Food Network Staffers Share Their All-Time Favorite Halloween Candies

Did your yearly favorite make the list?

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October 08, 2020
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Photo by: mphillips007/Getty Images

mphillips007/Getty Images

Halloween is about one thing, and one thing only: candy! Though trick-or-treating might be off-limits this year, there’s no reason why you still can’t stock up on your favorite spooky season treat and enjoy it by the handful on Halloween night. We asked Food Network staffers to share the Halloween candies they always buy year after year, and the results were quite the mixed bag (see what we did there?) From classic candy corn to peanut butter pumpkins, here’s everything they are adding to their bubbling cauldrons — er — shopping carts this month.

Hershey chocolate bars are the little black dress of Halloween, classic and basic in the best way possible. There’s always a bunch in my kids’ just-trick-or-treated piles and the Hershey bars are always some of the first to go.

— Deb Puchalla, SVP Digital Programming and Video

I know this is probably an unpopular opinion, but I really love candy corn! Sure, it’s an acquired taste, and if I eat too many pieces, I do understand how people can find them “plastic-y.” But still, I’m so into candy corn! Maybe it’s the nostalgia? Or the fact that they’re only available seasonally? But I look forward to their return every September, and I do my best to stock up so I have plenty for the fall months — and beyond.

— Maria Russo, Senior Editor

I wait all year for an excuse to be able to eat candy corn by the bag! It’s my favorite Halloween candy by far. Brach’s makes the best, and I only eat the original flavor. Candy corn in any other color (white, yellow, orange) or flavor is not candy corn in my opinion. Luckily, candy corn is a pretty polarizing flavor and in my house I never have to share.

— T.K. Brady, Senior Editor

I love candy corn! I wait all year for it, but try to wait till October to start consuming it by the bowl full. The candy corn "pumpkins" are only good in moderation — I'm really a corn loyalist.

Michelle Warner, Food Stylist, Digital Culinary

There’s science to the best Halloween candy. When you’re embarking on a sugar odyssey, you need a little texture, a hint of salt here and there and flavors that really take you somewhere. That is why, come Halloween night, I dive for the Almond Joy. Studded with a nicely crunchy almond (two if you luck into a full-size bar!), in a robe of milk chocolate, these gooey shredded coconut bars strike a perfect flavor balance. Plus, they taste just tropical enough to conjure warm, faraway vibes on a cool fall night. (All my favorite candies have nuts, so participation trophies go out to Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, Peanut M&Ms and Snickers — the last ideally after a quick chill in the freezer.)

Erin Hartigan, Senior Managing Editor

Is there a more perfect combination than chocolate, coconut and nuts? I think not. Let my daughter keep those sticky-chewy Starburst for herself. It’s Mound and Almond Joy all the way!

— Lygeia Grace, Culinary Editorial Director

My favorite Halloween candy is Almond Joy; I love the chew of coconut, the sweet chocolate, and the crunch of the almond. And since I have a peanut allergy, it’s nice to have a candy bar with nuts that I can eat. My very first Halloween costume was actually a candy bar: I was a Baby Ruth, my mom was a Mounds, and my dad was an Almond Joy!

— Sarah Holden, Digital Culinary Producer

For me, the absolute best part of Halloween is the resurgence of seasonal candy, mainly these iconic caramel apple pops. I still make sure to buy at least one bag every year to indulge my caramel apple craving whenever it hits. Warning, though — while delicious, the outer coating of caramel is beyond sticky and might wreak havoc on your teeth if you try to bite into the pop too early!

— Rachel Trujillo, Associate Content Editor

My all-time favorite Halloween candy are Reese’s Pumpkins. Reese’s are already *the* perfect candy (peanut butter + chocolate = the best duo!), but there’s something about the fun shaped versions that just… taste better!

— Zoe Becker, Community and Social Media Coordinator, Food Network

The ONLY answer is Reese’s, and Halloween is a good time to enjoy their specialty offerings — not all their holiday candy is created equal. The peanut butter-to-chocolate ratio in the Reese’s pumpkins is optimal, and I must admit I’m also a fan their Outrageous bars with the Reese’s Pieces mixed in. Sounds weird, but the texture is surprisingly spot on!

