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Halloween recipes

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Spooky snacks: 3 Halloween-inspired recipes kids will love

Test out witch's hat cookies, a bubbling cauldron punch and more.

Halloween recipes: Halloween is fast approaching, so start carving those jack-o-lanterns and get ready for mountains of candy!

Whether you’re attending a spooky party or are just looking for some pre-trick-or-treating snacks, these three recipes will delight all the ghosts and goblins in your house.

Bubbling cauldron Halloween punch

Trick-or-treating is thirsty work, but this Halloween-hued punch is the perfect thing to refresh all the little gremlins in your house.  For extra spooky effect, make a few of the easy ice hands, which chill the punch as well as floating on the surface for a creepy decoration.  If the ice hands are too much for the littlest trick-or-treaters in the house, you could just add a few washed toy spiders or ghosts instead.

4 cups orange juice

2 cups pineapple juice

Juice of 1 lime

¼ cup cranberry juice

1 liter club soda

Special equipment: a few latex gloves

The night before you plan to serve the punch, fill the gloves with filtered water (until they resemble hands), then seal tightly with rubber bands.  Transfer to freezer and let freeze overnight.

When ready to make the punch, combine all of the juices in a large bowl and stir to mix.  Add the club soda and stir again.  Remove the “hands” from the freezer and carefully peel off the gloves.  Add the ice hands to the punch and serve.

Mini mummy pizzas

These mini pizzas are a perfect snack.  There’s protein from the cheese and plenty of energy from the carbs to keep your wee ones going all the way to the witching hour.

Makes 4 mini-pizzas

2 English muffins, split

½ cup pizza sauce

4 sticks string cheese

8 sliced black olives

4 strips red pepper

Preheat oven to 350°F.   Toast English muffins and set aside.

Divide pizza sauce between muffin halves and spread until the whole surface is covered.  Place 2 olives on each muffin half as “eyes.”   Tear string cheese into strips and layer above and below the olives as bandages.  Place a red pepper strip on each below the olives as a smile.  Bake in oven for 10 minutes until cheese has melted.

Witch’s hat cookies

True, at this time of year there’s more sugar in the air than you can shake a (broom)stick at, but these cookies contain whole wheat flour and ground flaxseed to provide a little protein and fiber as well.  (Note: If your kids are allergic to nuts, these would be just as tasty made with a nut-free chocolate spread.)

Makes roughly 2 dozen cookies

1 cup all-purpose flour

¾ cup whole wheat flour

1 tablespoon ground flaxseed

1 teaspoon baking soda

½ teaspoon salt

1 stick butter, softened

½ cup chocolate hazelnut spread

1 cup light brown sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

½ cup orange or purple decorating sugar (optional)

24 chocolate kisses, wrappers removed

Heat the oven to 375°F.  Whisk together flours, flaxseed, baking soda and salt in a medium bowl.

Place softened butter, chocolate spread and sugar in a deep bowl.  Cream the ingredients using a handheld mixer until whipped and fully combined, around 2-3 minutes.  Add the egg and the vanilla extract and mix again for one minute.  Fold in the dry ingredients with a wooden spoon and mix until just combined.  The dough should be dry and crumbly, but will hold when pressed together.

Shape the dough into balls a little smaller than a ping pong ball.  If using the decorating sugar, place it on a plate and very gently roll the balls of dough around so the sugar sticks to the outside.

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and transfer the dough balls, placing them 3 or 4 inches apart. Bake for around 10 minutes, until the cookies are mostly set in the middle. Remove tray from oven and quickly place a chocolate kiss in the middle of each cookie, pushing it into the soft center ever so slightly.  Place tray back in oven and bake for one minute more. Remove from oven and let cookies cool on tray for a few minutes, then transfer to a cooling rack.  Once completely cool, store in an airtight container.

Note: Originally published in October 2015

More Halloween fun:

5 things to do that aren’t trick-or-treating

The Playlist: Halloween-inspired fun