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The Best Wine (And Beer!) Halloween Candy Pairings


By Cooking Panda

Thinking about stealing your kids’ Halloween candy? Hey, I’m not in a place to judge you, as long as you follow the roommate golden rule and replace it before anyone notices it’s missing, or your kid might have some serious Jimmy Kimmel-level resentment for years to come.

Whether you’re sneaking hard-earned pieces here and there from your child’s hollow, plastic jack-o-lantern or you just happened to buy a clearance variety pack to stave off those seasonal cravings, you might have to eat some candies that aren’t your top pick.

Either way, there’s a chance you’ll want to maximize your indulgence in the adultiest way you know how: with some booze. So dig through your supply, round up what you’ve got, and let’s see what type of wine (or beer!) you should pour to reach maximum flavor harmony.

After all, we are nothing if not classy. Isn’t that right?

Snickers + Syrah

The rich oakiness of Syrah, also known as Shiraz, is just what you need to balance out the roasted nuts and thick caramel candy. If you’re more in the mood for beer, the nutty, nougaty chocolate bar will also taste great with a chocolaty, slightly bitter porter.

Candy Corn + Chardonnay

Chardonnay brings a nice buttery taste that works well with the marshmallow-type flavor of the polarizing orange waxy candy. For similar reasons, this white wine is great with Butterfinger, too. If you prefer, you can also try this with prosecco, since the delicate bubbles will cut through some of that super sweetness in the waxy candies, and it will also bring out the creaminess.

M&M’s (or other cheap milk chocolate) + Grenache

Grenache, also known as Garnacha, is medium-bodied, high in alcohol and has strong notes of cinnamon and candied fruit that will work well with (let’s be honest here) weak, sweet chocolate like M&M’sHershey’s Bars or Kisses.

Are you in a more beery mood? Match them with anything malt-heavy with strong notes of chocolate, like, you guessed it, a chocolate milk stout. But you don’t need to stick with a milk stout — you can also go with a porter, a dry stout (like Guinness) or even a really robust brown ale with the aforementioned flavors.

Red Twizzlers + Rose

Opposites may attract, but in this case it’s the way that the red berry notes in both the candy and the wine perfectly match that make these two such a lovely fit. Not into Twizzlers? Keep with a similar fruity flavor profile and you’ll find that the combo works equally well with candies like Starburst, Nerds or Airheads.

Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups + Sherry

The subtle nuttiness of medium-sweet fortified wines (think Amontillado and Oloroso sherries) takes on flavor profiles not unlike whiskey and plays nicely with similarly nutty candies like Almond Joy, or anything with almond or coconut. Alternately, you can try doubling up on the peanut butter chocolate with a thick peanut butter stout.

Sour Candy + IPA

You might think these would go better with something like a gose or a sour, but actually the citrus-heavy, strong, bitter flavors in your IPA are going to provide the perfect contrast to sour gummies like Sour Patch Kids or sour worms so that they balance out. If you like it a bit more mellow, a yeasty, earthy saison would also pair well.

Sources: Coastal Living, USA Today, Bustle, Grub Street / Featured Image: Luke Jones/Flickr

Tags: beer pairing candy, funny wine pairings, Halloween, Halloween candy booze, wine pairing candy
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Get The Recipes: 4 Halloween Snack Hacks


By Cooking Panda

Severed Fingers Pigs In A Blanket


  • 1 package beef cocktail franks
  • Almond slices
  • 1 package crescent rolls
  • 1 egg, beaten (for egg wash)
  • Ketchup, for serving
  • Directions

    1) Heat oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

    2) Roll out crescent roll dough and cut into thin strips.

    3) Cut a small slit in the top of the beef franks and stick an almond slice inside. Wrap with crescent dough.

    4) Place on baking sheet and brush with egg wash. Bake for 10 minutes, or until dough is golden brown. Serve with ketchup and enjoy!

    Zombie Pretzels


  • Green candy melts
  • Yellow candy melts
  • Red candy melts
  • Black icing
  • Mini pretzels
  • Directions

    1) Melt candy melts in separate bowls in the microwave on 30 second intervals, stirring each time, until melted and smooth.

    2) Scoop yellow and red candy melts into ziplock bags with a corner cut off.

    3) Dip pretzels in green candy melt. Tap off excess chocolate and place on a parchment lined baking sheet.

    4) Fill the top corner holes with yellow candy melts to make eyes. Top with a small circle of black icing to make the pupils. Fill the larger hole with red candy melts, having it go all over the bottom part of the pretzel to make a mouth.

    5) Set aside until candy melts are completely set. If necessary, refrigerate. Serve and enjoy!

    Caramel Apple Crips


  • Large green apples
  • Melted chocolate
  • Caramel sauce
  • Purple candy melts
  • Orange and black sprinkles
  • Directions

    1) Cut apple slices, about 3/4 of an inch thick. Skewer with a lollipop stick.

