Sunday, February 10, 2019

My Funny Anti-Valentine: DIY Favors To Troll Your Frenemies

I'm no good with traditional Valentine crafts, peeps: I can never think of anything interesting! So this year I decided to embrace my Weird Side, and just do stuff that makes me laugh.


Enter the humble Circus Peanut:


I posted that to my Story as a throw-away joke last week, but the reaction was so immediate, so visceral, that I quickly realized this had to happen. (I've never seen so many puking emojiis in my life, thank y'all for that. :D)

It took me a while to figure this one out, but in the end, it's dead simple, funny, and pretty cheap to make. So if you've got an extra $10 laying around coupled with a burning desire to make your friends go, "Wait... what?" THEN FOLLOW ME.


::marches proudly onward::


First head to your local Dollar Tree and stock up on the 5 worst candies you can find. This is obviously subjective (I actually love Circus Peanuts, go fig), but here's what John and I came back with:

Smarties, black licorice, Bit O' Honeys, Circus Peanuts, and some sugar free hard candies. These were all $1 each.

True Facts: John and I drove all over town looking for Necco Wafers, only to be told the company went bankrupt and they're no longer made?? Womp womp.

Next you'll need some wooden skewers ($1 at Walmart) and a clear plastic treat bags. I already had the bags, but you can find them at most craft stores in the wedding or cake aisle for cheap:

 

The last thing you'll need is a hot glue gun, some red or pink card stock, and ribbon. 

I guess I've held you in suspense long enough, so here's my finished candy bouquet/favor:


 

It's surprisingly cute, right? And of course you could make one with GOOD candy if you want, but my way is funnier. To amp up the troll factor I added "Some people deserve the very best..."  on top. That ellipsis says it all, am I right, grammar nerds? And yes, it IS printed in Comic Sans, clever of you to notice!

Subtle Troll Level: cranked to ELEVEN.

Again, you could change this up and add your own message up top, like "I Like You Better Than These Candies" or "Sweet As You Are." (I like the subtle burns the most, ha.)

Obviously this is for close friends and meant purely as a joke, so please don't go being poopy-heads to people, people. Not that I think you will, but just putting that out there. Wheaton's Law and all that.

I experimented with soooo many ways to put these all together - I even rage quit for a while - but in the end I discovered less is more. So, easy-peasy, here's what you do:

 
 Hot glue the wrapped candies to the ends of the skewers - one candy per stick. Skewer a single Circus Peanut, then cut off about 1/3 of the licorice (otherwise it's too long), and skewer that, too.

Arrange your candies like this in the treat bag:
 
 When you're happy with how it looks, scrunch the bottom of the bag around the sticks and twist tie it shut:

 Then trim all your sticks to roughly the same length.

 Finally, hot glue the bag to your paper heart and add a bow:


 Ta-daaa!

These finishing touches are what really make the whole craft, so I'll include the template John made for our hearts, in case you'd like to use it. You can print two per page:



Right-click to embiggen, then hit "save to disk."


 Not the easiest to photograph with the shiny plastic, but you get the idea:


With this amount of candy you could make a dozen favors, maybe more. I've only made 3 so far, still debating who to spring them on:


 In the meantime, I'll just be over here eating all the Circus Peanuts. Hee.

K, sound off in the comments: Which 5 candies would you use? Which of these do you actually love? And is anyone here brave enough to actually give troll favors to your friends/co-workers? :D (I really want some reaction shots, pretty please and thank you.)


 *****

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83 comments:

  1. Oh good gracious, you have made me rediscover my evil cackling abilities!!! I LOVE this idea!!!

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  2. Turns out that while the New England Candy Company did indeed declare bankruptcy, the company that bought them out has been selling off product lines, including Necco Wafers and Sweethearts, the original conversation heart. Necco Wafers are actually slated to return to production this November, now coming from the Spangler Company, none other than the maker of my adored circus peanuts (and Dum-Dums.) I told my hubby "Spangler's trying to become one of my favorite candy companies," and he replied, "and one of my /least/ favorite." LOL

    Now hopefully Spangler will also return to the original flavor profile for the Sweethearts, rather than the awful "new flavors!" one that tasted like cleaning supplies.

