Chef David Burke’s Halloween Creations

With all of the candy floating around this time of the year, chef Burke shows us how he puts it to good use

What candies would you use in a panna cotta recipe?

With so much candy being passed around on Halloween, it’s only natural for me to start to think of ways I can use it in my kitchen. Making candy or cooking with candy can be intimidating to many people because they’re not sure what’s in them and what effect they’ll yield, but I’ve thought of some pretty simple ways to incorporate them into my favorite dishes. Here are three of my favorite ways to use candy during the Halloween season.


A lot of people think making lollipops is a scary process, requiring candy thermometers and scalding, sticky liquids, but I figured out an easy way to not only make lollipops but use them in the process. To make my own lollipops, I’ll take leftover pops or hard candies and smash them up. Then, I’ll lay sticks on a baking sheet and sprinkle the smashed candies on top. To melt the candies, just place them in a 300-degree oven for about five to seven minutes. This is a really fun process to do with kids because you can experiment with different flavors, using green apple candies with butterscotch, or strawberry with root beer flavored ones.

Chocolate Bars

If you can resist finishing off every last Milky Way bar and Snickers you see this Halloween, a fun way to use them in your cooking is to add them to one of your favorite bread pudding recipes. Just chop them up into bite-sized pieces and stir them into the pudding to give it a unique and new taste.

Butterscotch Candies

These are around all year long, but are a favorite during the fall months when butterscotch is a common craving. I like using butterscotch candies in a traditional panna cotta recipe.

Click here to see chef Burke's Butterscotch Panna Cotta Recipe

Jelly Beans

My favorite part about jelly beans are the presentation, because of the many different colors found in a bag. I like using jelly beans as a vessel for serving dessert. I’ll lay different colors out on a plate and microwave them until they melt. Once cooled and hardened, it’s a great and colorful way to serve an ice cream sundae or a piece of cake.


David Burke is a world-renowned chef and restaurateur. To learn more about him, his website and his Facebook page, and follow him on Twitter @ChefDavidBurke.