Tag Archives: halloween

halloween charcuterie board with cheese, meat and fruit

How to Make a Spooky Delicious Halloween Charcuterie Board

Cheese and charcuterie, but make it spooky! This easy Halloween-inspired charcuterie board is the perfect crowd-pleaser for your gatherings this year. There’s something for everyone, from white cheddar pumpkins to BOO brie cheese to pepperette witches fingers, and so many other wicked treats.

Tip: When building a holiday-themed board, keep in mind the colours of the season, textures and shapes to inspire you.

halloween charcuterie board with cheese, meat and fruit

Spooky Delicious Halloween Charcuterie Board

Prep Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 2-4

Ingredients:
1 small wheel double cream brie
3 Tbsp red pepper jelly
8 slices of your favourite cheese (we used white cheddar)
6 pepperettes
Handful pistachios, shelled
1 Tbsp honey
5 black olives, pitted
12 slices Genoa salami
1 block spicy gouda, cubed
1 large cluster of black seedless grapes
3 black mission figs, sliced in half
Handful strawberries, cut in half
2 clementines, peeled
1 cup stuffed olives
1 cup beet and sweet potato chips or crackers
6 sandwich cookies
Edible googly eyes, for decoration

ingredients for a halloween charcuterie board

Directions:
1. Grab a large circular or rectangular board and ready all of your ingredients. Wash and thoroughly dry your fruit.

2. For the BOO-Brie: Slice the brie wheel in half horizontally. With letter or shape cutters, punch out cheese on one half. Place the wheel back together and spoon jelly into the holes.

brie cheese being cut for a halloween charcuterie board

3. For the White Cheddar Pumpkins: Using your preferred sliced cheese and a pumpkin-shaped cookie cutter, punch out the different shapes.

Related: These Easy Sourdough Discard Crackers Come Together With Just 5 Ingredients

cheese slices being cut into pumpkins for a halloween charcuterie

4. For the Pepperette Witches fingers: Cut pepperettes in half. Dip pistachio in honey (to act as the adhesive) and place on the tip of the pepperette.

Related: These Pumpkin Pie Squares With Candied Pecans is the Fall Dessert You’ve Been Craving

pepperettes being prepped for a halloween charcuterie board

5. For the Black Olive Spiders: Cut one pitted black olive in half. Cut one half into 6 long pieces. Arrange the 6 long pieces on the board to resemble legs and place the remaining half cut side down for the spider’s body.

6. Place the different cheeses on the board, spaced apart. Fold the salami into quarters and place them standing up to create height. Arrange the pepperette fingers so all “nails” are  pointed outwards. Scatter the fruit throughout to add a hint of sweetness and pops of colour. Fill in any gaps with stuffed olives, chips, crackers and cookies. Add creepy googly eyes on cookies and grapes for a playful finishing touch.

halloween charcuterie board

Related: This Spooky S’mores Bars Recipe is the Perfect Halloween Treat

Carla Hall is laughing and has a big smile on the set of Halloween Baking Championship

Carla Hall Shares Her Favourite Moments From This Season (Plus, the Trend She Predicts for 2022)

She’s neither a fan of slasher movies nor psychological thrillers. But on this season of Halloween Baking Championship, Carla Hall says expect to see plenty of scary challenges incorporating those themes. That’s because this season, the show is playing homage to 1980’s slashers movies  both ionic, obscure and just downright freaky.

Carla Hall on the set of Halloween Baking Championship

Carla is joined yet again by her co-judges, Pastry Chefs Stephanie Boswell and Zack Young, as well as host John Henson to help choose this season’s winner. Carla says the group’s common shared interests, such as acting and overall rapport is a huge part of why she thinks Halloween Baking Championship has been such a fan favourite all these years and why it continues to be one of the most entertaining shows.

Related: Halloween Baking Championship: Meet the Season 7 Bakers

“ I think the bakers are great, but [the cast] there is a sense of family with John and my fellow judges,” Carla says. “We just don’t keep ourselves strapped with boundaries. We really play and we get into the characters that we dress up as. And no other show has the costumes. I think the costumes every year just level up.”

Judges look at a pie on this season of Halloween Baking Championship

Carla Hall’s Highlights From Halloween Baking Championship

Speaking of levelling up, Carla says fans can expect to see bakers create some of the scariest cakes to date with the set and costumes coming in a close second! “This year, the network allowed us to get really scary [meaning] we can have skin hanging off of our faces,” said Carla.

“The fact that the setting of the show is at Camp Devil’s Food Lake, so [think] legs, scariness, spookiness, things jumping out at you you can plan on all of that. I might not be able to tell you when it’s going to happen, but just know it’s going to happen.”

Finished pie on a cake stand on display in the Halloween Baking Championship studio

What else? Maybe not as frightening, only “ugly delicious” as Carla calls them, but “you’re going to see a lot of great crusts this season.” And who doesn’t like a good crust? Carla says she’s first in line for a delicious slab of pie.

“If I had to choose between cake or pie, I would choose pie because I love fruit and I love the flakiness. I love the differences in texture with pie. I love a flaky buttery crust.”

Tips for Going Beyond Cake Decorations

Decorating a cake so it wows the judges on the show takes technical skills, artistic abilities and a load of experience, says Hall.  But her advice for home bakers aspiring to be on the show or who want to be the star in their own kitchens at home?  Take risks and go beyond focusing on just the decorations.

Related: Gorgeous Edible Cake Decorations To Elevate Any Dessert

“It’s not just about decorating, but really [bakers have to] make sure that the textures of your baked goods are great,” she says. “Understand how butter works: Do you want to use room temperature or softened butter? I mean, those are very different things. Start slowly, then go to [the] decorating and then just make sure that it’s something that you enjoy.”

Carla Hall looking at a pie on the set of Halloween Baking Championship

As for that one winning element that edges out the competition? Dare to be different.

I think white sugar is overused and I think I would like to see the bakers explore different sweeteners because it gives more interest to the baked goods. I’m thinking there’s always some kind of raspberry with chocolate. I would like to see them break out and use something that’s not so predictable.”

Related: Apple Spider Web Pops

Carla Hall’s Trend Predictions for 2022: Savoury Sweets and Spices

Using savoury spices in baked goods is something Carla says bakers on the show typically shy away from using – but not this season.

“When I think of spices, I think of cumin, cayenne and black pepper, [and] we actually forced them [the bakers] to use them. You’re going to see cinnamon, you’re going to see nutmeg, you’re going to see allspice. Those are the very traditional spices, you see those. What we challenge them to do, though, is to go beyond their comfort level and use some of these other spices.”

Wes Dills' cake, as seen on Halloween Baking Championship, Season 7.

As for cake trends, Carla is glad to say goodbye to piñata cake, tsunami or pull-it-up cakes and drip cakes, and say hello to using savoury vegetables in cakes instead.

“What I think could be a trend or maybe I want this to be a trend is vegetables sweetened and turned into something else,” Carla told us. Using parsnips, or something like that in a cake, instead of carrot cake, [perhaps] celery root, the texture with celery root could be really nice. People are starting to use beets in a red velvet cake instead of the red dye because it’s natural, but the texture of beets also gives us that moist crumb.”

Related: Make-Ahead Gory White Chocolate Truffles for Your Next Halloween Bash

Carla Hall’s Favourite Recipes and Baking Traditions

Holidays like Halloween and Thanksgiving are a great time to get everyone in the family involved in creating a meal and making long-lasting traditions, says Hall. Admittedly, the former Top Chef contestant says she didn’t start baking until she was well into her twenties, but she always loved to eat especially her grandmother’s cornbread

I remember just like watching her waiting for that cornbread to be done..you would have that cast iron skillet, you put the oil in the skillet and then you pour the batter into the skillet, and I remember, the sizzle that the batter would make. And then all of the batter would be rolling up the sides of that cast iron skillet and that she would put it in the oven. And I knew in 20-minutes we’d be eating.”