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    Replies
    1. I *knew* something was up with the Sweethearts I got last year! I get them every year and I love them, but last year's were terrible and this explains everything.

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    2. Oh how I miss Necco wafers. And Spangler makes THE best candy cane out there!!!

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    3. Oh thank goodness! I love Necco wafers, except the clove ones (the numb feeling feels exactly like anaphylaxis and scared the bejesus out of me), but ADORE tropical Neccos! Hopefully they make those too!

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    4. The "conversation hearts" will return next year (yay!!!) - the company that bought them didn't have time to get production going soon enough for this year. from Martha in Kansas City

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  3. I too love circus peanuts! I think I would have had to include Mary Jane's, "peanut butter kisses" (peanut butter flavored taffy covered in black and orange papers), and Sixlets.

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    1. Oh those taffy things are truly awful. Good call on those!

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    2. I think there's a variation call "cow tales"
      If they were homemade I think I'd like them but the caramel and filling are just terrible.

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    3. I second the good call on the taffy, but Sixlets are one of my fave candies. Candy sure is subjective, isn't it?

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    4. Ali- Cow Tails are long tube-ish versions of Goetze's Caramel Creams (a personal favorite why I tend not to buy bc I eat them until they make me sick)

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    5. I will gladly take all your peanut butter kisses and cowtails!

      <3 that weird kid on Halloween night

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  4. Give me ALLLLLL the Smarties, please!

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  5. Ok, that came out adorable! Embrace the weird more often, definitely.

    I actually do love Necco Wafers. I have 6 or so packs that I cleared my local little shop of when I heard the company was closing. I also really like Smarties, and Werther's, and nik l nips... I swear I'm not 80 years old. I was an easy trade at Halloween as a kid. (Hey, I'll give you my snickers for 2 of your neccos").

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  6. I've always loved Bit-O-Honey. My mother used to bribe me with it when I was little ��

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  7. I actually love Smarties and my husband likes bit o honey.

    I finally met someone who like circus peanuts and I thought they were crazy.

    My worst candy would be almond kisses, black licorice, chick o stick, russell stover chocolate, and.... Warheads

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  8. GIVE ME ALL THE LICORICE! :D (and the Smarties, if you want... although Smarties here (Germany) are like M&Ms (chocolate lentils with sugar cover) I'd chuck in those strawberry hard-boiled candies instead, you know.. the ones with the red/green wrapper which every grandma seems to have but you never know where to buy them...

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    Replies
    1. We must have been twins, separated at birth. :)

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    2. UGH forgot about those horrid strawberry candies. The worst 'strawberry' flavor ever

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  9. that's not what smarties are in the UK :)

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  10. I like smarties and tootsie rolls which are normally on the worst candy lists. Don’t like black licorice, those little mints that look like small marshmallows or conversation hearts actually

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    Replies
    1. Buttermints! I love those! (Although they can be terrible if not well made. Plastic flavored.)

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  11. We love circus peanuts in my house, but the best ones are the chicks and bunnies that come out around Easter. Basically circus peanuts in baby animal shapes �� Also black licorice is the best! Allsorts are amaze balls as well as black licorice ice cream!

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  12. I love Smarties. Lol NECCO wafers too. Weird child, I was, I know.

    Btw you mentioned Wheaton’s Law and then I saw the Circus Peanut... enough said! (Zips lips)

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  13. Necco wafers, MaryJanes, sour gummy worms, Nerds, chocolate- or non-pareil-covered jellies

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  14. I'd use circus peanuts, black licorice even though I love it, those peanut butter taffy things in the orange and black wax paper, Bazooka Joe gum, and vanilla Tootsie Rolls.

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    Replies
    1. I think those are called Mary Jane’s. My grandma loves them!

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  15. Canadian Smarties are similar, though not the same as M&Ms. What you call Smarties we call Rockets.

    I would add molasses taffy/kisses to an awful candy bouquet. I have the feeling that those are a uniquely Canadian Halloween "treat".

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    Replies
    1. I had canadian smarties once, very tasty, so much different (better) than the the US version (though I like the US version too sadly).

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    2. I love the molasses taffy kisses that come out at Halloween. Only one of my co-workers agrees (she's from Newfoundland where molasses is practically a food group). Black licorice is vile. Caramel M&ms were an experiment I'll not repeat.

