I’m a fanatic for Easter candy and all the chaotic good it represents. Each and every year, we’re treated to new flavors of Hershey’s Kisses, M&M’s, Peeps, and more to commemorate what I will confidently and officially deem candy season. Springtime sweets are all about invention, risk-taking, and color. It’s when candy’s wonderful whimsy shines brightest, and we, the rabid consumers, benefit greatly. Grocery store shelves are beaming with brightly packaged snacks right now, and we have seven products to recommend above the rest.
Real quick, I’d like to shout out Target here, which consistently carries the best selection of Easter candy and all the new products available to it. Most of the candies that follow were purchased at Target. Good on the bullseye brand.
Peeps is relentless about releasing new, exciting flavors every year like Hot Tamale and Cotton Candy, but this classic marshmallow candy benefits most from the addition of milk chocolate, which adds a layer of creamy indulgence that the soft and pillowy Peep desperately needs. This pack of Peeps Delights is an excellent buy, though these Peeps are not exactly what I’m looking for. Last year, Peeps sold its Milk Chocolate Delights in solo packages, and each chick was slightly bigger, with more chocolate and more marshmallow. I was a bigger fan of those, but any milk-chocolate-dipped Peep will do. (Instacart is telling me the solo Peeps are only at Big Lots. I’m guessing that means they were discontinued.)
Peeps released three new flavors this year, the most surprising of which might be Kettle Corn. I tasted the Kettle Corn Peeps, and hear me out: They taste kind of good! Kind of like Corn Pops cereal. They’re slightly savory in a way that works when you’re eating intensely sugary things like jelly beans and milk chocolate eggs. Corn-flavored Peeps provide a break from all the heavy sweetness.
This Reese’s Peanut Butter Creme Egg is an egg-shaped peanut butter cup wrapped in foil, sold individually for $1.29 at my local Target. Essentially, this is a Cadbury egg that has peanut butter filling instead of sugary goo. I do love unfurling foil; there’s something pleasant about the process. The chocolate-to-peanut-butter ratio changes as you eat the thing—at first it’s more chocolate than peanut butter, but toward the bottom of the egg it’s a lot of chocolate and a lot of peanut butter. The last few bites of this thing are incredible, and a welcome new addition to the wider peanut butter cup universe.
Always Starburst Jellybeans. Always. I will put down an entire bag of Starburst Jellybeans effortlessly, and that’s a threat. Do I think these are as good as Jelly Belly? No. However, there’s a reason that we’re seeing every other candy imaginable transform into jelly beans year after year, and that’s because Starburst did it first and did it best. The product actually bursts with fruity flavor, and the beans are wonderfully chewy. I indulge in a bag once a year, and it’s that time again.
Look, Cadbury does not have to resell me on the idea of Cadbury Mini Eggs each year. It’s already the best Easter candy out there. Now, these Rainbow Cadbury Mini Eggs are the same candy as the original, just painted with brighter candy shell colors. I think that’s such a great move. Classic Cadbury Mini Eggs are just a little too pale and old school. Now, instead of pastels, this candy features vibrant shades, making them all the more visually appealing as they sit in a candy dish. Nothing new in terms of flavor, but if it ain’t broke don’t fix it.
I tried the new Rice Krispies Mini Eggs, and I just wasn’t that impressed. They’re full of white chocolate and marshmallow, but they don’t really snap, crackle, or pop. I am a much, much bigger fan of the Fruity Pebbles Eggs, which feature a white chocolate egg-shaped casing and taste exactly like the iconic cereal. The artificial fruit flavor is magical, and it’s the reason so many people love Fruity Pebbles in the first place. Easter candy is all about taking big swings, and these Fruity Pebbles Eggs are a home run into the upper deck.
Tony’s Chocolonely rules, and its carton of chocolate eggs features five different flavors: milk chocolate, dark milk chocolate, milk chocolate caramel sea salt, milk chocolate hazelnut, and dark chocolate almond sea salt. They’re all so creamy, and each one melts in your mouth. You really get to savor these chocolates, which feels wholly different from just mindlessly inhaling an entire bag of grocery store candy. It’s fair trade chocolate, and its excellent quality makes it work the extra cost.