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Fun and easy Halloween-themed recipes to spook up your night

(Nora Vetter/ Flickr)

Need some ideas to help make your Halloween party a bit spookier but aren’t sure how? You’ve already bought all the decorations—skeletons and skulls, creepily carved ceramic pumpkins, blown-up vampires, fog machines, sticky spider webs—and you now need to complete the scene with some delicious “finger” food (and yes, I really mean fingers).

Or maybe you’re simply looking to get creative with some holiday-themed treats and enjoy them casually with friends while having a movie marathon. Whatever the occasion, here are some quick and easy recipes to help get that Halloween vibe going and get the most out of this tantalizing time of year. 

Cheese fingers

What was your favorite snack in elementary school? Did you ever like string cheese? Take this opportunity to give it a comeback. This fun and easy treat requires only a simple creative mind, a knife, some of that nostalgic string cheese and almond slivers. Cut each string cheese block in half to make them finger-sized, then add some marking/scratches for the knuckles. Next, choose an end for the nail and cut a little cheese off at an angle so the slivered almond (as the nail) can rest there comfortably. You can either stick the almond into the cheese, or use a little cream cheese or a substitute to make it stick. Now you have a plate of spooky, pale fingers.

Mummy dogs

These cute little guys wouldn’t harm a fly! This is a twist on pigs-in-a-blanket. You can even make them with half-sized hot dogs to double your recipe. After getting something for the body, take some crescent roll dough and cut it into thin strips (to look like bandages) to wrap around the hot dog. Ideally, you want to leave a little space for the face somewhere in the middle. It should look like a little mummy wrapped tightly in bandages and a little hat, and after baking it according to the directions on the crescent dough box, dot on a couple mustard eyes.

Dirt with worms

If I squinted, this one may actually look like a cup of earth with some creepy-crawlers living in it. But this may be one of the most delicious Halloween-themed desserts out there. To get the full effect, prepare in a glass cup so all the layers are visible. You’ll need some quick and easy instant pudding to whip up ahead of time, some crumbled Oreos and gummy worms. After the pudding has been prepared and cooled, lay it in the bottom half of the glass. Next, throw in the worms. Only two or three are necessary depending on your love for gummies, and make sure at least one sticks a little over the lip of the glass. Lastly, toss the crumbled Oreos on the top half of the glass to complete the earthy dessert.

Spider cookies

These creepy-crawlers probably won’t be going anywhere off the plate. Start with some Oreos, some shoe-string licorice (or any thin, rod-like candy) and red M&Ms. This recipe is simple: put the Oreos on a plate, attach the licorice to the sides (sticking them in the cream of the Oreo) to serve as legs and then place the M&Ms on the top for the spiders’ eyes.

Witch brooms

You can make some claims here… maybe you’re a witch hunter and want to show off your trophies? If you want to impress your friends, you’ll need to make some convincing brooms. All you need is some cookie dough to fan over the end of a pretzel stick (any dough will do). A little extra tip to help the broom hold its shape: add a little flour to solidify the mix. From there, simply bake according to the cookie recipe used and then decorate as desired. Extra points for spooky frosting details.

Each of these recipes are simple and should be easy to make using common foods found in your local grocery store. Don’t be afraid to come up with your own ideas! Hopefully the ones listed here can be a small source of inspiration to help you enjoy your Halloween, regardless of the nature of your festivities.

Nicholas Remillard can be reached at nremillard@umass.edu.

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