Strawberry-monsters-620-02

One of the best things about the Halloween season are all the ghoulishly fun treats you can make and share with friends and family—especially if you’re hosting a party this October. Need a few new recipes to add to your repertoire? Check out these fun ideas so that you can also create memorable and tasty snacks that will have everyone howling this Halloween. And because there’s already plenty to keep you busy throughout everyone’s favorite fright-filled holiday, many of these recipes don’t even require you to do any cooking at all.

Eyeball Cookies

Don’t consider yourself a great baker but want to make some awesome cookies this Halloween? These delightful Eyeball Cookies from Food.com are not only tasty but are a no-bake recipe to boot (just a bit of microwaving and some elbow grease is all you need), making for an easy dessert idea that anyone can create.

What You’ll Need:

  • 1⁄2 cup of softened butter
  • 1 1⁄2 cups of peanut butter
  • 2 cups of powdered sugar
  • 1 tablespoon of vanilla extract
  • 12 ounces of white dipping chocolate (chips will also work)
  • 1⁄2 cup of mini chocolate chips
  • Blue food coloring
  • Red food coloring
  • Wax Paper

First, cream the butter and peanut butter together, making a smooth mixture. Then beat in the vanilla extract and sugar. Mix thoroughly and chill for 30 minutes. Then, you’ll roll your mixture into small teaspoon-sized balls and chill them on wax paper for another 30 minutes.

After they’re cooled, melt the white dipping chocolate in the microwave and, using two spoons, dip the eyeballs into the white chocolate. Let your dipped cookies cool on waxed paper until firm (20 minutes in the fridge should do the job). Then, pour a drop or two of blue food coloring into the remaining melted white chocolate and carefully make a round iris on the eyeball, immediately pressing a miniature chocolate chip in the center for a pupil.

If you want to give your eyeballs the bloodshot effect (and who wouldn’t), dip the tiny end of a toothpick in red food coloring and draw lines from the pupil outward toward the edges of the ball. Let them set for another 30 minutes after finishing the decorations and enjoy!

eyeball-cookies

Snickers Taffy Apple Salad

I had a friend who always made a killer taffy apple salad, but I think this version, complete with a Snickers twist, sounds like a delicious edition that should please all your favorite goblins and ghouls this fall. Once again, for those of you who don’t cook much, this Snickers Taffy Apple Salad makes for a great dessert option without a lot of fuss and mess.

Just a note: my recipe below differs a bit from the original in the link, but this is the version I personally enjoy the most.

What You’ll Need:                           

  • 6 full-size Snickers candy bars, chilled and chopped into small pieces
  • 6 apples, cored and chopped into bite-sized pieces (Red Delicious or Granny Smith work the best) 
  • 12-ounce container of Cool Whip
  • 5-ounce box of instant vanilla pudding (use as dry mix)
  • 5-ounce box of instant butterscotch pudding mix (use as dry mix)
  • 1/2 cup of chopped peanuts
  • 1/2 cup of caramel ice cream topping or 1/2 cup of caramel apple dip

First, you will mix together the full container of Cool Whip and both dry pudding mixes. Next, chop up your apples and chilled Snickers into bite-sized pieces, then combine them into your mixture along with the chopped peanuts. Finally, take your caramel and drizzle it over the top of your Snickers Taffy Apple Salad and then let it all cool for two hours before serving.

snickers-taffy-apple-salad

Peanut Butter Acorn Cookies

Who doesn’t love a little peanut butter and chocolate combined together for a delicious treat? These Peanut Butter Acorn Cookies from Country Living are adorable and easy to make, offering a twist on the peanut butter sugar cookies I love to make during Christmas. These only take about an hour to make and will undoubtedly be the hit of any party you serve them at this Halloween.

What You’ll Need:

  • 3/4 cup of smooth peanut butter
  • 3/4 cup of granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tablespoon of flour
  • 1/2 cup of mini chocolate chips
  • 48 Hershey Kisses

Before you start, preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Then combine your peanut butter, sugar, vanilla extract, egg, and flour in a large mixing bowl, using an electric mixer to ensure a smooth consistency. Next, spoon your dough, separating it into 1/4 teaspoonfuls and then flattening each section into a dome-like shape onto your cookie sheet.

Bake your cookies for about 10 minutes or until they are golden around the edges, rotating your cookie sheet after five minutes to ensure even baking. After they’re done, let the cookies cool on the baking sheets for 10 minutes. While you wait, microwave 1/4 cup of the mini chocolate chips in a small bowl for 30 seconds, stirring at 10-second intervals.

