Writer’s Workshop: Eight (More) Favorite Candies

So the prompt is to list eight of my favorite candies. I could go back to my original post on the subject, but that would be cheating. Besides, I have no trouble thinking of favorite candies. Here they are, in no particular order.

M&M’s, both plain and peanut

Source: Amazon.com

This goes without saying. I know they have caramel ones now, but I haven’t tried them. I’m sure I’d like them. As you’ll see, I like caramel.

Brach’s Royals

Source: Amazon.com

Brach’s (pronounced “brox”) is a big candy manufacturer in the Chicago area that made chocolate and non-chocolate candies. Royals are caramels that are wrapped around a flavored core. They come in vanilla, chocolate, raspberry, maple and one or two other flavors, and are a mite tasty. Brach’s has merged with the Ferrara Pan Candy Co. (which I discussed in my earlier post) and are now known as the Ferrara Candy Co., but have kept the Brach’s name because everyone knows it.

Good & Plenty


I like licorice (it tastes like ouzo) and these are especially tasty. A big box of them lasts almost an entire movie, too. And you can’t beat the commercial…

They also made Good & Fruity, which were shaped the same but were fruit flavored. They were good, too.

Life Savers

Source: Amazon.com

Hard candy in general, really. I like dissolving them in my mouth. It’s almost a feeling of accomplishment to feel one shrink down to nothing. Life Savers are good because of the hole: you’re not just working from the outside in, but from the inside out.

Jolly Ranchers

Source: Amazon.com

As long as I’m talking about hard candy, I have to include this one. They used to keep them in bowls around one place I worked, and I learned to like them. They’re basically a hard candy, but somewhat pliable, and they last much longer than Life Savers (you could spend an entire afternoon sucking on one). They come in some interesting flavors, including watermelon, sour apple, and I think even grapefruit.

Fannie May candy

Source: FannieMay.com

This Fannie May has nothing whatsoever to do with home loans. Fannie May was, and still is, a Chicago institution, a chocolatier that’s been around since 1920. They make the standard box-candy fare, but are known for Pixies, which are caramel and pecans covered with chocolate, called “Turtles” by the rest of the world. Check out their website for more details.

Marshmallow Peeps

Source unknown

I am famous in my family for being able to catch a tossed Peep and in one motion stuff it in my mouth. These used to be an Easter-only treat, but I see they’ve expanded to cover other holidays, like Valentine’s Day, St. Patrick’s Day, Christmas, Hallowe’en, and probably Arbor Day. And, speaking of expanding, Peeps do in the microwave.

Frango Mints

Source: Frango.com

I include Frango Mints because they were originally produced in the kitchens of Marshall Field and Company, a famous Chicago retailer which was bought out by Macy’s, who proceeded to wipe the name off of everything except the hearts and minds of Chicagoans. I worked at Field’s briefly (it’s where I first saw Mary) and sold Frango Mints, as well as Frango Mint liqueur (I worked in the wine and liquor department). Reading up on their history, they were first made by Seattle’s Frederick and Nelson store, which was bought by Field’s in 1929. Field’s immediately asked “Can you show us how to make Frango Mints?” Macy’s sold the brand name Frango to Garrett Brands, who also operate the Garrett Popcorn Shops in Chicago, a little over a year ago.

See any favorites here?

39 thoughts on “Writer’s Workshop: Eight (More) Favorite Candies

  1. Here in Canada, we have Smarties which I love. I used to love Pez even though you could chip a tooth on them. Do Turtles work even though they are chocolates?


    1. I knew someone else from Canada that liked Smarties; as I remember they were like M&M’s. We had something called Smarties, but they were little semi-hard candies that came in a roll. But that was years ago, and I might be wrong. The best part of Pez were the dispensers; the candy was OK, but nothing special (kind of like the little candies I think were our version of Smarties). If by “Turtles working” you mean “deliver so much sugar you shake for the rest of the day,” then yes, they still work…


  2. I’ve been a candy fanatic my entire life. Now even with diabetes I tend to overindulge in candy. I especially like anything chocolate covered marshmallow–especially Rocky Road bars and the chocolate covered marshmallow eggs and bunnies at Easter. York mints often appear in my kitchen cabinet as well.