She says in those early days it wasn’t about learning how to make the cornbread however, but rather for her, it was about recreating the memories surrounding the moments before she ate the cornbread that in part, inspired her baking career today. 

Watch Halloween Baking Championship Mondays at 9 PM ET/PT. Watch and stream Live and On Demand on the new Global TV App, and on STACKTV. Food Network Canada is also available through all major TV service providers.

3 Kid-Friendly Halloween Dessert Decorating Ideas Inspired by The Big Bake

Sure, we can let the pandemic dampen another Halloween or we can make this year’s celebration special in a different way. Wicked or whimsical, macabre or kawaii, the thing that can be said about Halloween treats is that they are always fun and creative. Unleash your inner artist and delight the children (and adults) in your life with these bewitching desserts.  All three ideas require no baking – unless you want to!  Store-bought baked goods can be elevated with colourful candy melts, royal icing, melted chocolate, fondant and candies to lively (or ghoulish) effect. Everything you need can be sourced from the grocery store, doughnut shop, bulk store or art supply store.

Related: Try This Halloween Pumpkin Bundt Cake

The only from-scratch thing pictured is the buns, which you can sub with frozen or fresh rolls from the supermarket. The fun with these projects is in the design and decorating. Follow my lead or make your own phantom fantasies come to life. My daughters gleefully ate their way through a fair share of these confections, confirming they are as tasty as they are aesthetic. I’m giving you the download on how I created these three boo-licious treats so you can try your hand at one or all of them this holiday. Involve the little boos for a fun at-home activity. Queue the Halloween playlist and get decorating!

Six Halloween-themed decorated donuts on a pan sheet

Candy-Coated Donut Characters

Ingredients:
Plain doughnuts
Candy melts in desired colours (I used white, pink, green, orange)
Vegetable shortening for adjusting consistency of melted coating as needed (optional)
Small pack of white fondant (for mummy wrapping and eyeball)
Whole almonds for ears and little hands (or use candy corn if nut-allergic)
Dark chocolate chips and candy eyeballs (for eyes)
Chocolate Pocky for alien antennae and pumpkin stem
One dark chocolate ball for spider body
Candy corn or other small candy
Black royal icing

Related: This Candy-Filled Pumpkin Pail is the Perfect Halloween Showstopper

Directions:
1. Prepare candy melt as directed on the package. If the mixture seems thick and somewhat seized, add a dab of shortening to thin out and make it smooth. Pour enough candy melt into a small dish so that it will come halfway up the doughnut. Before dipping, poke in whole almonds for any ears and/or hands in the design. If making the three-eyed alien, break off the plain cookie end of a Pocky and insert it for the antennae.

2. Dip one side of the doughnut to coat. The candy coating will not be smooth immediately. Shake the doughnut side to side quickly to even out the candy coating – yes it actually works! For all black details, I used black royal icing piped out of a bag with a tiny hole cut at the tip for making precise, thin lines.  Add decorations as per below.

Related: How to Melt and Temper Chocolate for Perfect Candy Making

For the mummy (top left):
I used pink candy melt as the base. For the mummy wrap, roll out white fondant to 1/8” thickness and cut into thin strips. Drape them onto the donut. Attach candy eyes to the wet candy coating to adhere.

For the skeleton (top middle):
While the candy melt is still wet, adhere two dark chocolate chips with their flat base facing out to create the eyes. Dry thoroughly before decorating with icing. Dot nostrils and draw mouth with black icing.

For the alien (top right):
Before dipping in candy coating, make sure you’ve inserted two almonds on the sides for ears and the cookie end of a Pocky for the antennae. Place three candy eyes while the candy melt is still wet (otherwise glue it on with royal icing). Wait for the candy coating to dry completely before piping the mouth with black icing.

For the spider (bottom right): I used pink candy melt as the base. Add chocolate ball while still wet. Let dry thoroughly. Pipe spider legs with black icing. Use small dabs of black icing to glue candy corn and candy eyes onto the chocolate ball.

For the pumpkin (bottom middle): Before dipping into candy melt, insert almonds for hands. Let dry thoroughly. Draw face with black icing. Break off the chocolate end of a Pocky and insert it as the stem.

For the cyclops (bottom left):
Before dipping into candy melt, insert almonds for ears. Dip in green candy melt. Roll a piece of white fondant and cut a circle that will completely cover the donut hole (I used the larger end of a big piping tip). Place over the donut hole while the candy melt is still wet to adhere. Let dry thoroughly. Pipe a black circle on the white fondant for the pupil. I had a flat white disc sprinkle in a sprinkle mix, so I added that for a little “sparkle” in the eye. You can create the same effect with a tiny circle of white fondant.

Related: Spooky S’Mores Bars Are the Perfect Halloween Treat

Nine decorated buns with Halloween theme

Chocolate Decorated Buns

Ingredients:
One batch of rolls, homemade or frozen store-bought and baked according to package directions
Melted dark chocolate
Candy eye
Optional if making from scratch: culinary matcha and turmeric powder to add colour to dough

Directions:
1. If you’re baking dinner rolls from frozen store-bought, prepare them based on package directions and allow to cool fully on a rack before decorating. If you’re making the rolls from scratch, consider using the milk bread recipe in my Honey Scallion Wool Roll Bread, without the filling. Form the dough into balls (about 55g each), stuff them with chocolate chips if you like and bake as dinner rolls for 35 minutes. For optional colouring, after the 10-min kneading step, split the dough into three equal pieces. For one third, knead 1 tbsp culinary matcha for 2 minutes. For second third, knead ½ tsp turmeric powder for 2 minutes. Leave the final third plain.

2. Once your rolls are fully cooled, melt dark chocolate until smooth. Place in a piping bag with a small tip cut at the end. Pipe decorations as desired. For my spider, I also attached candy eyes using small dots of melted chocolate.

Sheet pan of chocolate cake dessert with RIP signs and a hanging ghost overtop

Chocolate Cake Graveyard With Hanging Ghost

Ingredients:
Chocolate sheet cake, homemade or store-bought
Oreo cookie crumbs
Crackers or cookies for gravestones
Chocolate rock candies (from bulk store)
Melted dark chocolate for writing on gravestones
For hanging ghost: small piece of white fondant, small candy ball or a small rolled up ball of fondant, piece of twine for hanging
Small branch for the tree (make sure it’s not from a toxic plant)

Related: Pull-Apart Graveyard Cupcakes

Directions:
1. Melt chocolate until smooth and place in a piping bag with a tiny tip cut off. Write “RIP” on cookies for the gravestones. Let dry. For the hanging ghost, roll a piece of white fondant 1/8” inch thick and cut a small circle about 2” in diameter. Roll another piece of fondant into a small ball to fit inside as the ghost head – you can also use a small candy ball. Gently double-knot a piece of twine around the collar, with one end long enough for hanging. Dot two small eyes with melted chocolate.

2. Cover chocolate sheet cake with a generous layer of Oreo cookie crumbs for soil. Insert cookie gravestones into the cake. Scatter rock candies.  Trim the bottom of your tree branch for appropriate scale to your cake. Wrap the bottom 1-2” of the branch with cling wrap so it doesn’t come in direct contact with cake, but is concealed once inserted. Insert branch into the cake. Hang fondant ghost off a branch. You may need to tilt the tree to counterbalance the weight of the ghost. Use rock candies at the tree base to stabilize it. 

