Halloween gives adults one night to freely act like kids. You can dress up, eat more candy than you ever should, and prepare recipes that celebrate the holiday with clever presentations that amuse and sometimes horrify.
This selection of terrifying treats is sure to make your Halloween party a smash hit among all your friends:
Black Magic Jell-O Shots
No Halloween party is complete without a little “boos” thrown in. Easy ingredients include:
2 packages purple Jell-O
2 cups boiling water, divided
2 cups vodka, divided
Black food coloring
Lime wedge, for rim
Black sanding sugar, for rim
- Whisk 1 package purple Jell-O with one cup boiling water in a large bowl or Pyrex measuring cup until Jell-O is completely dissolved.
- Add vodka and mix well with the whisk.
- Fill shot cups halfway and refrigerate until firm, two to three hours.
- When shots are almost firm, make the second layer. In the same bowl or measuring cup, whisk together remaining package of purple Jell-O and one cup boiling water, stirring until the Jell-O dissolves.
- Whisk in black food coloring and remaining vodka.
- Top each shot with the black vodka mixture and chill two to three additional hours.
- Rim each shot with lime juice and dip in sanding sugar.
- Set the shots on a table, and watch them disappear like magic.
Bloody Mary’s Spooky Syringes
Watching friends squirt cocktails into their mouths with syringes will make you say “fangs for the memories.” Here’s everything you need to make it happen:
2 cups tomato juice
1 cup vodka
2 tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
1 tbsp. creamy or prepared horseradish
2 tsp. hot sauce
Juice of ½ a lemon
Freshly-ground black pepper
- Combine all ingredients in a large bowl and whisk until well combined.
- Carefully fill the syringes, and chill them on a large plate or platter.
- Serve cold and listen for remarks like “You’re just my (blood) type.”
Dead Velvet Cake
Instead of going door-to-door to snag some sweets, serve this decadent cake at your Halloween party. The best part is, it guarantees love at first bite!
1 box Red Velvet cake mix, plus ingredients listed on the box
2 8-oz. packages cream cheese, softened to room temperature
1 stick butter (4 oz), softened
2 ¼ cups powdered sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract
½ cup cold water
2 tbsp. cornstarch
½ cup light corn syrup
1 tsp. vanilla extract
red food coloring
- Preheat your oven to 350 degrees and adjust the oven rack to center position.
- Butter and flour two nine-inch cake pans and set aside.
- Prepare red velvet cake batter according to package directions.
- Evenly divide the batter between two cake pans, tapping them on the counter to remove bubbles as you go, and bake according to instructions.
- While the cake bakes, prepare the cream cheese frosting. In a large mixing bowl, beat cream cheese and butter until well mixed and light.
- Add powdered sugar and vanilla to the bowl and mix until thoroughly combined. Set aside.
- Make the “blood” topping. Mix the water and cornstarch in a small saucepan until it’s smooth.
- Set over medium heat and add corn syrup.
- Simmer and stir for two minutes.
- Remove pan from heat and stir in vanilla and red food coloring until well combined. Set aside.
- Place one cake on a cake plate and, if necessary, trim its dome horizontally to make it flat.
- Spread just enough “blood” on the top layer to dampen the cake.
- Trim the dome off the second cake if necessary and place cut-side down on the bottom layer.
- Frost the entire outside of the cake with cream cheese frosting, smoothing the top to make it as even as possible.
- Slowly pour the “blood” over the top, making sure it drips down the sides. If anyone asks where you got it, simply say, “I have an account at the blood bank.”
Necropolis Chicken Enchilada Dip
Even the bravest of us usually gets creeped out by graveyards. In this easy, tasty dish, the headstones are made out of flour tortillas!
2 cups shredded pepper Jack cheese
1 cup enchilada sauce
1 cup shredded rotisserie chicken
12 oz. cream cheese, softened
1 (4.5-oz) can diced green chillies
1 tbsp. taco seasoning
4 flour tortillas
Tortilla chips for serving
- Preheat your oven to 350 degrees and adjust oven rack to the center position.
- Combine all ingredients except flour and corn tortillas in a large mixing bowl until well mixed.
- Transfer dip mixture to a large cast-iron skillet and bake until hot and bubbly, about 20 to 25 minutes.
- While the dip bakes, make the tortilla headstones. Use a very sharp, non-serrated knife to cut the tortillas into the right shapes and arrange them on a baking sheet. Bake until firm enough to stand up in the top of the dip, five to seven minutes.
- Sprinkle the top of the dip with bright green shredded lettuce (for the lawn of the graveyard) and insert headstones.
- Serve with tortilla chips while announcing, “Ghouls just want to have fun!”
Monster Head Turkey Sliders
Biting into an edible scary head is fun…as long as is doesn’t bite back, of course. Here’s what you need to make one for your party:
1½ lbs. ground turkey or beef
1 egg yolk
½ tsp. garlic powder
½ tsp. onion powder
Kosher salt, to taste
Freshly-ground black pepper, to taste
2 tbsp. olive oil
12 sweet dinner rolls, such as King’s Hawaiian
1 cup lava sauce or any sweet/hot red jalapeno sauce
6 pineapple rings, quartered
1 small red onion, sliced
3 slices provolone, quartered
6 slices yellow cheddar, quartered
6 small Persian cucumbers, cut into sticks
- In a large mixing bowl, thoroughly combine ground turkey or beef, egg yolk, garlic powder, onion powder, salt, and pepper.
- Break up the mixture into 12 equal portions and then shape each piece into a three-and-a-half-inch patty.
- Place a griddle over the largest burner on the stove and set to medium heat. When the griddle is hot, brush it with olive oil.
- Cook the patties about three minutes per side, until barely cooked through.
- Place a quarter slice of cheddar cheese atop each patty and leave on the heat until the cheese melts.
- Slice dinner rolls in half.
- Place a patty on the bottom half of each roll.
- Pour the sauce over each patty.
- Top each half with two pieces of pineapple and a red onion slice.
- Using a very sharp non-serrated knife, carve a one-inch-long X into the middle of each top half of the rolls and set on top of the slider.
- Carefully press cucumber sticks into the X shape of the top roll to create a crown.
- Create the eyes using the cheese pieces.
- For each slider, place a quarter slice of provolone on top of a quarter slice of cheddar.
- Use a toothpick to hold the cheese together and attach the eyes to the sliders.
- For the mouth, form the remaining cheddar cheese slices into scary shapes and press them into the side of the patties right before serving.
- Queue the sounds of “Monster Mash” and dig in.
Happy Halloween, everyone!