Naughty and Nice!

“I make homemade chocolates and sweets with an edge,” says Cassandra Fear, owner of Fear’s Confections. She talks to me from the tiny, no-frills kitchen space of her Lakewood shop where she’s throwing all her muscle into a large block of solid caramel that she’ll dip into dark chocolate and top with sea salt.

Pans of just-baked brownies cool nearby, and hundreds of molded chocolates await packaging. Everything she sells is from scratch in small batches by Fear herself—impressive for a self-taught chocolatier with an engineering background.

With a style and attitude more akin to roller derby than Martha Stewart, Fear stays true to her roots and infuses a little quirky fun into her handmade chocolates. “I make what I like, but I love getting suggestions from customers,” she says. “If I can find a mold, I’ll generally make it.” She’s known for her more unusual offerings such as Dr. Who and Star Wars-themed chocolates, mustache pops, and even a full chess set of white and dark chocolate.

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Since her Lakewood shop opened in early October—she was previously on East 185th Street in North Collinwood—she’s been winning over Westsiders with her peanut butter cups, espresso truffles, and pecan turtles.

You can’t help but notice the oversized brownies. Fear’s trademark playfulness comes through in the naming of her creations. There’s Evil Monkey in My Closet (banana), Demon-Kissed (raspberry), and Frostbite (mint) brownies alongside the traditional varieties you’d expect to find. Just hold one of these dense, weighty delights and common sense prompts you to find a friend for sharing (and maybe a huge glass of cold milk).

This winter she is making chocolate-drizzled popcorn, peppermint bark snowflakes, and one of her signature items, Burnin’ Love Bars, with their irresistible combination of mild chili heat and chocolate. Fears proudly produces a regional favorite—sponge candy—which she says originated in her hometown of Buffalo, New York. The chocolate-covered candy has a meltaway, wafer-like center with a subtle crunch and a hint of caramel and molasses.

Needless to say, I couldn’t leave her shop without indulging in a bite of that famous sponge candy (my first, but definitely not my last) and a bag of sweets for the taste-testers back at home. After all, ‘tis the season to be naughty!

Want to indulge? Fear’s Confections is located at 15208 Madison Avenue in Lakewood, 216.481.0888,