Tune into The Big Bake: Halloween on September 27 at 8 PM ET to see new episodes. Watch and stream all your favourite Food Network Canada shows through STACKTV with Amazon Prime Video Channels, or with the new Global TV app, live and on-demand when you sign-in with your cable subscription.

American singer Meghan Trainor and Acclaimed Chef Marcus Samuelsson smile for the camera in front of a banner that reads Top Chef Family Style

4 Hot New Releases to Binge on Amazon Prime This September

Cooler temps, fall colours and craving comfy foods: Seasons are changing and so is the great content on Food Network.

From your top shows with a twist (think, “Top Chef but make it family”) to Halloween on Food Network (ghastly cake creations and frightful eliminations!),  we won’t be judgy if you binge on these shows playing on your device with StackTV on Amazon Prime.

Top Chef Family Style

When to Watch: New series premieres September 16 at 9 PM ET/PT


This new reality-based cooking competition is hosted by Grammy Award-winning global superstar Meghan Trainor with acclaimed chef, James Beard Award winner and best-selling cookbook author Marcus Samuelsson serving as Head Judge. It takes family ties and blends in high stakes, jaw-dropping talent and heart-warming humour that families across generations can enjoy. Talented young chefs – each teamed up with an adult partner of their choice –are competing to win the grand prize including $50,000.

Related: Memorable First Bites from Top Chef Canada

Halloween Baking Championship

When to Watch: New season premieres September 13 at 9 PM ET/PT

Judges Stephanie Boswell, Zac Young and Carla Hall and Judge John Henson, looking at the camera on the set of Halloween Baking Championship.

Camp Devil’s Food Lake is the backdrop for Season 11 of this wildly popular baking competition. The inspiration? 1980s slasher films. So get ready to see creepy-crawly desserts to deadly delicious cupcakes being whipped up, as the bakers try and prove their skills to a panel of costumed judges in order to land the $25,000 prize (and the title of Halloween Baking Champion)!

Related: Meet the Season 6 Competitors

Halloween Wars

When to Watch: New season begins on September 19 at 9 PM ET/PT

Zak Bagans sits in a chair on the set of Halloween Wars

Paranormal investigator Zack Bagan has seen a lot of supernatural things in his 15-years on the job. As the new host for the season, he shares some of those experiences with eight expert teams.  Taking inspiration from his collection of dangerous and mysterious artifacts from his Haunted Museum in Las Vegas, he will challenge the teams of sugar decorators, cake bakers and pumpkin carvers to create spooky AND tasty creations, eventually earning the coveted $25,000 prize.

Related: Meet the Halloween Wars Season 10 Competitors

The Big Bake: Halloween

When to Watch: Series premiere September 27 at 8 PM ET/ 5 PM PT

The Big Bake: Halloween is back with a bang for Season 2. The team of bakers need to think big and bold, blowing up their designs to gigantic proportions – keeping their spirits aligned with everything Halloween, of course. In the end, the most ambitious, eye-popping and delicious cake will go home with a $10,000 prize.

Watch and stream all your favourite Food Network Canada shows through STACKTV with Amazon Prime Video Channels, or with the new Global TV app, live and on-demand when you sign-in with your cable subscription.

This Spooky S’mores Bars Recipe is the Perfect Halloween Treat

Whether you’re hosting a small get together or looking for a sweet activity to make with the kids, these Baking Therapy spooky s’mores bars are the perfect Halloween treat. They are sure to satisfy any sugar craving with the delicious layers of graham cracker cookie, crunchy meringue, rich chocolate and cute, but scary marshmallow ghosts. Have a boo-tiful and safe Halloween!

Sppoky s'mores bars on table

Spooky S’mores Bars

Prep Time: 40 minutes
Bake Time: 26-28 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour and 8 minutes
Servings: 12-16 bars

Ingredients:

Marshmallow Meringue
2 egg whites
½ cup granulated sugar
½ tsp cream of tartar
½ tsp vanilla extract

S’mores Bars
1 ½ sticks brown butter
1 ¼ cup all-purpose flour
1 ¼ cup graham cracker crumbs
1 tsp baking powder
¾ tsp salt
¾ cup brown sugar
1 egg
½ cup milk chocolate chips
½ cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
2 Tbsp cocoa powder

Sppoky s'mores bars ingredients on table

Directions:

1. For the marshmallow meringue: in the bowl of a stand mixer, whisk together the egg whites and sugar and place over a double boiler. Whisk constantly until the sugar dissolves and the mixture is hot to the touch, about 5-8 minutes.

2. Remove from heat, mix in the cream of tartar and vanilla. Place in stand mixer with the whisk attachment and whisk on high for 8-10 minutes until the mixture is light, glossy and the bottom of the bowl has cooled to room temperature. Transfer to a bowl and set aside.

Related: Celebrate Halloween at Home This Year With This Gourmet Miso Caramel Corn

3. Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease and line a 9×9 square pan.

4. In a heavy bottom saucepan, melt the brown butter on medium-high. Cook the butter, swirling occasionally until it turns golden brown and nutty, about 8-10 minutes. Transfer the brown butter to a glass bowl and set aside to cool slightly.

5. Whisk together the flour, graham cracker crumbs, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.

Related: 12 Dead-Easy Halloween Cocktails You Need to Try This Year

6. In the bowl of a stand mixer with the whisk attachment, cream together the brown butter and brown sugar. Add the egg and whisk on medium-high for 5-10 minutes until light and airy. Add the dry ingredients and mix until just combined. Transfer half the dough to the pan and with your fingers press the dough firmly into the bottom.

Sppoky s'mores bars dough

7. Spread on half the marshmallow meringue, sprinkle with milk and semi-sweet chocolate chips. To the remaining dough, add cocoa powder and toss to mix. Layer the dough on top of the chocolate chips and pack it lightly into the pan.

Sppoky s'mores bars in process of being made

Sppoky s'mores bars chocolate layer

8. Bake for 26-28 minutes. Remove and let cool completely before removing from the pan.

9. Transfer the remaining marshmallow meringue to a piping bag with a round tip. Once the cookie bar has cooled, pipe on the ghosts. Pipe a ball shape for the head and pull out for the body, tapering off the end as you gradually decrease pressure. Melt a few chocolate chips and using a toothpick, draw on the eyes.

Sppoky s'mores bars marshmallow meringue being piped on bars

10. With a blow torch, lightly toast the meringue for a smoky campfire taste.

Sppoky s'mores bars on table

Like Sabrina’s spooky s’mores bars? Check out her ginger molasses cookiessticky toffee pudding and pumpkin pie squares with candied pecans.

Molly Yeh’s Ghost Hand Pies Are a Spooky and Savoury Halloween Appetizer

Although the days are getting shorter and the air crisper, it’s hard to begrudge the changing season when it brings us all the spooky fun of Halloween. Although the annual tradition of dressing up and trick-or-treating might look a little different this year, that hasn’t stopped Girl Meets Farm‘s Molly Yeh from conjuring up one of the best ghoulish hand pie recipes we’ve ever seen.

Homemade pie dough, sharp Cheddar and Dijon mustard form the crux of this mouth-watering savoury treat that will become an instant Halloween classic in your household.

