Tricks Are For Kids: 10 Delish Halloween Treats For Adults

pumpkin cheesecake

When the sun sets on Halloween night, all the kiddies will emerge from the darkness, donning their best costumes and taking to the streets in search of treats. And even though it's been a few years (okay, several) since we've gone out trick-or-treating ourselves, why do kids get to have all the fun?

Halloween — a holiday mostly loved for ghost stories and childish games — isn't typically considered the most romantic of holidays. But if it's true that the way to a guy's heart is really through his stomach, then he'll be head over heels in love with you after taking a bite into one of these holiday recipes we've rounded up. Cook up these ghoulish, yet oh-so good snacks to munch on with your significant other while you cuddle up on Hallow's Eve.

1. Baked Stuffed Apples With Worms
Yield: 6 servings (serving size: 1 apple)

6 medium red apples (preferably McIntosh)
Juice from half a lemon (approximately 2 tablespoons)
2 cups water
1/2 cup pure maple syrup (dark amber grade A)
1/2 cup raisins
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1 teaspoon cinnamon
6 candy gummy worms

1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Core apples (use a tool you use to scoop melon balls) and place in water mixed with lemon juice while you mix additional ingredients.
2. Mix syrup with raisins, walnuts and cinnamon. Fill apples with raisin mixture and place in a baking dish.
3. Fill bottom of the dish with 1 cup of lemon water. Bake uncovered for 60 minutes until tender.
4. Drizzle juice from bottom of dish over apples and serve hot.
5. Top each apple with a worm.
CHOLESTEROL DOWN: 10 simple steps to lower your cholesterol in 4 weeks — without prescription drugs (Crown/Three Rivers, Dec 2006) by Dr. Janet Brill

2. Creamy Pumpkin Coffee

3/4 cup low-fat milk
2 teaspoon sugar, brown or white
2 tablespoons pumpkin pure
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 dashes of nutmeg
Dash of cinnamon
Pinch of ground ginger
1/2 cup hot coffee

1. Combine the milk, sugar, pumpkin purée, vanilla, nutmeg, cinnamon and ginger in a blender and blend on high speed to purée, creating a frothy consistency.
2. Pour into a saucepan and heat until hot but do not boil.
3. Pour hot coffee into mug and top with hot spiced milk.
The Truly Healthy Family Cookbook (Page Street Publishing) by Tina Ruggiero M.S., R.D., L.D.

3. Give 'Em the Eyeball Candies

1/2 cup hydrogenated peanut butter (such as Skippy)
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into pieces
1 1/4 cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted
6 ounces white chocolate coating (see below), finely chopped
20 round brown candy-coated chocolate candies (such as M&M’s)
Red paste or gel food coloring

1. Line 2 jelly-roll pans with aluminum foil, smoothing out any wrinkles. Coat foil with nonstick cooking spray.
2. In a large bowl with an electric mixer on medium speed, beat peanut butter, butter, and confectioners’ sugar until creamy and smooth.
3. Roll into 1-inch balls between your palms and place on prepared pan; freeze for 30 minutes.
4. Melt chocolate coating in a double boiler or microwave and stir until smooth. Dip balls into chocolate one at a time until completely coated, using your fingers, 2 forks, or chocolate dipping tools. Remove balls from chocolate, let excess chocolate drip back into pot, and place balls back on pan. Press 1 brown candy into each ball; these are the eyeball’s irises. Chill until firm, about 30 minutes.
5. Tint the remaining chocolate coating with red coloring. Scrape into a zipperlock plastic bag. Snip a small opening in a bottom corner of the bag and pipe bloody squiggles onto each eyeball. Chill until red chocolate is firm, about 15 minutes.
White chocolate: Look for white chocolate that lists cocoa butter in the ingredients rather than palm oil or other oils. The cocoa butter will give it a natural chocolate flavor and aroma. I most often use Callebaut and Valrhona.
From A Baker's Field Guide to Holiday Candy & Confections Recipe © 2013 by Dede Wilson and used by permission of The Harvard Common Press

4. Easy Marbled Candy Corn Bark

1 pound couverture or regular milk chocolate, finely chopped

12 ounces couverture or regular white chocolate, finely chopped

1 1/4 cups candy corn

1. Line a jelly-roll pan with aluminum foil, smoothing out any wrinkles.
2. Melt milk and white chocolates separately in a double boiler or in medium-size bowls in the microwave. Fold half of the candy corn into the milk chocolate and spread this mixture onto the prepared pan in an even layer using an offset spatula. It doesn't have to be perfectly rectangular like the pan, as the candy will be broken up into random pieces.
3. While milk chocolate mixture is wet, dollop tablespoonfuls of white chocolate here and there over surface. Use the tip of a butter knife to swirl chocolates together. Do not overswirl or you will lose the definition of the milk and white chocolates.
4. While mixture is still wet, sprinkle remaining candy corn over the top and press in gently with fingers to help it adhere. Place bark in refrigerator until completely firm, about 30 minutes.
5. Peel off the aluminum foil. Break the bark into irregular pieces and enjoy!
From A Baker's Field Guide to Holiday Candy & Confections Recipe © 2013 by Dede Wilson and used by permission of The Harvard Common Press

5. Mummy Cupcakes 

1 batch Brownie Cupcakes (see below) in white paper liners
1 batch Classic Confectioners' Sugar Frosting (see below)
Pastry bag and coupler
Ateco tip #47
Yellow paste or gel food coloring
Ateco or Wilton tip #12
36 semisweet chocolate morsels

1. Place cupcakes on clean work surface. Place frosting in a large mixing bowl. Place in pastry bag and, using smooth side of tip #47, form mummy's wraps on top of cupcakes, leaving some brownie showing through for eyes. Think about what it looks like to make a head wrap around an injured person! There should be angled wraps on the top of the mummy’s head, with some angled and some horizontal ones beneath its eyes. Each wrap should overlap the previous one to give a realistic look. This is one cupcake where the photo example really is worth a thousand words!
2. Tint remaining frosting a nice yellow for glowing eyes! Use pastry bag fitted with tip #12 to pipe rounds for eyes. Insert chocolate morsels, tip side down, in center of eyes to make irises. Make sure you can see some yellow around the morsel. Cupcakes are now ready to serve.

