Last Updated on June 26, 2023 by Practical Cooks
In 1969, Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups became America’s most popular candy. From Halloween to Valentine’s Day, they have been a classic favorite for decades. It seems nearly every household has a bag (or more) of these in supply at least a few times a year.
That means you’re occasionally going to have more than you can eat. Of course, you don’t want to toss something so yummy if it’s still going to be good later. But how long do these treats actually last?
Depending on how you store the candy, Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups should be good for anywhere from six to twelve months. We will cover some easy tips you can follow to extend the life of this popular dessert.
What does Hershey’s say?
The company that produces Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups will stamp their products with a “best by” date. You can use this date as a general guideline.
According to their website, most of their products are still safe to consume after that date. The taste may not be as good if you haven’t stored it properly, though. But unless something is clearly wrong with the candy (like mold, etc.), you shouldn’t get sick.
Still, you’re interested in more than just safety. When it comes to Reese’s cups, everybody wants to get that perfect bite every time.
How can I extend the life?
Fans of peanut butter cups have worked diligently to share their findings on this important topic. There’s a difference between storing chocolate in the pantry and storing it in the fridge. Here’s a simple breakdown:
If you live in a hot or humid area:
Always refrigerate your chocolate, unless you are going to eat it right away. This will help combat the heat that is aging your candy before it’s time.
If you store your Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups in the pantry, you can expect them to taste good for around six months.
Be aware, as we mentioned above, if you live in a hotter climate, the taste will decline faster.
If you store them in the fridge, they should maintain their taste and still be safe to eat for up to nine months.
The reason the refrigerator helps has to do with two things:
- Heat. Higher temperatures can have a strong effect when it comes to aging chocolate. Some levels of heat can even make it go bad. Not only will candy begin to melt in the heat, but it will also be subject to other issues. Your goal should be to store the peanut butter cups somewhere they aren’t going to get hot for too long. Unless you’re about to eat them, of course. Then go crazy.
- Moisture. Humidity and other forms of moisture can cause ingredients to separate. This will have a negative impact on the taste, and it will make the candy look weird. Worse, the peanut butter cups may develop mold or other bacteria that are not safe to eat. When you’re looking for a place to keep your candy, a location that is cool and dry is always best. Hence, the popular choice: the refrigerator!
Some people may want to freeze their chocolate. This is a great choice when you’ve bought a lot in bulk. Choosing this method can allow you to keep your peanut butter cups safe and tasty for up to a year.
You will want to thaw the candy out before biting into it, of course. That’s both to save your teeth and to allow the flavor to wake up after hibernating.
What happens if you eat expired Reese’s?
Usually nothing will happen. They might not taste as good, which kind of defeats the purpose of eating them. But if you’re determined, Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups are generally safe to consume up to a year after their expiration date.
What happens if you eat Reese’s that seem bad?
If you notice something wrong with your candy, like a bad smell or mold, you should not eat it. No matter how much you want to. Signs like these are warnings that something has gone wrong.
If you eat them anyway, you can expect stomach distress and possibly diarrhea. Food poisoning can be serious, so always avoid food that you suspect has gone off.
What are the white spots on my Reese’s?
Some chocolate will develop tiny white spots known as “chocolate bloom.” This usually happens when the candy gets exposed to moisture or humidity. The ingredients can start to separate, and that causes the weird, white coating.
Contrary to what you might think, this stuff isn’t dangerous. You can eat it, but you might not like it. Chocolate bloom usually dulls the taste and makes it not worth the extra calories.
How do I prevent those white spots?
Keeping your Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups in a cool, dry place (like the fridge) is your best bet.
Where can I get fresh Reese’s Cups?
True Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup connoisseurs want the best of the best. The freshest of the fresh.
These fans will be interested in Hershey’s Direct From the Factory option. You can order candy to be shipped to you directly within hours or days of its production. No more guessing how long it’s been sitting on the store shelf.
This option isn’t always available, though. If you’re really determined to get factory-fresh candy, keep an eye on their website and social media.