Related: Spookylicious 2020: These Are the Hauntingly Entertaining Shows Coming to Your Screen

Ghost Hand Pies With Honey Dijon

Active Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour, 25 minutes
Yields: 8 small pies

Ingredients:

Pie Dough:
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup (2 sticks) cold unsalted butter, cubed

Ghost Pies:
2 Tbsp unsalted butter
2 medium onions, thinly sliced
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 1/2 lbs pie dough (homemade is best, but store-bought will work too), recipe follows
All-purpose flour, for dusting
4 oz sharp Cheddar, finely chopped (1/4-inch cubes or smaller) or shredded
1 large egg, lightly beaten with a splash of water (for the egg wash)
3/4 cup Dijon mustard
2 Tbsp honey

Related: Our All-Time Favourite Pie Recipes, From Classics to Clever Twists

Directions:

Pie Dough:
1. To make the dough, combine the cider vinegar and 6 tablespoons water in a measuring cup and stick it in the fridge (or the freezer even) to get really cold. In a large bowl or food processor, combine the flour, sugar and salt. Add the butter and either use your hands to toss it with the flour and pinch the butter into flat sheets, or pulse in the food processor, incorporating the butter so that about 75 per cent of the mixture is mealy. The rest of the mixture should have some slightly larger, pea-sized bits of butter. Drizzle in the vinegar and water and mix with your hands or continue to pulse in the food processor just until the mixture comes together to form a dough. If it seems dry or is having a hard time coming together, add a bit more water a few drops at a time until it comes together. Turn it out onto a clean surface, using your hands to press on any stray crumbs, and divide the dough in half. Pat the halves into discs, wrap with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

See More: Molly Yeh’s Flaky Dill Bread, The Perfect Use for Leftover Herbs

Ghost Pies:
1. Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onions with a good pinch of salt and a few turns of pepper and cook, stirring, until very soft, about 10 minutes. Reduce the heat to medium low, add 1/4 cup water and cook, stirring occasionally, until the water is evaporated and the onions are lightly caramelized, 25 to 30 minutes.

2. Preheat the oven to 425°F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside.

3. Divide the pie dough into 8 equal parts and shape into balls (keep half of the dough balls covered in the fridge while you aren’t working with them to keep them cold). On a lightly floured surface, roll out the balls to ovals that are 8 inches long and about 6 inches wide. Top the bottom half of each dough piece with a pile of cheese and a pile of onions, leaving a 1-inch border. In the top half of each dough piece, punch out an upside down ghost face with piping tips or tiny round cookie cutters (it’s upside down so that when you fold it over on top of the filling, it’s right-side up). Brush the edges with egg, fold the top down over the filling and fold the sides in on themselves so that you have ghost shape. (Or, rather, a shape of a tiny kid in a bedsheet ghost costume that’s lying down.) Press around the side and bottom edges to seal, transfer to the baking sheets, brush the tops all over with egg wash and sprinkle with a little salt.

4. Bake until golden brown; begin checking for doneness at 20 minutes. Let cool slightly.

5. Mix together the Dijon mustard and honey in a small bowl. Serve the hand pies warm or at room temperature with the mustard sauce.

Watch Girl Meets Farm and stream Live and On Demand on the new Global TV App, and on STACKTV. Food Network Canada is also available through all major TV service providers.

Celebrate Halloween at Home This Year With This Gourmet Miso Caramel Corn

Just when you thought 2020 couldn’t get any scarier, along comes Halloween. And while we don’t know exactly what to expect from this year’s holiday, we do know you’ll need this recipe for miso caramel corn to get you through it. It’s the ultimate salty-sweet combo and it’s an easy treat to pack up and give away or — let’s be real — to enjoy curled up on the couch with your fave scary movie.

Bowl of miso caramel corn

Miso Caramel Popcorn

Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 8 cups

Ingredients:

8 cups popped popcorn (from ½ cup kernels)
⅔ cup packed dark brown sugar
⅓ cup unsalted butter
3 Tbsp golden corn syrup
¼ tsp baking soda
2 Tbsp white miso
2 Tbsp black and white sesame seeds

Ingredients for miso caramel corn on table

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 250ºF. Line a baking sheet with parchment or a silicone mat. Place popped popcorn in a large bowl. Set aside.

2. Combine sugar, butter and corn syrup in a medium pot. Set over medium-high heat to melt butter. Once butter has melted, stir mixture until combined.

Ingredients for miso caramel corn in pot

3. Bring mixture to a boil, swirling occasionally. Continue to cook until temperature reaches 250ºF on a candy or instant-read thermometer, about 3 minutes. Remove from heat, then whisk in baking soda (be careful as it will bubble up) until it is several shades lighter in colour and mixture is uniform. Whisk in miso and sesame seeds until fully incorporated.

Miso caramel corn sauce in pot

4. Immediately drizzle mixture over popcorn and working quickly, stir to coat. Scrape popcorn onto prepared baking sheet and arrange in an even layer.

Related: 12 Dead-Easy Halloween Cocktails You Need to Try This Year

5. Bake until shiny and crisp, about 20 to 25 minutes. The best way to determine crispness is by carefully plucking a kernel from the baking sheet, letting it cool for a second or two and then trying it. It will still be a bit sticky at this point, but it should have a nice crunch. Let cool completely, about 15 minutes.

Closeup of miso caramel corn

Want more Halloween treats? Try these make-ahead gory white chocolate truffles or these witches’ cauldron cupcakes.

Spookylicious 2020

Spookylicious: A Feast For the Eyes is Coming This Fall

Something spectacularly delicious is coming your way this Fall! Spookylicious is the ultimate line-up of all your favourite Food Network Halloween shows. Get ready for all the creepiest edible creations, from over-the-top spooktacular cakes to jaw-dropping pumpkin carvings that will frighten like never before.


Spookylicious returns to Food Network Canada beginning Monday, September 14 at 9 PM ET/PT with a new season of Halloween Baking Championship. Carla Hall hosts as 10 talented bakers compete to create terrifyingly tasty treats and bake their way through a haunted house brimming with challenges that test their nerves and skills. Judges Zac Young and Stephanie Boswell join Carla to determine whose devilishly delicious desserts will earn the grand prize of $25,000 and the title of Halloween Baking Champion.

Halloween Baking Championship season 6

Halloween Wars returns for season 10 on Sunday, September 20 at 9 PM ET/PT.  Host Jonathan Bennett welcomes six teams made up of an expert pumpkin carver, a cake artist and a master sugar artist to fight for glory as they create frighteningly fun and edible Halloween displays that are as spooky as they are tasty. The last team standing takes home a grand prize of $50,000.

Halloween Wars season 10

Hosted by Alyson Hannigan, new series Outrageous Pumpkins is coming to Food Network Canada on Sunday, September 27 at 10 PM ET/PT. In it, the most spectacular and ridiculously talented pumpkin carvers and Halloween artists come together to duke it out in an outdoor pumpkin carving competition that defies everything you thought you knew possible with pumpkins.

Outrageous Pumpkins season 1

Stream Spookylicious and all your favourite Food Network Canada shows through STACKTV with Amazon Prime Video Channels, or with the new Global TV app, live and on-demand when you sign-in with your cable subscription.

The Big Bake Halloween judges reveal their favourite Halloween memories

The Big Bake Stars Reveal Their Favourite Halloween Memories

There’s no denying that the talented competitors on The Big Bake: Halloween have been simultaneously wowing us with their masterful creations while also putting us in a spooky state of mind with their ghoulish cakes. So, while the bakers continue to think outside the box when it comes to concocting jaw-dropping and scrumptious cakes as they vie for the $10,000 prize, we took the opportunity to catch up with host Brad Smith and resident judges Harry Eastwood and Eddie Jackson to ask them about their favourite childhood Halloween experiences.

