KC is known for its delicious brews and barbecue, but we also have a sweet tooth! Guest blogger Katy Schamberger (@katywrites) scoured the city in search of some of the best local Halloween candy picks (we know—it’s a tough job). Whether you prefer handmade, artisan creations or classic favorites, Katy found just the treat to satisfy your seasonal sweet tooth—and best of all, they each have a connection to the Kansas City metropolitan area, which makes them even sweeter!
Christopher Elbow Artisan Chocolates
These exquisite confections are almost too pretty to eat … almost! Chocolates and caramels are hand-sculpted and hand-painted to create eye-catching confections that have attracted national attention, including Elbow’s inclusion on Food & Wine magazine’s “Best Chocolate in the U.S.” list. If you’re looking for a true Halloween treat, try two of our favorite fall picks, including caramel apple (featuring caramel blended with fresh apple and spices) and spiced orange (caramel infused with fresh orange, cinnamon and clove). Or pick up a container of the sinfully indulgent drinking chocolate, a comforting companion while you watch your favorite scary movie.
No trick-or-treat loot is complete without a miniature bag (or 10) of M&M’s. The brightly colored candies are famous for melting in your mouth, not in your hands—but did you know they’re a fixture in local history, too? In the 1950s, scientists at Kansas City’s Midwest Research Institute perfected the candy’s coating process by developing a machine that could coat 3,300 pounds of chocolate centers each hour. Since then, M&M’s have grown to one of the top global candy brands with more than $3.5 billion in global sales in 2012. That’s what we call sweet success!
A longtime candy aisle staple, Sifer’s Valomilk isn’t just delicious—it’s made right here in the Kansas City area! The company started in 1903 in Iola, Kan., with bulk penny hard candy, hand-rolled boxed chocolates and some of the Midwest’s first nickel candy bars. Valomilk began as an experiment; founder Harry Sifers tried dipping scoops of runny marshmallow into chocolate cups, hence the name: Valomilk Dip. The name was later shortened to Valomilk. The company continued to do a brisk business throughout the next several decades, even in the midst of ingredient rations prompted by World War II. Sadly, Sifers Valomilk Candy Company closed after a 1970 merger with an LA-based company went south. In 1985, Harry’s great-grandson, Russell Sifers, acquired Harry’s original copper kettles and other equipment and reopened the factory in Merriam. Valomilk returned to the stores in 1987 and have remained a candy aisle mainstay. They’re still made by hand, one batch at a time, according to the original family recipe.
Forget the Monster Mash—this Halloween, it’s all about the Cherry Mash! This nostalgic candy favorite is the third-oldest candy bar in the country and is made at a family-operated candy factory in St. Joseph, Mo. Up to 72,000 Cherry Mash candy bars are made daily through a process that includes blending crushed maraschino cherries into a creamy mixture that fills the middle of each candy bar. The cherry center is enrobed with chopped peanuts and a chocolaty coating before being wrapped in the distinctive red and white packaging. The candy, which was created around 1918, was first known as the Cherry Chase, then the Cherry Chaser before becoming what we all know and love: Cherry Mash!
Andre’s Confiserie Suisse
Craving some authentic Swiss chocolate but don’t feel like an overseas jaunt? You’re in luck! Leave your passport at home and head over to Andre’s Confiserie Suisse, owned by Andre and Elsbeth Bollier, who immigrated from Switzerland to Kansas City in 1955. Andre opened the Swiss confiserie in October 1955 (happy birthday!) and has been tempting Kansas City’s tastebuds ever since. We love the Kansas City landmarks boxed collection, which features milk and dark chocolate disks molded into the shapes of famous local landmarks. Feeling especially indulgent this Halloween? Opt for a chocolate champagne bottle that’s filled with chocolate covered almonds. We’ll “drink” to that!
And there you have it—five delicious local Halloween candy picks. We’d love to hear what’s at the top of your trick-or-treat wish list!
Katy Ryan Schamberger is a KC-based, downtown dwelling freelance writer, magazine editor and blogger. Katy’s love of the city reached a fever pitch with the publication of her first book, Moon Kansas City. When Katy isn't writing, you’ll find her exploring her River Market neighborhood or at one of many favorite local shops, restaurants or bars. Follow Katy on Twitter at @katywrites.