Dorri Partain

What type of sweets will you get in your trick-or-treat bag? Once you’ve gobbled your favorites, there are always those that sit at the bottom of the bag.

Wrapped and produced specifically for Halloween, Peanut Butter Kisses are a pale-colored candy that at least looks attractive with its orange or black wrapper. Inside, the odd-shapped blob has a flavor that some love but most hate.

In an age where name-brand chocolates dominate the candy aisle shelves, these nostalgic candies can be hard to spot. Once manufactured by several companies, the only brand that produces them at this time is Melster Candies, a division of Impact Confections of Janesville, Wisconsin.

The pale color can be attributed to the ingredients of molasses and peanut butter, as no artificial colors are added. Other ingredients include corn syrup, sugar, corn starch, soy lecithin, and salt, which are plopped onto the wrapper while still warm. As the ends are twisted, the unique shape of each candy piece is formed as it cools.

The candy’s name, Peanut Butter Kisses, notes the “kiss” of real peanut butter placed inside the outside coating of molasses-flavored taffy, a taste very similar to another Halloween nostalgic favorite, Mary Janes.

Mary Jane candies were first produced by the Charles N. Miller Company in 1914, after he created the recipe, he named the candy for his favorite aunt. Until last year, both Mary Janes and Mary Jane Peanut Peanut Butter Kisses were available, but only regular Mary Janes are currently produced, leaving the Melster brand to carry on this Halloween tradition.