By Jourdan Plautz | Image Tracie Michelle via iStock


Basically, we're cool with any holiday that acts as a carte blanche for candy. 


Halloween rocks now, but it especially rocks when you're a kid and inhaling packets of sugar doesn't give you a crash so epic you have to lay down for a minute. (Sigh. Those were the days.) Of course, no holiday is without its rules and guidelines: none more serious than the pursuit of good trick-or-treating loot. What candy stoked the fires of your little costumed soul? Which dazzling wrappers made you stretch your hand as wide as it would go to maximize your bounty? Shake out those pillowcases, because we're going back in time with four sugar-crazed kids who found a way to MAKE IT THEIR JOB—pastry chefs. 




Jacqueline Dole | The Parlor Ice Cream Co.

“Halloween is my favorite holiday. I grew up in the already spooky woods of New Hampshire and my town went all out. The night started off at Taco Bell with my dad, and then came the trick or treating. All of the old houses went all out—there was even a live rendition of Phantom of The Opera at a barn down the street—but greatest of all, they had the BEST candy. Butterfingers, Kit-Kat, Milk Duds; none of that Air Head/Smarties bullshit!”




Jeni Britton Bauer | Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams

“Hated Bit-O-Honey candy and the hard Bazooka bubblegum. Why did anyone get that? When I was a kid people would make popcorn balls, which I also hated. One year, someone in America found a razor blade in their popcorn ball, and all the moms freaked out. I always liked Reese's Cups, Sprees, chewy Sweet Tarts, and Smarties—and Nerds came out when I was a kid, so they were always a big hit!”




Eric Berley | The Franklin Fountain

“The popcorn balls were memorable, especially the art of the 'gnaw and wrap back up' for later. The orange and black wax paper candies [Ed note: That would be
 the notorious Mary Jane Peanut Butter Kisses, AKA the candy you wish you could forget] were terrible and always last to be taken. Was that peanut? No—worse than peanut. Those were the SPAM of treats.

We tricked-or-treated as pack animals—typically [in] high-end neighborhoods, with king-sized Kit-Kats and Snickers being our sweetmeats. I loved the houses where there was an obvious welcoming light on, but you didn't have to deal with people or awkward social situations. The candy was clearly set out and for grabs. I read the signs and obeyed.”




Katherine Clapner | Dude, Sweet Chocolate

“I loved Reese's or Twizzlers. Or M&Ms. I still love those. Oh! And those little Almond Joys! And popcorn balls! I grew up in a small neighborhood, so there were people who made their own candy. They made a weird mint one in a wax wrapper. And there was another one, it looked like a peanut, and it was peanut butter-y, but it was, like...taffy? Or marshmallowy? [Ed note: Yep. Mary Janes.] And I’m a crazy taffy girl. I loved taffy as a kid. But these were disgusting.

There was one house that was really far away that you went to if you wanted to get the shit scared out of you. It was all the way back in the oak trees. It took, like, five minutes to get to the house from the gravel driveway, but as a kid, it felt like forty days and forty nights. [The guy who owned the house] would have donuts, cotton candy machines, and Sno-Cone machines. It was awesomesauce.”




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