October 25, 2007


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Trick or treat, the grown-up version
Indulge in high-end Halloween goodies
By Lisa Brown news@hippopress.com

Who doesn’t love a good Reese’s peanut butter cup?

But, in case you’re loathe to spend the calories on the kids’ candy, there is plenty of high-quality chocolate offering those craving a treat goodies worth the indulgence.

“No one buys our chocolate to hand out to trick or treaters in the neighborhood, it’s more for their own children, grandchildren or nieces and nephews,” said Theresa Anderson, owner of Swan Chocolates, 145 Main St. in Nashua. At Swan, there’s only one way to carve a pumpkin: with one’s teeth.

“This is a bit more upscale. It is a completely edible hollow Belgian chocolate pumpkin filled with pumpkin cream pie truffles that is just perfect for an adult Halloween goodie,” Anderson said.

The chocolate pumpkin shell is actually sprayed with an iridescent shimmer that’s edible and beautiful. Wrapped in clear cellophane and tied with a autumn orange bow, it makes a lovely gift.

“The harvest pumpkin is less kid-like and more for the whole season from Halloween to Thanksgiving,” Anderson said. New to the Halloween-themed treats at Swan this year is the gigantic apple, dipped in pure decadence (caramel and then a coating such as crispy rice cereal and chocolate) and sprinkled with flavor. The turtles are big sellers.

“They are dipped in handmade caramel, then in the Belgian milk chocolate, then coated in walnuts and marshmallows with a drizzle of milk chocolate,” Anderson said. Toppings for the chocolate-covered apples vary from toasted coconut to rice crispy treats. Also this year, making an appearance behind the candy counter at Swan is the Easter peep, dressed for Halloween.

“This is every adult’s addiction,” Anderson said. “It is a dipped marshmallow peep in our dark Belgian chocolate. If you haven’t ever had one, you need to.”

For the totally indulgent person who craves sweets and a little spirits, Van Otis Chocolate in Manchester has a treat that can’t be topped.

“That would be our chocolate dipped bottle of champagne,” said Dave Quinn, owner of Van Otis Chocolates, 341 Elm St. in Manchester. “It is a bottle of champagne literally dipped in chocolate, and we also have wine dipped in chocolate.” Van Otis also carries wine, including one called Vampire Wine, which can also be dipped in chocolate. “The wine is $37.99 and the presentation gold gift box [is] available for $5 — it really makes a nice presentation,” Quinn said.”It’s one of those Halloweenie type wines, and it’s quite good.”

For people who crave the taste of the season, Van Otis has carved out a new flavor of fudge, called pumpkin pie.

“I’ve been thrilled with its reception. All you need to do is get the whipped cream on top and you’d think you were having pumpkin pie,” Quinn said. “We use real pumpkin in the fudge and it’s a huge seller.”

While Swan and Van Otis make the most of the candy-giving season, they are the exception to most fine candy stores. Jeff Bart, who owns Granite State Candy in Concord, says he offers a few Halloween-themed candies and chocolates, such as jellied pumpkins and chocolate witches, but he doesn’t go overboard.

“It’s not a big time for high-end or premium candy people,” said Jeff Bart of Granite State Candy. “It’s not what people buy and its not what people give out; you just end up selling things for individual consumption or parties.” Bart says most people who shop his store during the Halloween season are looking to offer a nice sophisticated sweet for an office party or loved one.

The same is true in Manchester at Candy Kingdom.

“We’ve been here for 16 years and it’s not a big holiday because people buy the more inexpensive candies,” said Phyllis Capers, owner of Candy Kingdom. Capers says her biggest Halloween seller is the worms and dirt candied apple.

“It’s an apple dipped in caramel and then chocolate and then we use gummy worms and crushed Oreo cookies,” Capers said. A more requested seasonal favorite among customers at Candy Kingdom is the holiday cornucopia.

“It’s totally made out of chocolate, the shell is hollow and filled with chocolate peanut clusters,” Capers said.”We do them in three different sizes and they have chocolate dipped cashews spilling out of the cornucopia, we use fruit pectin leaves for color, marzipan and fruit made of chocolate.”