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  16. I enjoy Smarties and Circus Peanuts! I’d swap them and add Good and Plenty (black licorice AND tooth breaking ��) and laffy taffy.

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  17. I LOVE bit’o’honey but anything black licorice can die in a fire.

    The black licorice fish coated in salt would be PERFECT for this.


    Also, I totally write “I hope your day is as awesome as you are” in all the birthday cards I give children or co-workers. No one has questioned it yet, but I definitely intend it in a troll-ish way to mean people. ;P

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  18. I always hated Good & Plenty until my sis started taking them on plane trips. Travel is now the only time I eat them!

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    Replies
    1. I used to keep a bowl of Good & Plenty on my desk at work. I was the only one who liked them, so they were totally safe out in the open.

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  19. "Obviously this is for close friends and meant purely as a joke, so please don't go being poopy-heads to people, people." Aww man! There go my Valentine's Day plans towards my in-laws! XD

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  20. Definitely those disgusting wrapped strawberry candies, and the marshmallow eggs with the hard coating in pastel colors - blecchhh. The tri colored coconut candy is pretty gross, also, but my mom would love to receive a bouquet of them.

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    Replies
    1. I apparently like ALL of the "bad" candies. In addition to loving circus peanuts, black licorice, and Necco wafers, I also LOVE turkey eggs (those marshmallow eggs.) Although I'm meh on the strawberry wrapped candies. ;)

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    2. Omg, those marshmallow eggs! My dad used to put them in our Easter baskets knowing fullwell he was the only one to like them, say things like "oh, that dumb rabbit brought you those eggs you don't like? Let me take them off your hands!" just so he could eat them guilt free or something.

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  21. Spangler's candy? as in ALBERT Spangler?
    Might just be Going Postal over this.
    -Carol S-B

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    Replies
    1. I love that your mind goes straight to Pratchett....

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  22. I love Smarties, Necco Wafers, Bit-O-Honey, Mary Jane PB Taffy Kisses, and Circus Peanuts! Now that I'm vegan Bit-O-Honey and Circus Peanuts are off my list though.
    My 5 candies would be those wrapped butterscotch discs (my youngest son called them old man candy when he was little!), black licorice, wrapped strawberry candies, Brach's peppermint nougats, and Sixlets-that 'chocolate' coating always stuck to the roof of my mouth.

    I love this idea! People always think I'm so nice and sweet, I think I could get away with being snarky!

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  23. Ooh, good question! I would definitely use black licorice. Dots, good and plenty, circus peanuts... oh, and tootsie rolls! They taste like someone tried to make a chocolate candy without chocolate.

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  24. I love Smarties, they are one of my favorite candies. And I can tolerate Bit O Honey but they aren't something I buy. I never knew why I didn't like Circus Peanuts until I read somewhere they are banana flavor and thought, 'yikes, no wonder'. If they were any other flavor, I probably would like them ok, as I don't mind the texture (if they're fresh).
    I love the idea of doing this as a jokey valentine for those folks who aren't into V-Day and who would enjoy the joke!

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  25. I love Smarties and occasionally enjoy Circus Peanuts if they’re fresh. The rest of your selection is gross. I’d add those red French Burnt Peanuts and definitely Necco wafers. I always wondered how that company made any money selling those chalky confections. I teach littles so I’m doing nice Valentines.

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    Replies
    1. Oooh!! I forgot about those French burnt peanuts! I loved those!

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  26. This comment is stream of conscience...
    (with ellipses!) I LOVE circus peanuts! And bit oh honeys would not be on my bottom five.
    I like black licorice, but hate all things twizzler - I can't even imagine a black licorice twizzler - it sounds sooo bad.
    I love the idea of sugar free candies with a "sweet as you are" sign.
    There are very few candies I don't like - butterscotch drops would probably be included.
    ...I have a few rolls of necco wafers in my Christmas baking box from decorating gingerbread houses a few years ago. Maybe they are collectible now!
    Also, a non-troll valentine story. Last week my boss discovered that we are ying-yang conversation heart fans. I like yellow & orange and she likes pink and white. I found a bag of yellow & orange conversation hearts in my box on Thursday with a sweet note.
    Looking forward to reading about everyone;s least favorite candies when I'm not falling asleep on the keyboard.

