Most awesomest Halloween candy?
September 6, 2005 4:19 PM   Subscribe

Most awesomest Halloween candy?

Ok, so I'm a little early, but the drugstore displays say it's time. And this may require some preparation.

We are, for the first time, in the position of purchasing Halloween candy for distribution at our doorstep. I want the kiddies to be happy and enlightened as they walk away and consume.

Some guidelines:

- Goodies should not be too small (if I get another "fun size" Snickers...) or too large (the goal is not to upstage the neighbors). Normal candybar-size seems about right. A little bigger than the usual stuff, but not absurd.
- Should be factory-wrapped in the appropriate quantity. Homebaked cookies are tasty, but a little scary when you get them from someone else's home.
- Should not be unnatural. (hydrogenated oils, Splenda, etc.)
- Should make the kids grow up and buy products with class, such as Mac minis, instead of shopping at Wal★Mart. I theorize that this is possible through exposing them to nice stuff instead of crap commodity candy. I want them to say, "Mommy, where can we get more of those delectable chocolates handcrafted by albino Belgian elves?"
- Cost is not an issue.

What do you remember as being the best thing you got on Halloween?
posted by trevyn to Food & Drink (63 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
First thought is that your expectations are way too high. A learning experience? I wouldn't count on it.

My two kids, and just about every other kid I've ever met, think that full-size candy bars they've heard of are the best part of Halloween.
posted by SashaPT at 4:30 PM on September 6, 2005

Future Mac mini buyers, eh? Sounds like a job for Toblerones.

actually just stay away from Tootsie Rolls and candy corn and you may avoid having to 'smell feet'
posted by ernie at 4:35 PM on September 6, 2005

Kinder Surprises are awesome, unusual, and lasting. They probably have "unnatural" ingredients in them--such as plastic toys--but they rule nonetheless.

Kinder also makes the superb "Kinder Bueno". If I can find them here in Lawrence, Kansas, you can probably find them wherever you are. So long as cost really is not an issue.
posted by interrobang at 4:38 PM on September 6, 2005

When I was a kid, there was a rumour going around of a wealthy man who lived at the top of a hill in an enormous house who would give out $20 bills to the kids who made the hike. Perhaps it was just an urban legend, but I think that would be even better than candy.
posted by cmonkey at 4:38 PM on September 6, 2005

Seconding Toblerones, as well.
posted by interrobang at 4:38 PM on September 6, 2005

As a Mini Cooper fan who listens to bands like Animal Collective instead of Coldplay, I'd like to report that I love candy corn.
posted by matildaben at 4:38 PM on September 6, 2005

It's something of a joke, of course. I don't actually expect to make a lasting impact on anyone. But that won't stop me from trying.
posted by trevyn at 4:39 PM on September 6, 2005

Brand-name candy bars (full- or fun-size) will garner the most appreciate from the most kids. I was personally made most ecstatic by Milky Ways, but others in that vein (e.g. Snickers, 3 Musketeers, Twix, Reese Cups, Mounds) will do nicely.

Should make the kids grow up and buy products with class, such as Mac minis, instead of shopping at Wal★Mart. I theorize that this is possible through exposing them to nice stuff instead of crap commodity candy.

That's a nice idea, and maybe you can turn a few kids onto Cadbury's or Lindt something that way (I liked that stuff too, as a kid -- but then, we used to live in Europe), but really: you're taking this way too seriously as an opportunity to intervene in children's formative years. 6-year-olds want to wear monster masks and eat Snickers.
posted by scody at 4:39 PM on September 6, 2005

gah! read: "garner the most appreciation"
posted by scody at 4:40 PM on September 6, 2005

It's funny. We always buy all kinds of fancy candy, including (what I thought would be popular) mini chocolate bars. The kids, almost universally, go for the rockets (called smarties in the states, huh). Nothing beats pressed sugar tablets apparantly.
posted by Popular Ethics at 4:44 PM on September 6, 2005

Truffles are always good. The fancy-pants ones wrapped in gold would probably meet your last requirement.
posted by odinsdream at 4:46 PM on September 6, 2005

Make that second-to-last requirement.
posted by odinsdream at 4:46 PM on September 6, 2005

Rockets are made of dextrose - which may contain corn syrup solids - citric acid, calcium stearate, and artificial flavours and colours

All of those things are "natural", but that's a different discussion. This is probably not what you're looking for, so I'll retract the suggestion.
posted by Popular Ethics at 4:47 PM on September 6, 2005