    2) Melt chocolate and candy melts in separate bowls in the microwave on 30 second intervals, stirring each time, until completely melted and smooth.

    3) Lay skewered apples down on a parchment lined baking sheet. Drizzle with melted chocolate, caramel sauce and purple candy melts. Top with sprinkles.

    4) Refrigerate until completely set. Serve and enjoy!

    Vampire Teeth


  • 1 package cookies of choice
  • White frosting + red food coloring, or red cookie icing
  • 1 package mini marshmallows
  • Almond slivers
  • Directions

    1) Cut cookies in half. Dye white frosting red with food coloring, or use red cookie icing.

    2) Ice both halves of the cookie with red icing. Place marshmallows around the curve of the cookie to create teeth. To help support the cookie, place a few more marshmallows in the back. Top with second iced cookie half.

    3) Insert two almond slivers in between the teeth to create fangs. If necessary, use frosting to make them stick.

    4) Refrigerate until fully set, serve and enjoy!

    Tags: hacks, Halloween, kids, recipes, snacks
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    6 Creepy Cocktails To Get You Into The Halloween Spirit (Recipes)


    By Cooking Panda

    It’s always a treat when Oct. 13 lands on a Friday!

    The wildly unlucky day (or extra lucky one, to some!) is a great excuse to celebrate. Grab some friends and go wild on the second spookiest day of the year! Here are some fabulously spooky cocktails you can keep by your side as good luck charms:

    1. Monster Mash Slush

    With honeydew melon, orange liqueur, citrus and tequila, this tastes a bit like a sweet margarita. Have a couple of them and you’ll surely be doing the mash!

    2. Black Cat

    With easily blendable vodka, sweet cherry brandy, tart cranberry juice and bubbly cola, this drink sure is an easy sipper. If you want to make it even more festive, consider using some black vodka or a drop of food coloring.

    3. The Broken Mirror

    With Absinthe, Green Chartreuse, bitters and lime, this well-balanced drink gets a welcome pop of herbal flavors. Plus it’s BRIGHT GREEN!

    4. Booger Beer

    Gross!! Booger beer sounds like something that would put you off your dinner, but once you taste the dark, rich stout (any type is fine, although Guinness mixes well with sweet things) combined with a bit of Apple Pucker and topped with green marshmallow cream and surprisingly tasty sugared green pea chunks, it’ll be hard to resist.

    5. The Conjuring

    It looks terrifying, but take a sip and the sweet licorice creaminess of this unusual mix will win you over in a flash!

    6. Good Luck Charm

    This one is a bit like a good whiskey sour, but it gets an extra kick from limoncello liqueur and a few spearmint leaves for a burst of freshness.

    Featured Image: Shanna S/Flickr

    Tags: Friday the 13th, Halloween, October cocktails, recipe, Thirsty Thursday
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    Brach’s Tempting New Candy Corn Tastes Like Cookies (Photo)


    By Cooking Panda

    If McDonald’s created as many new flavors of McFlurries as Brach’s does of candy corn, we’d live in a tastier world. Alas, for now, we can reap the benefits of Brach’s impressively prolific candy-corn line. Their new flavor, cookie, is making waves on social media.

    Instagram snack-food insider The Junk Food Aisle posted a photo of Brach’s cookie-flavored candy corn, filled with multi-colored cone-shaped candies that are said to taste like chocolate chip, oatmeal, cookies and cream, and butter cookies.

    They’re neither orange nor adorned with pumpkins or spooky creatures, which gives us an excellent excuse to try them far before Halloween.

    There aren’t many reviews on the new product, but things aren’t looking very positive thus far.

    “These taste like straight up artificial flavor and alcohol based butter extract,” an Instagram user commented on The Junk Food Aisle’s photo.

    A reviewer on The Impulsive Buy was also less than pleased.

    “I did not like them,” they said. “They don’t taste like the cookie flavors they are supposed to be and the smell of the candy was off putting. I ate a couple of each flavor and tossed the rest of the bag in the trash.

    “Brachs has had some very good candy corn limited flavors the past few years. These are not one of them.”

    Even still, as a steadfast candy-corn fan, my curiosity is piqued. Brach’s delicious yet wildly unsafe combination of sugar, corn syrup, gelatin and artificial flavor has not let me down so far, and I’m particularly interested in sampling this butter cookie variety of candy corn, which I’m sure must bear some resemblance to a tasty piece of shortbread.

    Granted, I have only tasted the tried-and-true original flavor and have no experience with Brach’s other adventurous candy corns, like their “brunch favorites” line or their pumpkin spice and caramel macchiato flavors, which all received mixed reviews.

    The Junk Food Aisle found a bag of cookie candy corn at the Dollar General, and the flavor is also available at Candy Warehouse at $5 for a 15-ounce package.

    Featured Image: Evan-Amos/Wikimedia Commons

    Tags: brach's, Candy Corn, cookie candy corn, Halloween, New Flavors
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