Related: 50 Killer Recipes for Your Halloween Party

What are your favourite food memories around Halloween?

Brad Smith: “I’m a candy-holic. It was all about going out and getting as much candy as I could. But my mom, who is [usually] one of the worst cooks ever, used to do this pumpkin cheesecake for Halloween every year and it was just the best thing ever.”

Harry Eastwood: “I have a really great story! I grew up in France and we definitely didn’t have Halloween. England barely has it, but France absolutely did not have it in the 1990s, which is when I was a kid growing up there. But my grandmother, who was a very old-fashioned English woman, loved ghost stories. So she used to throw her own Halloween parties for just my sister and me and a couple of our school friends. Basically, she would do things like peel grapes and put them in buckets and turn the lights off so we’d dive in with our hands. She’d say, ‘Oh, those are eyeballs!’ She also used to make cookies with ketchup on them [for blood]. It was fairly basic and definitely not sophisticated but it was a lot of fun.”

Eddie Jackson: “First and foremost, I think pumpkin. Any type of pumpkin reminds me of Halloween because me and my dad would carve [them together]. I remember growing up, we used to do a lot of old school treats, like candy apples and things like that.”

Related: 45 Perfect Pumpkin Desserts to Make Your Fall Menu Sweeter

Growing up, what was your favourite Halloween costume? 

Brad Smith: “You know what’s funny? I’m allergic to cats but my mom used to dress me up in the family’s go-to hand-me-down cat costume. I wore that for four straight years, even when I outgrew it. It was a black leotard with a tail.”

Harry Eastwood: “I was never keen on anything ghoulish or zombie-like. I actually get really creeped out by those things, Any excuse I got, I would turn up at parties in a Tinkerbell outfit – basically [I loved] anything that involved pink and bells that jangled when I walked. I was all up in that.”

Eddie Jackson: “Growing up, I would throw a bedsheet over my head and call myself Casper the ghost. That costume is probably the one that stands out.”

Eddie isn’t the only one who loves a good DIY Halloween costume. If your kids are stuck on ideas this year, try one of these last-minute budget-friendly Halloween costumes using everyday household items.

Make-Ahead Gory White Chocolate Truffles for Your Halloween Bash

Playfully gory, these adorable crafty treats are just a cake box away from impressing your Halloween enthusiasts, with just the right amount of fun and horror. Make these bite-sized desserts ahead and freeze them for up to one week. You have the choice of serving them cold with a crunchy coating, or at room temperature for a soft, cakey texture. That’s what we call frightful meets delightful!

Make-Ahead Gory White Chocolate Halloween Truffles

Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour + 45 minutes (includes cooling, rolling, dipping, decorating and refrigeration times)
Servings: 48 cake pop truffles

Ingredients:

1 box yellow or white cake mix, prepared according to package directions in a 9-by-13-inch cake pan and cooled
3/4 cup prepared vanilla frosting (approx)
48 candied cherries (optional)
450g (16 oz) white chocolate, finely chopped
2 Tbsp coconut oil (optional)
1 tube red decorating gel
Red food colouring or paste (optional)
Mini royal icing decorative knives (optional)

Directions:

1. Divide the cake into six equal portions. Working with one portion, finely crumble cake into a large bowl (large bits will give you lumpy cake truffles). Repeat with remaining cake.

2. Add frosting and stir into cake using the back of a spoon until evenly combined. Don’t be tempted to add more frosting, it will be too soft to shape into balls.

3. Using a generous tablespoon for each, shape the cake batter into rounds and place on a baking sheet to give you 48 portions. Gently roll each to form balls. If using cherries, open the centre to add, then cover with cake, rolling to shape. Refrigerate until firm, about 30 minutes.

4. Melt chocolate in a microwave-safe bowl, stirring every 25-30 seconds, stir in coconut oil (if using). Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside. Working with a fork, dip each cake ball into chocolate, tapping fork on edge of bowl to remove excess; transfer to prepared pan. Repeat with remaining cake balls (refrigerating cake if softening and reheating chocolate if firming up to evenly coat). Refrigerate truffles until chocolate is hardened, about 15 minutes.

Tip: The melted white chocolate will coat and firm up without the addition of coconut oil, but will not be as solid.

5. For the bloody decoration, gently squeeze decorating gel on top of truffle and spread using toothpick. For a deeper red colour, stir decorating gel with red food colouring to desired tint and decorate using toothpick. If using royal icing knives, poke top of truffle with tip of paring knife and gently wedge in cleaver.

For more fang-tastic desserts, make these easy chocolate witches’ cauldron cupcakes and get inspired by these 50 killer Halloween party recipes.

These Witches’ Cauldron Halloween Cupcakes Are Wicked Delicious

Looking for a fun and spooky treat to make this Halloween? Look no further! These witches’ cauldron cupcakes are as eye-catching as they are delicious. I used my favourite one-bowl chocolate cake batter as the base, and topped each with a fluffy vanilla buttercream frosting. 

The addition of handmade witches legs also add a little trick to the treat. To make the legs, all you need is black card stock and striped paper straws. Simply cut out 48 black booties using the card stock, cut each straw into thirds and glue the boot upside down to the top of each straw. What else are you brewing up this Halloween season?

Witches’ Cauldron Chocolate Cupcakes

Prep Time: 20 minutes
Bake Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes
Servings: 24 cupcakes

Ingredients:

Cupcake Base
2 cups granulated sugar
½ cup vegetable oil
½ cup unsalted butter, melted
2 large eggs, room temperature
1 Tbsp pure vanilla extract
1 cup whole milk (can substitute equal parts dairy-free milk)
2 cups all-purpose flour
¾ cups unsweetened cocoa powder
2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp fine salt
1 cup boiling water

Cupcake Frosting
1 pound unsalted butter, room temperature
4 to 5 cups powdered sugar, or to taste
1 Tbsp pure vanilla extract
20 drops green food colouring
¼ cup whipping cream, cold
24 gummy fang teeth candy, halved
24 neon worms candy, halved
48 googley candy eyes, for topping
Halloween sprinkles, for topping
24 sets of witches legs (see headnote)

Directions:

Cupcake Base
1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Line two 12-tin cupcake trays with cupcake liners.
2. In a large mixing bowl, beat together the sugar, oil, butter, eggs and vanilla extract until fluffy. Stir in the milk until combined.
3. Sift in the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt. Beat until batter is smooth.

4. Slowly whisk in the boiling water until well blended.
5. Evenly divide batter amongst prepared cupcake trays. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until the tops bounce back to touch. Let cook completely before frosting.

Cupcake Frosting
1. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream butter and sugar until fluffy, about 8 minutes.
2. Scrape down the edges of the bowl. Add the vanilla and food colouring. Beat until colour is evenly blended. Add the whipping cream and beat for an additional 30 seconds.
3. Transfer frosting to a large piping bag fitted with a star tip. Pipe as desired.

4. Top each cupcake with the fang teeth, neon worms, googley eyes and sprinkles. Finish with a set of witches legs.

Don’t let the scary fun stop there! We’ve got 25+ spook-tacular halloween desserts, plus more frightening cake and cupcake ideas!

Candy-Filled Pumpkin Pail Cake for Halloween

Bursting with colourful candy and pumpkin spice, this charming Jack O’Lantern cake is the ultimate Halloween dessert. A little less spooky and a lot more whimsy, celebrate the haunting holiday with treats instead of the creepy crawlies. Made from two Bundt cakes sandwiched together to create the pumpkin shape, even the inside has a candy surprise! The pumpkin spice cake is the perfect seasonal flavour, but feel free to fill and top the cake with whatever candies you’d like.

