Halloween is one of the biggest holidays for candy received at parties, trick-or-treating or just for fun. As for myself, I am a huge fan of anything having to do with Halloween and trick-or-treating candy (yes, I do have all my teeth). There are hundreds of kinds of candy given out to trick-or-treaters and I am sure most of us have our favorite candy that we remember receiving and eating when we were children. Halloween candy makes me feel very nostalgic.
What is your favorite Halloween candy now or in the past? Is it a Mars bar, Milky Way, M&M’s, Twix, Skittles, York Peppermint Patties or a Baby Ruth? Come and let’s go trick-or-treating down memory lane together with me as I list my top 10 favorite Halloween candies that regularly showed up in my trick-or-treat bag every year.
Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups
Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups are universally known as the miniature pie-shaped chocolate candy filled with peanut butter. They are sold by Hershey but were originally created in Hershey, PA in 1928 by Harry Burnett Reese, a former dairy farmer and shipping foreman for Hershey. He formed the H. B. Reese Candy and began manufacturing peanut butter cups using Hershey chocolate in his basement. In 1963 Hershey bought Reese’s company for $23.5 million.
These are probably my favorite candy for Halloween, trick-or-treating or any time of year. I will always remember the bright orange (my favorite color) wrapper and special Halloween wrappers. I remember watching the commercials a few years ago depicting the different ways people eat their peanut butter cups and one of them showed vampire bite marks which brought back tons of memories for me. They also come in smaller foil wrappers but I still prefer the orange wrapper.
M&M’s are another well-known candy with their button shape, candy shells in several different colors with the letter “m” logo and chocolate inside. They are manufactured by the Mars company. They were created in the United States in 1941 and named after the surnames of the company founders. Today, these candies are sold in over 100 countries and the fillings now include the original milk chocolate, dark chocolate, crisped rice, mint chocolate, peanuts, almonds, orange chocolate, coconut, pretzel, wild cherry and peanut butter.
Coming from the old school (comparatively) of candy, I remember when milk chocolate was an old M&Ms flavor and peanut was relatively new, so these are the 2 flavors I know and love the most. Sure, I do like a number of the new varieties but there will always be a special place in my heart for milk chocolate and peanut M&Ms. Is the slogan “melts in your mouth and not in your hands” still around or am I dating myself?
Tootsie Rolls are a popular chewy candy with their traditional chocolate flavor that have been manufactured in the United States since 1896 by The Sweets Company of America, later changing its name in 1966 to Tootsie Roll Industries, which is based in Chicago, Illinois. They have the distinction of being the first individually wrapped penny candy. Today, in addition to the original chocolate flavor, Tootsie Rolls now also come in several flavors including cherry, orange, vanilla, lemon and lime with different colored wrappers for each flavor. Tootsie Frooties have been added with even more flavor including, red strawberry, blue raspberry, grape, green apple, banana-berry, smooth cherry, fruit punch, pink lemonade, root beer, cran blueberry and watermelon.
Another popular line using their candy are Tootsie Pops which are hard candy lollipops filled with chocolate-flavored Tootsie Rolls. Tootsie Pops were invented in 1930 by a Tootsie Roll employee, Brandon Perry. Tootsie Pops come in a variety of flavors including, the original chocolate flavor, cherry, orange, grape, raspberry, strawberry, watermelon, blue raspberry, pomegranate and banana flavors. A spinoff of Tootsie Roll Pops are Tropical Stormz which come in 6 flavors, each a combination flavor, including orange pineapple, lemon lime, strawberry banana, apple blueberry, citrus punch and berry berry punch.
I grew up on Tootsie Rolls as a kid when I used to eat dozens of these things at a time. I started with the penny candy size with wrappers twisted on each end and coming in a cardboard tube that doubled as a bank if I recall correctly. Then I found the softer Tootsie Rolls that came in long rectangular sticks. Near the end of my candy “career,” fruit flavored Tootsie Rolls were introduced but I never really cared for them like the originals.
Tootsie Pops were a fun variation on the Tootsie Roll and I remember them wrapped together in a bunch like a flower. Of course, I only received one or 2 from each house but they were always fun to receive. My favorite flavors were the chocolate and orange (notice a pattern yet? I used to bite right into them after a few seconds against the best wishes of my family but I just liked the crunch and to see how quickly I could reach the center. How many licks does it take you to reach the Tootsie Roll center of a Tootsie Pop? I think I’d beat the owl’s 3 and did it in 2.
Who can forget Snickers — the candy bar with a peanut nougat, roasted peanuts and caramel coated with milk chocolate? They are produced by Mars and were the second product (Milky Way was the first) created by the Mars family in 1930 and got its name from the family’s favorite horse.
This was another favorite candy bar of mine and used to receive about a dozen miniature Snickers bars each time I went trick-or-treating. It has everything a candy lover could want in a candy bar — peanuts and caramel and chocolate oh my!
Everyone in North America probably recognizes candy corn which is a primarily sugar-based candy shaped like kernels of corn or other shapes, such as pumpkins, bats and other shapes for other holidays. Candy corn is made from sugar, corn syrup, artificial coloring and binders. The original candy corn was created in the 1880s by George Renninger from the Wunderlee Candy Company but today it is produced by many different companies, such as Brach’s candy.
