Trick or treat: Give these chefs Butterfingers, Now & Laters and Krackel Bars to eat.
While you’re busy figuring out whether to be sexy Ken Bone or to crank up your costume to Heidi Klum intensity, chefs are counting down the days until they can get their hands on sugary, nostalgic candies of their childhood.
“As a kid of the '80s, Halloween brings back vivid memories of slasher Michael Myers and trick-or-treating with pillowcases until the late hours,” says Adam Schop, the chef at Miss Lily’s in New York City. “I remember getting excited about Reese’s Cups, Lemonhead, Swedish Fish and Sugar Daddy, and today I still grab my favorites from my kids' loot!”
Here’s what chefs are stocking up on this Halloween:
Size matters, according to Lisa White, Willa Jean’s pastry chef in New Orleans. “To this day, my favorite is the Butterfinger Mini Bars. It has to be the minis; the ratio seems perfect with the smaller size.”
“Though I’m an M&Ms girl through and through, the Halloween-size bars are too dinky,” Meg Galus, Boka's pastry chef in Chicago, says. Instead, she opts for anything chocolate: “I am a big fan of Krackel, Milk Way (malted nougat!) and Kit Kat,” she says. “When I was young, anything without chocolate got traded away immediately.”
Now & Later
“The best color was red/cherry, and the worst was yellow/banana,” says Erin Eastland, the chef at Milo & Olive in Los Angeles. “It tasted like super-concentrated Kool-Aid.” She remembers chewing on one piece for 10 minutes, then sticking it to the roof of her mouth like a retainer. Now with her own kids, Eastland still gets her fix. “We play ‘Switch Witch,’ where the kids put away the candy outside at night and, in the morning, find a toy in its place,” Eastland says. “As a result, my husband and I go on a nightly candy raid after the kids go to sleep. I think we have about one more year of getting away with this before they catch on.”
Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups
Cara Hermanson, the chef at Tarallucci e Vino in New York City, gets a little Frankenstein-y with her candy. “A friend of mine always throws an amazing rooftop Halloween party in Brooklyn and started the tradition of s'mores with chocolate bars of your choice. Thus, the s'meeses was born,” she says. It’s graham crackers, marshmallow and a Reese's cup piled up for a killer s’more.
You won’t find Abby Swain, the pastry chef at Fowler & Wells in New York City, eating these bars straight from the pillowcase. “Freeze them first,” she says. “They takes on a consistency like ice cream and taste less sweet.”
“My white whale was always the fruit-flavored Tootsie Rolls,” Michal Shelkowitz, the pastry chef at Craft in New York City. “When I was a kid, I swear, they only popped up for one night: Halloween. I never saw them in stores, just always prayed for them in my trick-or-treat bag that one night. My favorite flavors were cherry and vanilla.”