Ghoulishly Good Treats

Freaky food for your fright-night fun!

Are you hosting a groovin' in the graveyard party and need some snacks for the buffet table? Or maybe you are looking for some quick and easy noshes to get in your little goblins' tummies before they head out the door for trick-or-treating? Or... maybe you just think festive food is fun food. Regardless, we've got you covered with these delicious Halloween-themed snack ideas. They're quick and easy--and some of them are even pretty dang healthy (a bonus, considering we're all about to eat our body weight in mini candy bars).

Monster Mouths

These tick all the boxes...healthy, easy to assemble, and super cute. We've got some ingredient ideas for monster faces here, but really, the sky's the get creative!

• Large apples, green or red
• Creamy peanut butter
• Sliced cheese (cheddar, cojack, or other orange cheeses all work well)
• Strawberries sliced vertically
• Yogurt-covered nuts or raisins, pepitas, or mini marshmallows for teeth
• Edible eyes (found in the baking aisle at most grocery and craft stores) (optional)

1. Prep your "face parts": Core and cut apples into quarters. Remove strawberry leaves and slice fruit vertically into thin strips (making roughly triangle shaped slices). Cut triangles of cheese of approximately the same size as berries.

2. Cut a mouth-shaped pocket into the skin side of apple quarters. The apple slice should look like a cat eye. (If you go all the way through don't worry. You can cover it with the PB and the tongue or teeth.)

3. Put a layer of PB over the top and bottom part of the "mouth". Add as much as you just needs to be thick enough to hold the teeth in place.

4. Make a face! Here's where you get to be creative. For a basic mouth, simply add a row of yogurt-covered nuts or raisins or marshmallows, standing vertically across the mouth. Want to take it to the next level? Add a tongue first, using strawberry or cheese triangles in the PB. Then, add a row of top and bottom teeth using pepitas or sunflower seeds. Do top and bottom teeth made from pepitas. If you want to add eyes, simply add a tiny dollop of PB and stick on the eyes... give your friends a cyclops look, a double-orbed baleful glare, or have them turn many eyes to the world...whatever you like!

(Editor's tip: If carving out a mouth is more work than you'd prefer, you can also just cut your apple into 1/8ths, and use pairs of slices for the lips. You will have to make a single row of teeth, to hold the slices together, but that's a-okay!)

Boo-nanas in the Graveyard

Arranging all these little guys on your table, buffet, or platter is half the fun. (Why not invite the monster mouths over to play, too?)

• Bananas
• Mini chocolate chips (regular size or a combo work, too!)
• Clementines or tangerines
• Stalk of celery
• Cilantro or parsley (greenery optional)

1. Peel bananas and cut in half. Stand the bananas, cut side down.

2. Gently poke two mini chips, pointy-side in, into the banana at the top for eyes. Add a third below for the mouth (if using a mix of sizes, do small chips for the eyes, and large for the mouth). Tip: you can also use a small amount of peanut butter as an adhesive, if you are having trouble getting the eyes to stay in.

3. Peel tangerines/clementines.

4. Cut off several cilantro/parsley leaves and set aside (be sure to leave a bit of stem on them). Cut celery lengthwise into thirds and then across into 1/2 inch pieces. 

5. Wedge the celery pieces and a leaf into the tops of the peeled fruit to resemble pumpkins.

6. Arrange ghosts in your pumpkin patch!

Tip: A small dab of chocolate frosting or cake decorator's gel or chocolate sauce can be used in place of chips, if you so desire.

Yummy Mummy Dogs

You can, of course, use any pre-cooked hot dog, sausage, or bratwurst-type product for this, but we have found that regular, classic beef or pork hot dogs heat evenly and quickly, and are optimal for this recipe. Want mini-mummies? Try cocktail wieners!

• Hot dogs
• Refrigerated crescent dough roll (perforated or single-sheet will work)
• Cheese slices (American or cheddar work great, but you can use anything you have on hand...or omit cheese altogether)
• Candy eyes (optional)
• Ketchup, mustard (optional)

1. Preheat oven to 375F. Line baking sheet with piece of parchment paper for easy clean up and set aside.

2. Open and unroll dough onto a cutting board. (If you are using pre-perforated, gently smoosh the perforations together so you have a solid sheet of dough.) 

