Peanut butter cups are getting a glow-up! And they’re not the only classic Halloween candy to receive a contemporary upgrade. We’re spotlighting grown-up, small-batch versions of some of our favorite kiddie candies, that are chock-full of nostalgia but play to adult tastes. Talk about a grave new world of treats!
Paranormally Tasty Peanut Butter Cups
Peanut butter and chocolate. It’s one of the best-loved combos next to, well, peanut butter and jelly. And way back in the 1920’s, a certain candy company had the ingenuity to combine them into cup form. Almost a century later, contemporary chocolatiers have stayed true to the perfect whole, but played around a bit with the sum of its parts. That’s why you’ll find handcrafted cups featuring fair trade chocolate shells made with sky-high percentages of single origin cocoa, filled with 100% natural, freshly roasted and ground peanut butter—or even an allergy-free variety of nut butters, from sunflower to cashew to almond! Oh, and in a definite update from the classic, many of these PB cups even have add-ins. One of our favorite extras is bits of salty bacon from heritage-breed pigs. There’s no question that peanut butter and chocolate are two great tastes that go together…but when it comes to bacon, we’ll happily upgrade to three.
Cherries. Frogs. Soda Bottles. Spaceships. There’s no end of shapes when it comes to the broad category of gummy candy. But what is it made out of, exactly? The short answer is gelatin, which is produced by boiling animal skin, tendons, or bones. Not exactly what we’re thinking of when we reference pig candy! That’s why we came up with our own artisanal line of vegan bears and organic worms, so we could have more control over the ingredient list, and get a better understanding of how the produce is produced and made. Not only do these cleaned-up candies get their texture from pectin and carnauba wax instead of gelatin (agar agar and pectin are two other commonly-used vegan alternatives), they’re made with all-natural colors and flavors—as in, they feature juice from actual fruit!
Newfangled Fruit Chews
We’ll be honest, we still get a little starry-eyed over chewy taffy-like squares bursting with fruit flavor (if you’re picking up what we’re putting down). And we definitely engaged in a few Halloween candy trades as kids, swapping out for our favorite shades (pink or red all the way). But that doesn’t mean we don’t totally appreciate an upgrade on the retro candy. Especially since some of our favorite spruced up fruit chewies come cloaked in those individual paper wrappers (fun!), while sporting a considerably spruced up ingredient list. Think wildflower honey instead of corn syrup as a sweetener, and real flavorings such as Tarocco blood orange. They’re not for basic witches.
Bewitchingly Boo-jie Chocolate Bars
Chocolate is considered by many a trick-or-treater to be the grand prize of Halloween candy, especially if you’re lucky enough to come across a house handing out full-sized bars! But if your tastes have evolved beyond bulk commodities cacao (which isn’t sustainably sourced, and flavor-wise, is merely a passing reference to chocolate), craft chocolatiers will help you raise the bar in a really big way. Unique Halloween candy options include small-batch, handcrafted chocolate bars. They may be raw (containing minimally processed cocoa), single origin (featuring beans from a solo source), or fair trade (sourced from farmers who are paid a reasonable wage), and augmented with all manner of artisanal mix-ins and fillings. Think everything from coconut and salted caramel to peanut butter nougat—a far cry from that cottony, saccharinely sweet stuff found in generic corner store candy. Oh, and if you’re really into nostalgic Halloween sweets, here’s a whopper for you…malted milk balls covered with melted Tanzania dark chocolate! We’re melllting.