Jack-O-Lantern-Cake

Prep Time: 10 to 15 minutes
Cook Time: 50 to 60 minutes
Total Time: 2 to 2 1/2 hours
Serves: 14 to 18

Bundt Cakes:

Note: To create the pumpkin design, two cakes will be needed. Repeat recipe for each bundt cake.

Ingredients:
3 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 Tbsp baking powder
1 tsp pumpkin spice
1/2 tsp salt
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup pumpkin puree
1/3 cup whole milk
1 cup unsalted butter, melted and cooled
2 Tbsp vegetable oil
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1 cup light brown sugar
2 whole eggs
3 egg yolks

Directions:
1. Pre-heat oven to 350°F. Liberally grease and flour a 10-cup Bundt pan and set aside.
2. Sift together the flour, baking powder, pumpkin spice and salt in a large mixing bowl. In a separate bowl or liquid measuring up, whisk together the vanilla, pumpkin and milk. Set aside.
3. In a separate bowl, whisk together the melted butter, sugars and oil with an electric mixer. Add in the eggs and yolks, 1 at a time, and mix until combined. Stop the mixer and scrape down the bowl.
4. With the mixer on low, add in half of the dry ingredients. Once incorporated, slowly stream in the milk mixture. Add in the remaining dry ingredients and mix until smooth.
5. Spread the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 50 to 60 minutes, or until a thin knife inserted into the cake comes out clean. Allow the cake to cool on a wire rack until it is safe to handle before inverting the cake out of the pan. Allow the cake to completely cool, about 1 hour, before assembly.

JackOLanternCake-candy-filled

Vanilla Spice Frosting

Ingredients:
1 1/2 cups unsalted butter, softened
5 1/2 to 6 cups confectioner’s sugar
1 Tbsp vanilla extract
1 tsp cinnamon, or to taste
3 to 5 Tbsp milk
Orange food colouring

Directions:
1. Using an electric mixer, beat the butter until smooth. With the mixer on low speed, gradually add in the sugar, vanilla, cinnamon, and milk until combined.
2. Once combined, turn the mixer up to medium-high and beat until fluffy, 3 to 5 minutes. Add more sugar and/or milk until desired consistency is reached. Add the orange food colouring until desired shade is achieved.

Assembly
Ingredients:
1 cup assorted chocolate candies
Whole candy bars and lollipops for decoration
2 oz black fondant

Jack O Lantern Cake

Directions:
1. Once the cakes have completely cooled, turn upside down and trim the bottoms so that they are flat. Reserve the cake scraps for later.
JackOLanternCake-cut
2. Stack the cakes on top of each other. Using a serrated knife, begin carving the cakes until they resemble the shape of a pumpkin. Depending on the initial shape from whatever pan you are using, be sure to trim so that the gap between the 2 cakes is fairly seamless. If desired, go back and define the ridges on top by cutting grooves into the cake to resemble that of a pumpkin. Most importantly, save the cake scraps.
Jack O Lantern Cake
3. Once trimmed, separate the 2 cakes. Place the bottom cake on a serving dish or cake board. Press the cake scraps into the hole to create a bottom layer about 1-inch thick. Fill the center with chocolate candies.
JackOLanternCake-frosting
4. Spread on a thin layer of frosting on the top of the cake. Place the second cake on top to form the pumpkin. Continue to fill the center with candy. Press the remaining cakes scraps to cover the top of the hole. Crumb coat the entire cake with frosting before giving it a smooth finish.
Jack O Lantern Cake
5. Roll out the black fondant to 1/4 to 1/8 inch thick. Using a parking knife and round cutters (or the large end of a piping tip), cut out eyes, a nose, and a mouth. Stick the cut pieces on the cake to form the Jack O’Lantern. Cover the top with an assortment of candy and enjoy!
Jack O Lantern Cake

pumpkin-seed-feature-image

The Best Pumpkin Seed Granola to Make When Pumpkin Carving

Roasted pumpkin seeds are a delicious way to turn your Jack O’Lantern innards into a tasty treat. But this crunchy and flavourful pumpkin seed granola takes your favourite season snack one step further. Crunchy nuts and seeds are mixed with cinnamon and maple syrup, then baked with oats and coconut make a sweet and simple granola you’ll want to eat by the handful. Finish off by stirring in dried cranberries and a little cayenne for subtle heat. Eat for breakfast or save for snacking as you wait for trick-or-treaters.

pumpkin-seed-granola-in-jar

Pumpkin Seed Granola Recipe

Prep Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 1hr 5 minutes (includes 20 minutes cooling)
Makes: 4-1/2 cups

Ingredients:
1/4 cup maple syrup
3 Tbsp canola oil
2 Tbsp packed brown sugar
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1-1/2 cups rolled oats
1 cup raw pumpkin seeds (cleaned and dried if removed from carving pumpkin)
1/2 cup shaved coconut
1/2 cup chopped pecans
1/2 cup sunflower seeds
1/2 cup dried cranberries

pumpkin-seed-granola-recipe

Directions:
1. Heat oven to 300°F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment.
2. In a medium bowl, whisk together maple syrup, oil, brown sugar, cinnamon, salt and cayenne.
3. In a large bowl, combine oats, pumpkin seeds, coconut, pecans and sunflower seeds. Pour oil mixture over and stir to combine.
4. Spoon mixture onto prepared sheet and bake until golden, stirring halfway about 35 to 40 minutes.
5. Cool completely and stir in cranberries.

pumpkin-granola-yogurt

Looking for more roast pumpkin seed recipes? Try these Tasty Ways to Use Pumpkin Seeds.

halloween-pretzels-3-ways

Make These Spooktacular Halloween Pretzels and Watch Them Disappear

Halloween is the time of year for sweet and salty treats and we’ve come up with some super fun recipes that transform pretzels into spooky and delicious Halloween party eats. On top of being easy to make, all the ingredients can be picked up at your grocery or bulk food store. Plus each of these adorable bites come together in minutes and are guaranteed to bring a smile to your face!

halloween-pretzel-party

Pretzel Ghosts Recipe

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes
Makes: 24 treats

Ingredients:
1 cup white chocolate molding wafers
24 small pretzel twists
½ cup dark chocolate molding wafers

Directions:
1. Line 1 large baking sheet with parchment paper.
2. Melt white chocolate wafers in a small heat-proof bowl over a small pot of gently simmering water. Dip each pretzel in chocolate and place on parchment sheet. Place in fridge to set for 10 minutes.
3. Melt dark chocolate wafers in a small heat-proof bowl set over a small pot of gently simmering water. Spoon chocolate into a pastry bag fitted with a writing tip.
4. Fill each opening in pretzels to create eyes and mouth.
5. Place in fridge to set, about 20 minutes.

spider-web-halloween-pretzels

Pretzel Cobwebs Recipe

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes
Makes: 12 treats

Ingredients:
1 cup white chocolate molding wafers
72 pretzel sticks
Halloween candy quins or sprinkles

Directions:
1. Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper.
2. Melt chocolate wafers in a small heat-proof bowl set over a small pot of gently simmering water. Spoon chocolate into a pastry bag fitted with a writing tip.
3. Dollop six dime-sized rounds of chocolate onto each prepared tray. Lay 6 pretzels in the centre so they touch the chocolate and radiate out. Dollop another circle of chocolate on centre. Working in a circular motion from the centre out draw web lines about a ¼-inch apart. Finish web design at edge of pretzels, repeating the circle three times to add strength to the web.
4. While chocolate is still wet, sprinkle edges and centre with candy quinns or sprinkles. Place in fridge to set, about 30 minutes.

cookie-and-pretzels-spiders

Pretzel Spiders Recipe

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes
Makes: 12 treats

Ingredients:
36 pretzel sticks
12 chocolate wafer sandwich cookies with double filling (such as Double Stuffed Oreos)
3/4 cup dark chocolate molding wafers
24 candy eyeballs

Directions:
1. Line 1 large baking sheet with parchment paper.
2. Break pretzels in half and stick three into each side of the cookie about ¼-inch apart to resemble legs.
3. Melt chocolate in a heat-proof bowl set over a small pot of gently simmering water. Spoon a quarter-sized dollop onto cookies, spreading to edge. While still wet, press candy eyeballs into chocolate.
4. Place in fridge to set, about 30 minutes.

