This Halloween, leave aside the saccharine store-bought candy in favour of some tasty homemade trick-or-treats that will be as fast to disappear as they are to make!
For foodies who mark their calendars for October 31 at the beginning of January – we feel you. Waiting in anticipation for the one day of the year where consuming as much sugar as humanly possible is considered socially acceptable is nothing to be embarrassed about. (Though it’s certainly not healthy…)
Remember the days when hitting the trick-or-treating motherlode as a child was getting a homemade piece of fudge or hand-dipped candy apple from your elderly neighbour who loved to bake?
Now, Halloween has grown over the last half-century to become a commercialized consumer-grab worldwide, with manufacturers pumping out those miniature chocolate bars by the millions. And while it’s okay to indulge – everything in moderation as they say – the additives, chemicals, food colourings, and artificial flavours and preservatives that come with them can make the crash not worth the high of a sugar-rush.
Instead, whether you’re taking your little ones trick-or-treating, or throwing a costume party at home with friends, try out these easy recipes for Halloween treats that are both spooky and scrumptious:
Colourful, crunchy, and sweet, these are the perfect Halloween treat to make with the kids – and can be prepared with ingredients you most likely already have in your cupboard!
• ½ cup butter
• 1 3oz box orange-flavoured Jello
• ¼ cup corn syrup
• ¼ tsp baking soda
• 12 cups popped popcorn
• Tootsie Roll mini candies
• Green candies (Starburst, green apple Tootsie Rolls, Airheads, or Laffy Taffy)
• In a microwavable bowl, melt ½ cup of butter.
• Stir in Jello and corn syrup.
• Microwave again until it reaches a full boil (try one minute. then more if needed). Stir again.
• Mix in baking soda and stir for two to three minutes.
• Mix in popcorn until evenly coated.
• Microwave the whole thing for 30 seconds more. (Or longer if you prefer it crispy instead of gooey.)
• Then, have the kids form them into balls. (Use plastic bags with a little non-stick spray on them as gloves for the kids.)
• Add Tootsie Roll minis for the stems and shape your green candy for the leaf. Be sure to press the stem in while the popcorn ball is still warm and pliable.
Spend more time practicing your Monster Mash this Halloween than in the kitchen whipping up a storm, with these no-bake bites that are as simple (and delicious) as they come!
• 1 ½ cups gingersnap cookie crumbs
• ¼ cup canned pumpkin purée
• 1/3 cup graham cracker crumbs
• 3 Tbsp powdered sugar
• ¼ tsp ground cinnamon
• 1/8 teaspoon salt
• 3 ounces cream cheese, softened
• ½ cup white chocolate chips
• white chocolate chips or white dipping chocolate
• red food colouring
• In a large bowl combine gingersnap crumbs, pumpkin purée, graham cracker crumbs, powdered sugar, cinnamon, salt, and cream cheese. Mix until smooth. Melt ½ cup white chocolate chips and mix into truffle mixture.
• Cover and chill until dough is solid enough to roll into balls – about one hour in the fridge or 30 minutes in the freezer. When cold enough, roll mixture into 12-14 balls. Place a toothpick in each ball.
• Melt remaining white chocolate chips or white dipping chocolate in a small bowl. Use toothpicks to dip each truffle ball into the white chocolate, being sure to coat all sides. Gently shake off excess chocolate. Place chocolate-covered truffle balls on a baking sheet or plate lined with wax paper, parchment paper, or foil. Chill for three to five minutes until chocolate hardens.
• Drizzle more white chocolate over the truffles. Soak the end of a cotton bud in red food colouring. Dab two dots of food colouring to make the mummy eyes. Handle carefully so you don’t accidentally wipe off the eyes. Store chilled in airtight container.
In search of a savoury option that’s more treat than trick? We love the creative simplicity of giving this universal comfort food a cleverly spooky twist. Ooey, gooey, and booey!
• 200ml tomato passata
• 1 Tbsp olive oil
• 1 pack pizza-base mix, 145g
• 4 beef salami slices, cut into bat shapes
• 7 pitted black olives, halved
• 125g ball of mozzarella, torn into pieces
• Preheat the oven to gas mark 7, 220° Celsius, fan 200° Celsius. Put the tomato passata and olive oil in a pan and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for five minutes, or until thickened.
• Empty the pizza-base mix into a bowl and stir in 100ml warm water. Mix to a soft dough, then tip out onto a lightly floured surface and knead for five minutes, or until smooth. Roll out the dough to roughly 24cm in diameter. Transfer to a large, greased baking sheet and turn up the edge of the base for a crust. Leave to stand in a warm place for ten minutes.
• Meanwhile, thinly slice eight olive halves lengthwise into four to make 32 legs for the spider (each spider has eight). Dice two more olive halves to make eyes for the mozzarella ghosts.
• Spread the tomato passata over the base, allowing a one-centimetre border. Top with the beef salami and arrange the torn mozzarella in ghost shapes (with room to spread). Position the remaining olives, cut side down, and arrange four spidery legs on either side.
• Cook the pizza for 15-18 minutes, until bubbling and golden. Remove from the oven and leave to cool for one minute, before adding the reserved olive eyes to each melted mozzarella ghost. Serve immediately.