We love those little Snickers and Kit Kats as much as the next candy addict, but sometimes we like to step up our sugar high. There’s no better time than Halloween to indulge in some of the most decadent confections made right here in L.A. So, while everyone else is competing for the good stuff in that plastic jack-o-lantern, you can break into your very own stash of local treats.
Here are some of our favorite L.A. confection makers:
Little Flower Candy Company
Caramels and marshmallows are fall essentials, and some of the very best are made in a little café and candy kitchen hidden in Pasadena. The caramels, which come in three flavors including the original Sea Salt, are chewy, yet buttery enough to melt in your mouth. Even marshmallow skeptics could be convinced by owner Christine Moore’s pillowy none-too-sweet version—we love the Cinnamon Sugar, which are delightfully textured with a dusting of sugar.
Find Little Flower candies online and gourmet shops, like Auntie Em’s and Joan’s on Third.
La Zamorana Candy Company
Since 1957, this family-owned business in East L.A. has been producing delicious Mexican-style candies, using recipes passed down through five generations. For some of the varieties, the ingredients are deceptively simple—the Jamoncillo, a bar of dulce de leche candy, is made with only milk and sugar—but the flavors and textures are pure perfection. Fall brings seasonal varieties like the Calabaza, chunks of candied pumpkin; along with the Comoto Rojo, red sweet potato candy.
You can buy La Zamorana candy directly from their factory or at Latino specialty markets.
Morning Glory Confections
Brittle is a pretty grown-up confection to begin with, but Morning Glory’s Max Lesser brings even more refinement to the concept with inspired flavor combinations. The Chocolate, Bourbon & Pecan, made with Valrhona cocoa and Maker’s Mark, is an easy favorite, while Thai Curry & Peanut challenges the palate and sends it on a sweet little adventure. All brittles are made in small batches in an L.A. kitchen.
Morning Glory brittles can be purchased online (you can even get a subscription) and at Altadena and Atwater Village Farmers’ Market.
Formerly Z Confections, the Downtown-LA based company makes the kind of caramel corn that’ll make you forget all others. Inspired by his grandmother Zelda’s recipes, owner Matthew Walton’s original Salted Caramel Corn strikes a delectable balance of sweet and salty, while other flavors, like Oatmeal Cookie and the very apropos Pumpkin Spice, are also rather hard to put down. And, there’s no monstrous tin to deal with when you’re done.
Find Zlicious Confections online and at specialty shops, like The L.A. County Store in Silver Lake.
The self-proclaimed “old-fashioned chocolate factory” has been making artsy, exotic chocolates since 1950. The truffles, from Mexican Hot Chocolate to Blood Orange, are undeniably luxurious, and the chocolate bars are so beautifully packaged that you almost don’t want to break into them. But, of course, you must—how else are you going to get to that dark chocolate flecked with crispy rice? We’re also crazy for the Coney Island with crumbled waffle cone.
Compartes Chocolates is located at 912 Barrington Ave. and at 8428 Melrose Pl.; 310-826-3380. They also have an online store.