Victoria is a stay-at-home mom, author, educator, and blogger at Healthy at Home. She currently lives in Colorado with her family.
So, every year around this time, we start looking forward to all of the holidays coming up. Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas are all of my favorites! However, the first one we get to start thinking about is Halloween, as we normally throw a huge Halloween party complete with scary movies, fun costumes, yummy Halloween treats, and plenty of candy for the kids that come to our door.
I love to cook and love parties, and so do all of our friends, so this is one holiday we look forward to every year. This is our one opportunity every year to make some truly gross and even scary-looking party treats—and have tons of fun doing it.
The Hard Part
One difficulty we’ve had, though, is making treats gross and scary enough to be Halloween-worthy, without scaring everyone so badly or making them so gross-looking (no matter how delicious they may be) that our guests won’t eat them.
In this article, I attempt to share some amazing Halloween party treat recipes—some savory (for dinner, of course) and some sweet—that you can share at your upcoming Halloween party without grossing out your guests so bad they don’t eat all the treats you worked so hard to put together. Normally I would stick to clean-eating items for my recipes, but I know that most people want the "good stuff" during Halloween. So these recipes are going to deviate from the norm. I'll get to working on a list of clean-eating Halloween treats!
Nine Party Treats
This is such a fun time of year that there’s no reason you shouldn’t be able to whip up some great themed treats with little money, little effort, and even give your kids something to help with! Let’s look at some of the great treats you can create:
- Floating Hand Punch
- Pumpkin Doritos Cheese Ball
- Witches' Fingers
- Cake Eyeballs
- Spider Web Dip
- Mummy Dogs
- Apple Monster Teeth
- Strawberry Ghosts
- Spider Cupcakes
The key to getting all of your treats just right, and timed to be fresh and ready for your party, is proper preparation. Many of these dishes you can make ahead of time, like your 7-layer dip and your witch fingers. Some of them must be made in stages, like your floating hand punch and your Doritos cheese ball, and some have to be made on the spot.
If you make sure to have an extra set of hands to help you out and time everything just right, you will have the party that everyone will remember. For more adult parties, feel free to add some great smoky, creepy alcoholic drinks to your already amazing smorgasbord. I hope you enjoy these!
1. Floating Hand Punch
- 2 Plastic (non-powdered) gloves
- 1 gallon of your favorite sherbet flavor
- 1 gallon of your favorite juice
- 2 liters of sprite
- 2 peaches
The hands are going to be the only thing you'll want to make ahead of time. Everything else you'll want to make right as people are arriving. There are enough ingredients for two bowls of punch because you know it will go quickly. To make your floating hands, clean the rubber gloves with water thoroughly. Puree both of your peaches with some water in your food processor or blender.
With help from someone else, fill both gloves with your peach/water mixture to the brim and tie them tight. Immediately put them in the freezer for the party. To make the punch, add half of your sherbet to a large bowl, and pour half of your juice on top, along with one liter of soda. Mix everything gently. The piece de resistance is going to be your hand! Make sure to peel the rubber glove from the hand before dropping it into the bowl. Voila!
2. Pumpkin Doritos Cheese Ball
- 2 (8oz) packages of cream cheese
- 2-3 tablespoons ranch dressing mix
- 3/4 teaspoon of garlic powder
- 2 1/2 cups shredded Cheddar cheese
- 1/2 cups chopped pecans
- 1 bag of Doritos nacho flavored chips
- 1 bag of blue corn chips
- 1 bell pepper stem (you can just pull one off at the grocery store if you don't have any bell peppers at home)
Mix both packages of your cream cheese, your Ranch dressing mix, your garlic powder, your cheddar cheese, and your pecans in a large bowl. Make sure everything is evenly mixed through, then pour it out onto a piece of Saran wrap. Using the Saran wrap, you'll form the entire thing into a round ball.
At this point, you'll want to cover the whole thing in Saran wrap and refrigerate it until you're ready. When it's time to serve, you'll pour out a couple of good handfuls of your Doritos and crush them up really good. Uncover your cheese ball, dump it into the Doritos crumbs, and roll it around to cover it evenly. Serve it with the bell pepper stem pressed into the top, on a plate with your blue corn chips.
3. Witches' Fingers
- 1 oatmeal cookie recipe
- 1 cup of sliced almonds
- 1 cup of strawberry or raspberry jam
Mix your oatmeal cookies according to the recipe directions (you can also use any other cookie mix you desire, peanut butter turns out really nice too). Prepare a large cookie sheet with parchment paper. Once you have your cookies mixed into a dough, you'll want to spoon them out one tablespoon at a time onto a clean counter and roll them thin like fingers.
Roll all of your cookies this way and place them on your cookie sheet to cook. But before you cook them, press an almond into the very tip of each one like fingernails. You will also want to pinch them in various places to look like knuckles and mark each knuckle with small knife marks to make them look more realistic. Bake according to your recipe directions and let them cool.
Finally, remove each almond and dab just a bit of your jam in its place and replace the almonds. This will make it look like blood coming out. You can also dip the "severed" end in jam for presentation purposes to look like you just cut off all of these fingers yourself. Yummy!
