just tossing these candies. The obvious solution here would be to eat your fruit and nut candies in a timely manner.
A sprinkle of sugar can help preserve hard candies.
It may sound off to add more sugar to your sweets, but hard candies can last longer if you dust them with finely ground sugar before storing them in an air-tight container. Wrap them individually in cellophane to prevent pieces from clumping if moisture happens to sneak in. Then, put them high up on a shelf in the pantry so you’re not tempted to dig in.
Some candies actually do better in a dish.
Stocking up on gallon-size bags of gummies is an economical way to celebrate Halloween — but then you have to figure out how to store a whole lot of gummies. Luckily, storing them is pretty simple: Just toss them in a covered candy dish. Gummies and jelly candies will last longer if the temperature where they’re stored stays constant and hovers around 70 degrees. Using this method, you can enjoy your gummy bears for six to nine months.
The same goes for candy corn, the Halloween treat you either love or hate. Candy corn will stay fresh for three to six months when kept in a covered candy dish out of direct sunlight. Individually wrapped packets of candy corn will last a bit longer — about nine months — when stored properly.
Is it safe to freeze candy? Sometimes.
Shoving your entire Halloween haul in the freezer is a popular method of storing Halloween candy — but does it work? Sort of. Some sweets, like toffee and truffles, are OK to freeze, but candies with fruits and nuts are better eaten fresh. Most candy will come with storage instructions, so read those before tossing in the freezer.
Just remember that Halloween is only one night, but Halloween candy is forever — if you store it correctly.