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  27. I...I...I have never tried that circus peanut candy. I had peanuts at a circus once, does that count? I don't recall ever even seeing it around. Maybe it wasn't in New England as much, which would be odd since so many old candies started there, but *shrug*

    Candy I never liked - Black licorice and Necco wafers and those hard malted milk balls that would insta-dry your mouth.

    I too liked smarties :-) I um, still like them, I tried a roll last year *g*

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  28. Let's see, my five would be butterscotch discs, root beer barrels...man, there's just not a lot of candy I don't like! LOL Oh, banana Runts, Laffy Taffy, and...oh, Jujubees! There, five candies I don't like. Phew, that wasn't easy!

    (I would eat everything in your bouquet gladly except the sugar-free hard candies. Aspartame, ugh.)

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  29. Neccos are gross but when we heard they where going out i had to search everywhere to be able to put some in my hubbys christmas stocking. Personally i love smarties.

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  30. Tim and I are honored you gave us one. We still haven't opened it up and I'm glad he lost rps and has to eat the black licorice and I don’t.

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    Replies
    1. Tell Tim I want the whole thing documented on his Story! :D

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  31. Those aren't Smarties!!! Smarties are like a cross between chocolate M&Ms and Galaxy Minstrels!

    There's a long-time debate on flavours but I maintain that the blue ones taste the same as most of the others and the orange ones are orange chocolate and, therefore, superior. Smarties should always be eaten in twos, ideally two of the same colour, with the orange ones saved to last.

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    Replies
    1. Ohhhh, I absolutely agree that Smarties MUST be eaten in twos, even if we are talking about the different kinds! I like to eat two different colors together andorange/purple is my favorite combo.

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    2. While I agree that the orange ones must be saved and eaten last, I've always eaten them one by one, never two at a time! Horror!!

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    3. I'm a 2 by 2 colour by colour eater as well but orange are one of the first to go. I would maintain the are not chocolate orange

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  32. I enjoy circus peanuts and bit-o-honey, but maybe less than once a year is enough.
    But I enjoy Comic Sans EVERY DAY!

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  33. I would love that Valentine! Bit-O-Honey, Smarties, black licorice (although Twizzlers black licorice isn't the best, I prefer the old fashioned kind, made with less sugar and real licorice), and Circus Peanuts are awesome! It would be even better with Necco Wafers, especially the brown and pink ones, and peanut butter taffy.

    Toss in some JuJubes, those candy dots on paper, Good and Plenty, Swedish Fish, Dots, salt water taffy, and Red Hots and I'd be in Heaven.

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  34. *absconds with all the Bit O' Honeys* Nooooo my prrreecioussss!!
    XD Seriously, though, this is a super-cute idea!

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  35. Love Smarties! Way back when, we took St. Joseph's baby aspirin, which was orange flavored and I'm sure I ate them because I loved them more than once. Orange Smarties taste just like orange baby aspirin. I also love Pixie sticks, which is basically the same thing, only loose. Just a few teaspoons of sugar, nothing else added. And I used to lke Bit O'Honey, but haven't seen those for years. There was also something called Ice Cubes which was a block of chocolate that felt cold, even as it melted in your mouth. Those were always good, but I don't think anyone in this state has ever heard of them.
    Circus peanuts, candy corn, licorice...all very yucky!

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    Replies
    1. Ice Cubes! We sold them at our registers at the grocery store I worked at as a teen -- I think they had sugar alcohol in them, which is what makes that 'cold' feeling.

      ...I also remember St. Josephs, and probably ate more than I should have, as a child, LOL

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    2. Oh my gosh, this is so funny that people are so different! I used to cry and cry when Mom would give me baby aspirin both because, as it turns out, aspirin has no effect on me, and I HATED the flavor. THANK YOU for stating that Pixie Stix are basically powdered Smarties!! I've always said so but my friends thought I was nuts. I've always seen Ice Cubes but have never had one. Now I want to try!

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  36. I love smarties and Licorish! My familly still thinks I'm weird for wanting a whole bag of black licorish Jelly Beans, but go figure. Oh my gosh though, this is such a cute project!

