Halloween is almost here! If you’ve been summoned to supply treats for some local ghosts and ghouls and don’t know where to turn, don’t scream! With so many fun and easy spooky foods, there’s no need to fear. A little kitchen hocus-pocus is all you need to scare up some festive grub—whether for a sinister family meal or an entire zombie mob.
To try to tame the intake of sweets, be sure to set out some savory—and even (gasp!) healthy—alternatives. You can pull together this haunted hummus plate in a hurry. Just spread store-bought hummus on a platter, plant some broccoli trees, and construct a pretzel twists fence. Then sink some thin cracker tombstones into the spooky scene. To turn hard-boiled eggs into ghosts, use a paring knife to make small slits in the whites, and then push in capers or bits of black olives for their frightening features.
A classic party snack, cheese straws take a terrifying twist when modeled into pointy witches’ fingers. Simply shape the dough to suggest these single digits, securing sliced almond fingernails into their tips. To make: Pulse 5 tablespoons cold butter, 1 cup shredded cheddar, 3/4 cup flour, 2 tablespoons cornmeal, and 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper in a food processor until combined; the texture should resemble wet sand. Add one large egg and pulse until the dough holds together. Pat the dough into a disc and chill. Roll out and shape as desired. Sprinkle with coarse salt and bake at 350 degrees until golden, about 15 minutes.
Fruit usually doesn’t have a ghost of a chance against candy—unless you give it some extra appeal! Carve the skins of mandarins with a paring knife to create jack-o-lantern faces. And make chattering apple teeth by sandwiching mini-marshmallows between two apple slices, using your favorite nut butter. For a monster mouth, use green apples and slivered almonds stuck into the fruit. You can also craft pointy canines by cutting larger marshmallows—use them to fashion vampire fangs.
Whether you want to bake up a whole haunted house confection or just a batch of cupcakes, devil’s food is a sure-fire Halloween hit. Smother it with rich chocolate frosting and, for an easy creepy scene, use store-bought chocolate-covered grahams, or homemade cut-out cookies to create a sinfully delicious cupcake graveyard.
Ghost (Egg) Whites
It’s scary how simple it is to sculpt these spooky spectral shapes from egg whites and sugar. Mini chocolate chips are all you need to give them their phantom faces. Kids will enjoy the process as well as finding these sweet ghosts suddenly floating in hot cocoa, sitting on a scoop of ice cream, or haunting any dessert plate. To make meringue: Combine 2 egg whites with 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar and whisk on low to combine. Increase the speed to medium and slowly add 1/2 cup sugar. Beat on high until stiff and glossy. Add 1/4 teaspoon vanilla and mix until incorporated. Line two baking sheets with parchment and pipe or spoon meringue into ghost shapes an inch apart on the sheets. Add mini chocolate chips for eyes and mouths, then bake in a 200-degree oven until dry to the touch but not browned, 1–2 hours, depending on size.
We hope this ghoulish food adds a little fun to your fright night festivities! Be sure to share your Halloween food ideas in the comments below.
All photos courtesy of Patrick Stigeler, Artisanal Imaging, LLC, all rights reserved.