Tricky Treats: 11 Classic Candy Bar Desserts

In the spirit of this spooky season, we’ve assembled a collection of high-end homages to Halloween treats. You may not be able to put them in your plastic pumpkin or repurposed pillowcase, but they taste even better than the bite-sized goodies your neighbors always hand out. Plus, you don’t need to put on an elaborate costume – or to swipe them from the little trick or treaters in your life – in order to try them. Here are 11 classic candy bar desserts to satisfy your sweet tooth this weekend.

 Abigaile, Hermosa Beach, California
You’re not you when you’re hungry. Luckily, this Snickers-y sweet really satisfies. Executive Chef Tin Vuong piles a rectangle of chocolate with layers of nougat, peanut butter crème, and marshmallow fluff before coating it with chocolate. The bar is finished off with a pool of caramel and crushed peanuts.

Candy Bar Desserts

Sugar Factory American Brasserie, Miami Beach, Florida
We firmly believe the Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup is one of the greatest inventions of all time – the perfect union of salty peanut butter and sweet milk chocolate. Here it has been reinvented as an over-the-top, reverse-minded ice cream sandwich featuring peanut butter cookies bookending a massive scoop of chocolate ice cream. As if that weren’t enough, there are Reese’s Pieces, chocolate sauce, and whipped cream scattered atop it.

Candy Bar Desserts

Trace, Austin, Texas
As anyone who has ever eaten at a state fair or a carnival knows, deep frying makes everything taste better. Case in point is pastry chef Angel Begaye’s dark chocolate candy bar packed with crunchy rice crisps and salted caramel. The sweet ingot is dunked in beignet mix, frizzled golden, and served with warm chocolate dipping sauce.


L’Artusi, New York City
Executive pastry chef Sarah Ewald takes inspiration from both Twix bars and Ferrero Rocher balls. Her candy bar cake features hazelnut cake and praline crunch topped with chocolate ganache, hazelnuts, sea salt, and dark chocolate. It’s completely okay to reach over and high five your dining companion while you’re scarfing it down. We understand what you’re going through and won’t judge.

Candy Bar Desserts

Osteria Morini, Washington, D.C.
Pastry chef Alex Levin is god of the goodies. He elevates the humble Almond Snickers to heavenly heights with his Pralina dessert. Almond praline chocolate cake is accompanied by espresso cream speckled with chocolate-covered almonds and torrone nougat candy gelato. Can we get a hallelujah?

Blog Osteria Morini copy

Bambara, Cambridge, Massachusetts
You’ll never want to eat a regular Snickers after you try the chef Jay Silva’s BamBar. The rich nugget is packed with milk and dark chocolate, Nutella, cashews, nougat, caramel, and peanut butter. Bam!

Blog Bambara 2 copyContinue Reading

Pizza for Dessert: 7 Sweet Slices That Will Blow Your Mind

Usually, pizzas are a savory affair. Pepperoni and mushrooms, sausage and peppers, and prosciutto and arugula are all classic topping combinations – not to mention cheese, and lots of it, please. But now chefs are putting sweet spins on them to create desserts that give new meaning to the phrase pizza pie. Goodbye, meats and veggies. Hello, marshmallows, Nutella, and fruit! Live the dream of eating pizza for dessert (which is almost as good pizza for breakfast) with these seven sweet slices that will blow your mind.

Bar Toma, Chicago. Illinois
Made with Nutella (because Nutella), cinnamon-y graham cracker crumble, and freshly toasted marshmallows, this pizza evokes the s’mores of your summertime memories, campfire not included. This, of course, means your clothes won’t smell like smoke and ashes at the end of the evening. Now that’s sweet!

Blog Bar Toma S'mores Pizza copy

Pizzeria Libretto, Toronto, Canada
Chef Rocco Agostino loves blueberries. So he dapples this limited-edition dessert pizza with the tart ‘n’ sweet blue beauties along with mascarpone, lemon sugar, honey, and fresh mint. Call it a slice of summer anytime.

Blog Pizzeria Libretto Pizza - Photo Credit Pizzeria Libretto copy

Filini Restaurant and Bar, Chicago, Illinois
Nutella has the power to make everything taste better – even pizza. Chef Carolina Diaz slathers the chocolaty-hazelnut-y spread on the crust then adds toasted almonds, marshmallows, and strawberries. A drizzle of balsamic vinegar finishes it off. Truly delizioso.

Blog Filini Nutella 2 copy

Nebo, Boston, Massachusetts
Oh. Yeah. The Christoforo is crisscrossed with Nutella, topped with crushed hazelnuts, and finished off with a sprinkle of powdered sugar. Sounds like our kind of threesome. #menageachomp

Blog NEBO_Chocolate-Nutella-Pizza copyContinue Reading

Carnival Classics: 11 Indulgences Inspired by the Midway

Riding the Ferris wheel, shooting baskets for oversized stuffed animals and looking at a wiggly wobbly reflection of yourself in the fun house mirror is only part of the simple pleasures to be found at a carnival. The other part comes courtesy of the heart-clogging, high-sugar foods you’ll find for sale on the midway. This is not cutting-edge cuisine – most of it is quickly cooked in a deep fryer – nor does it pretend to be. It’s just really good food, even if it doesn’t happen to be good for you. Chefs are having fun with these lowbrow, high-calorie treats via refined riffs on carnival classics. Here are 11 indulgences inspired by the midway.

Landmarc at the Time Warner Center, New York, New York
Perhaps no treat is associated with the midway more than cotton candy. Every table at Landmarc gets a free order of the airy spun sugar confection, which comes in a revolving array of poppy colors. For once, it’s acceptable to lick your fingers in between bites.