Kinder Surprise are banned from sale in the US. I found a local black market source (the shopkeeper has them flown in from Italy at easter time) but you won't find them on the shelf in regular stores.
posted by TimeFactor at 4:49 PM on September 6, 2005

Pez are way cool, and you can perhaps pick dispensers that suit your goal.
posted by mds35 at 4:49 PM on September 6, 2005

That's funny, TimeFactor; I could walk about seven blocks and buy one right now...
posted by interrobang at 4:51 PM on September 6, 2005

Ritter Sport is available in normal or mini-sizes and is incredibly yummy. You won't get to see them impressed because "Hey, what's this weird stuff?" but they'll eat it, because it's chocolate, and at least some of them will be impressed. At least, I would be.

Alternately, many normal candy bars such as Kit-Kat have Canadian variants that are mysteriously yummier and less waxy than their American counterparts.
posted by dagnyscott at 4:51 PM on September 6, 2005

LifeSavers Musk--they'll never trust candy again.
posted by interrobang at 4:54 PM on September 6, 2005

Try full-sized Cookies 'n Cream bars. I remember these being one of my favourites. And white chocolate is pretty classy, for hallowe'en, no?
posted by Evstar at 4:55 PM on September 6, 2005

Kandy Futher Mucking Korn.
posted by mwhybark at 4:56 PM on September 6, 2005

I really like fruit leather and went nuts over it as a kid. It is made from natural ingredients and is sweet enough to satisfy most children.
posted by Alison at 4:58 PM on September 6, 2005

I second Evstar; the cookies 'n cream bars were by far the best.
posted by hopeless romantique at 4:59 PM on September 6, 2005

If you have a Trader Joe's in the area, I'd suggest you go down and buy a large batch of Scharffen Berger 41% milk chocolate bars in the orange wrapper (alternatively you can probably find them online).


1. Scharffen Berger is made in Berkeley, California. Teach kids to support locally made products.

2. Their logo features an Ibex. Teach the kids about nature.

3. Their 41% milk bar is spectacular. I'm a member of the seventy percent club myself, but this would be my uncontested go-to snacking chocolate. Teach the kids there's a world outside of Hersheys and Nestle.

4. If you buy a bunch for the kids, you can also buy a few bars for yourselves. And really, aren't you worth it?

The bars are around 1.50 - 2.00 at Trader Joe's, and each bar is around the size of a regular Snicker's. If you're not American, you can feel free to ignore point 1.

But really. Get the chocolate.
posted by C^3 at 4:59 PM on September 6, 2005

Scharffen Berger

The thought crossed my mind; I'm actually in the Bay Area, and have been known to buy boxes of Nibby bars. I wasn't even aware they had a milk chocolate. Heresy. I bet the kids love it, though.

I guess there will be a choice. Weed out the sheep children from the truly adventurous. The musk lifesavers sound great...
posted by trevyn at 5:07 PM on September 6, 2005

Just so you are aware: Hershey to buy Scharffen Berger
posted by stefnet at 5:13 PM on September 6, 2005

The musk lifesavers sound great...

At least the kids can take them to school and have "endurance contests" with each other before they spit them out.

They taste like granny makeup, and the flavor stays in your sinuses for hours, no matter what you eat. Truly an unforgettable experience.
posted by interrobang at 5:15 PM on September 6, 2005

Pre-paid MeFi accounts...though that may raise more suspicion than the homemade cookies.
posted by mullacc at 5:15 PM on September 6, 2005

I used to love the most artificial stuff possible. pop rocks, fun dip, that kind of stuff. probably not consistent with your goals though.
posted by juv3nal at 5:16 PM on September 6, 2005

interrobang, Kansas is a notorious hotbed for outlaw candy trafficking, but Kinder eggs really aren't approved for sale in the US; I understand that they can't be made to comply with anti-choking regulations. And they aren't readily available here in MA.

And candy that tastes like granny makeup reminds me of Choward's Scented Gum. It was like cheap old-lady perfume in chewing gum form.
posted by TimeFactor at 5:23 PM on September 6, 2005

Much, much Halloween candy goes into the garbage. Buy something that people recognize, and remember that if it isn't wrapped in such a way that tampering would be difficult it will likely be tossed by most parents.
posted by caddis at 5:27 PM on September 6, 2005

Giving the kids truffles is like sending poor kids to nice colleges. After being surrounded by trustafarians for years they grow dissatisfied with life, and work, and eventually acquire a drug habit.