Then, dip the bottom of each Hershey Kiss in melted chocolate, and place it on the flat side of each cookie, allowing the melted chocolate to act as an "adhesive." You will use the same melted chocolate to affix a mini chip stem to the top of each cookie as well, and that will complete your acorn cookies. Chill in the refrigerator for 20 minutes before serving.

peanut-butter-acorn-cookies

Marshmallow Witches

Here’s a dessert idea that little hands can also help out with, especially since these adorable Marshmallow Witches from Taste of Home require zero baking at all! All you need to do is gather your ingredients, decorate the marshmallows and in just a few moments, these tasty treats are ready to eat!

What You’ll Need:

  • 1/2 cup of vanilla frosting, divided
  • 36 miniature chocolate chips
  • 12 large marshmallows
  • 1 drop each of green, red and yellow food coloring
  • 1/4 cup of flaked coconut, untoasted
  • 12 chocolate wafers
  • 12 miniature Reese's Peanut Butter Cups
  • 12 Hershey Kisses
  • Wilton No. 14 Open Star Decorating Tip

First, you’ll start off by creating your witch’s face. Using the vanilla frosting, dab the bottoms of three mini chocolate chips and press them onto the front side of your marshmallow, using two for eyes and one for the nose. Next, you’ll need to create her hair by combining one drop of green food coloring and one drop of water in a baggie along with the flaked coconut. Shake well to create green strands of hair. Then, add some vanilla frosting to the backsides of your marshmallows (not the face sides) and sprinkle some of the green coconut flakes onto the frosting.

For the witch’s hair, combine one drop of green food coloring and a drop of water in a small plastic bag; add in the coconut and shake well. Spread a small amount of frosting on the sides of the marshmallows; press coconut hair onto the frosting layer and let it set. Then, put 3 tablespoons of the vanilla frosting in a small plastic bag and tint it orange using a drop of red and yellow food coloring. Set it aside.

To create your witch hats, spread a tiny dab of the remaining frosting in the center of chocolate wafers (if you can’t find normal chocolate wafers, Oreo cookies work, too) and press a Reese's Peanut Butter Cup upside down onto the layer of frosting. Next, lightly spread the bottoms of the Hershey Kisses with some frosting and place them on top of the peanut butter cups. Cut a small hole in the corner of the pastry or plastic baggie and insert the Wilton No. 14 Open Star Decorating Tip (these can be found at Michaels for only 99 cents each) into a corner of the bag. Fill the baggie with the orange frosting and pipe stars around the base of each peanut butter cup so that it looks like a band on each hat. Finally, secure the hats to each witch by using just a dab of frosting and then you’re all set!

marshmallow-witches

Graveyard Sheet Cake/Cupcakes

Want to bake a creepy cake but don’t have a ton of time? Here’s an easy way to create a delicious graveyard that everyone will enjoy eating, right down to the Pepperidge Farm tombstones and Oreo cookie dirt piles.

What You’ll Need:

  • 1 box of pre-mixed cake (Betty Crocker, Pillsbury, etc.)
  • 1 container of pre-made chocolate frosting (Betty Crocker, Pillsbury, etc.)
  • 1 package of Pepperidge Farm Milano Cookies
  • 1 package of Pepperidge Farm Bordeaux Cookies
  • Oreo Crumbs (6-8 crushed Oreo cookie wafers)
  • Brown decorating gel (most common is from Wilton)
  • Gummy worms & skeleton decorations (optional)
  • 1 tin of Pepperidge Farm Pirouette Cookies (optional)

First, you’ll prepare the pre-mixed cake as directed on the box. Let the cake cool for an hour (putting it in the refrigerator for 30 minutes usually helps speed up the process) and then frost as usual. While your frosting sets, prepare your graveyard headstones by writing "RIP" on one-half of each of the Milano and Bordeaux cookies using the decorating gel before setting them in the fridge to harden for 10 minutes.

Once your headstones are ready and your frosting is set, place them into your cake by pushing the undecorated half down into the dessert, creating your delicious graveyard. Next, take your Oreo crumbs and make small piles of them at the base of your gravestones. If you want to add some more frightening flourishes to your Graveyard Cake, you can create a fence out of Pepperidge Farm Pirouette Cookies by cutting each cookie into fourths and placing them around the perimeter of your cake. You can also buy small skeletons to lay around the graveyard or you can even add some gummy worms to give your dessert that "dirt" feeling.

What’s great about this idea is that you can also create adorable Graveyard Cupcakes as well, adorning each treat with its own headstone and dirt pile.

graveyard-cake

graveyard-cupcake

White Chocolate-Dipped Strawberry Ghosts

Looking to make a spooktacular treat that everyone will love but don’t have hours to spend slaving away in the kitchen? Then try these fun White Chocolate-Dipped Strawberry Ghosts from Taste of Home that should scare up some compliments at your Halloween party this year.

