We judge each Halloween season on the strength of its junk food. That’s just how we roll. Lots of interesting new candies? Great season. Nothing worth taking pictures of in Target? Bad season.
So how is 2017 looking so far? Pretty good! Sure, we don’t have the knockout punch of a Frute Brute or a Halloween Whopper, but I think we’re making up for it in sheer volume.
Below are five of this year’s hottest Halloween junk foods. (And keep in mind, I’ve already purchased enough sugary garbage to add two more chapters to this series.)
Pillsbury Grands Pumpkin Spice Rolls!
Found at: ShopRite
These actually debuted in 2015, but I never had access to them before this year.
Pillsbury Grands Pumpkin Spice Rolls are autumnal spins on cinnamon rolls. A less valiant effort would’ve limited the fall flavor to the icing, but here it’s also in the dough, which is orangey in color and distinctly “pumpkin spicy” in flavor.
They’re ridiculously good, and ridiculously LARGE. I can’t believe that the rolls are “only” 300 calories, since each one is practically the size of a baseball glove. They look like giant land crabs and you need five hands to eat them properly.
GRADE: A+. I can’t think of another make-at-home Halloween treat that’s this decadent. There’s also the matter of the smell, which is capable of making you “float to the pie” like you’re in an old Goofy cartoon.
Cookies & Screeem M&M’s!
Found at: Target
Many feel that this is the #1 new junk food of the 2017 Halloween season. I don’t think I’d put it ahead of that ghostly Slurpee, but it’s still way above the salt.
The packaging is SOOO GOOD. Just having that bag near me transforms September into October, and I felt that way even before I noticed the subtle ghosts lurking in the background.
I’ve read some complaints about how there’s nothing seasonally-appropriate about a “cookies and cream” flavor, but I kinda love that. Most of the classic autumn/Halloween flavors are overdone, so if a silly pun can bring something new into the mix, I’m all for it.
Granted, they taste as much like “brownie” M&M’s as they do “cookies and cream” M&M’s, but it’s not like brownie M&M’s aren’t worth eating.
GRADE: B+. Or maybe A+ once I reach the conclusion that they look like zombie mockingbird eggs. I’m getting there.
Land O’Lakes Pumpkin Pie Spice Butter Spread!
Found at: ShopRite
With pumpkin spice, we sometimes get stuff that makes perfect sense, and then other times we get stuff that was specifically devised for “WTF” posts on Instagram.
As weird as this crud looks, I’m of the mind that it makes perfect sense. There’s something strangely autumnal about butter in general, but here we have this Halloween SUPER butter that makes everything you smear it on taste like hayrides and hellfire.
Sure, those who have compared its appearance to baby shit weren’t wrong, but the smell and the flavor make up for that. It’s basically just a hearty cinnamon/nutmeg butter. It probably didn’t need to be as colorful as it is, even if said color means that I finally have quicksand for my 4” Cobra Commander.
Despite its visual severity, the spread is pretty delicate in its flavor. It tastes like something you’d get a sample of at some gourmet gift shop before lying about how you’re gonna buy a whole tub once you’re done browsing. In my weird way, I mean that as a compliment.
Vampire Blood & Mummy Oooze!
Found at: 7-Eleven
Love them! They’re such neat throwbacks to the sorts of Halloween candies that were popular in the late ‘90s and early 2000s. If I told you that they were from 1998, wouldn’t you believe me?
The neon splooge tastes like Slush Puppie syrup. In fact, it tastes so much like Slush Puppie syrup that I’m convinced you could make legit Slush Puppies using it that way. So like, have fun experimenting!
I found these at 7-Eleven, which has become one of the biggest Halloween hot spots. Those stores are currently loaded with exclusive treats and candies. It’s so cool. I go in expecting old coffee and Corn Nuts and walk out with bloodshot strawberry eyeballs.
GRADE: A, even if I recognize that this kind of candy is mostly for kids. The rest of us just buy it because we like happy Draculas.
Apple Pie Oreo Cookies!
Found at: Target
I’m still not sure if these are considered an “autumn” edition. I’d pegged them as a summer thing until my friend pointed out that apples are part of the fall harvest. Okay, fair enough, but why didn’t Nabisco tack any dead leaves onto the packages?
Whatever. This article already cost $40, and I had to bake goddamned cinnamon rolls just to get through the first five paragraphs. If the Oreos don’t belong here, deal with it, I’ve given you plenty.
For me, the best thing about these cookies is the smell. They’re like edible Glade Plugins. As for the flavor, it’s appley, but it’s more of that sickly sweet fake apple that only works if you really really like sickly sweet fake apples. I can’t say that I do, but they’re worth it for the whippits.
GRADE: B. Really a B-, but I’m trying to be objective. Also, I don’t care. Like how the hell am I supposed to know if you’re gonna like Apple Oreos? Every mouth is different. I drink Clamato for Christ’s sake.
Thanks for reading about Halloween junk food. Now go eat some.
PS: I’m putting together the September Funpack, but it probably won’t be ready to launch for two more days. If you’d like to subscribe early to guarantee yourself a spot, click here for more info!