Make vs. Buy: Halloween Candy + A Giveaway!

October  9, 2014

Over at Provisions, we're all about collections of beautiful, useful products to help make the most of good food -- and we don't want you to miss out on the fun.

Today: Learn which Halloween candy to make, and which to buy. Also, in the spirit (pun intended) of sugar-fueling the right way, we're giving away some of our favorites from our shop (like PB&J bars!) to one commenter!

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We continue to look forward to Halloween, despite that fact that most of us are far beyond the acceptable age for trick-or-treating. But that doesn’t stop us. If there is a holiday out there dedicated primarily to eating candy, we are damn well going to celebrate it.

This year, instead of picking your candy up from the drugstore, here’s a little advice about what to make in your own kitchen and what to leave to the experts:


Making candy at home is definitely a project that requires some time and effort, but it’s worth it. You can replicate most classic confections, and you should -- they’ll taste better and, as a bonus, will impress your friends. Halloween staples like Tootsie Rolls, Almond Joy bars, and Cow Tales are actually surprisingly easy to make right at home. 

The candy to buy is the creative, interesting, twist-on-a-classic kind: A king size dark chocolate peanut butter cup laced with spicy cinnamon, or a beet-pistachio caramel. Or a PB&J candy bar with layers of raspberry preserves, smooth peanut butter, and shortbread cookie, all coated in milk chocolate. This is the candy that's worth treating yourself to.


Come Halloween, you'll find us making our own marshmallows and truffles, and stocking up on unusual, habit-forming candy  (like salty black licorice and banana bread caramels) from our Provisions shop. We'll be carrying all of that candy in custom designed Dot & Army trick-or-treating bags (pictured above)! To start the Halloween celebration early, we’re giving away a package of our favorite candies from our Halloween collection to one commenter. 

To win, tell us by Monday, October 13th at 5 PM: What is your Halloween candy of choice? 

Top photo by James Ransom; all other photos by Alpha Smoot

See what other Food52 readers are saying.

  • Kollin Leisinger
    Kollin Leisinger
  • Elaine Yip
    Elaine Yip
  • sollared
  • sweetlolo
  • Vanessa
I like warm homemade bread slathered with fresh raw milk butter, ice cream in all seasons, the smell of garlic in olive oil, and sugar snap peas fresh off the vine.


Kollin L. October 29, 2014
Has a winner been chosen yet?
Elaine Y. October 15, 2014
I haven't been trick or treating since now I live in Australia, and this isn't really candy, but but we stay in, make up a batch of cookie dough ice cream, then s'mores, and make a sundae trifle out of it!
sollared October 13, 2014
I don't eat candy anymore, but my favorites used to be Reesees and Snickers
sweetlolo October 13, 2014
Popcorn balls
Vanessa October 13, 2014
Peanut butter cups
tammy D. October 13, 2014
Dark chocolate covered apples. Virginia apples, rolled in chopped nuts and a little sanding sugar.
Ellen P. October 13, 2014
For homemade, there is nothing like Popcorn balls or caramel apples. Both say Halloween to me.
Cyndylee1 October 13, 2014
Our Favorite was from a house in the boatyard across the street, they gave out full-size candy bars with a dime taped on them. We'd go home, change costumes and go back. This was in the 1950's and Halloween was the only time of the year we could have candy.
adrienne October 13, 2014
Candy corn! It's all about the sugar.
Hilary October 13, 2014
My favourite are peanut butter cups. Growing up, my sisters and I would count them every day to make sure we weren't getting cheated (my Mom was a notorious candy thief once we had gone to bed)!
Liza's K. October 13, 2014
Caramels. I just love caramels.
heather October 13, 2014
As a child, Snickers! As an adult, Yummy Earth Organic Pops...or homemade pumpkin cookies. :)
cgilsbach October 13, 2014
Reese's peanut butter cups!
Ashelina M. October 13, 2014
My favorite store bought candy is Reeses peanut butter cups.
Jo C. October 13, 2014
My favorite store bought candy which I rarely see anymore in the loot bags is the caramel creams or "bulls-eyes", I believe the company was Goetze or something like that! When I was little I would save the sugary-cream center for last.
Michelle S. October 13, 2014
Candy corn, for sure.
Sarah October 13, 2014
Homemade peanut butter cups! (the store-bought kind are yummy too :)
Isabel I. October 13, 2014
ericane October 13, 2014
I can't help myself. For it to really be Halloween, I must have one of the the little paper bags of sweet tarts. #childhoodfav
Gail L. October 13, 2014
Home made caramel with sea salt is addicting but I'm a sucker for a mounds bar.