What You’ll Need:

  • 30 fresh strawberries
  • 8 ounces of white baking chocolate, chopped (you can also use white chocolate chips)
  • 1 teaspoon of shortening
  • 1/8 teaspoon of almond extract
  • 1/4 cup of miniature chocolate chips

Before you start creating your ghostly treats, you’ll need to wash all the strawberries and gently pat them down with paper towels until they are completely dry. In a microwave-safe bowl, slowly melt down your white chocolate and shortening together at 50 percent power, stirring every 10 seconds until smooth. Then, stir in the almond extract.

Next, take your strawberries and dip them in the white chocolate mixture and then place them on a waxed paper-lined cookie sheet, allowing excess chocolate to form the ghosts' tails at the bottom. Immediately press two mini chocolate chips into the coating to create the eyes and then freeze for 5 minutes.

In your microwave, melt the remaining chocolate chips at 50 percent power, stirring every 10 seconds until smooth. Dip a toothpick into the melted chocolate and draw a mouth onto each ghost and chill in the refrigerator for 30 minutes before serving.

strawberry-ghosts

Chocolate Mice Cookies

Here’s another cute cookie idea for Halloween that requires no baking at all! These Chocolate Mice Cookies are covered in chocolate cookie crumbles and have a sweet, creamy center to them. You can also create adorable white mice treats by rolling your cookie mixture in confectioner's sugar instead of the chocolate cookie crumbs, allowing you to add a little variety this Halloween.

What You’ll Need:

  • 4 ounces of milk chocolate chips
  • 1/3 cup of sour cream
  • 1 cup of chocolate cookie crumbs
  • 1/3 cup of chocolate cookie crumbs
  • 1/3 cup of confectioner's sugar (optional)
  • 24 pieces of decorating candy (mini M&Ms work too)
  • 1/4 cup of sliced almonds
  • 12 pieces of licorice cut into 2-inch strips (for tails)

First, melt the chocolate chips in the microwave at 50 percent, stirring at 10-second intervals. Once completely melted, combine your chocolate with 1/3 cup of sour cream and mix evenly. Then, stir in the 1 cup of chocolate cookie crumbs and refrigerate your cookie base until firm.

Once your cookie mixture is ready, roll level tablespoonfuls into ball shapes, molding one end to a slight point to create your mice. Roll your treats in the 1/3 cup of chocolate cookie crumbs to coat (or you can use the aforementioned confectioner's sugar to create white mice) and place two pieces of the decorating candy for the eyes on the face. Next, place two slices of almonds at the top of the head to create the ears for your mice and attach the licorice tail. Once assembled, allow your mice two hours to set in the refrigerator before serving.

chocolate-mice-cookies

Halloween Snack Mix

Need to come up with a party snack for a lot of guests but don’t have a ton of time? Why not try this idea for a DIY Halloween Snack Mix—all you need to do is gather the ingredients, toss them into a bowl together and voila! You’ve created a tasty treat that has something for both the salty and the sweet lovers out there!

What You’ll Need:

  • 1 cup of Cheese Crackers
  • 1/2 cup of Salted Peanuts
  • 1 cup of Pretzel Squares (or the small stick variety works too)
  • 1/2 cup of Reese's Pieces or M&Ms
  • 1 cup of Caramel Corn
  • 1 cup of Chex Cereal (Corn variety generally works best)
  • 1 cup of Cocoa Puffs
  • 1/2 cup of Candy Corn

The beauty about this recipe is that you can adjust the amount of ingredients you put into it based on your own preferences. Prefer a treat that’s a little saltier? Add some extra peanuts. Want to sweeten things up? Add some extra candy into the mix. There’s no wrong or right way to create your own Halloween Snack Mix, so just have fun with it.

halloween-snack-mix

Finger Cookies

These Finger Cookies have long been a favorite of mine and for those of you who aren’t necessarily into making things from scratch, you can also just pick up a pre-made sugar cookie mix to create your cookie base and cut down your prep time by half. And if you want to give these appendages a gruesomely fun twist, coat them in green using Wilton Green Candy Melts before you attach the fingernails.

What You’ll Need:

  • 1 cup of softened butter
  • 1 cup of confectioner's sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon of almond extract
  • 2 3/4 cups of all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon of baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon of salt
  • Red decorating gel
  • Sliced almonds

If you choose to make your cookie dough from scratch, get a large bowl and mix together the butter and confectioner's sugar. Next, beat in the egg and both the vanilla and almond extracts. In a separate bowl, combine the flour, baking powder and salt together and then gradually add it into the original creamed mixture. Then, divide your dough into fourths, and then cover and let it harden in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.