Looking for more spooky recipes? Try our Zombie-Approved Recipes for your next Halloween party.

halloween-porch-party-pumpkins

How to Host a Spooktacular Halloween Porch Party

Growing up in Australia, we didn’t celebrate Halloween. No jack o’lanterns, costumes or going door-to-door collecting candy from neighbours.

Now that I’m teaching at an elementary school in Canada, the growing excitement of Halloween is impossible to avoid, with kids planning their costumes weeks in advance of the big night. Living in a neighbourhood filled with families, it’s fun to see their creative costumes and hand out treats to all the little ghouls and goblins. These days, we make an evening of it – setting ourselves up on the front porch with snacks, drinks and dinner and play host to condo-dwelling friends who don’t have trick or treaters. It’s become an annual event that’s a fun, no-fuss way celebrate Halloween, enjoy time with friends and catch up with neighbours without leaving your front porch! Over the past decade, we’ve got the hosting of this porch party down to a fine art. If you’d like to throw your own front-porch soiree, here are our best tips for a spooktacular evening outside.

Spooky eye bark recipe

The Treats

Arguably the most important part. If you have the willpower buy treats earlier rather than later, you’ll get a better selection. Don’t leave it until 5 p.m. on Halloween night because often by then, stores are sold out or won’t have the treats you want.  Buy treats with the “nut free” symbol on it so they are safe for everyone.

Plan your treats accordingly –  if you’re ok with a few leftovers (i.e. you haven’t already been eating treat-sized candy for weeks!) buy candy you enjoy.  The best way to avoid leftovers is to buy the right amount of treats – if you’re unsure, ask neighbours how many they typically hand out on Hallowe’en.

If you have guests joining your porch party, have them bring some treats too (make sure they buy something different so you have a good selection).

And hey – if you’ve got leftover candy, you can always make this cute candy bark.

Check the Weather and be Prepared

Sometimes, Halloween evening can be pretty chilly, especially after the sun goes down. Make sure you are dressed properly (layers work well here) and have gloves handy. Make sure you have comfortable cushions and lots of blankets for your porch party guests too.

chli-lime-pumpkin-seeds

Don’t Forget the Snacks

If you’re trying to avoid eating the candy before you hand it out (and while you wait for dinner to heat up), make some snackable items in advance. Since you’ll probably be carving your pumpkin anyway, save the seeds and make this spicy lime version.

And popcorn is always a good idea.

alberta-beef-stew

Don’t Forget to Eat Dinner!

If you’re not careful, Halloween dinner might end up being just treats and snacks but if you plan in advance, it can be the highlight of the night. As I rarely make it home before 5 p.m. and by this stage, many of the younger kids have already started trick or treating, there’s no time to prep dinner.  With a little planning, you can prepare a hearty dish that’s easy to reheat in the oven when you get home (or in the slow cooker in the morning) and serve family style on the porch.

A bowl of chili on a chilly night is always a good idea. This one tastes even better the next day so prep it the night before for an easy meal on the night.

Soup is a tasty way to stay warm. How about this hearty winter minestrone? Beef stew (made in the slow cooker) takes the fuss out of dinner in between trick-or-treaters. And lasagna is an easy dish to make the day before so all you have to do is pop it in the oven to warm up while you hand out the treats!

These are all great choices to feed a crowd and are easy to prepare in advance. That way you can pop them in the oven to reheat while you get started handing out treats!

slow-cooker-mulled-wine

Thirsty?

It’s always a good idea to have a selection of beverages (hot and cold, alcoholic and non-alcoholic) to serve your guests (and hey, the parents who accompany their kids trick or treating!). On cold evenings, a big slow cooker filled with mulled wine hits the spot! Remember paper cups for those parents who are taking their warm drinks along with them.

What about you – what are your Halloween evening traditions?

vegan-pumpkin-cake

Vegan Pound Cake With a Colourful Surprise Inside

There are so many treats and sweets that vegan and gluten-free have to pass on, why not bake up a delicious Halloween cake everyone can enjoy. Treat your vegan and gluten-free friends to a delicious dessert with a colourful surprise inside!

vegan-gluten-free-pound-cake

Vegan Hidden Pumpkin Pound Cake
Courtesy of Christina Frantzis
Prep Time: 45 min
Cook Time: 95 min

Ingredients:
Cake
8 Tbsp aquafaba (canned chickpea liquid), divided
2 510 g gluten-free pound cake mix
1-1/4 cup coconut or rice milk, divided
2/3 cup vegetable oil, divided
1/2 cup pumpkin puree
1/2 tsp vegan orange food colouring

Glaze
1 cup icing sugar, sifted
4 tsp water
1/4 cup pecans, chopped

Note: Aquafaba is the water that canned chickpeas are packed in. Strain chickpeas and reserve for another use and use the water to substitute eggs.

pumpkin-pound-cake-slides

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Lightly grease a loaf pan and set aside.
2. Whisk 4 Tbsp of the aquafaba in a small bowl until foamy.
3. In a large bowl, whisk 1 package of the cake mix with the foamed aquafaba, 1/2 cup of the milk, 1/3 cup of the oil and the pumpkin puree until smooth. Stir in food colouring until no streaks of colour remain.
4. Pour batter into prepared loaf pan and smooth top. Bake until a tester inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean, about 45 minutes. Let cake cool in pan on cooling rack for 20 minutes. Remove cake from pan and cool completely.
5. Remove ends of cake and slice loaf into 1inch thick slices. Using a pumpkin shaped cookie cutter cut pumpkins out of centre of each slice. Reserve scraps for another use.
6. Preheat oven to 350°F and lightly grease clean loaf pan. Stand the pumpkin cutouts in a straight line in the pan, leaving no space between them.
7. Whisk remaining 4 tablespoons aquafaba until foamy. Stir into second cake mix along with remaining 1/4 cup of the milk and remaining 1/3 cup of the oil until smooth. Pour mix along sides of pumpkin cutouts in the pan and over top to cover, carefully straightening out if row shifts. Bake until loaf is golden and a tester inserted in the middle without piercing through the pumpkin row comes out clean, about 50 minutes.
8. Let cake cool in pan on cooling rack for 20 minutes. Remove cake from pan and cool completely.
9. Stir sugar with water in a medium bowl until smooth. Drizzle over top of the cake and sprinkle with pecans. Allow 30 minutes for glaze to set before serving.

Looking for more delicious vegan desserts? Try these 50 Vegan Desserts Even Non-Vegans Will Love.

black-icing-halloween

How to Make Black Icing for Naturally Spooky Halloween Treats

Using coconut butter and activated charcoal, we’ve created a smooth, luscious dark icing, with no food colouring, that is the perfect addition to any Halloween treat.