— Lauren Piro, Editorial Director, Digital Studios

Reese's Peanut Butter Cups! Chocolate and peanut butter is pretty much the best snack/dessert pairing that exists. They are usually the Halloween candy that is finished first. On days when I’m feeling extra, I’ll spread Skippy peanut butter on top to make that moment even better.

— Danielle Strain, Culinary

I have several family members with food allergies, so I'm always on the lookout for treats that are gluten and dairy-free. That’s why I love these Enjoy Life chocolates! Each piece is vegan and allergy-friendly, but tastes so creamy and delicious. I always stock up on at least two bags so I have a few extras for snacking!

— Leah Scalzadonna, Associate Editor, Programming

Though Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups are my all-time favorite candy, I always find myself grabbing a hefty fistful of Midnight Milky Ways on Halloween every year. Fluffy vanilla nougat paired with sticky caramel and surrounded by luscious dark chocolate – it’s honestly a miracle I still have any left by the end of the night to hand out to trick-or-treaters. I always make sure I buy the "mini" size — it helps me feel a little less guilty when I’m left with a massive pile worth of candy wrappers.

— Michelle Baricevic, Online Editorial Coordinator, Food Network Magazine

Kit Kats are hands down my favorite candy! What’s not to love about chocolate covered layers of wafers with an extra crispy crunch! Growing up, for whatever reason, my parent’s house never had a whole lot of trick-or-treaters come through. When my dad would pick up candy for Halloween, he would always get our favorites, like Kit Kats, because whatever extras we had left (which was always a TON) we got to keep and add to our trick-or-treating haul. 😉

— Lauren Tom, Associate Content Producer

It’s hard to narrow down just one favorite Halloween candy but if I had to choose, I’ll go with Kit Kat. Growing up, my mom had two bowls of candy ready: one for older kids with nuts or chewy caramel and one for younger kids with easier to eat items for little teeth, like plain M&M’s and lollipops. But Kit Kat was always in both bowls. The light, wafery crunch plus the fact that you get two in the package made it extra special. And there are so many ways to eat it! You can separate the two sticks, nibble off the chocolate and carefully separate the wafers to eat individually, or leave them stuck together and take a huge bite to enjoy it all together. They are light enough to indulge in a few without feeling ill and, during braces years (or even now), you never had to worry about hurting your teeth or dental work. While Kit Kat has expanded into new flavors, the classic OG milk chocolate will always be my choice.

Melissa Gaman, Food Network Recipe Developer

Classic Kit Kat. It is awful. When I'm checking my kid’s candy at the end of trick or treating, they keep a watchful eye, knowing I will eat them as I go. I even use to stash them when my wife would buy them, and only pull them out if we ran out of candy on Halloween. Check out their fun Japanese flavors.

— Richmond Flores, Food Stylist, Digital Culinary

I’m always drawn to chocolate candy around Halloween, especially classic Tootsie Rolls. It’s taffy-like texture and rich chocolate flavor is super addictive. Plus, there’s something incredibly nostalgic about unwrapping a tootsie roll and popping it in your mouth with ease.

— Amanda Neal, Food Network Recipe Developer

Layers of crunchy peanut butter wafer, covered in milk chocolate — fun-size Butterfingers are my favorite Halloween candy. Though, we’ll never be known as the Butterfinger house because I eat most of them weeks before passing out to trick-or-treaters. This year we are hosting a small, outdoor and socially-distant Halloween party with a candy scavenger hunt. I suppose I’ll save a few Butterfingers for the kiddos.

— Leah Brickley, Senior Editor, Culinary

My sweet tooth leans more towards baked goods like cookies and cakes, instead of candy. Since Halloween is the one time of year I get a candy fix, I go big! I love to pop a big batch of buttery popcorn and mix in chopped candy bars (Snickers are THE best for this) while it is still HOT. It is the perfect salty sweet treat.

— Dana Beninati, Culinary Producer

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