Big or small, we all love scaring up some spooky fun for Halloween. While most adult parties involve costumes and cocktails, we often fall short on our candy quota. Kids with pumpkin buckets have all the fun! Enough. It's our turn to delve in to some mouth-watering sweets. The chocolatiers of the world have responded with a host of yummy goodness. While there are many choices out there, I wanted to share my top 10, across the board, from the weird and wonderful to all-time classics and healthy chocolate alternatives.
1. Top of the list has to be the small batch hand crafted delights made by Dorinda Vance, owner and "Chief Chocolate Officer" of Dorinda's Chocolates. She specializes in amazing adult Halloween treats made with only the best and purest ingredients on the planet. I sampled her award-winning Pumpkin Truffles and Sea Salt Caramels. They are like a little bit of Halloween candy heaven on your tongue. The "Kraken," a chocolate praline hazelnut with a biscotti crunch and "Bluff Bar," housemade marshmallow, caramel, peanut and chocolate concoction are also delish. Bacon is the new culinary black right?! Try Dorinda's, The "Cowboy." It's made with bacon and pinenuts. You can also find molded Halloween-themed chocolate creations (witches, pumpkins, ghosts, spooky things...and healthier options like dark chocolate dried mango on the menu.
2. Shari's Berries has a host of big people Halloween treats for the trying. Want something a little bit healthy with a tinge of naughty goodness? Bite into one of her Halloween Strawberries. They're made of milk, dark and white chocolate and loaded with festive Halloween decorations. If you're in the mood for a real super cute treat, order a handmade Halloween Brownie Pops or Halloween Chocolate Covered Oreo Cookies. These SO took me back to my childhood, but with just the right amount of adult-like chocolate covering.
3. I am a huge fan of any product with a conscience and Alter Eco's new Organic Salted Caramel Truffles are just that. These new bites are crafted with Ecuadorian dark chocolate and Fleur de Sel de Guerande which surrounds a creamy caramel center. I felt as though I were spoiling my tastebuds with every indulgent bite. The best reason to chew on these treats is that they are nutritionally good for you, environmentally responsible and socially just. Plus the company practices full-circle sustainability, including wrapping these delightful treats in a compostable wrapper.
4. If you want to add a healthy dose of fruit to your Halloween treat, try a chocolate or caramel covered apple from Tastee Apple. Caramel apples happen to be one of my favorite guilty pleasure desserts. The one I sampled was just the right consistency of thin caramel layering and fun white and milk chocolate covering. A family-run business for over 40 years, you know that a lot of care goes into each one of these globe-shaped goodies.
5. A recent survey found that pumpkin spice, candy corn and caramel apple are the top flavors Americans associate with the fall season. The Hershey company took this news to heart and chose to celebrate the spirit of this season by incorporating these favorite fall flavors into their classic treats. Try Twizzlers Caramel Apple Filled Twists, Candy Corn Snack Size Bars which are white chocolate with candy bits, Kisses Pumpkin Spice Flavor Candies, and, of course, my all time favorite (and apparently everyone else's in the candy survey), Reese's Peanut Butter Cups, served up in Pumpkin shapes, natch.
6. Classic Chocolatier Fanny May has amped up their game with artisan tastes by Norman Love. This gorgeous line features flavors ranging from new classics like Vanilla Cake and Lemonade to the intensely sophisticated 64% Dark Chocolate and Double Shot Espresso. The handcrafted chocolates are created in small batches using fresh, high quality ingredients gathered from all over the world. It was THE most beautiful box of chocolates I unwrapped!
7. If you just can't cross over to the dark side, of pure chocolate that is, Pure Bar could be your Halloween sweet treat of choice. Founder Veronica Bosgraaf believes that better eating translates to better living, so her foods are made from wholesome all-natural ingredients like quinoa, amaranth, flax seeds, and hemp. Ancient Grains Peanut Butter Chocolate and Chocolate Chunk Nut bars are super sweet tooth satisfiers. All Pure Bars are certified organic, gluten-free, non-GMO verified, whole-grain, vegan and kosher. They have 8g of sugar, 5g of protein per bar, and are low in sodium.
8. The winner of THE most unique adult Halloween Candy for grownups can be found on Goldbely.com. Feeling adventurous? Try a bar of Fried Chicken Milk Chocolate Bar shipped from Coolhaus in Los Angeles. Then surf around this site to see what other unique food you can find to fill your Halloween bucket. Gourmet Buckeyes from Columbus, Ohio will look great on a party tray or opt for Monster Candy Apples from Savannah's Candy Kitchen in Savannah, Georgia. If you want to be really nice, and can resist getting your own wacky food goodies, Goldbely offers physical and e-gift cards at various price points for you to share.
9. If a whole chunk of chocolate smacks too childlike for your tastes, then indulge your grown-up sweet tooth in a perfectly crafted, French-inspired, top quality, chocolate-dipped Donsuemor Madeleine. Or try the chocolate-dipped biscotti. I dipped my treats into a savory cup of coffee. They were perfect companions. If you are like me and need to have an after dinner sweet there's a Chocolate-dipped Donsuemor with your name on it.
10. The most unusual combinations of flavors can be found in Robin Chocolates. I loved the Lavender Heart and Port Wine Reduction flavors. For Halloween, Robin has scared up some spider and monster cupcakes, chocolate skulls, Halloween cake pops, and solid chocolate packs called "Scariness," named by a 4-year-old that thought they looked scary, but delicious for any age. The company was recently named one of the top 10 chocolate makers in North America by Dessert Professional magazine.