4. Cake Eyeballs
- 1 cake recipe of your choosing
- 2 cups of icing of your choosing
- 1 bag of white chocolate chips
- 1 tablespoon of olive oil
- 1 bag of M&Ms
- Several tubes of different (eye) colored decorating icing
Make your cake according to the recipe directions, baking and all. Once your cake is finished, crumble the whole thing into a large bowl. Add your 2 cups of icing into the bowl with your crumbled cake and mix it all together really well. On the side, prepare a large cookie sheet with parchment paper.
When your cake and icing are well mixed, spoon about a tablespoon at a time into your hands and roll them into balls, placing the finished balls on your cookie sheet. Place your filled cookie sheet in the freezer for 30 minutes to set your cake balls. In a medium saucepan, add your coconut oil and chocolate chips and cook on medium low heat to melt them. Stir this constantly to keep your chocolate from burning.
Remove your cake balls from the freezer and, one at a time, drop your balls into the melted chocolate mixture to very quickly coat the cake balls and then remove them, placing them back on your cookie sheet to set. Upon setting, you can then add a dollop of colored decorating icing to the top and place an M&M on top. Use your red gel to create bloodshot streaks down the sides of each one. When all of your cake balls are done, return them to the refrigerator until its time for your party.
5. Spider Web Dip
- 2 cups refried beans
- 2 cups salsa
- 3 medium tomatoes
- 1 bunch of green onions
- 2 cups shredded cheese
- 2 cups guacamole (homemade preferred)
- 1 small package sour cream
- Several plastic spiders
Compile your seven layer dip in the order you would prefer. At our house it goes refried beans, (usually sour cream, but we're saving that for the top) salsa, tomatoes, green onions, shredded cheese, guacamole (so that the whole dip is nice and icky green under the spider web), and finally the sour cream spider web and spiders.
To get the spider web just right, start by finding a pattern you like that you can duplicate on the web, put your sour cream into a small plastic sandwich bag and cut off a small corner. Pipe it one in a spider web pattern just like you would decorate a cake, and add the spiders. Voila! Serve it with tons of fun colored chips.
6. Mummy Dogs
- 1 package of sausage links
- 1 pizza dough recipe
- 1 small bottle of mustard
- (optional) 4 pieces of cheese
Make your pizza dough and roll out really thin. Cut into small squares big enough to wrap around your sausage links. Lay one sausage in the middle of each dough square. With a sharp knife, first cut small slices on either side for the arms, and then one slice up the middle for the legs. Then, on either side of each sausage link, cut the dough into thin slits so that each little slit can wrap around the sausage link mummy, and its limbs, to look like a mummy. Make sure to leave a little bit of room for the face at the top.
Cook according to the recipe directions. Let cool completely and then with your mustard, add two dots for eyes in the space for the face.
7. Apple Monster Teeth
- 4 apples of any variety
- Peanut butter
- Slivered almonds
Cut each of your apples into quarters and remove the seeds. What I like to do is to set to quarters together for the lips. I then cut "teeth" right into my apple slices, but you can substitute pretzels sticks broken in half instead for the teeth.
Fill each apple "mouth" with peanut butter. You could always get creative though and fill them instead with apple butter, drip honey down the sides, or fill them with a jam or preserves instead for a more gory effect.
8. Strawberry Ghosts
- 1 box of fresh strawberries
- 1 bag of white chocolate chips
- 1 tablespoon of coconut oil
- 1 tube of black cupcake decorating icing
Clean your strawberries thoroughly with water and prepare a baking sheet by lining it with parchment paper. Then in a small pot, add your tablespoon of coconut oil and pour in all of your white chocolate chips. Melt your chocolate chips slowly over medium-low heat on the stove, stirring throughout the process to keep them from burning.
When your chocolate is completely melted, grab the leaves of each strawberry, one at a time, and dip them into the melted white chocolate, placing each on the baking sheet after dipping. When all of your strawberries have been dipped and placed on your baking sheet, you will want to put them immediately into the refrigerator to set the chocolate. When it's time for the party, remove your strawberries and draw on the ghost faces with your cupcake decorating icing.
9. Spider Cupcakes
- 1 bag of red gumballs
- 1 bag of red sixlets
- 1 bag of black licorice sticks
- 1 tube of black cupcake decorating icing
- 1 cupcake and icing recipe
Make your cupcakes as usual. These can be any flavor, any color, and can even be iced any way you want. Then it's time to decorate them with your beautiful spiders. Add one red gumball for the spider's body and one red sixlet for the spider's head to each cupcake.
Then cut up each of your licorice sticks into small 1 inch or so sized pieces for the spider's legs on each cupcake. Remember spiders have eight legs. It's easy to forget when you're having fun. Finally, with your decorating icing, give your spiders detailed bodies and eyes to make them look more real.
Cheap and Easy Halloween Favorites
Obviously these are some of the simplest, easiest Halloween treats for your party. Some of the really great ideas include purchasing molds and special cake pans. I'll be putting together a great articles on some of those as well, but wanted everyone to have access to these super cheap and easy favorites of mine!
For more amazing Fall recipes for you, your family, and all of your friends, check out Scrumptious Desserts Perfect for the Fall Season, Yummy Fall Cookie Recipes, and Cupcakes to Put You in the Fall Mood.
Also look at my recipes for kids and my gluten-free article selection!
© 2013 Victoria Van Ness