What are your favorite Halloween candies? With the celebrated candy-filled holiday just around the corner, the editors at The Daily Meal mused on what sugary classics our Halloweens wouldn’t be complete without. While many were oohed and aahed over, a solid few kept coming up as ones we loved the most during our trick-or-treating years.
First, a little history. The oldest candy on our list is the Tootsie Roll. Developed by Austrian immigrant Leo Hirshfield, the chocolate candy has been a favorite since its appearance on the candy scene in New York City in 1896. Named after Hirshfield’s daughter’s nickname, Tootsie Rolls are a favorite for many because they’re low in fat (with just 3 grams) and have a low calorie count of 140. In the early 20th century we were introduced to the Kit Kat bar, and it remains a favorite of many today. In the words of the bar's catchy slogan, who can resist breaking off a piece? With a crunchy center covered in chocolate, the bars contain 11 grams of fat and are 210 calories. While indulgent, they are certainly popular, with 17.6 billion sold every year by the time of the candy's 75th birthday in 2010. The chocolate bars were first introduced in York, England, in 1935 and later made their way across the pond. The origin of the candy's name is unclear, but many believe it is in relation to a 17th-century British literary club.
In 1956, a scientist named William A. Mitchell started experimenting with classic candy ingredients, such as sugar and corn syrup, and chemical ingredients like carbon dioxide, in order to create a new soft drink. However, the results yielded something completely different — crunchy little particles that when placed in the mouth, released pockets of carbonation that felt like crackling on the tongue — the candy that is now known as Pop Rocks. Although they received some bad press due an urban legend that claimed Mike from the Life cereal commercials died from ingesting the candy, Pop Rocks remain a quirky favorite for many, and a serving is only 80 calories with 0 grams of fat.
Next in our timeline is the TWIX bar, which was introduced in the U.S. in 1979. Very little is recorded about the TWIX bar’s history, but few could argue about its loveable traits — a crunchy, shortbread cookie topped with caramel and slathered in chocolate is hard to resist. At 12 grams of fat and 250 calories, TWIX is also an unmistakable favorite because you get not one but two candy bars with each purchase.
Last, but certainly not least, are Charms Blow Pops, which were brought onto the candy stage in 1988. We have another favorite candy, Tootsie Rolls, to thank for the creation of Blow Pops, whose lollipop form, the Tootsie Roll Pop, was inspiration for the bubblegum treat. With a hard candy shell and chewy bubblegum center, it’s a two-fold treat that we just can’t resist at 60 calories and 0 grams of fat.
These candies, while enjoyed all year long, define the Halloween season for many, and are the favorites to snag from a trick-or-treat bowl above other sugary treats. As the Cook editors at The Daily Meal always do, we wondered what went into making our favorite candies and challenged ourselves to see if we could use our expertise to create these goodies at home. At first glance, some seemed fairly straightforward while others pleasingly challenging, so we were excited to try. With the help of our testers Robin Joss of BigRedKitchen (you may remember her from our White Castle endeavor), Alexis Murphy of Jac o' lyn Murphy, and Emily Jacobs of Sage Recipes, we learned that they were not only fun to recreate, but easy, and in some cases our recipes yielded better results than the originals. We hope these recipes bring you a very happy Halloween and even better, save you a trip to the store.
Anne Dolce is the Cook Editor at The Daily Meal. Follow her on Twitter @anniecdolce