Having too much Halloween candy is hardly a problem, but sometimes it’s fun to put a new twist on your favorite sweet treats. L.A.’s top pastry chefs gave us tips for crafting culinary creations out of Halloween classics.
World-famous pastry maestro Dominique Ansel, whose restaurant 189 is located in the Grove, recommends chopping the candy bars and mixing them with buttered popcorn. “There’s something about that combination of salty and sweet,” he says. Margarita Kallas-Lee, co-owner and pastry chef at Encino restaurant Scratch Bar & Kitchen, prefers turning them into a milkshake. It’s “really nice,” she says. “When the caramel is cold, it’s a little more chewy.”
“I’ve never been shy about my guiltiest food obsession: candy corn,” says Candace Nelson, cofounder and executive pastry chef of Sprinkles cupcakes and haute pie joint Pizzana. “I can power through an entire bag without any accompaniment, but I also love [adding them] to a Chex Mix-style recipe to get my sweet-and-salty fix.”
Sweet Rose Creamery’s pastry chef and kitchen manager, Jen Bolbat, is candid about her love for peanut butter cups. “The classic size, not the miniatures, has the perfect chocolate-to-peanut-butter ratio,” she says. “If I’m eating ice cream, I like to break them up and put them over a scoop.”
Andrea Ramirez, pastry chef at Los Feliz’s eclectic neighborhood spot Atrium, loves tossing leftover Duds into brownies or cookies. “The semifirm caramel really gets interesting after baking—and turning into a super-chewy toffee rather than spreading out like the lesser Rolo and drowning the cookie,” she says.
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