Catch the spirit of Halloween fun and invite your friends over for a spooktacular time. Deck the halls with pumpkins, cobwebs, ravens and more to match our ghoulishly good menu. Or just pick your favorite recipe, and let the kids help you make an after-school treat.
Brownielike cutout cats add an autumnal touch to your seasonal party buffets. If you want a variety of shapes, try any cookie cutters you have on hand--such as pumpkins, bats or ghosts--and decorate accordingly.
Eyeball candy on licorice rocks creates a striking, edible party tableau under the cider punch. The fog drifting off the drink comes from the dry ice placed in a heavy metal cup set down in the punch. Dry ice is extremely cold; handle it with tongs.
Find a colorful baking-cup selection at your local crafts store or supermarket. Then mix up your favorite cake mix or cake recipe, filling the baking cups in the cupcake pan about half full. Cupcakes will bake at the same temperature called for in the cake recipe, but baking time will be reduced by one-third or one-half. To decorate, use purchased frosting or homemade butter frosting with orange food coloring. Look in supermarkets and candy stores for black gumdrops (which can be cut into shapes), licorice whips, jelly beans and black sugar.
A sugared cat cookie tops our brownie cupcake, set in a jellybean bed. Stand cat cookies upright on frosted cupcakes, or fashion a cat face on the cupcakes using different colors of frosting. Licorice whips make great whiskers.
An apple-and-cheddar spread gets a scary reputation when applied to a cracker with a finger-shaped knife. We hollowed a small pumpkin for the serving container for this spread--hauntingly good and loaded with cheddar, cream cheese, apple, carrot, nuts and currants.
Tinted noodles look and feel scary. We cooked and cooled regular spaghetti, then tossed it with food coloring. It keeps our deviled eggs from rolling and cushions our laboratory "brain"--a cauliflower floating in a jar.