For local bakeries, Halloween isn’t a big season. At Patisserie Bleu in Nashua, owner Deb Soby has made a few Halloween-themed wedding cakes and does make a pumpkin-shaped cake, but doesn’t do much more in terms of themed baked goods. The same is true at Michelle’s Gourmet Pastries and Deli on Harvard Street in Manchester.

“I don’t know if we specifically go for Halloween; it’s more about offering fall items,” said Michelle Moulin, owner of Michelle’s Gourmet Pastries and Deli. For a quick taste of the season Michelle’s offers pumpkin cannolis, pumpkin cheesecake squares and pumpkin whoopie pies — “It’s a pumpkin cake with a cinnamon cream filling, and yes, they are selling.”

10/18/2007 Shop where the pros go

10/11/2007 Enjoy apple season from orchard to plate
10/04/2007 Tradition on the menu
9/27/2007 Meet your pig
9/20/2007 In search of the right meat
9/20/2007 Vegan blogger branches out
9/13/2007 Get ready to eat
9/6/2007 Fifty years of fair
8/30/2007 The buzz about peach fuzz
8/23/2007 Enjoy the Caribbean, sans hurricanes
8/16/2007 Festival weekend
8/9/2007 Still time to scream
8/2/2007 Perfecting a pound of pasta
7/26/2007 Gourmet Concord?
7/19/2007 Tart treats of a New Hampshire summer
7/12/2007 Reintroducing ratatouille
7/5/2007 Time to hit the grill
6/28/2007 Peanutty dinner delight
6/21/2007 Spicy meat, grilled meat and saucy meat
6/14/2007 Holy Barbecue
6/07/2007 A wine for Red Sox
5/31/2007 Pinot noir romance
5/24/2007 Josh Logan eats (not before shows)
5/17/2007 Baklava, spanakopita and souvlaki — a.k.a. dinner
5/10/2007 Cremeland celebrates 60 years of burgers and shakes
5/3/2007 New eats in bloom
4/26/2007 Pho sure
4/19/2007 Cakes, cow-free
4/12/2007 Serving up the first square
4/5/2007 More than just a chocolate bunny
3/29/2007 New 'nuches
3/22/2007 A taste of genuine sweetness
3/15/2007 From homemade to home business
3/8/2007 Shop the farmers' market year round
3/1/2007 Feeding Mama Kicks
2/22/2007 Keepers of the vino
2/15/2007 Noodly comfort food
2/8/2007 The luxury of osso bucco
2/1/2007 Super platters for the Super Bowl
1/25/2007 It's a wrap
1/18/2007 The writing foodie
1/11/2007 Where the beef is, piled high and hot
1/04/2007 The healthy foodie
12/28/2006 The return of pasta and fall of the diet: the year in eats
12/21/2006 Organic on the ice
12/14/2006 French but not fussy
12/07/2006 Southeast U.S. culture, in sandwich form
11/30/2006 Bites of comfort with chips of happiness
11/23/2006 Cityside adds class to conveniece
11/16/2006 Easier-to-enjoy Thanksgiving feasts
11/9/2006 The new classic
10/26/2006 Whip up a quiche
10/19/2006 A new way to crepe
10/12/2006 Comfort food for blokes and birds
10/05/2006 Smaller crop but still red and delicious
09/28/2006 The crunchier, lighter, healthier wrap
09/21/2006 City bagels in suburbia
09/14/2006 Cracking the custard code
09/07/2006 Eat your way down the block
08/31/2006 New flavors for an old summer dish
08/24/2006 Way down south in Hollis
08/17/2006 Frappe vs. milkshake
08/10/2006 Enjoy the bluest month
08/03/2006 Death of Toro
07/27/2006 Vacation on a plate
07/20/2006 Hitting barbecue big time
07/13/2006 Relishing the raspberry
07/06/2006 Are your edible souveneirs kosher?
06/29/2006 Fish, upscale
06/22/2006 Sweet rosey taste of summer
06/15/2006 When to pull out the EVOO
06/08/2006 What can you grill?
06/01/2006 Taste of downtown Nashua
05/25/2006 Deulge at farms
05/18/2006 Adorable and delicious
05/11/2006 Rub down
05/04/2006 Pinot to go
04/27/2006 A bit Italian, a bit egg foo young
04/20/2006 Meatier than breakfast...
04/13/2006 Let yourself eat cake
04/06/2006 Fear not the Risotto
03/30/2006 Making Friday a fishy delight
03/23/2006 The Thin Mints are here
03/16/2006 Divining your personality from pizza
03/09/2006 Cooking up a big bowl of comfort
03/02/2006 Dumplings demystified
02/23/2006 Carbs and comfort all the way
02/16/2006 She sells sushi by the sea shore
2/09/2006 Biting into the burger with bling
02/02/2006 Forget formal dining, head to the bar
01/26/2006 Goodbye rooster, hello year of the dog
01/19/2006 The secret lives of chefs
01/12/2006 Cooking up a pot of delayed gratification
01/05/2006 A sunny Italian side dish
A year of eats