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    Replies
    1. I buy whole bags of black licorice jelly beans for myself! Did you know that if you eat a lot of black licorice (Okay, sorry this is gross to the max, but fascinating, so scroll away if you're squeemish!!), it turns your excrement GREEN?!!

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  37. This is such a fun idea! I'd take the smarties off your list and use those nasty peanut butter things in black and orange wrappers that keep turning up at Halloween. I'd probably swap out the Circus Peanuts just because I'd rather do all wrapped candies, and use some of the super hard bubble gum instead.

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  38. Buttered Popcorn Jelly Bellys, Jordan Almonds, Warheads, Sour Patch Kids, and Wasabi Kitkats.

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    Replies
    1. I volunteer to take all of your Buttered Popcorn Jelly Bellies! I am with you 100% though on Warheads and Sour Patch Kids. Do they actually make Wasabi Kitkats, or am I just being dense regarding a joke?

      Delete
  39. I also like circus peanuts! In fact, I like quite a lot of the candies that many people say are nasty.

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  40. xD! If I got that, I'd probably think it was legit. All those candies are pretty awesome. :P

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  41. I ❤️❤️❤️ Smarties, or as us Canucks call them, Rockets!
    I would be putting all the leftover Halloween kisses & candy corn on there lol

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  42. It's funny that someone mentioned both peanut butter taffy and Bazooka Joe bubble gum. That's what my parents always gave out for Halloween. If you eat them together the taffy will dissolve the bubble gum so you can swallow it. Just sayin'.

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  43. There's no such thing as bad candy.

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  44. So, my list of least-faves would include the tri-color coconut candies mentioned above, Sour Patch kids, any green hard candy, the peanut butter taffy and probably Bit O' Honey.

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  45. I'm imagining an easter version made up of peeps and those awful marshmallow-jelly bean eggs. It would look good and last forever because no one would want to eat any.

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  46. I like Circus Peanuts for the nostalgia factor. They were one of the candies my Grammy always had on hand (slightly stale and overly chewy) and, for some reason, I adored them because they were from her? I dunno. Because I had/have a definite love/hate relationship with the other candy I associate with her - those weird marshmallow ice cream cone candies. Even more stale and tasting of styrafoam than the Circus Peanuts!

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  47. Does anyone else remember the 7-Up bar? It was basically a box of chocolates in a candy bar. It was comprised of seven chocolate compartments, each with a different filling. The fillings varied over time, but some of them were: mint, nougat, fudge, orange, cherry, buttercream, caramel, butterscotch, coconut... Just like a regular box of chocolates, there were some you loved and some you bit into and then spit out.

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    Replies
    1. OMG, that was my favorite candy bar of ALL TIME, and no one else remembers it! It was totally sharable because you could give away whichever flavors you didn't like. And if you were as poor as me growing up, you could (try to) restrain yourself and ration a bit at a time.

      They really should bring it back again and market it to stoners that are way too high to decide what to buy, same as those bags of multiple different salty/crunchies and the late night fast food boxes.

      Cheers,

      Storm the Klingon

      Delete
  48. The Vermont Country Store has Necco Wafers. As for the candies I'd use: those round licorice with the marshmellow centers (heaving as I write this), Jolly Ranchers, Sour Gummies, Circus Peanuts and anything made of Jello.

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  49. Circus peanuts, twizzlers, boiled sweets
    The candy that we love to hate to eat.
    Try Werther's wrapped up in sticky film
    Or liquorice that makes your dentist squirm.
    Present them all with hearts and glued on sticks
    Jen's idea is absolutely slick.

    My apologies to actual poets.

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  50. Oh dear... I like all of those candies you used! I actually had quite a Smarties addiction a couple of years ago. But the best thing about liking candies that everyone else hates is that you don't have to share! :)

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  51. Necco wafers are my actual favorite candy. And black licorice. And mary janes. OH and choward's violets ::hearteyes::

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  52. Everyone who's emotionally involved in the shuttering of Necco: Might I recommend the book "Candyfreak" by Steve Almond? The author goes off in search of mom/pop candy companies in the age of corporate takeovers (mostly Mars, the largest food company in the world). Really interesting, fun read.

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  53. Cute idea! You mentioned problems taking pics of the plastic. I remember in theater spraying hair spray on pictures on the set so they wouldn't glare. Perhaps something similar could work for plastic in photos?

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