Despite its deep, dark hue,  charcoal — which you can buy with coconut butter at health food stores — doesn’t have a funky taste. Instead, this icing is sweet, rich and maple in flavour.
You can feel good serving this to your kids, knowing it’s a fairly healthy recipe. Scroll down to find a fantastic way to use it in spooky, desserts.

Black Icing1

Prep Time: 7 minutes
Total time: 7 minutes
Serves: 4 to 7

Ingredients:
1 cup coconut butter (also known as coconut manna)
1/4 cup maple syrup
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1/4 cup coconut milk (from a carton, not a can)
1 tsp activated charcoal (in powder form)

Directions:
1. If the coconut butter is solid in a jar, break it up into larger chunks and measure out 1 cup.
2. Place all ingredients except the activated charcoal in a food processor and blend until smooth, about 3 to 5 minutes. You may need to stop and scrape down the side.
3. Add activated charcoal and blend for another 2 minutes until the icing turns black.

Black Icing2

Time to put your spooky black icing to use! Turn cupcakes into a tasty cemetery using black icing to set the scene with this recipe for Pull Apart Graveyard Cupcakes.

Food Network Kitchens Pull Apart Graveyard Cupcakes

Food Network Kitchens Pull Apart Graveyard Cupcakes

Looking for more spooky recipes? Try these Scary-Good Halloween Cakes.

Slime cake

How to Make a Gooey Slime Poke Cake and Win Halloween

Satiate your kids’ need for all things slime with this twist on a poke cake! Dark and delicious devil’s food cake is filled with ooey-gooey neon green slime that is a spooktacular delight for the eyes and the taste buds. Learn how to make this easy, yet eerie cake, just in time for Halloween.

Slime poke cake

Slime Poke Cake
Courtesy of Christina Frantzis
Prep Time: 30 min
Cook Time: 40 min

Ingredients:
Cake
2 boxes devil’s food cake mix

Slime
1 package vanilla pudding mix
3 cups of milk
1/4 tsp green gel food colouring

Frosting
3/4 cups shortening
1/4 tsp salt
4 cups powdered sugar
2 Tbsp black gel food colouring

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Invert the bottom of two 9” springform pans and line with parchment paper. Assemble pans and set aside.
2. Mix cake batter according to package directions. Divide batter evenly amongst prepared pans and bake on centre rack of oven until a tester inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean, 40 – 45 minutes. Remove cakes to a cooling rack and cool completely, removing outer ring of the pan after 20 minutes.
3. For the slime, combine milk and instant pudding mix and microwave for 3 minutes, stir in green food colouring, and return to microwave for an additional 3 minutes. Allow coloured pudding to cool slightly before placing 1/3 of it in a piping bag.

Slime poke cake 1
4. Using the bottom end of a wooden spoon, poke holes through to the bottom of each cake layer.
5. Place the first layer of cake on plate and pipe slime into each hole till it reaches the top of the cake. Spread a thin layer of slime on first cake and top with the second layer. Pipe slime into holes in the top layer of cake.

Slime poke cake 2
6. For the frosting, mix shortening with salt in the bowl of a stand mixer. Slowly add sugar to shortening beating on low until fully incorporated. Add in black colouring and beat on high until frosting is fluffy about 5 minutes.
7. Frost top and sides of the cake and smooth using an offset spatula. Top cake with reserved slime and spread to edges to drip down the sides.

slime-cake-icing

Looking for more spooky treats? Try our Scary-Good Halloween Cakes and Cupcakes.

Anna Olson Halloween Hacks

Anna Olson’s Spooktacular Halloween Hacks

If you ask us, the best food-based Halloween offerings combine a little trick and a whole lot of treat. In fact, one of the best parts about the ghoulish holiday is invoking some kitchen creativity and concocting amazing offerings that look as though they belong at a feast table in the great hall at Hogwarts.

Anna Olson may not have the magic spell that brings chocolate frogs to life, but she certainly has oodles of creativity up her flour-dusted sleeves. Check out these four spooktacular Halloween hacks that not only elevate party-friendly treats but are guaranteed to impress kids and adults alike.

Spiderweb Donuts

Scare up some of these elevated jelly donuts for your next Halloween party or office get-together. All you need is a standard sugar glaze, some jelly donuts, a makeshift piping bag and a toothpick. Easy, peasy. (Spiders not included.)

 

Witch’s Cauldron Instant Ice Cream

Source some dry ice and watch guests’ faces positively light up when you whip up some instant, smoky ice cream in a matter of seconds. Extra points for a colourful spread of gummy worms, crushed Oreo cookie “dirt” crumbs and other sugary toppings to pour over top.

 

Slimiest Green Slime

It only takes three simple ingredients to simmer up some kid-friendly slime that’s not only chemical-free but edible, too. Decorate cakes, cupcakes or other concoctions with “green slime,” or just give it to the kiddies to play with as they see fit for some real Halloween fun.

 

Spooky Kitchen Fun: Halloween Treats

Get the kiddies involved in some good old-fashioned Halloween fun with these simple hacks that won’t just transform snacks into adorable creations, but you’ll craft some life-long memories while you’re at it. From witches hats and pretzel ghosties to blondie Frankensteins and fanged pumpkins, these treats are surprisingly easy to assemble.

 

Looking for more spooktacular inspiration? Try our 18 Orange and Black Halloween Treats.

Pumpkin swirl brownies

Pumpkin Pie Swirl Brownies Are The Best Of Both Worlds

If you love brownies and pumpkin pie (and who doesn’t?), this recipe is one to try. It’s two classic desserts, fudgy brownies and spiced pumpkin pie, combined into one decadent treat. Such simple luxuries blended together make for a surprising combo that’s hard to beat, especially when it’s pumpkin spice time. Add to that a gorgeous swirled finish, and you won’t believe that something so pretty could be so easy!

pumpkin brownies

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Bake Time: 50 minutes
Cool Time: 3 hours
Total Time: 4 hours 5 minutes
Makes: 24 brownies

Ingredients:
2-1/2 cups granulated white sugar
1-1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly, more for pan
5 large eggs
1 Tbsp vanilla extract
1-1/4 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 cup pure pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie filling)
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder, sifted

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 350ºF. Spray a 13×9-inch baking pan with cooking spray or grease with a little extra butter and line with parchment paper.
2. In a large bowl, mix to combine sugar, butter, eggs and vanilla. Stir in flour, salt and baking powder. Transfer 1-1/4 cups of the batter to a medium bowl and to this stir in pumpkin puree, cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg until fully combined. To remaining batter in the large bowl, mix in cocoa until fully combined; reserve 2/3 cup cocoa batter and place in a small bowl.

Brownie batters

3. Spread all but reserved 2/3 cup cocoa batter into the prepared pan. Next, spread the entire amount of pumpkin batter evenly onto the cocoa batter. Overtop of batters, dot with reserved 2/3 cup chocolate batter. Use the tip of a paring knife or skewer to drag and swirl cocoa batter dots into the pumpkin and cocoa batter bases below, creating a marbled look.

Brownies unbaked swirl

4. Bake for 45 to 50 minutes, until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Cool completely in pan before cutting into 24 squares. Serve. Freeze brownies for up to 2 months, or refrigerate for up to 1 week. To up the decadence upon serving, top a scoop of vanilla ice cream with cubes of the chilled pumpkin swirl brownies.

Brownie baked uncut

If you can’t get enough of these chocolate-meets-pumpkin pie Franken-treats, you’ll love our chocolate pumpkin Nanaimo bars, too.