As a baker, I carefully consider the ingredients of everything that comes from my kitchen. Halloween is no different. What does a baker give for Halloween treats? Boxes of donut muffins? Bags of sweet cookies? Gourmet chocolates of the highest quality? Wrong, wrong, and wrong.
I give candy.
Anyone who knows me well, knows that I have a very special relationship with candy. Nothing makes me happier than buying candy and putting it around work or my house in cute candy dishes, mason jars, mugs, cereal bowls, etc. You name it; I’m not that picky.
You might think I purchase the candy so that I can eat the candy, but herein lies an interesting twist. I far prefer the act of choosing the candy & displaying the candy than I actually like eating said candy. Something about buying a lot of candy feels indulgent and slightly rebellious. Maybe that’s why you can find candy throughout my house, my office & the break room at work. I do eat candy, but I definitely buy a lot more than I actually consume.
Not all candy is equal, and I’ve noticed over the years that people are divided into two candy camps – chocolate lovers and fruity lovers. While I love chocolate, I can easily walk past a mason jar filled with Peanut M&M’s without a second glance. Jelly Belly jelly beans are another story…once I get started on those, I’m in serious trouble.
To build the perfect Halloween candy bowl, one needs to consider the needs of both candy people. An all-chocolate basket is fine, but you really can do so much better. I’ve decided to share my ideal Halloween selection with you so that you too can feel like you’ve nailed Halloween this year.
- Kit Kats I am drawn to Kit Kats over and over again because of the perfect balance of milk chocolate layered with the crispy wafers. I vividly remember sitting in my family room as a child, unwrapping the paper, and nibbling away the chocolate from each side of the Kit Kat before gingerly peeling off each layer of wafer. For years, Kit Kats were my daughter’s candy of choice. I always knew she was smart.
- Twix Bars Twix were another candy that I loved dissecting while I ate it. A shortbread cookie is covered with a layer of caramel and the whole thing is coated with chocolate. I prefer the traditional version of Twix, although they now offer a peanut butter variety and at one time, also had an cookies & cream version.
- Dots Not a very popular choice, Dots need to be reconsidered as the perfect addition to your Halloween offerings. Squishy & soft gumdrops, Dots are perfect for fruity candy people. I love that each fruity flavors stands out on its own. My favorite color, by far, is pink. I don’t miss the sugar coating that gumdrops typically have, and my only complaint is that there are too many green, orange and red Dots, and never enough pink ones.
- Mounds This choice may surprise many. Coconut is really a hit or miss ingredient, with candy, granola and desserts alike. I think the main reason why I think all Halloween baskets should contain a couple of Mounds bars is because they are my father’s favorites. When we used to come home after trick or treating, we would spread our loot out on the kitchen table or the floor in our family room. My father would sift through the piles, hunting for one or two rogue Mounds bars he could pilfer from our stash.
- Nerds I wish I knew why I liked Nerds so much. I’m sure a lot of people would much rather eat Skittles over Nerds, but not me. I love that Nerds are teeny and crunchy, tart yet sweet.
- Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups No one can argue how amazingly perfect Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups really are. The peanut butter center is soft & slightly salty. The milk chocolate outside thin enough not to over-power the peanut butter. Interestingly, Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups are also great in ice cream. Go figure.
- Whatchamacallit This is the candy bar of my childhood. I remember when it first showed up in the drug store. A Whatchamacallit is made up with peanut butter crispies layered with caramel and covered with chocolate. The only reason it makes the Halloween candy basket cut is the name.
- 100 Grand Bar This candy bar was my personal favorite when I was growing up. They had a different name back then – $100,000 Bar. I coveted every single part of this candy bar when I was little…the crunchy crispies, the caramel and the milk chocolate. This was Halloween perfection, in my opinion.
What kind of candy do you like to offer for Halloween? Are you a big bar person, or miniatures all the way?