By now, most of the Internet has seen the Skittles burger: the candy creation that somehow manages to make a compressed disc of purple-colored fructose look like a hamburger patty in a sugar simulacrum of the real thing. Of course you've seen it. It's all over the place, on everybody's Facebook wall and blog as if they themselves discovered the damn thing.
We here at the Houston Press weren't impressed, and sought a real challenge: M&Ms.
Soft, pliable Skittles have the advantage of being easier to crush and flatten between your fingers than the comparatively harder M&Ms -- that thin candy shell seems to have gotten thicker with time. And although M&Ms have the advantage of having an actual brown candy in the mix for the patty, an M&Ms burger is tougher to make than it looks.
I know because I tried. That's the rather miserable-looking result you see above.
I found out very quickly during the course of this important research that -- despite typing roughly 10,000,000 words a day -- I don't have the hand strength to flatten the M&Ms into discs on my own. Enter the office hammer. (Note that now the office hammer is involved, the M&Ms burger's edibility has been rendered moot.)
I smashed the first few M&Ms into oblivion as my cubicle mate, assistant music editor Craig Hlavaty, looked on and laughed.
"What's funny about this is that you're retarded," he said as he watched me flail the hammer wildly at the pile of chocolate.
Soon, word spread in the office that I was attempting to make an M&Ms burger, a counterpart to that dumb Skittles burger we were all now sick of seeing on the Web. All hands were now on deck. Hlavaty had moved over to my desk and was trying to flatten the M&Ms as slowly and gently as possible with the head of the hammer. The phone rang at my desk as he was in mid-smash; it was our web editor, Brittanie Shey.
"Have you tried microwaving them?" Shey asked. "On the Skittles thing it says they microwaved them for five seconds to get them softer."
I ran to the kitchen and popped a few in. It made the smashing much easier, although any longer than five seconds turned the M&Ms to melted chocolate. There was much experimentation left to do, however; more tests to run. Would a combination of microwave and hammer work even better?
Twenty minutes into this project, it became apparent that I was chasing a very weird fascination down a rabbit hole and I had to come to my senses and stop. I put the hammer away and scooped up the chocolate shrapnel from my desk.
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Once everything was cleaned up, a realization struck me. Only the blue M&Ms remained of the single bag I'd started with, a painful reminder that this entire project would have bested the Skittles burger if only the useless blue M&Ms hadn't replaced the tan ones so long ago.
Tan M&Ms make better buns than orange.