Aren’t candy bars just delightful? They are exactly our source of happiness from childhood and often, our love for them would last for a lifetime. Just imagine the nostalgia of an adult as he bites on a candy bar while reminiscing the innocence of childhood games, fun, and a carefree lifestyle.
Like any other candies or sweets, candy bars have always been the most besotted candies during the Trick or Treat season even some kids would have maps on which areas they can get full-sized candy bars.
Candy Bar Trivia
- Hershey’s bars maintain their spot as the most popular candy bars in America along with Reese’s, Snickers, KitKat, and Twix. Meanwhile, Mars Bars, Aero, Kinder Chocolate Eggs, and Smarties dominate the UK market.
Candy Bar Buying Guide
Candy bars are available both as commercially manufactured products and artisan-made varieties. Candy bars mass-produced by global brands have a strong presence in groceries and convenient stores. It’s easy to buy candy bars since they’re practically everywhere. What people don’t know is that there are artisan makers and chocolatiers who also craft candy bars using the most natural and seasonal ingredients along with ethically sourced chocolates made from small-time cacao productions in the nearby areas.
Candy Bar Production & Farming in Texas
While Texas has always been known for its agricultural and dairy production, the Lone Star State should also be recognized by its candy manufacturing companies – both commercial and artisan, that has given it a sweet image. Mars Wrigley Confectionery in Waco, Texas, is well-known for the most beloved chocolate and confectionery brands such as Dove, Galaxy, M&Ms, Mars, Maltesers, Skittles, Twix, Starbursts, and Spearmint among others.
Another well-known candy manufacturer in Texas is the Alamo Candy Company in San Antonio, Texas. Although they mostly produce candies and not technically candy bars, they are a family-owned business in Texas adored by the locals.
Preservatives and Chemicals
Candy bars contain different types of ingredients depending on the kind of bars being manufactured. High fructose corn syrup (HFCS) and corn syrup are both sweeteners derived from corn. HCFS and corn syrup are the ones to be blamed for people’s unnaturally high glucose levels which can lead to obesity, diabetes, fatty liver, and obesity. High consumption of these artificial ingredients also triggers allergies, stomach problems, and even accelerates the growth of cancer cells.
Partially hydrogenated oils in candy bars are the main contributor of trans-fat in the body which increases the body’s cholesterol, leading to heart disease.
There are different types of packaging for candy bars. For starters, candy bars are usually wrapped in a two-piece wrapping composed of foil and paper or plastic and foil materials. While paper might give it an eco-friendly look, both foil, and plastic and added for utilitarian purposes as both materials prevent the melted chocolate from leaking. This type of packaging is commonly found in KitKat bars.
Chocolates marketed for luxury buyers are wrapped in gold foil and plastic embossed sheets complete with customized sealed paper packaging to prevent any external contamination. Labels such as brand logos, manufacturer’s information, ingredients, nutritional value, and expiration dates are printed behind the chocolate bars and even in their boxes.
Enjoying Candy Bars
Eating candy bars is one of life’s simplest pleasures. Children are delighted by the milky cholate smoothly melting in their mouths. Some would like to crunchiness of peanuts or the added flavors of salted caramels. While others would love to taste candy bars made from high-end ingredients served by haute cuisine chocolatiers.
Always keep the candy bars refrigerated to preserve their shelf-life. Do not store candy bars at room temperature, and do not expose them to direct sunlight to prevent the chocolate from melting. When chocolate melts and hardens, they tend to bloom which can affect the texture and mouthfeel of the candy bars.
CHOCOLATE CARAMEL CANDY BARS
Enjoy the rich chocolate flavors and the sticky nougat caramel that has fuller and more natural flavors than their store-bought counterparts.
2 teaspoons plus 1/2 cup butter, divided
2 cups sugar
1/2 cup evaporated milk
1-1/4 cups milk chocolate chips
1 jar (7 ounces) marshmallow creme
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 cups packed brown sugar
1-1/4 cups corn syrup
1 cup butter, cubed
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 can (14 ounces) sweetened condensed milk
1-1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3 pounds milk chocolate candy coating, coarsely chopped
- Line a 13×9-in. pan with foil and grease the foil with 2 teaspoons butter; set aside.
- In a large heavy saucepan over medium-high heat, melt the remaining butter. Stir in sugar and evaporated milk. Bring to a boil; cook and stir 5 minutes longer. Remove from the heat; cool for 5 minutes. Stir in chocolate chips until melted. Stir in marshmallow creme and vanilla until smooth. Spread into prepared pan; set aside.
- In another large heavy saucepan, combine the brown sugar, corn syrup, butter and salt; bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring constantly. Cook 4 minutes longer without stirring.
- Remove from the heat; gradually stir in condensed milk. Return to the heat. Reduce heat to medium-low; cook and stir until a candy thermometer reads 244° (firm-ball stage). Remove from the heat; stir in vanilla. Pour over chocolate mixture (do not scrape saucepan). Refrigerate until caramel is set, at least 2 hours.
- Using foil, lift candy out of the pan. Gently peel off foil; cut into 3-1/4×1-in. bars. In a microwave, melt candy coating; stir until smooth. Dip bars in the coating; allow excess to drip off. Place on a waxed paper-lined baking sheet; refrigerate until set. Store in an airtight container.