If you know me IRL, you know there are few things I take as seriously as candy. (See also: women’s rights, my family, my skin care routine, and Harry Styles…just to name a few.)
However sweet, sweet sugary candy is my most beloved vice. I have always said this is because I was born on Halloween, which is also why I consider myself a witchy woman who would like nothing more than discussing such matters over wine with Stevie Nicks. But, I digress.
The amount of candy that I can ingest in a single sitting would blow the mind of most normal people and I wear it like a badge of honor. When I was growing up on the city’s northside, one of my best friend’s mom’s owned a specialty candy store called Sweet Things and sometimes we would get to go in after hours and just raid the place. I don’t know that I’ve ever been happier.
While I like chocolate just fine (especially Snickers, Reese’s Cups, and 100 Grand bars), that is not what I crave on the regular. Give me the chewy goodness of a Skittle, the weird invention that is a Sweet Tart Rope, or the combo of Laffy Taffy and Bottle Caps in my mouth at the same time. Around Halloween, I’m all about a candy corn and a candy corn-adjacent pumpkin. Yummmm.
Perhaps my weirdest love, though, is Circus Peanuts. I know, I know. You’re like, “EW, WHAT?” But what if I told you my love of them came from my great-grandmother. My Grandma and Grandpa Mac lived with my paternal grandparents here in Indy when I was growing up and she kept a glass jar of Circus Peanuts, in all their dyed orange fluffy glory, on her bureau—handing one to me every time I came to visit. Even in college, my mom would include a bag of them in my care packages.
Halloween may be a bit different this year, but the candy—THE CANDY!— remains. Even the Today show got in on the action with a voting bracket of best Halloween candies this week. (Snickers won—and I will allow it.) In honor of the holiday, my birthday, and my lifelong passion, I decided to chat up the one woman in Indy who might love sweet treats as much as I do: Carrie Abbott of Newfangled Confections.
Thankfully, I found that she and I are very much aligned in our tastes. Happy Halloween, Mavens! May you eat all the sugar you’d like this year.
Rank your top 5 favorite Halloween candies. And what are your least favorite?
Smarties ends up being leftover in the Halloween candy bucket, but while we’re on the topic my single least favorite candy period is the popcorn-flavored Jelly Belly. Most people who know me know this to be true.
Has your list changed since you were a kid?
Yes. I believe there was a wider variety when I was a kid. Halloween now is a very large commercial event and my favorites have become out of convenience because it’s in the same mixed bag! Mars Wrigley, Hershey’s, and the like.
Do you have any old classic favorites that we don’t see as much anymore?
I used to love Bonkers candy! For that reason I think Hi-Chew is one of my favorite candies and now that they come individually wrapped they need to make everyone’s Halloween bowl this year.
In your opinion, what qualifies a candy as perfect for Halloween?
Halloween candy needs to be festive, perfect for small hands, like the fun-size and come in bright colors. To me, that is so nostalgic of the ’80s and late ’70s when I was growing up. But if you want to switch up your selection, do so! Think of the child’s overall candy haul, you can contribute to the variety look!
What do you hand out at your house in a typical year?
Full-size candy bars baby! Do you want my address? I always wanted to be that house because I remember that house as a kid.
Does Newfangled Confections do anything special around Halloween?
Yes. On October 10th, we opened a pop-up shop on the east end of Massachusetts Avenue and will participate in a trick-or-treat event if they have one. Also, we have a super cool Halloween-themed chocolate pack with specially-designed cookies and truffles which are available at either of our locations and online.