Generous amounts of candy corn, and a really cool porch display with dry ice and gore.
posted by mecran01 at 5:45 PM on September 6, 2005

I loathe candy corn, and I'm allergic to peanuts, so I did a lot of trading with my siblings. I snagged all the krackle bars and tootsie pops I could get away from them. Candy necklaces would have pleased me a lot (they're more gender neutral than adults think) and I also loved candy cigarettes as a kid, but good luck on finding them now. What about pop rocks?
posted by dness2 at 5:49 PM on September 6, 2005

oh you wanted natural. Well there goes most of the good stuff.
posted by dness2 at 5:51 PM on September 6, 2005

One word. Apples.

When I was a kid I would trade all my candy bars for their apples. The sweetest treats come in nature's own wrapper.

I was kind of a loner.
posted by gtr at 6:00 PM on September 6, 2005

There used to be a family down the street here that owned a local bakery. They would make fresh doughnuts for all the local kids...and the parent that were tagging along. Still warm from the cooker. That rocked.
posted by Thorzdad at 6:01 PM on September 6, 2005

You want nutso, get them vosges chocolate bars or truffles.

Vosges truffles

Staggeringly good truffles, the red fire bars are awesome..
The caramels are sorta iffy (they have one that tastes like old mushrooms), and I'd avoid the vincent gallo collection if they are still selling it (Just meh overall)

Other than that, they are an amazing chocolatier with some great exotic flavors.. They sell individual boxes..

And blaspehmous statement about sharffenberger.. Their chocolate is too sour. All of it. Too sour by far..

I like the el-rey milk, and some of the vahlrona darker chocolates for munching, but you probably shouldn't hand out loose chunks of chocolate.. heh
posted by Lord_Pall at 6:06 PM on September 6, 2005

Following up on what mecran01 said- the Hallowe'en memories that stick with me now are the really cool displays and/or effects. The biggest hit was a neighbor down the street who one year set up a coffin in the front yard. They put a sign on the door that said "go to the coffin", and when you got there, you found it was filled with candy for you to help yourself.

About 50% of the time, though, they sneaked up on the kids and scared the bejeebus out of them. It was brilliant. Don't know if you could pull it off in this era, however.

But if you must go the delectable route, I'd third the Scharffen Berger or Toblerone suggestions. Or other chocolate goodies from Trader Joe's. They sell packs of swiss chocolate bars that are slightly smaller than a full-sized Hershey's bar, but bigger than a "fun size" and that might hit the spot.

Since you are in the Bay Area, if you are going to the Trader Joe's in El Cerrito, they are by the cash registers in front of the wine aisle. There are fabulous chocolate-peanut butter cups on the shelves over the frozen vegetables in the freezer aisle. They're not wrapped for Halloween giving but you ought to give them a try if you haven't already. Sorry for veering off-topic.

posted by ambrosia at 6:09 PM on September 6, 2005

What do you remember as being the best thing you got on Halloween?

One of the neighbors was really into this. She would have a trail set up in her foyer with three to four awesome goodies - bottles of Coke, popcorn balls, a regular (not the mini type made for Halloween) candy bar and an apple or other piece of fruit, sometimes some coins.

Fruit gets tossed these days, unless the parents know you personally. Popcorn balls? tossed. Coke - awesome (for your needs something healthier yet desirable might be in order, but a sealed commercial product recognizable to the parents). Candy bars - kids love them, it sounds like you might not. Coins - always a treat, especially something trick like fifty cent pieces or even dollar coins if money is truly no object. The latest state quarter in bright shiny condition would more than do for most kids.

Rather than educate the juniors why don't you just get them what they want, candy bars and sodas? Lighten up, it's a holiday of fun. Save the yogurt and granola for your own kids.
posted by caddis at 6:13 PM on September 6, 2005

Seconding the Ritter Sport suggestion. Rochers, or Raffaellos, might be nice, too.

(I'd say Green & Black's, but I think the appeal would be lost on kiddie palates.)
posted by box at 6:24 PM on September 6, 2005

You should source some Canadian Thrills Gum if any bratty kids show up. Its selling point is that it tastes like soap, and has done for decades.

Rademaker's Hopjes make nice treats. They're coffee boiled sweets (hard candy) from the Netherlands. They're caffeinalicious!
posted by scruss at 6:24 PM on September 6, 2005

Bit 'O' Honey's are sublime.
posted by oflinkey at 6:37 PM on September 6, 2005

You are buying candy NOW?

What, you wanna gain 50 pounds between now and Hallowe'en? :)

I buy candy at the last minute. Really. Otherwise it all gets eaten by the chief cook and candy-tester in my home (me).

