10/28/2011 03:51 pm ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

The 8 Best Treats for a Grown-Up Halloween

When you're a kid, you have to search outside your home for candy. If you were anything like Phoebe or me, your pantry wasn't exactly bursting at the seams with fruit roll-ups and Pepperidge Farm goldfish and other elementary-school goodies. Halloween was the moment to go out and stuff yourself silly on the Tootsie Rolls, Twix Bars and Peppermint Patties that generous neighbors doled out.

I think there's a moment of awakening for most of us, around the time we first leave home for college, when we realize that if we wanted to, we could eat candy and ice cream for breakfast, lunch, snacks and dinner. Not just on Halloween, but any day, any time, of year. In the end, we usually choose not to, often because there are a lot more delicious, homemade baked goods out there besides free, bite-sized candy bars.

Here's what we'd like to find in our grown-up trick-or-treat bags -- if only unwrapped candy wasn't such a Halloween faux pas.

**Best Treats for a Grown-Up Halloween**

1. Carrot-Raisin Cookies
When you're a grown-up woman, chances are you're watching your weight a little. Perhaps that's even the main reason you don't go trick-or-treating anymore! If so, these cookies are for you. Based on a vegetable, they're low fat, filled with vitamins and vegan. They actually taste good, too!
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2. Sprinkle Cake Bites
Rainbow sprinkles. Yellow cake. Super sweet glaze. These don't seem like the parts of a sophisticated sweet. But cake bites are trendy, Momofuku sells them, and so they must be cool for adults.
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3. Grandma Esther's Mandelbread
These are definitely not kids' cookies. Crunchy and sophisticated, they're best dipped in either coffee or wine. Grown-up indeed!
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4. Peanut M&M Blondies
Extra sweet and full of the kind of candy a kid would adore. The brown sugar gives these addictive bites an amazing, fall-ish caramel flavor. Try them with the contemporary M&M varieties they didn't even have when you were a kid: pretzel or coconut.
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5. Raspberry Crumb Squares
These make you feel nostalgic for childhood without, however, making you feel like a kid. In fact, kids for some reason don't even like these lovely bars, leaving even more for you.
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6. Madeleines
If reading Proust doesn't make you feel like a grown-up, then at least quoting him will. Dip your madeleine into tea, then reminisce about your childhood -- and your college literature class.
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7. Yes, Pe-can! Cookies
Sweets can be political, too. These cookies were inspired by Obama's 2008 slogan, and as he prepares to run for his second term, they're timely again. But, like voting, you've got to be over 18 to enjoy the pleasure of partaking in 'em.
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8. Coffee Sables
Specks of actual coffee beans punctuate these simple butter cookies that looks so plain and boring any kid with half a brain will reject them instantly. They better, or the sugar-caffeine combo will keep them bouncing off the walls all night.
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--Cara Eisenpress and Phoebe Lapine of Big Girls, Small Kitchen