When Oct. 31 rolls around, nothing is better than getting a big group of friends together in fun costumes for a little Halloween revelry. If you've ever been to a rockin' Halloween party, chances are there was a table covered in a spread of spooky foods. It's a Halloween tradition to try to simultaneously frighten and amuse your guests with tasty foods that look like body organs, dismembered digits or creepy crawlies. Here's an intro into what kinds of spooky foods you can serve at your next Halloween bash.
On Halloween, finger foods can mean a couple of things -- hors d'oeuvres that you eat with your hands and hors d'oeuvres that look like human fingers. Let's start with the regular hors d'oeuvres. Sometimes, classic favorites can be tweaked to add some spooky appeal. Take the potato skin. Instead of adding cheddar cheese, add mozzarella for a nice, white ooze. Then drizzle some ketchup on top in an alarming blood-spatter pattern for the final spooky element. In fact, adding a drizzle of ketchup to any finger food that it tastes good with is always a great way to spook it up. You can also make the classic "witch's fingers" cookies. This is easy because you just follow your favorite sugar cookie recipe. Once you have your cookie dough prepared, you roll thin slices and shape them into craggily witches' fingers, topping them off with an almond to form the rotted fingernail. These are a hit at any Halloween party.
If you really want to kick it up a notch this October, you can buy some spooky molds for some of your favorite recipes. Online Halloween retailers are chock full of heart, brain, lung and intestinal molds. Order a selection of these and look for some gelatinlike recipes for your collection of spooky body organs. Pâté is a great choice for a brain mold and you don't have to make it out of liver. You can go with a mixture of cream cheese, gelatin mix, cream soup and diced shrimp and herbs. The resulting color comes out in a pleasing brain gray. Regular old red Jell-O is good to use for a heart-shaped mold, and we're not talking the Valentines Day variety.
Spooky Kid Foods
The one bad thing about your spooky brain and organlike foods is that the kids at the party are unlikely to eat them. And you don't want to serve gross-out food exclusively, even if there are no kids in sight. So in addition to the blood and guts fare, plan to bake some more light-hearted spooky treats, too. Bobbing for apples is a great way to get the kids involved and eating healthy. Chocolate cupcakes with orange icing are a must. Add some small plastic spiders and critters on top to liven things up. The classic deviled egg with a little red food coloring looks creepy and tastes delicious all at the same time. For a quick and easy solution, you can buy some Halloween themed cookie cutters to use on sugary baked goods as well as small finger sandwiches.
Related HowStuffWorks Articles
- "Ancient Origins." History.com, 2009. http://www.history.com/content/halloween/real-story-of-halloween
- "Halloween Molds." khlmolds.com, 2009. http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/nigella-lawson/blood-and-guts-potatoes-recipe/index.html
- "Fun Halloween Foods." foodnetwork.com, 2009. http://www.foodnetwork.com/topics/halloween/index.html
- "Halloween Witches Fingers." dianasdesserts.com, 2009. http://www.dianasdesserts.com/index.cfm/fuseaction/recipes.recipeListing/filter/dia/recipeID/2398/Recipe.cfm
- Lawson, Nigella. "Blood and Guts Potatoes." foodnetwork.com, 2009. http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/nigella-lawson/blood-and-guts-potatoes-recipe/index.html