Who says that Halloween is just for kids? We think grown-ups should get the chance to indulge their inner child come Oct. 31. And what better way to celebrate than with an adults-only Halloween celebration filled with sweets, treats and plenty of festive cocktails. We’ve got all your party bases covered with 10 spook-tastic seasonal recipes that are as fun to prepare as they are to eat.
When it comes to entertaining a crowd, it doesn’t get much simpler or more satisfying than a giant platter of pasta. This Creamy Pumpkin Spaghetti from Pinch of Yum takes everybody’s favorite fall flavor — pumpkin — and creates a luxuriously rich spaghetti sauce loaded with ground turkey, lots of spices and a double dose of tomatoes both sundried and crushed. Served with a side of garlic kale, you not only have a healthy dish to balance out that inevitable Halloween candy binge, but also a great vehicle for fending off hungry vampires. Get the recipe on Pinch of Yum.
Ball of cheese. What could possibly be bad? While the cheese ball may seem like a slightly outdated mode of cheese consumption, it is a snap to make and always manages to get the party conversation started. For a Halloween-themed version of this retro appetizer, try Recipe Girl’s Pumpkin Cheese Ball, which takes a Pimento Cheese-esque spread of sharp cheddar mixed with cream cheese and lots of paprika and shapes it into a round to resemble a faux pumpkin. Whimsical, addicting and such a showstopper! Get the recipe on Recipe Girl.
When it comes to the best Halloween candy, it doesn’t get much better than a buttery, crunchy piece of peanut brittle. Fortunately for all you eager party hosts, it’s also a super easy recipe to whip up. This particular version from The Gracious Pantry uses honey in place of granulated sugar as the base, giving it a natural and slightly more complex flavor profile. Mixed with lots of butter, vanilla and toasty peanuts, you’ve got the ultimate sweet and salty indulgence. Get the recipe on The Gracious Pantry.
Any Halloween party worth its salt has to have something chocolatey in the mix. Life, Love and Sugar’s Spiderweb Chocolate Tart is a chocolate lover’s dream with a chocolate cookie crumb crust and a fluffy, French Silk-style filling. Once chilled and set, the tart gets capped off with a thin layer of chocolate ganache and a few rounds of white chocolate ganache that, with a few strokes of a toothpick, become magically transformed into a spider’s web. Top with homemade candy spiders or spider gummy candies for a swoon-worthy dessert that will have your partygoers begging for the recipe. Get the recipe on Life, Love and Sugar.
What’s the best way to elevate a Halloween party from good to great? Homemade candy! And this adorable homemade candy corn from Hoosier Homemade is a perfect introductory candy-making recipe. Serve as a party snack or package in festive cellophane bags for a sweet send-off treat for your guests at the end of the evening. Get the recipe on Hoosier Homemade.
For a holiday symbolized by a skeleton, bone marrow is a crafty and insanely delicious way to celebrate Halloween in style. A Cozy Kitchen’s recipe roasts beef bones in a very hot 450-degree oven for a few minutes until the inner marrow begins to melt. Once pulled, the bones get plated with crusty slices of bread for dipping and a bright parsley salad to balance out that distinctly rich bone marrow flavor. Be sure to make a big batch of this — it doesn’t stick around for long. Get the recipe on A Cozy Kitchen.
Looking for a Halloween cocktail that is both festive and stress-free? Heather Christo’s Blood Orange Blackberry Rum Punch is just the ticket, encapsulating the Halloween color scheme with blood orange juice, blackberry soda and, of course, plenty of rum. The best part of this punch is that it can easily be made ahead of time and in large quantities so when the party starts, all you have to do is load up a cup and enjoy! Get the recipe from Heather Christo.
Sometimes even grown-ups need a good scare when Halloween rolls around. So why not achieve this effect with some secretly delicious, “gross”-looking food on your Halloween buffet. Sugar Dish Me’s Icky Intestines Bread takes this idea and runs with it by creating a freakishly realistic looking human intestine out of puff pastry and raspberry jam. Simple, delicious food with a big shock factor — now isn’t that what Halloween party fare is all about? Get the recipe on Sugar Dish Me.
A chocolate layer cake never goes out of style, especially those simple, stand-by recipes we all used to enjoy as kids. The Chocolate Fudge Cake from A Pastry Affair is no exception, incorporating buttermilk, cocoa powder and brewed coffee in the base for a moist crumb and intensely chocolatey flavor. But that’s just the beginning. After being stacked three layers high, the whole cake gets coated in chocolate buttercream, topped with a thin coating of chocolate ganache and dotted with homemade meringues shaped like ghosts. A dessert that is as fun to make as it is to eat. Get the recipe on A Pastry Affair.
Halloween is a time to celebrate. Which means it’s probably a good idea to have multiple large-batch drinks on hand to keep the fun going all night long. This Walker Blood Sangria recipe from Cravings of a Lunatic gets its name from the beloved zombie thriller show “The Walking Dead” and combines red wine, pomegranate juice, and Cointreau for a citrusy kick. The deep crimson hue of the punch makes it ideally suited to a Halloween party and can easily be served either punch style or in individual shot glasses. Get the recipe on Cravings of a Lunatic.
Maddie LaKind is a personal chef, caterer and writer living in Ravenswood. For more information about her services, visit her website, madonfood.com.
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