3. Cut dough into 1/4" strips across the short side. You may find it easier to quarter your dough into rectangles, and cut the strips out of the smaller shapes, but longer strips work fine, too.

4. If using cheese, cut each cheese slice into four long rectangles. Place one hot dog on each slice, parallel to the cheese.

5. Take one strip of dough and begin to wrap it around the hot dog and cheese, crisscrossing in places, so it looks like "bandages". If you did single long strips of dough, you will most likely need two strips. If you did quarters cut into strips, you may need up to 4 strips. Stretch dough as needed to have bandages go from head to foot (but don't completely cover the hot dog--remember, these are mummy bandages, so there should be gaps). Be sure to leave a small space near the top for your mummy's "face".

6. Place mummies, cheese down, on the baking sheet. Lightly spray with cooking spray. Bake for 12-17 minutes, until dough is golden and hot dogs are warmed through.

7. Remove from oven, and adhere candy eyes to the face using small drop of ketchup or mustard. If you don't have candy eyes, use a small dot of ketchup for the eyes.

Witch Fingers

Uber-creepy witch fingers are a great addition to your Halloween table. You can keep them simple, or jazz them up. Channel the Wicked Witch of the West and use green food coloring in your dough. Add extra jam and some props and stage a scary tableau. Serve them in a mini-cauldron or have them reaching up out of a dirt cake or other "graveyard" scene. As with all of our treats this month...they are designed to show off your creative side for our favorite gloriously spooky, be anyone and anything you want, day!

• Vegetable oil cooking spray
• 2 cups all-purpose flour 
• 1/2 teaspoon baking powder 
• 1/4 teaspoon salt 
• 1 stick butter, room temperature 
• 1 cup sugar 
• 1 large egg, at room temperature 
• 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract 
• Almonds (sliced or whole work)
• 1/2 cup raspberry or strawberry jam (you can also use red decorator's gel, or red frosting)

1. Preheat oven to 325F. Spray a rimmed baking sheet with vegetable oil cooking spray or line with a silicone baking mat or parchment paper and set aside.

2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.

3. Beat the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy, scraping down the sides of the bowl with a spatula as needed, about 2 to 3 minutes. Beat in the egg and vanilla until smooth. Gradually beat in the flour mixture until a dough forms. (A paddle attachment is great for this, but not required)

4. Using about 1 1/2 Tablespoons of dough at a time, roll the dough between your palms into 5-inch-long fingers about 1/2-inch thick. At the finger tip, place a small dollop of jam and firmly press an almond into the end of each finger to make fingernails. 

6. Make several horizontal cuts, about 1/4 inch deep and 1/2 inch long, in the center of each finger to make knuckles. Press the dough on either side of the cuts to give a knobby shape to the knuckles. 

7. Arrange the fingers on the prepared baking sheet and bake until light golden,16 to 18 minutes. Transfer the fingers to a wire rack and cool completely.

8. In a small saucepan, heat the jam over low heat until warm, about 2 minutes. Dip the blunt ends of the fingers in the warm jam and arrange on a platter. You can also frost the ends of the fingers or use a decorator's gel if you don't have jam. 

Adapted from Food Network

Spooky Spiderweb Pizzas

The recipe here is for mini pies, but it can easily be made as a whole pizza with lots of spiders by rolling out the dough as is, or by using a pre-made crust.

• Pre-made pizza dough (one package) or a roll of crescent dough
• String cheese (approximately 4 sticks)
• Jar of pizza sauce
• Large, pitted whole black olives

1. Preheat oven according to crust directions.

2. Peel string cheese into thin strips. Try to keep all the strips a uniform thickness. Cut olives in half lengthwise.Take about half of those and cut into thin strips to form the spider legs (you will need 8 legs per body).

3. Unroll crescent dough or roll out pizza dough to desired thickness. Using a cookie cutter or glass, cut out circles of 3"-5" across. Place circles on baking sheet.

4. Spread a spoonful or two of sauce on circles. Take strips of string cheese and lay them out in a web pattern on each pizza.

5. Bake for 10-12 minutes (this will depend on your crust material--see package directions for guidance), or until crust is golden and cheese is melted.

6. Remove from oven. 

7. Add spiders. Place one olive half in the middle of the "web", and add 4 olive strips onto each side of the body to make the legs. Repeat for each pizza.

Tip: By rearranging your cheese strips, and using round olive slices for eyes, you can also make mummy minis!

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