    Tossing It Out


    1. Realizing they’re really a cookie, you’re probably a fan of Mallomars, a heap of marshmallow on a cookie covered with chocolate. Same with Moon Pies, best served with a bottle (not a can) of RC Cola.

      Mom always loved Easter, even more than Christmas, because it was the one time a year she could get Brach’s Jelly Bird Eggs (basically jelly beans) and eat chocolate with the rest of us.

      York Peppermint Patties are great, but you can’t eat too many at a sitting, because they have some serious mint going on there. But they are good….


  3. I know only one other person who admits to actually liking Peeps, and yet there they are every Easter. Somebody has to be buying them. Perhaps the world is full of a lot of closet Peepers…..but somehow that doesn’t sound quite right either!


    1. The Peeps are usually the last thing left in a kid’s Easter basket, and it’s a couple of days before he gets to those. By that time, they’ve gotten stale and crunchy and are actually more palatable.

      Someone must be eating Peeps, because they’ve branched out from Easter and there are now versions for all the major and some of the minor holidays. They’re a whole lot more popular than anyone is letting on…


    1. Licorice is an acquired taste, usually acquired by drinking ouzo (or anisette). But some people liked it before they could drink. I was one of them.

      Crazy Russian Hacker’s channel is worth subscribing to. I think he also goes by his real name, Taras Kul, and those videos are good, too.


      1. Ooo! I didn’t know he had a channel under his own name. Taras Kul — AWESOME name! I do subscribe to CRH channel. I even have the t-shirt! And I tried drinking anisette and it made me sick ’cause it tasted like licorice. Boo hoo for me!


  4. I don’t know about Frango Mints or Fannie May candy but the rest are yummy. M & M peanut are my favorite. I’ve had the caramel and there’s not enough caramel.


    1. Frangos and Fannie May are Chicago specialties, although you can order them online. Fannie May also produces Fanny Farmer, if you can get those.

      I didn’t figure the M&M caramel would hold that much caramel, but they’re still worth a try…

      Liked by 1 person

  5. While a agree with you that the yellow colored peeps are most certainly the best, you failed to mention that the perfect peep has had its package opened a day or two in advance, allowing it to develop a subtle, yet satisfying “crust!” From one peep lover to another – Cheers! ~ Lynn

    Liked by 1 person

        1. If it’s junk food, I tend to like it. I think I remember when Twinkies had a banana-flavored filling. I’m happy Dolly Madison bought the Hostess name and is still making the Hostess snacks. It was indeed a dark day when Hostess shut its doors…

          Liked by 1 person

  6. Excellent choices, John. I grew up loving Brach’s Royals, especially the vanilla ones.

    I know Frangos from their original store, Frederick & Nelson department stores out of Seattle. Marshall Fields bought the brand and recipe from F&N, but I liked that because it meant we could order them easier from Connecticut. Then Macy’s 😦


    1. There was supposedly a small difference between the west coast and midwest Frango mint, but I can’t be sure, because all the ones I’ve had are from Chicago. I haven’t tried them since Garrett bought the name from Macy’s, but since it’s a Chicago company, my guess is they’re made practically the same. You’ll have to order some and let me know how they stack up; I’d order some, but I’d probably get in trouble…

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Looks like you grew up in the area I did. I’m originally from Elgin … I definitely remember Brach royals!

    Anyway, M&M’s are my favorite. In fact, I may, or may not be, totally addicted. Since I figured out 1/8 C of plain ones equal 96 calories, I’ve worked them into my daily diet every since.

    As for Peeps, my kids could not have an Easter basket without Peeps – and it had to be yellow!


    1. The only real Peeps are the yellow chicks. Purple and pink are just wrong.

      I grew up in Rogers Park, on the very far north side of Chicago, along the lake. I’m familiar with Elgin, though strangely I’ve never been there, at least not that I know about.

      I’m thinking you could get a whole lot more chocolate if you switch to mini M&M’s, because you won’t end up with as much empty space. You think?


    1. I can get berhind ouzo-flavored anything. Good & Plenty aren’t exactly jelly beans (though Good & Fruity are), but close enough… guess I never thought about it that way…


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