As the sun and the moon trade spots in the Halloween sky, many streets and neighborhoods teem with adorably-costumed, candy-seeking kids; teens eager for sweets (but less inclined to don a costume); and parents, many of whom relish escorting their kids on the annual candy rounds.
If you don’t have trick or treating-age kids, don’t worry. Head on out! For adults, Halloween is turning into a progressive party of sorts—the last chance for house-to-house visits before snow and cold separates neighbors until the spring thaw.
If you’re feeling Halloween hospitality vibes, our goody-loving editorial team pulled together some sweet treats and beverages for you to offer your neighbors. Set up an outdoor food and beverage table, fire up a portable fire pit (safely, of course), and take a seat on your driveway or yard for a front row view of Halloween 2020.
(Contributed by Beth Hill of Woodbury and adapted from Ghoulish Goodies: Creature Feature Cupcakes, Monster Eyeballs, Bat Wings, Funny Bones, Witches’ Knuckles, and Much More! by Sharon Bowers)
- 1 1/2 cups flour
- 1 tsp. baking powder
- ¼ tsp. salt
- 2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
- ½ cup butter
- 3/4 cup sugar
- ½ cup canned pumpkin puree
- ½ cup buttermilk
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
Ingredients for assembly:
- 1 container cream cheese frosting, colored with green paste food coloring
- 18 large marshmallows
- 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
- 18 pretzel sticks
- Chocolate sprinkles or other candy for faces
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line 18 muffin pan cups with paper liners.
Sift flour, baking powder, salt and pumpkin pie spice into a medium bowl, and set aside. Beat butter and sugar in a large bowl with an electric mixer until smooth. Beat in the eggs one at a time. Blend in pumpkin puree, buttermilk and vanilla. With mixer on low speed, add the flour mixture and blend until combined. Spoon the batter into liners. Bake for approximately 18-20 minutes or until a cake tester inserted into the center of the cupcakes comes out clean.
Cool and assemble.
Caramel Apple Bites
- Knudsen’s Hand-wrapped caramels, sliced into fourths
- 2 apples, cored and cubed
Skewer several apple cubes with a piece of caramel on four-inch bamboo skewers or party picks. Serve immediately.
(Contributed by Cindy Erickson of Woodbury)
- 1 oz. white rum
- 2 oz. melon liqueur
- 1 oz. 100 percent pineapple juice
- ½ oz. Sprite
- Plastic eyeball for garnish
Combine ice, rum, melon liqueur and juice in a martini shaker, and shake well. Pour into a martini glass (2/3 full), and add Sprite. Drizzle grenadine over the top with a spoon. Add (but don’t eat!) the eyeball.
Salted Nut Rolls
(Contributed by Renée Stewart-Hester)
- 2 lbs. powdered sugar
- 2/3 cup corn syrup
- 2/3 cup butter, melted
- 2 tsp. salt
- 2 tsp. vanilla
- 12 oz. peanut butter chips
- 2/3 cup corn syrup
- 1 tsp. vanilla
- ¼ cup butter
- Peanuts, blanched and salted
Mix center ingredients, and kneed well. Roll into balls or small logs, and place in the freezer. Melt the caramel ingredients together, and dip the frozen balls/logs into the caramel. Roll them in salted, blanched peanuts. Place on waxed paper to set.
Salted Nut Roll Shot
For guests who’d rather have a sip, try this nod to a classic Minnesota candy bar.
- 3/4 part RumChata liqueur
- 1/4 part butterscotch schnapps
Dip the top of a shot glass with salt or sprinkle some in the glass, and add in the liqueur and schnapps.
Spooky Spiked Halloween Punch
- 1 cup orange soda
- 1/3 cup pinot grigio
- 1 scoop vanilla bean ice cream
Combine the wine and ice cream in a glass. Add orange soda, and stir together.