All-you-can-read guide to breakfast
A bagel by any other l
A picnic — it’s romance with ants
A sweet burst of summer, in stages
Beef, It's What's For Dinner, Lunch, And Dessert
Be it ever so humble, the burger rules
Blockbuster snacks for your movie
Box Of Chocolates
C Is For Cookie And Christmas And Cool Combo
Celebrating A Holiday For The Rest Of Us
Celebrate Easter In A Sugar Coma
Chat And Chew

Chinese soup is magic
Chocolate cake makes everything better
Chocolate, Part II
Competition flows like chocolate
Corn Flake Chicken, Honeycomb Salad
Dining at the "Your House Bistro"
Don't Dread The Bread
Dress Up Your Next Meal
Drinking Out Of The Box
Eating Your Way Back To Health
Enter Soup
Experiments With Very Bad Brownies
Feeding A Crowd The Morning After
Follow the cider house rules
Fresh Herbs
Go ahead — run silent, run deep
Goodbye corn syrup, hello organic oatmeal
Go Indian for Thanksgiving
Grilled Cheese Junkie

Halloween candy for grown-ups
Have a Happy Meal and a happier wallet
Holiday Cookies - The Easy Way
Holiday Potluck 101-Tips For The Kitchen Novice
Home-Based Date
How do you like them apples?
In-A-Pinch Love Feast
It's not easy to be cheesy
It’s not Christmas without tamales
Lest We Forget The Humble Squash
Keeping your cool while you eat
Living through your salad days

Looking Beyond The Hot Dog Stand
Lunching your way to a less toxic you
Meat's meat and a man's gotta eat

Moist and delicious chicken — no, really
Oatmeal Cookies, The Miracle Cure
Oscar Night, When The Stars Come Out To Eat

Offering Up A Slice Of Teriyaki Pie
Pot Pies Are Darn Tasty
Pumpkin-Flavored Treats
Small Plates Are The Next Big Thing
Speedy 'za not pie in the sky
Steak: it’s what’s for dinner, again
Summer coolers, just add sunlight
Summer Squash
Super Bowl Grub
Take A Walk On The Dark Side
Taste of Manchester Event
The Cosmopolitan
The joys of a simple oatmeal breakfast
The return of comfort food
The One-Note Cook Book
The New American Plate Cookbook
The Stickiest, Hottest & Sweetest Of Love's Labors
The taste of retro
The Unheralded Peanut Butter Cookies
The union of sweet and heat
The Weekly Dish (12-16-04)
The Weekly Dish (12-23-04)

The Weekly Dish [1-13-05]
There's a Barbecue Bonanza Next Door
Week Four: Adding Diet To The Mix
What Was Hot And Haute In 2004
When $$ trumps urge to dine out
When in doubt, go for the organic
When nothing else will cool, Slurp it
You Say Potato, She'll Say Potato,Too
You say tomato, writer says lunch