5 Classic Halloween Candy Recipes

By: Cristen Conger

You can't have Halloween without the candy. Isabel Pavia/Getty Images

Halloween celebrates both the spooky and the sweet. Sugary treats are an integral part of celebrating Halloween, with hordes of children hitting the streets to trick-or-treat and adults indulging in the gooey, chocolaty leftovers. In 2008, Americans gobbled up more than $2.2 billion of chocolate bars, peppermint patties, bubblegum pops and other Halloween candies, according to the National Confectioners Association.

But rather than dashing off to the store to pick up bags of premade Halloween candy, parents and kids alike can have fun making their own treats at home. These five classic Halloween recipes promise to please even the pickiest goblins and ghouls. Plus, they're frighteningly simple to make.


5. Peanut Brittle

Peanut brittle is a delicious combination of sweet and salty.
Peanut brittle is a delicious combination of sweet and salty.
Jill Fromer/Getty Images

This traditional peanut brittle recipe is simple to whip up and yields enough pieces to feed a small army of ghosts.



  • 1 1/2 cups salted peanuts
  • 1 cup light corn syrup
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 2 tablespoons butter or margarine
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda


Heavily butter large cookie sheet; set aside. Place peanuts in ungreased 8-inch square baking pan. To warm peanuts, place in oven and heat oven to 250°F. Meanwhile, place sugar, corn syrup, water and butter in heavy 2-quart saucepan. Stir over medium-low heat until sugar has dissolved and mixture comes to a boil, being careful not to splash sugar mixture on side of pan. Carefully clip candy thermometer to side of pan (do not let bulb touch bottom of pan). Cook over medium-low heat until thermometer registers 280°F, without stirring. Gradually stir in warm peanuts. Cook until thermometer registers 300°F (hard-crack stage), stirring frequently. Immediately remove from heat; stir in baking soda until thoroughly blended. (Mixture will froth and foam.) Immediately pour onto prepared cookie sheet. Spread mixture to form even layer. Cool about 30 minutes or until set. Break brittle into pieces. Store in airtight container.

Yields 1 1/2 pounds (0.58 kilograms)

4. Caramel Popcorn Balls

Kids love to munch on crunchy caramel popcorn balls.
Kids love to munch on crunchy caramel popcorn balls.
Frances Twitty/Getty Images

For a crunchy combination of salty and sweet, a Halloween cook can't go wrong with caramel popcorn balls, courtesy of TLC Cooking.



  • 16 cups plain popped popcorn
  • 1 package (14 ounces) caramels
  • 1/2 stick of butter
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 2/3 cups shredded coconut
  • 1 package (12 ounces) semisweet chocolate chips
  • 10 to 12 popsicle sticks
  • Sprinkles, candy corn, chopped nuts and other decorations


Place chocolate chips in microwavable bowl. Microwave on high 1 minute; stir. Microwave on high for additional 30-second intervals until chips are completely melted, and stir until smooth.

Place popcorn in large bowl. Cook caramels and butter in a medium saucepan over low heat, and stir until melted. Add salt and coconut. Remove caramel mixture from heat; pour over popcorn. With large wooden spoon, mix until popcorn is evenly coated. Let cool slightly.

When popcorn mixture is cool enough to handle, grease hands with butter or nonstick cooking spray. Shape popcorn mixture into baseball-sized balls; place 1 popsicle stick in each ball. Dip each popcorn ball into melted chocolate, and roll in Halloween decorations, if desired. Place on waxed paper until chocolate is set.

Yields 10 to 12 balls.

3. Graveyard Dirt

Nothing says Halloween like serving up a cup of worms and dirt for dessert. We have a basic "dirt" cake recipe to which you can add sugar cookie tombstones or ghosts for a creepier effect.



  • 1 package (18 ounces) refrigerated sugar cookie dough
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 3 containers (4 ounces each) prepared chocolate pudding
  • 1 1/4 cups chocolate sandwich cookie crumbs (about 15 cookies)
  • Gummy worms


Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease 18 (2-1/2- or 2-3/4-inch) muffin pan cups. Let dough stand at room temperature about 15 minutes. Combine dough and cocoa in large bowl; beat at medium speed of electric mixer until well blended. Shape dough into 18 balls; press onto bottoms and up sides of prepared muffin cups. Bake 12 to 14 minutes or until set. Remove from oven; gently press down center of each cookie with back of teaspoon. Cool in pan 10 minutes. Remove cups from pan; cool completely on wire racks. Fill each cup with 1 to 2 tablespoons pudding; sprinkle with cookie crumbs. Garnish with gummy worms.

