What’s Cooking? with Jan: Candy charcuterie board

By Jan D’atri

How did charcuterie boards become so popular and an Instagram sensation?

If I had to guess, I’d say they found their groove simply because the pictures of them are highly, well, Instagrammable! These gorgeous oversized platters piled with delectable meats, cheeses, nuts, dried fruits, pickles, olives, pepperoncini and specialty mustards have become a hit for movie watching, game night and, of course, for big sporting events like the Super Bowl or World Series.

Plus, folks just can’t get enough of posting pics and videos of this trending moveable feast. But I have another idea for this treat tray.

It’s a candy charcuterie board, and I’ve incorporated so many fun ideas that my tray has everything from vintage and retro candy favorites and Southwestern sweets to fan favorites and state fair fare.

The idea for the candy charcuterie board follows the same criteria as the meat and cheese boards. First, I think a charcuterie board is a conversation piece. We love to gather and share morsels of gourmet goodness that spark comments as we graze. My candy charcuterie board is no different. It’s meant to remind people of their favorite candy growing up, specialty treats from their own regions of the country, some fun novelty candies and, of course, it’s loaded up with everyone’s favorite chocolate bars, hard candies, licorice and even popcorn to balance out the sweet!

So, here’s how I put my candy charcuterie board together!

Step 1: Choose a tray or board. Mine was 18 inches by 12 inches.

Step 2: Look for fun, colorful containers and scoops. Party City is a great place to start.

Step 3: For retro and vintage candy, I included: Necco Wafers, candy necklaces, Sugar Daddys, candy cigarettes, Pixy Stix and Beemans, Clove and Blackjack gum.

Step 4: For regional treats, I included Mexican Del La Rosa Marzipan candy and a taco made of gummy candies.

Step 5: For novelties, I added SpongeBob SquarePants gummy hamburgers, cotton candy and tins of mint “Impowermints,” “Enlightenmints” and “14th Amendmints”!

Step 6: Add a lot of fan favorites: bubble gum, M&M’s, hard candies, old-fashioned candy stick, licorice and Boston baked beans.

Step 7: Look for treats that give back. ACE Hardware sells chocolate bars that help raise money for children’s hospitals around the country.

Step 8: Incorporating mini boxes of freshly popped popcorn helps balance out the sweet with salty.

Step 9: Find sweets and treats with a theme. For instance, for the Super Bowl, include chocolate footballs and mini toothpick pennants.

Where to find these items

I found all my fun retro, vintage and novelty candies and mints at Old Town Candy and Toys, 4000 N. Scottsdale Road, oldtowncandyandtoys.com.

Scoops, candy containers, mini popcorn boxes, chocolate footballs and pennants, individually wrapped bite-sized candy and Pixy Stix are available at Party City.

Food City has the Del La Rosa Marzipan candy.

Watch Jan D’Atri’s how-to videos at https://bit.ly/JanDAtri.