Brownie Cupcakes (For Mummy Cupcakes):

18 paper liners
8 ounces semisweet or bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature, cut into pieces
2 cups firmly packed light brown sugar
4 large eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1⁄4 teaspoon salt
1 cup all-purpose flour
3⁄4 cup pecan halves (optional), toasted and finely chopped

1. Preheat oven to 350ºF. Place paper liners in all wells of one 12-cup and one 6-cup cupcake tin.
2. Melt chocolate and butter together in top of large double boiler or in large bowl in microwave; stir until smooth and combined, then cool to lukewarm.
3. Whisk in brown sugar until well blended. Then whisk in eggs one at a time, allowing each one to become absorbed before adding next one. Whisk in vanilla extract and salt. Add fl our and nuts, if using, at the same time and fold in until no streaks of flour remain.
4. Divide batter evenly among cupcake wells. Bake for about 25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center shows many moist crumbs. The tops will be dry and crackled in appearance and slightly puffed.
5. Cool pans on racks for 5 minutes, then remove cupcakes to cooling racks to cool completely.

Classic Confectioners' Sugar Frosting (For Mummy Cupcakes):

Yield: about 3 cups

1⁄2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature, cut into small pieces
4 cups confectioners' sugar, plus an additional 1⁄2 cup if necessary, whisked before measuring
1⁄4 cup milk, at room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1. In a large bowl with an electric mixer on medium-high speed, beat butter until creamy, about 2 minutes.
Add 1 cup confectioners’ sugar gradually, beating until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes, scraping down the bowl once or twice. Add 1 more cup of sugar and about half of the milk and beat until smooth and creamy. Add 1 more cup of sugar and remaining milk, and beat well, scraping down sides of the bowl. Add remaining 1 cup of sugar and vanilla extract and beat on high speed until very light and creamy, about 5 minutes. Assess texture. If it is too soft, add a portion or all of the remaining 1⁄2 cup of sugar.
2. At this point you can continue beating the frosting, if you like, which will make it lighter, creamier, and a little airier. You want it to be as smooth as possible. Frosting is ready to use. (Bring to room temperature and rebeat after storing.)
From A Baker's Field Guide to Cupcakes Recipe © 2013 by Dede Wilson and used by permission of The Harvard Common Press

6. Swamp Creature Toes

1/2 cup whole skinless salted almonds
green liquid coloring1 (12-ounce) package semisweet chocolate chips (2 cups)
1 (6-ounce) bag 8-inch pretzel rods (about 12)

1. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment or wax paper. Blend the almonds with about
10 drops of coloring in a small stainless steel, ceramic, or glass bowl (plastic might stain). Stir well until all the nuts are coated. Spread the green almonds on a plate to dry.
2. Put the chocolate chips in a microwave-safe bowl and melt the chocolate in the microwave: Heat on high for 60 seconds, and then stir well. If it's not quite smooth, heat in two or three 10-second bursts, stirring well after each burst. (Alternatively, you can melt the chocolate, stirring frequently, in a double boiler, over just-simmering water. Avoid overheating, which can cause chocolate to seize up into a stiff mass.)
3. Break each pretzel rod into 3 pieces. Dip a broken piece about three-quarters of the way into the melted chocolate, leaving a broken end visible. (If it's an end piece of the pretzel, dip the finished end, leaving the broken end showing.)
4. Lay the dipped pretzel on a prepared baking sheet and lay a green almond on the top of the dipped end. If the almond won't stick, dip the underside in a bit more chocolate. When all the toes are decorated, place the baking sheets in the refrigerator or freezer to firm the chocolate. Serve cool.


7. Cold-as-a-Witch's-Hat Cones

pistachio ice cream, or green mint chocolate chip
candy corn
chocolate chips
red or black licorice whips
pointy sugar cones

1. Line a baking sheet with wax paper or parchment and place rounded scoops of ice cream on it. Freeze until firm, at least one hour.
2. Allow each child (or adult) to decorate a scoop of ice cream with licorice strings on top for hair, candy corn for a nose, chocolate chips for eyes, and red licorice for a mouth. Press a sugar cone on top for a hat, and grin at how cute it is. Flip over and eat immediately!
Excerpted from Ghoulish Goodies © Sharon Bowers, photography © Kevin Kennefick used with permission from Storey Publishing

8. Halloween Chow Mein Cookies

2 cups (12 oz bag) semi-sweet chocolate chips
2 tablespoons (1 oz) unsalted butter
1 1/2 cups (5 oz) Chinese chow mein noodles, broken into 1 inch pieces
1 1/4 cups (5 oz) salted peanuts

1. Line a baking sheet with wax paper, parchment paper or aluminum foil.
2. Melt the chocolate chips and butter together in a microwave oven, stirring every 30 seconds. