It seems like school just started, but suddenly Halloween is just around the corner. Kids and parents everywhere are gearing up for that one glorious night when we get to indulge in too many chocolate bars and peanut butter cups, and forget all about that person known as a dentist.
I agree, Halloween candy is awesome! But don't forget that there are tons of other creative Halloween foods — some sweet and some spooky — that are also fun to make and fun to eat this time of year!
1. Hot Dog Mummies
Looking for an easy treat that most kids can make themselves? Try hot dog mummies! All you will need is a can of refrigerated breadstick dough and a pack of hot dogs. Just wrap the strands of dough around the dogs to "mummify" them, then bake, add a couple dots of mustard for eyes, and dinner is served!
2. Squashed Guts
I can't imagine wanting to eat anything called squashed guts, but I could totally see my kids thinking this is pretty cool. And since you make the "guts" by mixing tomato sauce with strands of squash, this recipe might actually be a great way to sneak in some extra vegetables before the crazy candy consumption begins.
3. Pickled Brains
Leave it to Martha Stewart to get this creative with cauliflower. Her pickled brains look super-creepy, which means your kids just might be willing to eat them.
4. Graham Cracker Haunted House
Who says gingerbread houses are just for Christmas? Pick up a box of graham crackers and plenty of Halloween-themed candy at the store, and then get busy making your very own Halloween Haunted House.
In my experience, the easiest way to make a gingerbread house is to slap some graham crackers together with frosting from a jar — no need for fancy architecture — and then get busy decorating. Candy corn, jelly beans, and marshmallow pumpkins and ghosts all make great haunted house decor. The best part? Once you're finished, the houses are edible!
5. Candy Corn Punch
It isn't just food that will get you in the Halloween spirit. For kids, you can make an easy candy corn punch by combining vanilla ice cream, fruit juice, and ginger ale with orange and yellow sherbet (and a liberal dose of food coloring).
If you're catering to an adult crowd, kick it up a notch by serving candy corn cocktails. There are several variations of this drink, but I prefer the one where you infuse vodka with candy corn by soaking the two together for several hours, and end up with an adults-only beverage that actually tastes like candy corn .
6. Pumpkin Cheese Ball
Technically, this one isn't sweet or spooky, but it is a neat Halloween appetizer. Add a stalk of broccoli to the top of a cheddar cheese ball and voila, you have a snack that doubles as a festive pumpkin centerpiece. Garnish with crackers and apple slices, and suddenly you have a delicious (and kid-friendly) Halloween snack.
7. Spooky Black Bean Hummus
This recipe for black bean hummus is both spooky and healthy. Beans, yogurt, and tahini provide lots of energy for hungry tummies, and a fake spider (complete with a web) adds a touch of Halloween spirit. If you're making this for children, serve it with chips and leave out some of the spices and you have a guaranteed winner!
8. Rice Krispie Treat Graveyard
An edible Halloween graveyard? Why not! A pan of Rice Krispie Treats makes an easy base, fancy colored sprinkles decorate "the ground," and Milano cookies look just like headstones. Add a few chocolate-covered pretzel trees and marshmallow monsters, and your spooky graveyard is ready to scare. Want to get even fancier? Try your hand at making this Graveyard Pumpkin Patch Cake from Hershey's.
9. Slimy Jell-O Snacks
To create this creepy Halloween treat, you will need a couple different flavors of Jell-O and plenty of gummy worms. After working your magic, you'll end up with glasses of dirty, worm-infested lake water (which of course is actually just edible Jell-O).
10. Rats Baked In Blood
I have trouble even typing the name, but if it's spooky Halloween food you're looking for, this recipe is it. Basically, it's a variation of baked spaghetti and meatballs, a meal most kids love. The tomato sauce looks like blood, while a little extra doctoring makes the meatballs look like "rats." You can even tell your kids that the spaghetti noodles are worms!
What kind of Halloween food do you serve at your house? Does your family prefer spooky or sweet?