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Mary Jane makes a sweet comeback

The molasses and peanut butter confection went away when Necco’s Revere factory closed, but now a Texas candy company is bringing it back

Mary Jane candies.
Mary Jane candies.Handout

Conjuring up sweet nostalgia, the beloved Mary Jane candies are back after leaving the shelves for two years. The New England Confectionary Company (Necco) was producing the penny candy, but when the Revere factory closed in 2018, Mary Jane lost her home. The peanut butter and molasses confection, with a bonneted little girl on its yellow wrapper with a red stripe, stretches back more than a hundred years. It’s said that Charles Miller invented the candy in his Boston home kitchen — the same house where Paul Revere once lived. It’s said he named the treat for his favorite aunt. The recipe hardly changed over the years. Now, Texas candy company Atkinson is making Mary Janes with a slight makeover. “The new recipe captures the flavor of Mary Janes, for it’s the same components as it always was,” says company president Eric Atkinson. The shape is rounder, the size smaller (bite size), and the wrapper has twisty ends and no longer sticks to the candy. It’s still the classic, sweet, chewy, gooey treat that many have missed. Available at Wayside Country Store, 1015 Boston Post Road, Marlborough, 508-481-3458; The Penny Candy Store, 10 Merchant St., Sharon, 781-784-1600, thepennycandystore.com; or atkinsoncandy.com.

ANN TRIEGER KURLAND

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A bag of Mary Jane candies.
A bag of Mary Jane candies.Handout

Ann Trieger Kurland can be reached at anntrieger@gmail.com.