How much Halloween candy is actually good, and how much of it do we only think tastes good because of nostalgia? We asked the people who would know best: chefs. From Reese’s to Twizzlers, they weighed in on the candies we get to know all too well this time of year.
Read on for their Halloween hot takes, and stay tuned to 225 Dine next week, where we’ll continue the conversation with more chefs. Know of a chef we should feature? Tell us in the comments!
Sarah Joy Hays, chief kitchen officer of CounterspaceBR
Favorite Halloween candy: Reese’s Cups by a long shot. I never ever buy candy, and when I do it’s for my son who loves sweet and sour stuff … so when these show up in trick-or-treat baskets, I’m a goner.
Least favorite: Black licorice anything. Even in savory food, that anise flavor is one I just can’t handle.
Have you ever tried cooking with Halloween candy?: YES. Sort of. I have definitely used Halloween candy for decorating … but also, a fun trick, if you melt down marshmallows, you can use them to create the spider web effect on cakes. Such a fun and simple trick.
Christina Cox, chef and owner of The Blue Rose Café and Bakery
Favorite Halloween candy: I have several! I guess I would say my top two picks are Twizzlers and Kit Kats. I just love chocolate, so that explains the Kit Kats. With Twizzlers, I don’t really know. I guess they are just really portable. They are great to snack on while you are in the car.
Least favorite: Definitely 100 Grand Bars or Paydays. I do not like the flavor or texture of either.
Have you ever tried cooking with Halloween candy?: Oh my God, yes. Pretty much any kind of candy can go into a cake.
Don Bergeron, chef and owner of Bergeron’s City Market
Favorite Halloween candy: Hershey’s Dark Chocolate Nuggets with Almonds. Why? Well, dark chocolate and almonds are healthy, of course!
Least favorite: Any sticky, chewy candy that would require a dental visit after eating it.
Have you ever tried cooking with Halloween candy?: We use some of the candies for garnish but they are also great in cookies, brownies and mixed in with ice cream. Some people make cake balls with leftover candy, but I think those things are a culinary perversion on the dessert world.
A version of this story originally was published Oct. 31, 2018.