If you're throwing a Halloween bash this year, then choosing the right foods to serve can add to the spooky fun. Whether you are making old favorites or trying something completely new, Halloween-themed foods are a great way to celebrate the season.
Some Halloween favorites mix up easily in the kitchen, but pump up the fun. Some to try include:
- Apple bites: Create mouths out of apples by cutting them quarters. Cut an interior wedge along the skin, leaving some of the skin around the edges to form lips. Stick slivered almonds in for teeth.
- Carrot fingers: Use a little cream cheese to stick sliced almonds on the tapered tips of baby carrots to form a fingernail. Stick the carrots upright in a bowl of dip so it appears the dip has fingers sticking out of it.
- Egg eyeballs: Make your favorite deviled egg recipe, and top with 1/2 black olive to make eyeballs.
- Brains and eyeballs: Making this treat is as simple as whipping up your favorite spaghetti and meatballs recipe.
- Hotdog mummies: Wrap frankfurters in bread stick dough, leaving a patch open where the "face" sticks out. Bake according to dough instructions, and then place two dots of mustard on the "face" to make eyes.
- Worms and dirt: Whip up a batch of chocolate pudding. Place in plastic cups, and top with crushed chocolate cookies for "dirt," and gummy worms.
- Witches' wands: Dip the ends of large pretzel sticks into melted white or milk chocolate, and then into colorful sprinkles.
- Witch hats: "Glue" a chocolate kiss to a fudge covered cookie with decorator's icing, and then pipe on a ribbon or bow to create a witch hat.
- Gelatin brain: Pour a little gelatin in a brain mold for a gross, wiggly treat.
Many party goers enjoy traditional fare like popcorn balls and candied apples, but with a little creativity you can also use new recipes that make your party unique.
Candied apples on your table are a sure sign that autumn has arrived. They are covered in shiny red candy and inside is a tart and juicy treat. Red candied apples are most common, but for a cool Halloween party food consider changing the color a bit. The recipe for candied apples is as easy as simple syrup, which is what you start with to make the coating. This recipe is good for about 12 apples or more if you use smaller apples. Use Fuji, Pippin or Cripps Pink if you can find them.
To make this recipe you will need:
- 12 apples (more if they are small)
- 12 wooden sticks (one per apple)
- 2 cups of water
- 5 cups of sugar
- ¾ cup of corn syrup (to help prevent the sugar from crystallizing)
- 1 teaspoon of orange food coloring (2 drops of yellow food coloring and one drop of red) *Adjust as needed or to suit the color you like best)
- Parchment paper, or if you have them, Silpats.
- Wash and dry your apples.
- Insert the stick into the bottom of the apple so that the stick is at least halfway into the apple.
- Put the sugar, water and corn syrup into a saucepan.
- Once the mixture becomes very liquidy start to add the food color until you get the desired shade of orange.
- Bring the syrup to a boil and cook until it reaches 290 degrees. If you do not have a candy thermometer you can scoop a bit of the syrup out of the pan with a spoon and drop it into cold water. If the syrup turns into threads that are really firm but still flexible when removed from the water (soft-crack stage) then you are good to go.
- Remove the syrup from the heat and dip the apples into it one at a time, working quickly before syrup sets.
- Place the apples on the parchment paper or silpat and let cool.
- For a very cool looking arty effect make a half recipe of the candy syrup above and color it black.
- When it gets to the soft crack stage remove from the heat and use a fork to drizzle the black coloring over the orange candied apples.
Popcorn balls are a Halloween tradition.
You will need:
- 1 ½ cups sugar
- 1 cup brown sugar
- ½ cup corn syrup
- 1 cup of water
- 1 tablespoon of butter
- 3 ½ quarts of popped popcorn (unpopped kernels removed)
- Mix the sugars, the corn syrup and the water together in a saucepan and heat over a medium flame until sugar is completely dissolved.
- Add the butter.
- Continue to cook until the syrup is 240 degrees or at the soft ball stage.The soft ball stage is when a small amount of the syrup is added to cool water and it forms a soft, malleable ball.
- Put the popped popcorn into a large bowl.
- Add salt.
- Pour the syrup over the popcorn.
- Wear gloves or butter your hands and toss the popcorn with the syrup and then form into balls.
Scary Halloween Party Snacks
Round out your offerings with simple party snacks you can make yourself or purchase from the grocery store.
- Trail mix with candy corn
- Small sandwiches made on bread cut with Halloween cookie cutters
- Seasonal cupcakes and cookies frosted with orange or black butter cream
- Raisins sprinkled into white chocolate covered pretzel sticks (bugs in a bone yard)
- A tray of black olives (rotting eyes) and veggie sticks (severed fingers)
- Jell-o jigglers cut with Halloween cookie cutters
- Crisped rice treats with candy corn
- Oranges with drawn-on jack-o-lantern faces
- Marshmallow "ghosts" with eyes and a mouth piped on in decorating icing
- Wedge shaped crackers with white and orange cheese arranged on top to make it look like candy corn
- Dip served in a hollowed out pumpkin
Uses these ideas as is, or allow them to serve as a starting point for your own creativity. In order to serve great Halloween food, you just need to use your imagination, and you'll create a spread that gives your guests a great Halloween experience.