Yields 18 servings.

2. Witches' Hats

Cast a tasty Halloween spell with this witches' hats recipe.



  • 1 package (18 ounces) refrigerated sugar cookie dough
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 1/2 cups semisweet chocolate chips, divided
  • 16 ice cream sugar cones
  • 1/3 cup butter
  • 3 cups dry cereal (mixture of puffed corn, bite-size wheat and toasted oat cereal)
  • 1/2 cup roasted pumpkin seeds
  • 1/2 cup chopped dried cherries or raisins
  • 1 1/3 cups powdered sugar


Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit (176 degrees Celsius). Grease cookie sheets; set aside. Combine dough and cocoa powder in large bowl; mix until well-blended. Evenly divide dough into 16 pieces; shape into balls and flatten. Bake 6 to 8 minutes or until set.

Line large tray with waxed paper. Place 1 cup chocolate chips in small microwavable bowl. Microwave on high until melted, stirring at 30-second intervals. Coat outside of sugar cones with chocolate using clean pastry brush. Stand up on prepared tray; let set.

Place remaining 1/2 cup chocolate chips and butter in small microwavable bowl. Microwave on high until melted, stirring at 30-second intervals. Pour chocolate mixture over cereal, pumpkin seeds and cherries mixture, and stir until thoroughly coated. Sprinkle mixture with powdered sugar, 1/3 cup at a time, carefully folding and mixing until thoroughly coated.

Fill cones with snack mix. Brush cone edges with melted chocolate; attach to center of cookies and let set. Decorate hats as desired with melted chocolate, colored sugars and sprinkles.

Yields 16 hats.

1. Candy Apples

Candy apples are an all-time classic Halloween confection.
Candy apples are an all-time classic Halloween confection.
Mitch Hrdlicka/Getty Images

Candy apples are some of the most classic Halloween confections. For a tasty twist on this old favorite, try out Turtle Caramel Apples.



  • 4 large Golden Delicious or Granny Smith apples
  • 4 craft (popsicle) sticks
  • 1 14-ounce package of caramels
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 3/4 cup dark corn syrup
  • 2 jars (3 1/2 ounces each) macadamia nuts or pecans, coarsely chopped
  • 1 semisweet chocolate candy bar (about 2 ounces), broken into small pieces


Line 13-inch by 9-inch baking pan with waxed paper; set aside. To prepare apples, wash and dry completely. Remove stems. Insert craft sticks into centers of apples. Combine caramels and water in small saucepan. Simmer over low heat until caramels melt and mixture is smooth, stirring frequently. Immediately dip apples, one at a time, into caramel to cover completely. Scrape excess caramel from bottom of apple onto side of saucepan, letting excess drip back into saucepan. Immediately roll apples in nuts to lightly coat, pressing nuts lightly with fingers so they stick to caramel. Place apples, stick-side up, on prepared baking sheet. Let stand 20 minutes or until caramel is set. Place chocolate in small resealable food storage bag; seal bag. Microwave on medium power 1 minute. Turn bag over; microwave on medium 1 minute or until melted. Knead bag until chocolate is smooth. Cut off very tiny corner of bag; pipe or drizzle chocolate decoratively onto apples. Let apples stand 30 minutes or until chocolate is set. Store loosely covered in refrigerator up to 3 days. Let stand at room temperature 15 minutes before serving.

Yields 4 candy apples.

Lots More Information

Related HowStuffWorks Articles


  • Editors of Publications International, Ltd. "Caramel Popcorn Balls." TLC Cooking.com. (July 15, 2009).https://recipes.howstuffworks.com/caramel-popcorn-balls-recipe.htm
  • Editors of Publications International, Ltd. "Mud Cups." TLC Cooking.com (July 15, 2009). https://recipes.howstuffworks.com/mud-cups-recipe.htm
  • Editors of Publications International, Ltd."Traditional Peanut Brittle." TLC Cooking.com (July 15, 2009).https://recipes.howstuffworks.com/traditional-peanut-brittle-recipe.htm
  • Editors of Publications International, Ltd."Turtle Caramel Apples."TLC Cooking.com (July 15, 2009).https://recipes.howstuffworks.com/turtle-caramel-apples-recipe.htm
  • Editors of Publications International, Ltd. "Witches' Snack Hats." TLC Cooking.com. (July 15, 2009).https://recipes.howstuffworks.com/witches-snack-hats-recipe.htm