I had slated today to have a write up of the new horror movie Sinister, but I had to call an audible last night. After only getting three hours of sleep the night before, I figured another late night would probably be pushing it, especially when I have a full slate at work today. So instead of a midnight movie, I took a nap and then yelled expletives at the Yankee game. Good times.
However, horror movies naturally got me thinking about Halloween, which will be here before you know it. I really enjoy Halloween, so it’s kind of a shame that I don’t really get to participate much in it anymore. I don’t have any kids to dress up and I still have scars on my arm from my attempt to dress up my cat Pumpkin when he was a year old (he was Yankee 1st baseman Mark Teixeira, the man that gives Pumpkin one of his middle names).
I have never lived anywhere that gets trick or treaters, so I can’t even admire the costumes of other people’s kids. No one I know ever has a Halloween party, so there is really no opportunity for me to dress up either, which is too bad because I had some fun costumes over the years, especially in college. I’d love to go to some of the haunted houses/hayrides and ghost tours in the area, but it is either impossible to schedule or people are too chicken to go. I apparently hang out with a bunch of scaredy cats. So when Halloween rolls around, I am left with two things: horror movies and candy.
Now, I understand that both can be consumed year round. Even Hollywood doesn’t stick to the idea that horror movies should be released on in October; they are certainly more prevalent this time of year, but since a lot of them are also not very good, studios also dump them in the summer or the movie wasteland that is known as late January/early February. Candy is readily available all the time, obviously, but somehow eating it this time of year just seems more acceptable. I’m actually not a huge candy person – my real weaknesses tend to be more in the ice cream, cheesecake and brownie families – but once the calendar flips over to October, I’m suddenly craving it. A lot. Maybe that’s just because it is more readily available. The weeks after Halloween are a real bonanza in my office as people bring in all their left over candy to get rid of it. It’s like trick or treating for adults. Plus you can buy all the leftover candy in the story for 50% off of more once November 1 hits. And who doesn’t love a deal?
There are so many different types of candy that it can be quite dizzying. It’s enough to make your teeth hurt just looking at all the options. Some people are strictly interested in chocolate, while others go the sour route. Your candy can come in many forms: bar, gummi or hard. Candy choices can be divisive; for every person who loves a certain type of candy, there is someone who abhors it. I personally don’t 100% trust anyone who likes black licorice or black jelly beans. They’re just gross. I’m also not a fan of sweet tarts or smarties; I think they taste like chalk. I like the taste of Air-Heads, but I don’t like how they get stuck in my teeth.
But unfortunately for my waistline, there are far more candies that I do enjoy, though I do try to do so only occasionally. Here are some of my favorites:
I loved Snickers bars so much in college that this actually became my pledge name in my sorority. In fact, my “big sister” used to hide mini-Snickers bars with nice notes on them around my dorm room to give me inspiration while I was pledging. One time she accidentally smooshed the candy bars as she was placing them and, not wanting to hurt her feelings, I told her that I liked them that way. So, bless her heart, she started intentionally giving them a little squeeze before she hid them because she thought that was what I wanted. That’s devotion.
There is just something about the combination of peanut nougat, caramel and chocolate that I find immensely appealing and tasty. They generally don’t mess around with Snickers too much, but I do enjoy both the almond and peanut butter varieties as well. Nine times out of ten, if I’m having a rough day at work or just need some comfort, you’ll find me raiding the vending machine for a Snickers. But now I have to smoosh them myself.
Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups
Of all the great pairings in the world, chocolate and peanut butter may be the closest to perfection in my opinion. It’s like they were meant to go together, though they are both pretty awesome when they are on their own or even when they are paired with other things (I once horrified the guys at the bar during football when I had the special – a hamburger with peanut butter – they refused to believe me that it was actually pretty good). So it’s probably no surprise that someone that believes that this is the ultimate pairing is such a fan of peanut butter cups.
The wrinkle is that I actually prefer the white chocolate version that Reese’s makes. I think that white chocolate is underrated and works just as well with peanut butter as the usual milk chocolate combination. If you leave a bag of white chocolate peanut butter cups around me unattended, you’re probably coming back to an empty package. I just can’t help myself.
Butterscotch Hard Candy
Yeah – I know. I sound 102 years old with this one. But I just love butterscotch hard candy. One of the local restaurants has a big bowl of hard candy as you leave and I always sort through until I find butterscotch, usually to the embarrassment of my companions. I do the same thing at the nail salon. I don’t necessarily like butterscotch on anything else – I don’t put it on my frozen yogurt at TCBY, for example – but something about this simple little candy makes me ridiculously happy.
Kirkland Milk Chocolate Salted Caramels
I stumbled upon these caramels while visiting a friend’s family in Chicago in the summer of 2011. Her step mother had a bowl of these out and once I had one, I was instantly addicted. I really wanted to eat the whole bowl, but since I was a guest I refrained and had one or two a day with my morning coffee to be polite. I’m not lying when I say that these caramels were one of the highlights of the trip (and we had an awesome time overall, so that gives some perspective). I’m totally helpless when it comes to salty and sweet together. When I found out that they were from Costco, we talked them into driving us there so we could get some of our own. I really should have rationed my supply, but once the niceties of being company were removed and I had my own package of them all to myself, I’m embarrassed to say how quickly they went once I returned. The bad news is that we don’t have a Costco here, so I’ve been reliant on other people tracking these candies down for me. I lucked out when I went to San Francisco this summer that my best friend had found a container of them and saved them for my visit. It’s probably for the best that I can’t easily get them, because I may become a diabetic otherwise.
Mike and Ike
My newest candy obsession is Mike and Ike and I blame my frugality for this one. I was waiting in the checkout of Wal-mart and I saw a movie theater sized box of Mike and Ike out of the corner of my eye. I was starving and the box was under $1, so I decided that would be enough to tide me over until I was done running all my errands for the day and could sit down for a proper meal. They were so good I wound up going back the next day to buy a bunch more boxes. They are basically pure sugar in a capsule form, but they are chewy and delicious. I go in spurts where I crave Mike and Ikes a lot and we’re currently in one of those spurts. I’ve been rewarding myself with a box of these when I’ve gotten a lot accomplished in a day, though I keep lowering the bar of what is considered “a lot” so I can treat myself. I’m putting an end to this binge pretty soon, but I won’t lie to you – I’m already thinking about eating the last box when I get home tonight. I’m not sure what the “feud” is between “Mike and Ike,” but as long as the candies keep coming I don’t care.
You can’t really talk about Halloween candy without talking about this seasonal treat. I know a lot of people don’t care for candy corn, but I’m a fan. Again, this is mostly sugar, but I think I like the consistency of the candy. Plus tell me anything is limited or seasonal and I’m immediately more drawn to it. Maybe that’s something I should work out with my therapist.
Frankly, looking over this list, it’s a miracle that I’ve never had a cavity. Now it’s your turn – with Halloween right around the corner, what candies are your favorites? Are there any cadies you just can’t stomach? Leave your thoughts in the comments.