Top 10 Worst Things to Give Trick-or-Treaters

I miss trick-or-treating. Don”t tell me you don”t. If so, then you hate all things good in the world. You hide in your house with the lights off as kids fashion their prized costumes anxiously awaiting a sweet treat. You people suck, and probably have no perspective on the meaning of “It”s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown.” You”re a Halloween scrooge. Poo poo on you.

For the rest of us, the Holiday is upon is. Get ready to scare the bajesis out of the kiddo”s, hoping to make one of them pee or crap their pants. Then, you win them back with a sweet treat and you”re suddenly known around the block for it. I”m hoping to scare some kids, and I”ll be honest—I”ve eyed up the candies that are anxiously awaiting Halloween in the house, and I”m psyched for left-overs.

Last year we brought you a list of the top 10 trick or treat candy fails, but the truth is, it actually gets a lot worse than Tootsie Rolls and Mounds (shudder!) Here are your top ten tricks that you shouldn”t be handing out this Halloween:

10. Pretzels

Yeah, I like my fair share of salty goodies—but not on Halloween. Just because the pretzels are shaped like bats and pumpkins doesn”t mean they are meant for Halloween. Especially not to give out. At a party? Sure. To give out at your doorstep? Hellz no.


9. Chips

Chips…Cheez-Its…doesn”t matter. Are they sweet? No. Do they leave a residue on your teeth that requires extra-long tooth brushing? No. So what”s the point? If kids want chips then they can go to the closet of their house. I”m willing to bet there isn”t a wide variety of candy to choose from. Only chips and cereal.


8. Peanuts

Yes, this actually happened to me. Need I say more?

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New Halloween Candy Alert!

It’s almost Halloween, and while we are looking forward to scoring some of the classic candy we all know and love (and unfortunately receiving the same duds as usual), there are a couple new tricks and treats to be on the lookout for. Two candy classics, Cadbury’s and Mike & Ike, have released new Halloween versions this year, and I’m here to tell you about them.

I’m not sure where the advertising has been regarding this first treat, but I didn’t know it came out this year until I was at a random convenience store the other day, picking up some Diet Coke to smuggle into the movie theater (come on, I’m not paying $8 for a fountain soda). At the checkout counter I noticed something very interesting:

What? Yes! Thankfully Cadbury realized that the world could not wait until Easter for their delicious filled chocolate eggs and released Cadbury Screme Eggs (we see what you did there, Cadbury) for Halloween. This is a huge development in the world of novelty candy.

Obviously I bought one and rushed home to try it:

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Beef Jerky Chocolate Bar. Seriously.

I was shopping for a staple gun in a hip gas station convenience store (don’t ask… really, just don’t, my life is weird). At said hip gas station convenience store, instead of your average, mainstream candybars near the checkout, they display exotic and gourmet chocolates. One in particular caught my eye:

A beef jerky milk chocolate bar made by chocolatier Wild Ophelia.

Obviously I had to buy this. I suffered a little case of sticker shock when I brought it to the counter ($6.99! What type of jerky is this, a dried kobe beef filet mignon?!) but I decided I enjoy weird foods too much to turn it down. As far as taste, well, to me it really did taste like a quality milk chocolate bar with little bits of salty, smoky beef jerky mixed in. I gave blind taste tests to a couple victims, and everyone guessed it was some sort of salted chocolate, which isn’t too far off, really.

In the end, meat is good and chocolate is good, so meat plus chocolate is good, I suppose. I don’t really know if I’d pay $6.99 for that again, but I just like to know that a beef-stuffed chocolate bar exists in this world.

The Cure for Feeling Poor: Stuffed PayDay Cookies

Have you ever felt like you didn’t belong somewhere?  I think we all have.

You know what helps?  Cookies.  Cookies are magical and break down all social, political and economical barriers.  I wish I had some of these cookies last week when this happened.

So I spontaneously decided to head over to the Vera Bradley designer handbag store after work one day to shop for my mom’s birthday.  I entered the parking lot and started to have second thoughts.  Man, this mall was posh.  There was a strip of fancy boutiques and a freaking fountain (probably hand crafted in Italy or something).  I rolled through the parking lot in my car, which is an old, super-loud hand-me-down Buick from my grandmother.  Some ladies crossed the parking lot; they all had on white pants and flowing, flowery tunic shirts.  I looked down at my outfit.  Hmmm…starting to feel a little uncomfortable. My outfit consisted of workout capris, flip flops and a Paul Frank monkey shirt.  Let me explain.

