Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Halloween Candy Do's and Don'ts.

Let's get real. I pretty
much nailed it early on.

I think I’ve just about aged out of the period in my life where I’m deciding what I have to be for Halloween and, instead, am deciding how close to Halloween it’s appropriate to start buying candy in bulk “for the kids who might come to our door to trick or treat.”  

Also, the other day some co-workers started laying down bets that I won’t be able to “say no to free food and/or candy” three months or less prior to my wedding, as I said I would.

At first I was offended and then I was quietly proud that I’m known for something so unanimously among my peers.

Anyway, as it’s the Eve of Halloween, and since I’m your candy connoisseur extraordinaire, I will proceed to list the five best and worst Halloween candies to give out tomorrow. Please take careful note and pay no attention to the five foot nine woman-child who may show up at your door dressed as Miley Cyrus’ foam finger tomorrow.

Let’s proceed:


Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups. This is a given and people with peanut allergies really miss out. Also, nobody had a peanut allergy when I was a kid and so I call foul on this one. Just eat it. It’s soooo good. Plus, if it’s the last thing you eat before you die, win/win?

Gummy Bears*. These are delicious. Even after my vegetarian/vegan friends remind me that gelatin is the work of the devil, I am impervious to a moral high-ground when gummy sweetness is presented before me. The little bags are a tease as well, but I’d rather have five happy bears staring back at me than none at all. Don’t look a gift horse in the mouth, people. (*can be replaced and/or complemented by: Gummy Worms, Swedish Fish, or Sour Gummy Bears – though that last one is risky for the more sensitive mouths out there.)

Candy Corn. This is a very controversial statement, I realize, and I’m pretty sure that there isn’t another candy around that elicits such a visceral response. “Oooh, candy corn!” or “Ew, candy corn!” Also, the other day I brought in Halloween cupcakes for my coworkers to enjoy and fashioned them with a side container of candy corn in case they wanted to decorate said cupcake with additional refined sugar.

Then a colleague told me that if you light a piece of candy corn on fire it’ll burn like a candle. And then I contemplated lighting a fire in my workplace before he told me he was just kidding and also questioned my ability to live on my own without professional supervision.

Anyway, candy corn is the best.

M&M’s. Plain, peanut, peanut butter – you cannot go wrong. The plain M&M’s are familiar, safe, and delicious. The peanut and peanut butter ones add a twist to your bag, though, as above, may risk killing a few randoms. It’s a risk I’d be willing to take.

Full Sized Candy Bars of Any Kind. When I was growing up we would always try to go to the “rich subdivisions” where they gave out full sized candy bars. Because honestly, a “fun size” Snickers is really just the opposite. It’s a tease. It’s not fun at all to bite into a candy bar twice and have it be gone, having to savor the nougat and contemplate what nougat is.  

I mean, don’t get me wrong - better a fun size than no size – and I won’t even tell you what kind of candy bars to buy (though Snickers and Three Musketeers are a safe, traditional bet of champions). No child (or adult) in their right mind will scoff at full sized. It’s ambitious, it’s unexpected, and it guarantees respect from 9 year olds dressed as a Promiscuous Princess.


Good n’ Plenty’s. Please don’t give these out because it’s the candy that gets left at the bottom of the bag, not even taken by the parents who are “checking your candy for razors” (remember the 80s?), and then gets eaten sometime in April when you’re frantically searching for anything to snack on at 11pm at night. And when you find it in your pantry you’re like ‘ew I don’t like these,’ but then your need for any candy substance wins over and you grudgingly eat it in the dark. Or something.

Pennies. I realize this isn’t candy, but please don’t give out pennies. I remember as a kid there would always be some nice, older lady throwing pennies into my bag and then I was left to wonder if maybe they were penny chocolates. They were not.

Apples. We’ve discussed this several times here on the blog about how fruit is not dessert. Which would immediately disqualify it from being included in a Halloween bag as a treat. I mean, I realize that the childhood obesity rate is skyrocketing – as is the adulthood obesity rate – but this just makes kids think you’re a downer who hates fun. And no matter how cool your decorations are, nobody wants to go to the apple house. It’s just not done.

Raisins. Also not candy. See above.

This candy.  This is the candy that you find at the bottom of your purse that now tastes like keys and you’re like “no seriously, WHERE does one buy this candy?” And then you put it back into your purse for safe-keeping.

What do you think? Have I missed something here? What are YOU giving out this year? 


  1. Okay, we need to discuss those jerks that give out floss on Halloween. These are consequently also the people who get TP'ed or Egged every year.


  2. There were also people when I was a kid that gave out popcorn or popcorn balls. Nobody wants that.

    1. I mean, on a regular day, sure, popcorn ball is fine. On Halloween? No thank you.

  3. I remember trick or treating once as a kid and this adorable Grandma ran out of candy as we came up and she tried giving us quarters! My brother and I respectfully declined. It actually made me a little sad. We didn't mind missing out on a few pieces of candy.

  4. Funny you should post about the candy, today, of all days.... My husband has been relentlessly talking about "we've gotta get the candy", "where should we get the candy", and "we have to hurry up and get the candy". I told him today (being a scrooge and annoyed at all the candy talk for DAYS on end, that it wouldn't be the worst thing if we just turned off the lights and didn't give any out. "We live in Chicago, these kids will get PLENTY of candy", I tried to reason.... He won. I bought a 3 lb bag of candy that advertised "over 240 pieces!" on the bag. I think he's mad that I don't even know what is IN the bag. Ha ha ha. Well, you win JON!!!!! And this comment doesn't even answer your question! OOPS!

  5. Okay, so your list was perfect and wonderful, and I know what you're talking about with the key candies - ours are called "kisses", and as far as I'm concerned, no one's getting a kiss if they hand me one of those foul chunks of tar.

    I'm Canadian, so I do wonder if our tastes might vary a bit, because, with all this talk about candy, you missed some greats!

    Sweet Tarts. Hellooo sugary goodness. And, while we're talking pure sugar, let's not forget Rockets - I believe that you have these in the states, however you call them Smarties.

    Which is another point I have to bring up. Although the plain M&Ms will do, Canadian Smarties are far, far superior candy coated chocolate. Have you had these? Plain M&Ms lack a little.... Je ne sais pas.. flair? Please tell me you've tried these tasty treats.

    Let's talk the basics in candy land, friend, and sing the praises of anything Willy Wonka. Nerds? Yes, please! Runts? I need that daily serving of fruit, and some weird people will even trade you their strawberries for bananas. I like those people and how wrong their tastebuds are because it benefits me. Chewy gobstoppers? Oh hells, yes. My tastebuds are tingling right now!

    But in my opinion, the treasure of a pillowcase jammed full of candy on Halloween night?

    Laffy Taffy. Not only does it pack the most powerful punch of artificial flavouring possible, but they have JOKES on the package. JOKES, people! You get a TRICK and a TREAT. The epitome of Halloween!

    I am throwing a halloween party, as per usual, this year, which means my costume has taken a back seat to getting everything else ready. This means I'm going as a creepy baby doll with fantastic make-up, and a lackluster costume. C'est la vie!