The transition from tiny, gleeful candy-grabbing Miss Piggy to hoodied teenager sullenly knocking on neighbor's doors at 9 p.m. seeking Tootsie Roll dregs to cocktail-quaffing "sexy witch" is one of the bitterest rites of passage. But there's no reason you can't grow up and have your Halloween treats, too.
In fact, you can have more, because there's no mom glacially doling out your Halloween candy or telling you no, you can't have that pumpkin beer. Here are 10 treats to celebrate All Hallow's Eve — even if you're way too old to ring neighborhood doorbells. Some are fun for self-indulgence; some would make great gifts for that Halloween party your friends are throwing. All are ghoulish good fun.
10. Cheetos Bag of Bones
Just for Halloween, Cheetos is changing shape from their usual, uh, random stick-things to a white cheddar-flavored Bag of Bones. The shapes include skulls, ribcages and femurs, so you can put together your own edible skeleton. Chester Cheetah also encourages fans to participate in Project T.P., where you can digitally toilet-paper a foe's house.
9. Reese's Peanut Butter Pumpkins
It's the perfect excuse to eat a pack of king-size Reese's peanut butter cups — they're pumpkin-shaped, but not pumpkin flavored! Being able to eat all the giant Reese's you want takes a little of the bitterness out of not being able to go trick or treating anymore. Plus, with the irregular shape, there's no pesky wrapper to get in the way of your gorging.
8. Chocolate Cameo
Sculpted in the likeness of a haunting Victorian cameo, these hand-painted dark chocolates are probably too pretty to eat. Each piece is approximately 1.25" x 1" and packaged in a clear packet, making a perfect Halloween party favor. These beautiful chocolates are created by the mother-daughter team at The Frosted Petticoat right here in Burbank. They come in several different colors, including purple and orange, but of course, bone-white is best. Buy a bunch for your Halloween dinner party; they're 10 for $20.
7. UV Salty Caramel Apple
UV Salty Caramel Apple vodka is a limited-time treat made with all-natural flavors, and it tastes like a caramel apple with a real bite (and not the apple kind). Try it on the rocks, or make the Whipped Apple Shot: one part UV Salty Caramel Apple, one dollop whipped cream, one dash cinnamon. Another option is the Caramel Apple Fizz: one part UV Salty Caramel Apple, three parts soda water. A bottle sells for $11.99.
6. Kahlua Pumpkin Spice
Kahlua Pumpkin Spice is another limited-edition concotion featuring real pumpkin and autumnal spices blended with 100 percent Arabica coffee and sugarcane rum. Use it to make your own pumpkin spice latte — with a kick. (Here's a recipe to spike your coffee.) Or try the Spiced Russian: 1.5 parts Kahlúa Pumpkin Spice, one-half part Absolut Mandarin, one part half and half. Build over ice in a rocks glass and stir. Garnish with freshly grated nutmeg, then hand it to the Dude. $17.99 for a bottle.
Turn the page for five more treats, including a liquor ghoulish enough to drive Van Gogh insane.
5. Black 'Poison' Apples
A dramatic coating of glossy dark chocolate makes Williams Sonoma's petite caramel apples a bewitchingly decadent treat for grown-ups. Artisans double-dip sweet-tart Granny Smith apples in buttery caramel that's cooked in old-fashioned copper kettles, then dip them again in a cauldron of molten black chocolate. The result is a sophisticated twist on a Halloween standard. Set of four apples (approx. 6 oz. each) is shipped fresh for $34.95.
4. Pernod Absinthe
With its licorice flavor and solid Victorian Gothic cred, absinthe makes the perfect alcohol to serve at a Halloween bash. Pernod Absinthe is based on the original 19th-century absinthe recipe that gave Van Gogh his trippy hallucinations. This 136-proof spirit is distilled from two primary ingredients, grande wormwood and green anise, producing a light green color with a hint of amber and a dominant flavor of anise, balanced with wormwood and a citrusy finish. You can serve it the traditional "Green Fairy" way, by lighting a sugar cube on fire on a slotted spoon atop the drink for a green flame (don't blame us if you light yourself on fire), or try The Green Beast: one part Pernod Absinthe, one part simple syrup, one part fresh lime juice, four parts water, thinly sliced cucumber wheels. Build in a Collins glass or punch bowl over ice. Garnish with cucumber slices. $79.99 for a bottle.
3. Red Velvet Cake With Black Chocolate Rose Frosting
This striking cake is simply to die for. Williams Sonoma takes four layers of moist, tender, gory-looking red velvet cake, separates them with black chocolate icing and then frosts the whole thing with black chocolate roses made with butter, cream cheese, cocoa powder and vanilla that encase the cake like midnight fog. A perfectly Gothic confection, the 6-inch-diameter, 3-pound cake serves 8–10. Shipped frozen. $59.95 for one cake.
2. Gold-Covered Chocolate Mini Skulls
Five gold-dusted dark chocolate skulls are filled with a creamy gianduja chocolate made with hazelnuts, macadamia nuts and almonds to produce these one-of-a-kind Gold Gianduja Chocolate Skulls, exclusively available at Dean & Deluca for Halloween. $24 for five.
And the No. 1 way to treat yourself (or your hostess) this Halloween?
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1. Giant Solid Chocolate Skull
Made especially for Dean & Deluca by the artisans at FIKA in Tribeca, this hauntingly realistic, solid chocolate skull is the ultimate Halloween treat, and a real showoff centerpiece for your Halloween table. One side is flat, if you want to lay it on its side and cover it with gummy worms or sharks. 14.10 ounces. $68 for one utterly spooky noggin.