Americans spend approximately $2.65 billion on candy at Halloween, making the spookiest day of the year one of the sweetest. Our national sugar obsession has raised alarms among health advocates, but that’s a problem that should be solved the other 364 days of the year. So whether the baking gene skipped a generation and you need a treat for the kiddo’s class party, or you’re hosting a haunted hangout at home, there’s nothing sweeter than Halloween in the Hudson Valley.
Snag one of these carefully crafted sweets for a one-of-a-kind dessert.
Kingston Candy Bar, Kingston
This spot on Wall Street carries all manner of scary candies, from a s’mores Hocus Pocus spellbook to gummy body parts. But their Zombie OREOs take the cake, each one a work of candy-coated terror. Pick up a dozen of these for a Night of the Delicious Dead.
Samuel’s Sweet Shop, Rhinebeck
Samuel’s is like a bite-sized version of Willy Wonka’s shop, so don’t be surprised if you see Manager-Partner John Traver sporting a purple suit and cane outside the shop on Halloween. To celebrate, Samuel’s blends salty and sweet into its Halloween Bark, a mix of white and milk chocolate topped with pretzels, OREOs, caramel M&Ms…and “loads of spooky surprises!”
Lagusta’s Luscious, New Paltz
Perhaps the most morbid of the bunch, Lagusta’s Chocolate Skull is also a technological feat. Crafted with a mold made by SUNY New Paltz’s 3-D printing lab, this white chocolate creation is modeled after a real human skull. Crack it open to munch on some “brains”: a (compostable) bag containing five chocolate bonbons. Don’t be scared — as always, these chocolates are organic, vegan, and fair trade.
44 percent of parents admit to eating more candy than their kid eats.
New York’s Village Halloween Parade is the largest in the country, with more than 50,000 participants and 2 million spectators.
New York State’s favorite candy? Sour Patch Kids.
We asked local chefs: What was your favorite candy growing up, and why?
“Swedish Fish. There is something about that ‘Red Flavor’ that taste like nothing else in the candy world. To this day Swedish Fish are my guilty pleasure; even as a pastry chef, there feels something slightly wrong about eating candy that taste like a color, but it’s my little secret.”
— Cody Fitchett, Pastry Chef at Bartlett House
“Charleston Chews. I used to love to eat them frozen! It reminds me of when I used to eat them at the movies with my mom, when we used to sneak them in.”
— Amanda Giacalone, Owner at Amanda’s Macaron Shoppe
“Skittles and Sour Patch Kids simply because — they’re just delicious! (I’m not much of a chocolate fan.)”
— Danny Crocco, Executive Chef at Mill House Brewing Company
“Snickers. I have always loved the combination of caramel and chocolate…I still love the combination of chocolate, caramel, and nuts! Though nowadays I opt for a super dark, bittersweet chocolate and add a bit of sea salt.”
— Karianna Haasch, CEO/Lead Baker at Local Artisan Bakery
Related: The Hudson Valley Farm Tour That Offers a Truly Authentic Upstate Experience