A quick search online will reveal candy corn as a polarizing confection. It’s either an iconic Halloween candy to be devoured by the handful or a cloying, waxy abomination—one or the other.
I don’t buy into this narrative and find candy corn to be just fine, neither amazing nor the worst. However, there is one way to serve candy corn that converts me to a die-hard fan: mixing it with salted, roasted peanuts.
A Candy Corn Snack for Everyone
I was recently at a family gathering where one of my aunts put out a bowl of candy corn and peanuts and the whole room seemed to swarm toward the snack. It was gone in a matter of minutes.
Before you think this combo is only for candy corn fanatics, I’ve witnessed even skeptics enjoy it. One of my cousins said he’s “definitely a peanut guy, but have never been a huge fan of candy corn,” yet he loves this sweet-and-salty mix.
Food & Wine Senior Editor Maria Yagoda, who describes herself as “ambivalent” about candy corn, thinks perhaps this is candy corn’s destiny. She told me “I like the idea of candy corn in a supporting role. Maybe that was its true purpose all along, to be part of something bigger than itself.”
I think Maria’s right—maybe this is the synergistic snack mix we need to unite the lovers and the haters.
Candy Corn and Peanuts: A Magical Combination
This snack mix compensates for all of candy corn’s shortcomings. Alone, its texture can come across as waxy. But in this combination it reads as a chewy, caramel-like foil to the crunch of roasted peanuts. Plus, the salt from the peanuts balances candy corn’s one-note sweetness.
These contrasts—chewy and crunchy, salty and sweet—are why the mix is so gratifying to eat. They are also what makes it taste just like a Payday candy bar!
Perfect for Sharing
Unlike a Payday, this mix is more shareable. According to Senior Editor Sara Bir, “You get this nut-nougat combo in a more grazeable package then a whole candy bar.” This is why I love serving candy corn and peanuts at Halloween parties and packing a bag for family hikes in the fall, similar to a trail mix.
To make this seasonal treat, simply stir together candy corn and salted, roasted peanuts. I like to mix equal volumes of each, but you can combine them in whatever ratio you prefer. I think this works best with classic candy corn, but play around with the ingredients to make your perfectly customized version.
You might like the extra oomph of candy corn pumpkins or the addition of chocolate via candy corn with a cocoa layer. You can even bring in more mix-ins like chocolate chips and pretzels. Whatever version you make, be sure to set out a big bowl of it this Halloween.