So I get just enough for the kids in my building. I go to Vancouver's answer to Trader Joe's and pick up pure chocolate balls wrapped in foil that looks like an eyeball (with blood!) always goes over great with the kids.

For the parents' sake, factory-wrapped candy is 'safer' than home-made candy, or fruit.

I also give out little chocolates by Lindor (see a thread there?)

If I feel particularly generous and I know the kids already (our building only has a few that do Hallowe'en) then it's time for Terry's chocolate oranges - which are out in late October because it's a prized christmas gift. $5, slam the wrapped chocolate against a table, and you get twenty 'slices' of orangey chocolate goodness.

posted by seawallrunner at 6:44 PM on September 6, 2005

Goldenberg's Peanut Chews. My favorite.
posted by Faint of Butt at 6:49 PM on September 6, 2005

Despite the fact that Rosie O'Donnell has endorsed them, Linden's Butter Crunch Cookies are totally awesome, and, were I a young trick-or-treater, I would be overjoyed to find them in my sack o' goodies. Not candy per se, but really amazingly tasty. All natural, too!

Regarding the Musk Lifesavers: I got mine, I'd bet, from the same source that interrobang did (his sister), and I can attest to their uniquely vile nature. Actually, I never even got so far as unwrapping the things, much less eating them: they reeked SO bad while in their wrapper that I had to toss them in the Dumpster within hours of receiving them. Totally, thoroughly repulsive.
posted by Dr. Wu at 6:57 PM on September 6, 2005

OhmyfuckingGOD full size?! Jesus, those would have gone quickly! We NEVER saw full size (well, I did once or twice when I went to a friend's rich neighborhood).

But you want advice on how to make 'em savvy kids? I say to give them Asian candies. They're a huge hit around here, they're different, they're cheap.
I've had good luck with Gummis (which are little gelatinous things flavored with fruit bits). Make sure to get the individually wrapped ones.
Other ones that I've liked have looked like little devil's food cake bars, and I found some peanut brittle tubes that had shrimp flavoring in them that my friends swore by (I'm a vegetarian, but bought them accidently, because who the fuck puts shrimp in peanut butter? The japanese, apparently, and apparently it's pretty good if you're in for that sort of thing).
Go to the Asian grocery nearest you and just buy a bunch of bags of stuff. Previewing is half the fun.
posted by klangklangston at 7:26 PM on September 6, 2005

If you think that the parents might be worried about the novelty of something different, make a little tag with your last name and address on it (or phone number or something) and attach it to whatever you give out. This may sound bizarre but when I was trick-or-treating (back in *cough* 1978 *cough*), one little slip of paper like that saved a MOST awesome homemade caramel apple from being thrown away by my mom. :) She called the people, comfirmed that they had given out caramel apples to the kids, and then that thing was mine...ALL MINE!
posted by jeanmari at 7:41 PM on September 6, 2005

First stop every Halloween for my friends and me was the neighbor who gave out gift certificates for ice cream cones at the local Baskin-Robbins. I also had a neighbor who gave out candy apples and those were awesome. Got anything like this in your area?

My brother went trick-or-treating in the richie rich neighborhood once. Came home wide-eyed with tales of king-size candybars served off silver trays, sometimes by butlers. Maybe you could add a little pomp to the proceedings to make a lasting impression.
posted by Sully6 at 7:48 PM on September 6, 2005

Definitely Rochers.
posted by kickingtheground at 8:11 PM on September 6, 2005

I second the Choward's. But not the Violet gum or mints, which to me are as weird and nasty as Necco wafers. Rather, the Choward's Lemon Mints, which blew my mind the first time I had them, and still have that old-tyme candy feel, and with fantastic packaging to boot.

However, it's difficult to say whether or not if I had received it as a kid I would have liked it, or thought it was strange and lame.
posted by scallion at 8:41 PM on September 6, 2005

The comic books that I've given out for the last few years have gone over very well.
posted by JDC8 at 8:50 PM on September 6, 2005

I suppose you're best off buying whatever fancy chocolates you can get in minis.

I favored the mini candy bars, sugar daddies / babies, and giant tarts.

Best Halloweens ever were on the USAF bases in Germany. They were organized by stairwells of the apartment buildings, and lots of stairwells would put on makeshift spook-houses, and there was always *gobs* of candy, and there was always someone in the stairwell who gave a damn about the kids having fun, and you could keep walking and walking until you had enough candy to last you until the next Halloween.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 9:09 PM on September 6, 2005

If cost is not an issue, why not just hand out Mac Minis?
posted by spilon at 9:11 PM on September 6, 2005

And if you use spilon's idea, can I trick or treat in YOUR neighborhood this Halloween?
posted by jeanmari at 9:26 PM on September 6, 2005

the best thing I ever got from Halloween I still have.

