Trick or Treat

Level Up This Halloween with Local Candy

From salty black licorice to creepy chocolate baby heads, Portland makers have everything you need for a sweet Halloween season.

By Katherine Chew Hamilton October 5, 2021

Woodblock Chocolate's Mystic Baby Heads, offered only during Halloween season

Image: Mike Novak

After a year when trick-or-treating and costume parties were public health hazards, 2021 is the year to start ramping up your Halloween—and why not celebrate with locally made treats? Forget the chalky Smarties, the plasticky Laffy Taffy, and the cavity-inducing Tootsie Rolls. Portland’s got the conglomerate candy companies beat, with treats like salty black licorice, superfood halva balls, and creepy chocolate baby heads. Order them online and have them shipped to your Halloween-decorated doorstep, or pick them up in local stores.

Black licorice, popcorn clusters, halva balls, and chakra chocolates are sure to sweeten your Halloween.

Image: Mike Novak

Seven Chocolate Set

Milky Way’s celestial name might remind you of your place in the universe, but to get fully aligned with your center try Chakralot’s Seven Chocolate Set. This box of botanical chocolates comes with an accompanying audio meditation that guides you through the seven chakras, each paired with a different chocolate. The Curry Up aims to aid with digestion, while the Zen Mint is for clearing the mind. Turns out it’s easier to be mindful when there’s chocolate involved. $20,

Salty Black Licorice

While the Good & Plenty crowd (grandparents, historically) is sure to love it already, the chewy, creamy combo of Jacobsen Salt Co’s salty black licorice might even win over non-licorice fans. It mixes anise and sea salt harvested from Netarts Bay together with sugar, molasses, and butter toasted to a golden brown. $12,

Tom Bumble Bar

Calling all Butterfinger lovers: the Portland-made Tom Bumble bar offers the same flaky peanut butter goodness, amped up with quality local ingredients. Choose from crunchy or smooth organic peanut butter combined with Madagascar vanilla and enrobed in dark chocolate. For the indecisive or those who live in a household divided by peanut butter textures, you can also purchase a 50-50 combo pack. $10 for 4 bars,

Caramel Corn Clusters

Homemade popcorn balls from a stranger are a nonstarter. Enter the caramel corn clusters made with air-popped yellow popcorn covered in handcrafted caramel from How Sweet It Is, a Good Food Awards–winning confectionery run by local husband-and-wife team Brian and Pilar Vocker. All of the nostalgia, more of the flavor, none of the stranger danger. $8,

Chocolate Frogs

Mamancy Tea’s founder, Anne Johnson, grew up in Kenya, where drinking tea was a communal event among family and friends. While taking tea sommelier courses in San Francisco, she also studied chocolate making so she could craft chocolates to accompany her teas. These chocolate frogs, made with dark or milk chocolate and filled with caramel, look like they could spring to life with a little Halloween magic. $5.50,

Halva Balls

Chocolate and peanut butter may be a classic combo, but chocolate and sesame make for a next-level pairing. Margaux Muller is a pastry chef by training, but she’s also a longtime advocate for the power of healthy eating. Enter Margalaxy Snacks, her line of vegan, gluten-free, and non-GMO raw desserts and snacks free of refined sugars. These chocolate superfood tahini truffles are the newest addition to the Margalaxy lineup, made with cacao powder, dates, maple syrup, sea salt, and raw tahini all rolled in a sesame seed coating. 4 for $10,

Moonwalk Bar

Cloudforest, the charming little chocolate shop on SE Morrison, sources only the highest-quality chocolate and Ecuadorian vanilla beans. In this bar, Madagascar dark chocolate meets cacao nibs and a trick-or-treating rarity: Pop Rocks. Get ready for a flavor journey out of this world. $8,

Coffee Rum Horchata Caramels

These McMinnville-made caramels combine Willamette Valley dairy with housemade horchata, agave caramel, and coffee-flavored rum from Portland’s Eastside Distilling. $10,

Jelly Pumpkins

Milwaukie sugar shop Enchanté offers a huge variety of gummies, from mojito gummy bears to gummi Legos—and there’s a whole selection of Halloween sweets, too, including orange-flavored jelly pumpkins topped with a green stem, coated in sugar, and bagged up with a cheery orange ribbon. $3.99,

Mystic Chocolate Baby Heads 

There’s really no mass-marketed counterpart for these adorably creepy baby heads sure to haunt your dreams for weeks to come. Even those of us who can’t handle scary movies can probably stomach a haunted chocolate baby head or two. Made with solid 70 percent cacao dark chocolate, these bittersweet babies, available only in October, have been a Woodblock Chocolate favorite for over a decade. $8,

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