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Candy corn travels from the treat bag to the table

People who hate candy corn say it’s more waxy than a dozen statues at Madame Tussauds. It’s also off the sweet o meter chart. And woe be the kid with braces who has to spend hours digging the sticky goo out of metal.

On the other side of the divide are candy corn nibblers (and gobblers) who get a nostalgic kick from the pointy treats. The taste, they say, is divine. It must be to someone, because candy corn has been around for more than 100 years.

We eat an impressive 20 million pounds of it a year, and 75 percent of that is the traditional white, yellow and orange variety. Indian corn, which is chocolate and vanilla flavored, reindeer corn (red, green and white) and cupid corn (red, pink and white) make up the rest. Brach’s makes a caramel flavored candy corn.

For candy corn lovers, ripping into a new bag is ghoulish fun and plenty satisfying.

For us? Well, we like to tinker. What can we do with a bag of autumn mix (traditional candy corn, the somber colored Indian corn and that perfectly plump pumpkin with the green tuft on top) other than eat it until our stomachs growl and twist with the sure signs of overindulgence?

Cook with it, of course. We’ll let you in on a little secret. Candy corn gets sort of bad tempered when heated. It doesn’t really play well with other ingredients. You want something festive and sure fire? Throw a handful into Rice Krispies treats or popcorn balls. Press candy corn into slice and bake sugar cookies as soon as they are removed from the oven; the heat will melt them slightly and stick them in place. Or make the White Chocolate Candy Corn Bark recipe that accompanies this story. It is overly sweet and ridiculous nike ly silly, but it will be a hit at your party.

We tried to get fancy and here are the results:

Sand nike ra Lee, she of Food Network semi homemade and table scape fame, sent us a recipe for candy corn chocolate cupcakes. It started with a cake mix, of course, with candy corn folded into the batter. When we tested the recipe, the melted candy sank to the bottom of the cupcake papers and stuck there. We’d hoped the candy corn would incorporate evenly, but no luck.

Domenica Macchia, the inventive chef of MJ’s in St. Petersburg, created a Candy Corn S’mores recipe to share with St. Petersburg Times readers. We think it’s more like Candy Corn Truffles and didn’t have near the luck with them that she did. We include the recipe here more for giggles rather than a recommendation for your weekend party. Melting marshmallows and candy corn together turns out a brilliant orange, taffylike melange, but it didn’t hold its shape when we tried to force it into a ball. Tasted pretty good though.

We had surprising success turning pecan pieces into candy corn kissed bites to scatter on a salad. Yes, a salad. The sweetness of the candy corn on the earthy pecans mingled brightly with blue cheese (we like Maytag) and apple cider vinaigrette. Consider this for a Halloween dinner party. Or even later as a way to use up leftover candy corn.

Maybe this is one way to make candy corn last through Thanksgiving.

Janet K. Melt chocolate in a bowl set over a pan of simmering water, or in the microwave, stirring frequently until melted. Remove from the heat while there are still a few chunks, and stir until smooth. White chocolate burns easily.

With a spo nike on, drizzle chocolate over the goodies in the pan, spreading the top flat to coa nike t evenly. Top with candy corn and sprinkles. Let cool until firm. Break into pieces and store in an airtight container.