Blog Landmarc - Dessert + Cotton Candy copy

Provision No. 14, Washington D.C.
Usually, funnel cake arrives on a grease-dotted paper plate with nothing more than a deluge of powdered sugar. Here it is served as an accompaniment to a whole fried chicken with maple-infused gravy on the brunch menu. Any day that begins with funnel cake is bound to be a good day in our book.

Blog Fried Chicken and Funnel Cake at Provision No. 14 2 copy

Fleur by Hubert Keller, Las Vegas, Nevada
There are the unnaturally pink hot dogs of unknown provenance cooked in dirty water at the carnival, and then there’s the one Hubert Keller makes. Forged out of Wagyu beef, it arrives in a pretzel bun with sauerkraut and a zigzag of mustard. Warning: It may spoil all other hot dogs for you, so proceed with caution.

Blog Wagyu Hot Dog copy

Anthem Kitchen & Bar, Boston, Massachusetts
Deep-frying is an art and a sport for carnival culinarians. The unhealthier the item you’re dropping in the hot oil, the better. This deep-fried Twinkie is a perfect example. Don’t worry; it comes topped with fresh berries, so you can rationalize that it’s actually good for you.

Blog Anthem Fried Twinkie copy

Tico, Washington, D.C.
Chef Michael Schlow takes pillows of Manchego cheese and crusts them with thyme-accented panko to create a Latin-ish play on mozzarella sticks. The savory squares arrive with a sweet ‘n’ tangy pomegranate honey sauce for dipping. We recommend getting two orders because just one won’t do.

Blog Deep Fried Manchego at Tico copy

Alder, New York, New York
Corndogs are a favorite at the fair. But, of course, Wylie Dufresne wasn’t going to put an ordinary version on his menu. The sausages are made with pork shoulder, chicken liver, poblano, and parsley, speared on sticks, dipped in batter, fried, and served with Meyer lemon mustard and poblano relish.

Blog Corndog - Alder copy

Family Meal, Ashburn, Virginia
The joy of the jalapeño popper is biting through the crackly crust and the softened skin of the pepper to reveal the melted cheese core. Chef-owner Bryan Voltaggio has recreated that experience while putting a Southern accent on the flavors by using smoked peppadew peppers and piquant pimento cheese. Y’all will love ‘em.

Blog Poppers at Family Meal 2 copy

Sage, Las Vegas, Nevada
The Pink Cashmere was born when mixologist Craig Schoettler was trying to come up with a fun twist on the Cosmo. He starts by putting a puff of pink cotton candy in a Nick & Nora glass, then pours over it a mixture of Grey Goose Cherry Noir, lime juice, white cranberry juice, and simple syrup. Don’t forget to extend your pinky while sipping it.

Blog ARIA - Sage -  Pink Cashmere copy

Rosa Mexicana, Oxon Hill, Maryland
This is a heart stopper — though perhaps corazón stopper would be more appropriate. Cinnamon-dusted buñuelos (flour tortillas) are ground up and used as a crusting for deep-fried vanilla-chocolate mole swirl ice cream, which is complemented with guajillo-raspberry sauce and whipped cream. The dessert is finished off with freshly fried churros, a staple of state fairs everywhere.Continue Reading

Nine Boozy Milkshakes to Blow Your Mind (and Freeze Your Brain)

Staying breezy and buzzy in the summertime can be difficult. Luckily, someone had the frankly brilliant idea of combining ice cream and booze to create milkshakes and floats for the over-21 set. Whoever thought of that should be given a Nobel. Or at the very least a James Beard Award. Now you can cool down as you drink up these sweet, spirituous swigs. Without further ado, here are nine boozy milkshakes that are guaranteed to blow your mind and freeze your brain.

Ted’s Bulletin – 14th Street, Washington, D.C.
Choose from one of the classic combos – such as Irish Caramel (vanilla ice cream, freshly brewed coffee and Irish Cream) or grasshopper (vanilla ice cream, Kahlúa, and crème de menthe) – or mix and match your favorite flavors. We’re partial to a PB&J&JB (peanut butter and jelly and Jim Beam), though the Millionaire Malt made with 18-year-old Glenlivet is a worthy indulgence.

Blog Boozy Milkshakes Ted's Bulletin copy

Saltwood Charcuterie & Bar, Atlanta, Georgia
You might think you hear a banjo playing if you order this spiked sipper. A few orbs of vanilla moonshine ice cream are dropped into a mason jar mug full of frosty Coke. Consider it deliverance from the usual boring old floats.

Blog Saltwood_Moonshine Coke Float copy

STK Midtown, New York, New York
We believe that doughnuts make everything better. Case in point is this milkshake forged out of cinnamon liqueur and dulce de leche ice cream, which comes with a petite pail brimming with cinnamon sugar-dusted churro bites.

Blog STK Churro Milkshake copy

Heavy Seas Alehouse, Arlington, Virginia
Beer is awesome. So is ice cream. Therefore, a beer float is totally awesome. There are five options, but our favorite is the Peg Leg float featuring the alehouse’s own imperial stout, a couple of generous scoops of vanilla ice cream, and a splash of Coke to add a little sweetness. [Photo by Laura Hayes]

Blog Heavy Seas Alehouse Beer Float Photo Credit Laura Hayes copy

CUT by Wolfgang Puck at The Beverly Wilshire, Los Angeles, California
Studies have shown that regularly eating dark chocolate can lower the risk of heart disease. But what if you consume that dark chocolate in the form of a milkshake amped up with Buffalo Trace bourbon and coronated with plenty of sweet cream? Who cares? We’re drinking it anyway.

Blog CUT milkshake copyContinue Reading