For those of you who, like me, are insanely rich and thus lead horribly complicated and busy lives (I don't even have the time to node this--my butler is really doing it for me), this is an extremely shortened version of what lies below: M&M's are made by putting the chocolate pieces, together with the candy coating substance, in a big drum and turning it around so that they move constantly and thus develop an even coating. For all you jobless bums out there with nothing to do but sit on your street corner and beg for crack from passers-by as you read E2 nodes, I would say to you this: Where did you get that computer? No, what I'd really say is this:
I have heard of the question "How do they make M&M's?" being used in job interviews, intelligence tests, underwear fittings, and the like, not to measure the amount of random trivia you know (now does that mean I win or lose in writing this node?), but to determine your creativity at solving rather unusual problems. It is quite a tricky problem, indeed. How on Earth do they get that perfect candy coating onto all the M&M's in question? It's so smooth and round! In all the asking of this question (OK fine. I've never actually heard anyone ask it, but that's beside the point), has ever given the correct answer...UNTIL NOW!
And now...without much further ado...ado ado ado ado ado ado ado ado ado ado ado ado ado ado ado ado ado ado ...
A machine first makes the milk chocolate centers, which are tumbled around to make them all smooth and rounded. The various varieties of M&M's other than plain start with whatever object they are centering it around (peanuts, almonds, crisp rice, screws, etc.) and then coat that with chocolate in the same way. They then put all of the chocolate pieces in a large revolving pan or drum, along with whatever coating material they are using (in this case, hopefully a candy coating, but it can be done with anything). This is done a few times until the coating is thick enough, after which it is done one last time with coloring in order to get all those lovely colors you see in that really trippy M&M's commercial they were showing a while ago, with the psychedelic colors and the krazy music and everything...but I digress. There is then another machine that prints an "w" on one side of the candy piece (What's that you say? I'm holding it upside-down? Balderdash!). And there you have it. Kind of ruins the magic, though, doesn't it? No, of course not. Now go out and buy some M&M's. Say quantumlemur sent you.
They won't have the slightest idea who you're talking about, of course, but tell them anyway, just for giggles