The best thing about being the judge for the 2012 Chow Bella Halloween Candy Showdown is, well, being the judge for the 2012 Chow Bella Halloween Candy Showdown. Bring on the sugar rush, Baby.
With the challenge being to whip up a dessert incorporating their favorite Halloween candy, my fellow scribes cooked, crafted, and, overall, helped the bottom lines of Valley candy sellers with their all treat-no trick creations.
My challenge: to choose the winner -- or in this case, winners.
And for this spooky-themed showdown, I've decided to hand out the awards based on some of my favorite monsters.
The best part? You can try the ones that make your sweet tooth tingle simply by clicking on the links and scoring the recipes.
Goblin Award: Amy Silverman's DIY Candy Corn
Not a fan of candy corn? You'll think again with these fun, easy, and preservative free (!) bites of multicolored sugary dough triangles that mimic (and taste tons better than) this Halloween staple. Satisfyingly chunky and not too sweet, this recipe looks like a fun one to make with whatever little goblins are running around the house. You had me at, "it will be a lot like Play-Doh."
Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde Award: Claire Lawton's Chocolate Chip Heath Bars
Chocolate and Heath Bar toffee? Yes, please. Especially when they're put together in decadently sweet squares and dusted with sprinkles of, wait for it, more toffee. Got the 3:45 Chow Bella meeting blues? A bite of one of these babies will turn you from slumbersome chair-filler into stimulated scribe with words to burn.
Frankenstein's Monster Award: Katie Johnson's Twix Cheesecake Pie
This Twix-meets-Oreos-meets-caramel-meets-chocolate cheesecake creation was so incredibly dense it took some muscle just to force it out of the serving dish. Which means, of course, it was dead-on delicious. You never knew what mix of sweet flavors you were going to get with each monsterous forkful -- fun! And although no angry mob would turn this Frankenstein treat away, they might need their pitchforks to eat it with.
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Mad Scientist Award: Ando Muneno's Candy Sushi
As inventive as they were addictive, this sushi-gone-sweet-treat creation had the room oohing and ahhing on presentation alone. Featuring Rice Krispies Treats wrapped with Fruit Roll-Ups or topped with Swedish Fish, these rolls came packed with an offbeat mix of Kit Kats, Butter Fingers, and Asian candy. Extra points for the accompanying "soy sauces" of dulce de leche, chocolate, and Biscoff Spread. Yowza.
I'm fortunate enough to work with a great bunch of folks at Chow Bella, but I consider it a bonus that they're as equally as adept with Halloween candy desserts as they are with the written word. And for that, I, and my dentist, say, "thank you."