Candy corn always reminded me of a generic candy because I rarely received any in a retail packaging; it was usually tossed into my bag loose or in small cellophane bags put together by the person giving them out. Still, they are almost pure sugar which is exactly what kids, including me, dream of. However, even as a kid, I couldn’t eat more than 10 candy corn at a time but my grandmother used to eat a ton of these from my trick-or-treat bag. They came in different shapes and colors when I was a kid — the original white/orange/yellow color, darker Indian corn colors and pumpkin mellocremes, which I didn’t like because they had a chalkier texture because they were bigger.
SweeTarts are the somewhat popular tablet-shaped sweet and sour candies. They were created in 1963 by the owner of Sunline, J. Fish Smith. After a few different owners, the company is now owned by Nestlé, which brought SweeTarts into its Willy Wonka Candy Company brand of candies. The original 6 flavors included cherry, grape, lemon, lime and orange. Today, the flavors now include pickled punch (blue), cherry (pink), grape (purple), green apple (green), lemon (yellow), and orange (orange). Lime was replaced with green apple in 2001 and lemon (yellow) was discontinued in 2009.
SweeTarts are another candy that felt generic to me but I still loved them. They used to be packaged in clear wrappers with red writing and twisted on both ends. I would eat a bunch of the tablets at a time to try to mix flavors but I don’t remember much of a distinctive flavor for each color — I still loved them. My favorite flavors were the orange (surprise, surprise), lemon and lime, the latter 2 flavors now discontinued. Why is it that when new companies take over production, they need to make changes like this?
Mounds / Almond Joy
Mounds are a popular candy with a coconut center coated with dark chocolate. They were created in 1920 as a single piece for a nickel and in 1929 were purchased by the Peter Paul Company, which increased the packaging to 2 pieces for a nickel, Peter Paul merged with Cadbury in 1978 and, in 1988, the U.S. part of the company was purchased by Hershey.
The sister candy bar to the Mounds is the Almond Joy, which is basically the same thing as the Mounds but with the addition of whole almonds to the coconut and coated with milk chocolate instead of dark chocolate. Almond Joy was created in 1946 as a replacement for the Dream Bar, created in 1936 and containing diced almonds instead of whole almonds.
I don’t remember receiving too many of these trick-or-treating, maybe 5 or less miniature each time, so they were quite rare. On top of that, my mother is a coconut fanatic and she would eat most of them herself. I didn’t really have a preference for Mounds or Almond Joy but sometimes I felt like a nut and sometimes I didn’t.
Charms Blow Pops are the well-known lollipops with hard candy shells and bubble gum centers. Blow Pops were created in the 1970s and are believed to be created by a man by the name of Vincent Ciccone. They were originally produced by The Charms Company, which was purchased by Tootsie Roll Industries in 1988. The original flavors were Cherry, Grape, Sour Apple, Strawberry and Watermelon. Other flavors include Black Cherry, Cherry Ice, Tangerine Mango Madness, What-a-melon, Kiwi Berry Blast, Blue Razz, Cherry, Lemonade, Orange and Sour apple.
Blow Pops are very similar to Tootsie Pops but, instead of a Tootsie Roll center, they have a bubble gum center. The gum really isn’t very good compared to other gums by themselves so unlike the Tootsie Pops, I was in no hurry to get to the center of a Blow Pop — also the lollipop outside didn’t taste great with the bubblegum center, which needed to be chewed by itself. I don’t really remember a favorite flavor but probably cherry. I don’t remember Orange at the time or I would go with that flavor. I only remember receiving a few of these when trick or treating.
The ever popular Butterfinger is a candy bar with a flaky, orange colored cookie center and coated in chocolate. It was the second candy item made by The Curtiss Candy Company, which was founded in 1916 by Otto Schnering in Illinois. Today, Butterfinger is made by Nestlé.
I used to receive a few Butterfinger miniatures every time I went trick-or-treating. Who remembers the popular Simpson’s cartoon commercials with Bart trying to protect his Butterfinger candy from being eaten by others? I hear there was a recent retro style commercial based on the Simpson’s campaign from during the 90s. The flaky cookie center is very unique and always a treat; there are a few companies that have tried to duplicate the Butterfinger but the original is still the best.
Who doesn’t love Hershey’s Miniatures? They come in 4 types of miniature size candy bars including traditional Hershey bars (plain milk chocolate), Mr. Goodbar (milk chocolate with peanuts), Hershey’s Special Dark bars (semi sweet chocolate) and Krackel bars (milk chocolate with crispy rice), which are only available with the miniature assortment. The Hershey’s Miniatures assortment was first sold in 1939,
I used to always receive a few dozen Hershey’s Miniatures every time I went trick-or-treating and I would split them up with my family like poker chips. As a kid, my favorites were the Krackel bars and Mr. Goodbar but now I lean towards the traditional Hershey bars and Hershey’s Special Dark bars. Which flavors did you like best?
I hope you enjoyed my short trip down Halloween memory lane and make you feel a little nostalgic for times gone by. There were many other candies that I received trick-or-treating that I have either forgotten or that simply did not leave an indelible mark on my memory like the 10 I listed above.
I pose the question again: What is or was your favorite Halloween candy? Feel free mention them in the comments section.