"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.
"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