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Hauntingly Tasty Treats For Grown-Up Halloween Parties

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By: Anne Delatte
Hauntingly Tasty Treats For Grown-Up Halloween Parties

Don't let the kids be the only ones to have all the fun this Halloween. You and your grown-up friends deserve a round of treats, too, and this season is the perfect opportunity to flaunt some creative flair when hosting a Halloween party. Everyone knows that setting out the right drinks and snacks can take an ordinary gathering into a high-spirited haunt of a time, so this year, ditch the candy corn and canned punch and let the flavors of Spice Islands® spices help you whip up some tricks and treats to make your Halloween party a wicked good one.

Paprika Pumpkin Patch Mini Cheese Balls [adapted from Tasty Kitchen] 

Take the trusty cheese ball to the next level with this delicious harvest. This rich blend of cheeses and smoky paprika with just a hint of heat will have your guests smiling like brightly lit jack-o'-lanterns. Bite-size portions atop homemade crackers make for easy picking indeed, so just be sure you've made enough to go around.

Cheese Balls

Ingredients:

Directions:

  1. In a bowl, mix together the cream cheese, onion, hot pepper sauce, cheddar and Monterey Jack cheese. Chill for 30 minutes to an hour.
  2. Separate into heaping spoonfuls and roll into 18 balls.
  3. In a shallow dish, roll balls in smoked paprika to coat, then flatten slightly into pumpkin shape, using a knife to form indentations.
  4. Cut celery into small pieces and place atop each cheese ball as a stem. Refrigerate until ready to serve, then place atop Homemade Cheese Crackers.

Homemade Cheese Crackers [via SpiceIslands.com

Ingredients:

  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon Spice Islands® Onion Salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon Spice Islands® Chili Powder
  • 1 cup (4 oz.) finely shredded sharp Cheddar cheese
  • 1/4 cup butter, softened (no substitutions)
  • 1/4 cup raw pepitas (shelled pumpkin seeds), or sunflower seed kernels, chopped

Directions:

  1. Mix flour, onion salt, and chili powder in a mixing bowl. Add butter and cheese and combine with an electric mixer until mixture forms a ball. Add pepitas, kneading on lightly floured counter if necessary to form a ball.
  2. Divide dough in half. Form each half into an 8-inch log; refrigerate a minimum of 8 hours.
  3. Preheat oven to 350ºF.
  4. Slice dough into generous 1/8-inch slices and place on ungreased baking sheets.
  5. Bake for 14 to 18 minutes, or until brown on bottoms. Remove from baking sheet immediately; cool on wire racks. Crackers will crisp as they cool.

Do-ahead: Dough may be made ahead and frozen, if desired.

Jagged Coconut-Crusted Fingers [via SpiceIslands.com

If served in the dark, the striking texture of this spin on a classic finger food is sure to tempt hungry appetites. Savory and satisfying to eat plain, these digits also pair well in the glow of a black light with a blood-red Spicy Apricot Dipping Sauce. Dab some sauce on the ends of the slivers for a nail-like glaze, or simply serve a side of sauce alongside "fingertips."

Cayenne Coconut-Crusted Chicken 

Ingredients:

For deep frying, enough Mazola® Corn Oil

Directions: 

  1. Mix corn starch, cayenne pepper, salt and black pepper in shallow bowl; set aside.
  2. Beat egg whites in medium size mixing bowl until frothy.
  3. Place coconut in a shallow bowl.
  4. Dredge chicken tenders in corn starch mixture; shake off excess. Dip chicken in egg whites, then press chicken into coconut. Turn over and press into coconut again to coat both sides.
  5. Heat deep fat fryer to 350°F.  Add chicken to the hot oil in batches.  Deep fry until cooked through, about 2 to 3 minutes.  Drain.  Serve hot with Spicy Apricot Dipping Sauce.

Gluten-Free Tip:  Make sure to fry the chicken strips in oil that is only used for gluten-free foods.

Spicy Apricot Dipping Sauce

Ingredients:  

Directions:

  1. Combine all dipping sauce ingredients in saucepan; heat through. Set aside until ready to serve.

S'mores Chocolate Cupcakes [via SpiceIslands.com] 

Granted, not every party setting allows for an actual crackling campfire for gathering around and telling ghost stories, but these s'mores cupcakes can help  create the appropriate atmosphere. Single-serving treats allow dessert lovers to indulge in the comfort of chocolate, marshmallow and graham crackers while significantly cutting down on the mess of consuming traditional s'mores.

Cupcakes

Ingredients:

Directions:

  1. Mix flour, cocoa, soda, salt and cinnamon together in a medium bowl.
  2. Cream butter and sugar until light in texture and color, about 5 minutes in a large bowl with an electric mixer. Add eggs, beating well after each.
  3. Gradually add flour mixture, alternating with water. Beat in vanilla.
  4. Portion into paper-lined muffin tins, filling each about two-thirds full. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes at 350º F. Cool at least 30 minutes.

S'more Topping

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 4 ounces semisweet chocolate squares, roughly chopped
  • 1 teaspoon Spice Islands® Vanilla Extract
  • 1 jar (7 oz.) marshmallow creme 
  • 1/2 cup roughly chopped graham crackers

Directions:

  1. Heat cream in a small heavy saucepan. Add chocolate, stirring constantly, until melted. Remove from heat and add vanilla; cool 10 minutes.
  2. While it is cooling, spread marshmallow creme over cupcakes. Top marshmallow layer with chopped graham crackers. Drizzle a small amount of cooled chocolate over each cupcake.

Sangre-Proof Sangria [via SpiceIslands.com

The fruity, crisp spiciness of sangria is perfect for an autumn All Hallows' afternoon, but it can also be an effective pick-me-up later in the night when you might feel a bit more ghoulish. You can easily make a large batch in advance and spend more time enjoying the party, and less time tending bar.

Ingredients:

Directions:

  1. Heat water and sugar in a heavy saucepan over medium-high heat. Add cinnamon sticks, cloves, and vanilla bean. Bring to a boil for 3 minutes; remove from heat and cool to room temperature.
  2. Strain sugar syrup into large pitcher. Add strawberries, lemons, oranges and apple. Pour wine and rum over fruit. Chill for a minimum of 6 hours. Remove fruit and add ginger ale just before serving. Use fruit to garnish, if desired.

Note: 1 tablespoon vanilla extract may be substituted for the vanilla bean. Add the extract to sugar syrup after cooling.

All Hallows Spiced Coffee [via SpiceIslands.com

Keep your guests (and yourself) from becoming zombies at the end of the night with a rich spiced coffee that can pull double duty as a dessert. Add a shot of rum for the perfect soul-warming cap to your smashing Halloween party for the grown-up set.

Ingredients (for each serving):

Garnishes:

Directions:

  1. Stir together cocoa powder, brown sugar, cinnamon, allspice and cloves in a large coffee cup. Add maple syrup and stir until blended. Gradually add hot coffee until blended. Add rum if desired.
  2. Serve hot or cold over ice. Top with dollop of whipped cream sprinkled with shaved chocolate and cinnamon. Garnish with a cinnamon stick.

Anne Delatte is a freelance writer and blogger. She enjoys covering food and culture in South Louisiana and beyond and has written for area publications and national sites including Apartments.com and Marriott Travel. Anne lives and works in New Orleans.

Spice Islands® spices deliver high quality, authentic flavors from all over the world so you can put the most delicious meals on your table.

 

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