Trick-or-treating is probably a practice you retired many a Halloween ago. Or a few Halloweens ago. Or in 2016.
Let’s face it, a full-grown adult — in a costume — is supposed to be at a bar, or at the very least a house party getting sloshed, not going door to door asking for candy. Yet, many of us likely have fond memories of meeting up with our friends and marauding around the neighborhood, demanding free candy. It was the best sort of tradition for so many of us.
We’d plot our courses carefully in those halcyon days. We knew which houses had the straight dope and who was giving out toothbrushes or, gasp, apples. More often than not, the candy was single servings of Jolly Ranchers or Hershey’s Minis or Tootsie Pops. You know, the one-off bites of candy that no one loves but no one really hates either. But there was always one house where they were giving out full-sized candy bars. Maybe they’d just made a Costco run or perhaps they simply understood that passing out full-sized candy bars would make them legends. Either way, scoring a real candy bar on Halloween made you feel like Indiana Jones, snagging an Incan idol — you’d been through the shitstorm of toothbrushes and peppermint pinwheels and, now, you’d found Halloween gold.
This week, we’re going back to look at some classic American candy bars and ask the ultimate question: Which full-sized candy bar is not only the best but which would you be most stoked about getting while trick-or-treating?
12. 3 Musketeers
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Even on a good day, a 3 Musketeers is kinda boring. It’s “filling” covered in chocolate. That filling is a light chocolate fluff that’s basically egg whites and milk chocolate which creates a very subpar nougat.
It sort of feels like seeing a full-sized candy bar going into your bag would be exciting. Then seeing it’s a 3 Musketeers would elicit a big ol’ ‘meh’ on the excitement meter.
Hear us out. The actual flavor of a Butterfinger is rad. It’s a burnt creamy peanut buttery delight covered in chocolate. But where this one falls down is the “crispy” consistency. Has anyone ever not been pissed off by how long it takes to clean your teeth after eating a Butterfinger? Exactly.
[Editor’s note: Fuck that, still worth it.]
10. Baby Ruth
Oh, the famous candy bar every thinks is named after infamous baseballer Babe Ruth. It’s named after a President and holder of the most 19th-century name ever Grover Cleveland and his daughter Ruth, for what it’s worth.
The bar is a pretty satisfying treat. It’s a more substantial nougat with a layer of sweet caramel and then covered in salty peanuts and enrobed in chocolate. It’s kind of a mess of a bar — the peanuts have exactly zero uniformity — but it’s actually pretty tasty. It’s one of those bars you kinda forget exist, then enjoy finding at the bottom of your trick-or-treat bag.
9. Almond Joy
Imagine a Mounds, but good. It’s amazing what a single almond can accomplish. The coconut base needs that almond-y crack to go along with the chocolate coating. Plus, there are two morsels in each package, which is a big win. The best win though was when you snagged an Almond Joy with two almonds on one piece.
Those were the days…
8. Mars Bar (Milky Way)
Here we have that fluffy nougat again. But the addition of caramel makes this bar light years beyond a 3 Musketeers. In this case, that milk-chocolate nougat is a bit denser and was originally made to mimic a malted Milky Way milkshake, which was popular back in the 1920s. It’s a pretty good bar, even if that fluffy nougat leaves you a bit wanting.
This one shouldn’t work as well as it does. It’s just Cadbury chocolate filled with runny caramel. That’s it! Yet, it’s in that barebones simplicity that this candy bar rises above the rest. Let’s just say it’s great for what it is. Is it the best? Well, no, we’re only at number seven after all.
6. Crunch Bar
Nestlé Crunch bar > Hershey Krackel. Part of that is the simple fact that Nestlé uses better chocolate than Hershey in this case. Both bars contain a genius matrix of rice puffs that give the bar an airy crunch — so we are kinda splitting hairs here. What we’re saying is that a chocolate bar with rice puffs is a pretty good candy bar to score. At the very least you won’t have to eat ten minis to get the same high.
5. 100 Grand
Now, take that Crunch bar and stuff it with sickeningly sweet caramel until it blows up. The crunch from the puffed rice mixed with the chocolate and caramel works a magical alchemy of sweet and savory delights. It’s the perfect candy bar in many ways and the only reason it’s this low is that the rest are too classically great to deny.
The last four really comes down to personal preference and the mood we’re in at the time. Twix hits a lot of nails square on the head. Two pieces in each package. Check. Chocolate and caramel. Check. A crispy and slightly savory cookie. Check. It’s a perfect triad of flavors and textures: chocolate, sweet, savory/soft, gooey, and crunchy. Did we mention you get two in every package?
3. Kit Kat
This English candy bar is a global juggernaut. The thin wafers covered in milk chocolate are almost perfect when it comes to candy. The thin wafer and chocolate creme bring a soft and crunchy texture to the smooth chocolate coating. Plus, there are four bars, technically. There’s an interaction with the medium that makes a Kit Kat an outlier in the candy bar world. Breaking off the bars is part of what makes this candy bar so great.
Or, you can just bite into the whole bar and watch the world burn.
Did you know Snickers was named after the Mars family’s favorite horse? Yes, Mars is an actual American family who makes candy (and billions of dollars) — it’s not just a company name. Which, admittedly, sounds like the name of a family the Winchesters would fight on ‘Supernatural.’
A Snickers is a satisfying candy bar all around. The nougat base is far more substantial than that of a 3 Musketeer for starters. Then there’s a good layer of caramel topped with a uniform row of salty peanuts mixed into the caramel. Then the whole thing’s enrobed with milk chocolate. It’s basically the best parts of a Milky Way, Baby Ruth, and 3 Musketeers done in their best possible form in one candy bar.
1. Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups
Are peanut butter cups candy bars? Maybe. Maybe not. But, let’s face it, getting a full-sized package of two Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups is the biggest win of the night. If it’s a pack of the Big Cups, then you’ve officially won Halloween. The creamy chocolate and peanut butter are hard to beat. Mostly because peanut butter filling >>>>>>>>>> faux American nougat.
So, call it nostalgia or call our love for the legitimately transcendent pairing of chocolate and peanut butter. But this is hands down the winner.