Now, preheat your oven to 325 degrees. Once your dough is ready, use one piece of dough at a time and portion out sections into one-inch balls. Then, shape the balls into 3-inch x 1/2-inch finger-like shapes. Next, using the flat part of a butter knife, make an indentation on one end of each cookie for the fingernail. Also using the same knife, you’ll make three slashes in the middle of each finger to create the knuckle section.

To bake your cookies, place them two inches apart on lightly greased cookie sheets and bake for 20-25 minutes, or until lightly browned. Cool for 5 minutes. If you choose to create candy-coated green Finger Cookies, you should dip your treats before affixing the fingernails. To complete your cookies, squeeze out a small amount of red decorating gel on the nail bed and then press a sliced almond over the gel, allowing a little gel to ooze out from under the almond. Allow two hours to fully cool before serving.

witch-finger-cookies

Attack of the Killer Strawberry Cupcakes

Probably the most involved recipe I’ve featured in this collection of ideas, these Attack of the Killer Strawberry Cupcakes are absolutely worth a little extra effort, being as delicious as they are adorable. I discovered these last October on YummyCrumble.com and thought they would be perfect to share here.

What You’ll Need:

Cupcakes:

  • 3 tablespoons of strawberry preserves (jam works, too)
  • 1/3 cup of chopped fresh strawberries
  • 1 1/4 cups of all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon of salt
  • 1 1/4 teaspoon of baking powder
  • 3/4 cup of granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup of softened butter
  • 3 egg whites
  • 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla extract
  • 4 drops of pink food coloring
  • 1/3 cup of milk

Vanilla Buttercream Frosting:

  • 1 cup of room temperature butter
  • 6-8 cups of powdered sugar
  • 1/2 cup of heavy whipping cream
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3-4 drops of green food gel dye

Strawberry Monsters:

  • 12 fresh strawberries
  • 1/4 cup of chocolate chips (dark chocolate looks scarier)
  • 1/4 cup of vanilla frosting
  • 1 Wilton No. 4 Round Decorating Tip (can be found at Michaels)

To create the cupcakes:
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. In a small bowl, mix together the fresh chopped strawberries and preserves and then in another bowl, mix together the flour, baking powder, and salt. In a third bowl, mix together the butter and sugar and then add in the egg whites, vanilla extract, and food coloring. You’ll then add in the dry ingredients from the second bowl along with the milk, using an electric mixer to beat the ingredients together on a low speed. Finally, pour in the strawberries and preserves mixture, then fill cupcake liners to 3/4 full and bake your cupcakes for 25 minutes. Allow them an hour to cool before frosting and decorating.

To create your own homemade vanilla buttercream frosting:
Using your electric mixer, beat the cup of room temperature butter until it’s a light and fluffy consistency. Then, add in six cups of the powdered sugar along with the heavy whipping cream and vanilla extract. Mix everything together slowly and then, using the “high” setting, mix for another 2-3 minutes. If the frosting isn’t quite the consistency you enjoy, continue to add in one 1/2 cup at a time until it’s perfect. Finish off your frosting by adding in 3-4 drops of green food coloring, mixing well until the frosting is an even color. Let it sit for 10 minutes before frosting your cupcakes.

To create the Killer Strawberries:
Thoroughly wash and pat dry your fresh strawberries. Then, start by cutting out little mouths on the front of each berry. Next, melt down your chocolate in the microwave at 50 percent, stirring at 10-second intervals to ensure it melts evenly. You’ll fill each mouth with the melted chocolate and then place your strawberries in the freezer for 10 minutes to fully harden.

Once the mouths are set, put your vanilla frosting into a small baggie with the Wilton decorating tip inserted into one corner and then pipe in the small white teeth onto each mouth. After you’ve added the teeth, place your "monsters" in the freezer again for 10 minutes to set. Once they’re completed, the killer strawberries can be placed on top of each cupcake and for an added touch, you can sprinkle a bit of Oreo crumbs at the base of each monster to finish off your treats.

killer-strawberry-cupcakes

*Header image courtesy of YummyCrumble.com

Heather Wixson
About the Author - Heather Wixson

After falling in love with the horror genre at a very early age, Heather Wixson has spent the last decade carving out a name for herself in the genre world as a both a journalist and as a proponent of independent horror cinema. Wixson is currently the Managing Editor for DailyDead.com, and was previously a featured writer at DreadCentral.com and TerrorTube.com where her online career began; she’s also been a contributor at FEARnet as well as a panelist for several of their online programs.

Wixson recently finished her first book, Monster Squad: Celebrating the Artists Behind Cinema's Most Memorable Creatures, and is currently working on her second upcoming book project on special effects artists as well.