Black Licorice and Cheap Chocolate: Pastry Chefs’ Favorite Halloween Treats

This is the time of year when we all eat a little more candy than we’d like. But pastry chefs are surrounded by sweets all year round, so Halloween is something of a busman’s holiday to them. We surveyed a few to find out how they indulge on what rightly seems like an all-day work shift for those in the dessert business.

“I like Kit Kat. They’re not super super sweet, and I have a secret fondness for cheap milk chocolate. They have a good crunch and there’s some salt in there. I like the malt in the cookie. I think we might give away mini ice cream sandwiches at the store for the kids.”
-Jake Godby, Humphry Slocombe

“I do like the Dutch black licorices. I don’t know brand names, but there’s one that comes in the form of little coins, and there’s one where the form looks like little bee hives and has honey in it. And as a conversation piece I do like the double-salted, but I don’t like to snack on it. The thing I don’t like about some Dutch licorices is that sometimes the gelatin they use to set it is so strong that I can actually detect the hoof — But I may be sensitive to that because I use gelatin and know what it smells like in its raw form.”
-Jenny Raven, pastry chef, Oliveto

What kind of store-bought candy do you like?
“I always love the Cadbury eggs with the chocolate ganosh in the middle and the hard shell on the outside. They sometimes make a Halloween one. I haven’t seen them for a long time. I know that when I was a kid, they did a Halloween version of the big Cadbury egg that had the cream filling with the yellow ‘yolk.’”
-Luis Villavelazquez, pastry chef, Absinthe

“I like to get the small, bite-sized snickers. I throw them in the fridge at home. This is the one time of year that happens. I like the little, centimeter-square guys, the individually wrapped, completely environmentally unfriendly ones. This year we’re going to give out some 151 rum balls I think. Slow the kids down and make it an early night — No not really. It’s probably just doubling up on the snickers, but also Bit-O-Honeys. One year, we did these pots of ground up Oreos it looked like dirt and then had sour worms coming out. It was pretty Martha Stewart-like, but it was good for the kids.”
-William Werner, pastry chef, Quince

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Black Licorice and Cheap Chocolate: Pastry Chefs’ Favorite Halloween Treats