Haute Halloween Candy
Here in the Bay Area, Halloween is a big deal. Come October, ordinarily picture-perfect houses boast cobwebs and corpses, spiders and skeletons. For the uninitiated, delicious food also happens to be a big deal in the Bay Area. It’s no great challenge, then, to bring the two together for a decidedly foodie-friendly reinterpretation of run-of-the-mill trick-or-treating.
Leave the stale “fun size” Milky Ways and impossibly small packets of Peanut M&Ms for the less sophisticated celebrants. What with all of the bean-to-bar chocolate producers, artisan confectioners, and specialty food stores and websites that exist in the Bay Area and beyond, sourcing incredible Halloween treats that are actually worth the sugar overload is practically as easy as stocking up on Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups. Check out the list below for some of our favorites, then throw a killer Halloween party, become the most popular trick-or-treating house on the block, or, you know, dig out some elastic-waist pants.
Currently available on San Francisco’s own Foodzie (an online marketplace devoted to artisan food) and on their own online store, Liddabit Sweets are Brooklyn’s local treats, but taste delicious on both coasts. Their beer pretzel caramels (pictured at top) are a top-seller, which is no great surprise. Salty? Check. Sweet? Check. Just a liddabit boozy? Check and check. Maybe save these for the adults…or maybe save them just for yourself.
For something a little daintier, try their seasonal pate de fruit, or “jellies” – which come in flavors like blood orange, mojito, and sweet tea.
When TCHO chocolate burst onto the Bay Area chocolate scene a few years ago, we were totally psyched. Their chocolate bars (differentiated by undertones of fruity, nutty, chocolatey, and citrusy) are out-of-this-world delicious and definitely worth the splurge. For Halloween, why not try their chocolate-drenched treats, which combine their chocolate with tasty bites of dried mango or honey-roasted cashews? Perfect for sharing and nibbling.
OK, so you haven’t quite gotten over your peanut butter cup obsession. Not that fancy schmancy chocolate and artisan, handmade, fleur-de-sel caramels aren’t delicious, but chocolate and peanut butter will never go out of style. Kick it up a notch with Justin’s version of the classic treat, which is organic and far more flavorful than the peanut butter cups of yore. Plus, it comes in both milk and dark chocolate variations.
Consider it the best thing since peanut butter and chocolate. Bacon and chocolate may have turned trendy a couple of years ago, but this trend clearly has some staying power. Lillie Belle Farms brings you hand-crafted, utterly delicious chocolate, with utterly bacon-y bacon (also available on Foodzie). Try mixing a a chopped Lillie Belle bar into your homemade pancake batter for a serious morning-after-Halloween breakfast. Just don’t tell your nutritionist.
If chocolate isn’t your thing, and if you have any vegans in the house, try JJ’s Cocomels. These dulce-de-leche-esque drops are made with coconut milk instead of dairy. Eat them straight, or melt ‘em down for a deluxe take on caramel apples.