Since Halloween is my favorite holiday, I'm more than thrilled that what was once a one-day celebration has now become a whole season in its own right. Despite my usual aversion to processed food, I'm also tickled pink (orange?) by the plethora of Halloween-themed treats that appear in supermarkets starting around the first of October. Some are fun and delicious, others little more than overpriced carbohydrates tinged with Red #40 and Yellow #5. Here are my five favorite commercial Halloween snacks:
5. Cap'n Crunch's Halloween Crunch Cereal. A perfect breakfast for your All Hallow's Eve, this limited-edition cereal contains ghoul-shaped nuggets that turn your milk green. If you don't think that's awesome, you're clearly out of touch with your eight-year-old inner child. Do you think I could convince Jamie Zelko to use this variety for her famous fried chicken?
4. Orange White Chocolate Kit-Kats. Unfortunately, this oxymoronic candy probably turns off many potential consumers who assume the sunny color denotes some sort of citrus flavor. Never fear: there's not a trace of real or artificial orange (fruit) in Halloween Kit-Kats. And though I usually consider white chocolate an abomination given its sickly sweet, no-cocoa flavor, in combination with the interior milk chocolate, the orange coating works just fine. Even more fun is using them as neon tombstones in a psychedelic graveyard cake.
3. Halloween Oreos. Although I railed against the dilution of the OREO brand through their never-ending product diversification, I still have a soft spot for the seasonal cookies. I love the cheery bright Double Stuf cream and the five "boo-rific" imprints on the chocolate cookies. Their Halloween hue makes me want to dunk them in orange juice instead of milk, but that would probably be gross.
2. Snak King Fright Bites. Halloween foods are often disproportionately focused on the sweet rather than the savory, so these chips shaped like bats, pumpkins, and ghosts are particularly necessary for an even holiday feast. Fright Bites adequately balance the sucrose with some salt as well as provide some festive color. Pair them with an orange bowl of guacamole and they'll save your ass if you volunteered (drunkenly, two weeks ago) to bring an "elaborate holiday goodie" to that neighborhood potluck.
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1. Pillsbury Halloween Cookies. What's more adorable than the Doughboy? Absolutely nothing. But these slice (well, pry apart) and bake cookies, especially the pugnacious pumpkin variety, are also pretty damn cute, not to mention ridiculously easy. Which I guess, makes them the sorostitute of Halloween snacks. Except they only come once a year.
Yes, I'll stop now.