In the retail chocolate world, Christmas and Valentine's Day reign supreme.
"Christmas is my strongest holiday of all — I spend my entire year waiting for the weather to drop 20 and 30 degrees so I can actually do business," says Katherine Clapner, owner of Dallas chocolatier Dude, Sweet Chocolate. "Christmas is without a doubt my strongest one. Valentine's is very fast and very furious — all last minute everything."
But those aren't the only holidays Clapner memorializes in chocolate. Every year, Clapner makes mini skulls during Halloween. At $3 each, the tiny skulls are filled with bacon fat caramel and sell fast, she says. But this year, she's going big. This week, Dude, Sweet Chocolate is releasing a line of 2 1/2-pound dark chocolate skulls flecked with edible glitter and a gold tooth.
"It's pretty rad, isn't it?" Clapner says of the skulls. "It's solid chocolate, so it's 2 1/2 lbs. of Republica del Cacao South American dark chocolate."
Even radder: the mold for the skulls was made by Dallas artist Joshua King for a project Clapner once did with Wayne Coyne, lead singer of the Flaming Lips. There are only two molds in existence, Clapner says — she owns one and Coyne has the other.
Each skull is $50, and Clapner is making a limited run of 15 once they're released later this week. What does one do with a giant chocolate skull, exactly? Whatever you want, Clapner says — the skulls can be used as a table centerpiece or classic Halloween decoration, and even without refrigeration (assuming it doesn't get too warm), the skulls can last "a couple years," she says. Just "whack it with a cleaver" when you're ready to take a bite, she says. That sounds deliciously macabre to us.
This isn't the first time Clapner has cooked up something spooky for Halloween.
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"I've done, like, messed up doll heads and stuff like that," she says. "Nobody really buys the doll heads — they're so creepy, it's great. I am gonna do some small brains available in a couple weeks."
The brains will be made of marshmallow and fit inside the chocolate skull.
"'Cause why not have a giant brain filled with marshmallow?" Clapner says.
Dude, Sweet Chocolate, 408 W. 8th St. (Bishop Arts), 1925 Greenville Ave. (Lower Greenville) and 1016 E. 15th St., Plano