Ghoulish recipes for spooky eatings

By Ellie Rulon-Miller

Halloween is creeping up on us. All over the Pioneer Valley people are scrambling to put together costumes and organize last-minute parties.

One of the keys to a good party, regardless of the holiday, is good food. It’s easy to appreciate fun food that corresponds with the theme of a party, and Halloween is the perfect opportunity to pull out all the stops and have a little more creative fun with your cooking.

The Internet is crawling with interesting recipes that are both delicious and visually appealing. They range in ingredients and portion size, and most have an obvious gore factor.

Severed Finger Hot Dogs
One of the goriest-looking homemade Halloween foods is severed finger hot dogs. The recipe is extremely simple, requiring only hot dogs and ketchup, although some variations of the recipe require French fries or other foods to use as edible fingernails. All you have to do to make the hot dogs look like fingers is slice small, horizontal slits in strategic places – when done properly, they’ll look like the bunched up skin on your knuckles.

If you want to incorporate a fingernail into it, simply cut off a small part of the hot dog at one end and cut a fingernail-sized piece of a French fry. Stick the fry onto the hot dog with a small amount of cheese, and bake the whole thing until it’s cooked all the way through. If you cook it just long enough, the hot dog will look like the finger has not only been severed but has also been boiled – it will bulge in some areas and turn a darker, slightly burnt color. Squirt some ketchup around the hot dog when serving to look like blood.

Apple and Almond Vampire Teeth
A healthier alternative to severed finger hot dogs are apple and almond vampire teeth. This recipe requires only those two ingredients – an apple and pieces of slivered almonds. Without peeling it, cut the apple into quarters. Then, cut the skin side. Don’t cut all the way through. Make two cuts into the apple at diagonal angles, allowing you to remove a sort of triangle-shaped piece from the side with the skin. At this point, the apple should resemble a mouth.

Next, just take pieces of slivered almonds and stick them into the soft interior of the apple where you just removed a piece. Use different sized pieces of almonds to look like scarier teeth. You can use as few or many almonds as you’d like to make the teeth look as grody as you want.

Doughnut Hole Eyeballs
One of the most interesting-looking (and delicious) Halloween party foods you can make is doughnut hole eyeballs. For this recipe, you will need doughnut holes (which may require a trip to Dunkin’ Donuts if you can’t find any at the grocery store), white chocolate chips, M&Ms, red decorating frosting and possibly some vegetable oil, depending on your chosen method of chocolate-melting.

If you have to get your doughnut holes from Dunkin’ Donuts, go for the chocolate glazed ones. They’re the most round, making them the closest in shape to eyeballs.

To melt the white chocolate chips, you will either want to microwave them or use a pot on the stove. Should you choose to use the stove, you will have to use some vegetable oil mixed in with the chips so they won’t stick as much to the pan. Be careful using the stove – it’s incredibly easy to burn your chocolate chips. If you choose this method, your eyeballs may not coat evenly. They will be just as delicious as the microwave method, but they will look less natural.

The microwave would be the easier option. Michael’s sells bags of various types of meltable chocolate that does not require the additional use of vegetable oil in the melting process. Follow the instructions on the bag to microwave the chocolate for the right amount of time and avoid burning.

After the chocolate is melted, dip the doughnut holes in it one at a time, piercing them with a fork for easy removal from the chocolate. Lay each evenly-coated doughnut hole out on a sheet of parchment paper until the chocolate hardens. Putting them in the refrigerator for a few minutes will expedite the process.

After the chocolate coating hardens, it’s time to decorate. Use red decorating frosting to make red veins on each doughnut eyeball. Squeeze an extra dab on the top of each one and stick an M&M there as the pupil. Peanut Butter M&Ms make the eyeballs the most delicious.

There are many more Halloween recipes out there. A simple Google search reveals dozens of them. Each one makes for a little added entertainment at a themed party, or just as a dessert. Try them and make your Halloween a little sweeter.

Ellie Rulon-Miller can be reached at [email protected]