My office has no dress code.  We do internal work that requires almost nobody visiting our office, so we wear what we want.  9 times out of 10 I am wearing workout clothes.  They are comfortable and sometimes I walk outside on my lunch break, so quit judging.

Yeah, so I sucked it up and went in the store.  No lie, I felt like Julia Roberts’ character in Pretty Woman.  Except not a hooker, just a poor person.  Um, all those ladies in and around the shop clearly made it their job to be impeccably groomed and coifed.

Nobody was rude or anything, but I felt out of place and like people were probably wondering why I was there.  I guarantee that if I came in with a tray of these bad boys that all my fashion faux pas-ing would have been forgotten.

By the way, I get the irony that I felt poor and Pay Day cookies would have helped.  Life just happens that way sometimes.

Stuffed PayDay Cookies

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Homemade Ice Cream Cake

My roommate Kate is somewhat of a culinary genius. Not because she cooks fabulously ornate meals or spends hours slaving over the stove. But because in the age of shortcuts, spice mixes, and semi-homemade bullshit, she still cooks with simple, high-quality ingredients all the time. She does not buy anything prepackaged. She pulls together fabulous dinner parties on the fly quite often, and last week she outdid herself, again. Something I just learned about her is that (a long time ago), she worked at a chain ice cream shop, and her job during the day was to make the cakes. And in typical Kate fashion, she took that skill and made something even more fabulous out of it.

I present to you the homemade ice cream cake, using Kate’s standard formula: 2 ice creams, 1 cookie, 1 candy, 2 drizzles. In this particular instance it was a birthday cake, so the birthday guy got to choose: vanilla, coffee, oreos, Reeses cups, chocolate and peanut butter.

The Pauly Special 

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Sugar + Bacon = Pig Candy

Over on the ES Facebook page, we got a request in for a pig candy recipe. Well, ask and yea shall receive, ES-ers. Especially if it involves bacon and dessert. And yes, we will be putting this in ice cream later this week. Obviously.

1. Preheat the oven to 375F. On a foil-lined rimmed baking sheet (the sugar gets real messy) place the bacon strips about an inch apart. With the back of a spoon, press a tablespoon of brown sugar onto the top of each bacon strip. Now this is just your most basic recipe. To embellish it is really simple, just whisk the brown sugar with a little of whatever you want: cayenne, curry, ground anise, cinnamon, cocoa powder, black pepper…you get the idea.

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Endless Ice Cream: Black Licorice

Editor’s Note: New contributor Rebecca McClain (unsightly) is here to prove that the indefatigable bakersroyale isn’t the only ES-er who can whip up a dessert (don’t worry — poptails ain’t goin’ anywhere!) For the rest of the spring and summer, unsightly, a vegetable gardener and baker who has eaten something new everyday for the last 4 years of her life, will be bringing us ES-style ice cream recipes: that means you can forget about chocolate and vanilla—because you’re getting olive oil, figs, and black licorice up in your ice cream.

Ages (or 12 years) ago, I spent a lot of time walking the streets of the UW-Madison campus with my boyfriend. State Street was loaded with every kind of eatery, from North African to Hungarian to Tibetan. One of our favorite stops was an ice cream parlor called The Chocolate Coyote. The lobby was loaded with stacks of free copies of The Onion. We’d grab a copy, head into the parlor, and if we were lucky they would have their incredible black licorice ice cream in the line-up.

We’d sit and read over The Onion and eat triple-scoop waffle cones of the stuff. Black licorice is a pretty polarizing flavor, and we both sit firmly in the ‘love-it’ side. This ice cream was unlike anything I had ever had. It was creamy white with little pieces of hard licorice that left ribbons of flavor. It was my favorite. A couple of years later a Coldstone Creamery opened up just two doors away from the Chocolate Coyote and very quickly and very efficiently put it out of business. After a period of mourning, I started my hunt for that ice cream. I stopped at every small ice cream parlor I came across. I asked the owners if they had ever heard of it. Everyone I talked to either looked disgusted or puzzled. I researched online and the only thing I could find was this weird solid black ice cream that looked nothing like what I wanted.

Last summer we drove to an ice cream shop over an hour away to taste the solid black ice cream and came away disappointed. Finally I broke down and bought an ice cream maker. Sometimes you have to take shit into your own hands. Black licorice was, of course, the first thing I made in it. I found licorice flavor from LorAnn Oils and hard candies at a local candy store. I was set.

The verdict? I am happy at last. I can rest easy knowing that my favorite ice cream is always in my reach. And the best part is I am now ice cream crazy. I think about ice cream at least a few hours each day. I have a feeling this will be a delicious summer.

Black Licorice Ice Cream

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