There was a house that took polaroid pictures of every child who came by and put them in little cardboard folders that said "happy halloween" on the front, and then inside, had the family's name and the photo behind a little piece of clear plastic. The picture in question is me dressed as a rather poor fascimile of a tiger (complete with safety-orange beanie). I just fished it out of my photo box the other day when I was showing my girlfriend some baby photos.

course, it's not candy, and the kid isn't gonna appreciate it for a number of years, AND, it's gonna cost you about a buck apiece (you can buy 60 odd shots of polaroid film at Costco for about $55 each). Still, it's a pretty kick ass thing to give out. I definitely still have mine. Also: you'll probably get away with screwing those teenagers who come costumeless in search of candy, cause they probably won't want one.
posted by fishfucker at 11:37 PM on September 6, 2005

what the heck:

this is what it looked like:

best construction-worker-pumpkin-tiger-thingy-with-a-plastic-bag ever.
posted by fishfucker at 11:46 PM on September 6, 2005

wait. those are spots. I must be a leopard.

posted by fishfucker at 11:47 PM on September 6, 2005

If you want a learning experience, you could actually make one of my minor fantasies happen and give out soup.

Not in a container, mind you. Just ladle hot steaming soup, or chili, or perhaps goulash, all over their candy.

Then the kids would learn something about the world, or, just maybe, learn that soup is good food.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 12:28 AM on September 7, 2005

a little old man in my neighborhood used to give out chick tracts. their crazy rants always provided hours of entertainment and were definitely the highlight of our pillowcases.
posted by bryak at 7:23 AM on September 7, 2005

ROU - When I was fully bearded and kept hair on my head I went to a barber (okay, stylist) who was also bearded with dark hair and lightish skin. We'd joke about our middle-easternish appearance and once discussed doing a halloween where we'd turban-up, greet children at the door with a horrible accent and finish the act with a "have some hummus!" and a giant *SPL0RT* into their bag.

This story is not going to improve my reputation for cultural sensitivity with Limewire, is it?
posted by phearlez at 9:09 AM on September 7, 2005

As a parent I must tell you that I am the one who is going to be eating any "weird" candy, especially truffles, mmmm, and possibly toblerones, although the kids will probably fight me for those. For years my friends and I all took all our kids trick or treating together. Before they ate anything from their candy bags, it all got poured out on the kitchen table and gone through. This procedure has 3 objectives: 1) Safety: anything without a wrapper (that includes apples, sad but true) or a torn wrapper or that is homemade gets thrown. 2) Cutting down the amount of candy so the kids aren't totally wired for the next 3 weeks: anything that looks vaguely creepy or different gets thrown, redistribution with younger siblings who have less candy is forced and then 3) Tribute: mom gets all the malted milk balls and fancy chocolates. Then the trading begins. The kids never remember where they got what.

I think fishfucker's card is the coolest thing EVAR and I also advise you to invest your money in becoming the coolest decorated house on the block, which the kids will remember long after they have forgotten the candy.
posted by mygothlaundry at 9:27 AM on September 7, 2005

i forgot that my neighbors to the right of us owned a kiwi farm (and also had a daughter who was a playboy bunny -- interesting family), and thus, each halloween, gave out kiwis in little plastic bags with a small note explaining what the fuck they were. Of course, all most kids knew is that someone had just handed them a lumpy stone with fuzz on it, and so they'd throw it on my lawn. The day after halloween my father would go out and harvest all the kiwi that wound up in our front yard, and we'd have kiwis and waffles for breakfast.

so you know, there's that.
posted by fishfucker at 9:50 AM on September 7, 2005

Last year we gave out body part candy which went over pretty well. The hidden smoke machine on the porch, now THAT was a winner.
posted by plinth at 10:44 AM on September 7, 2005

Last year (my first in the new house), I did "body parts" candy, as per plinth. Also had a head (mine was #RU56645) in a pot with a sign saying "do not open" (everyone did). Greeted the kids in a scary mask, and offered them brain jello. This year, I'd like to do the dry ice, and offer them thorax cake, or zombie cake and eyeballs. I love Halloween!!
posted by ObscureReferenceMan at 12:46 PM on September 7, 2005

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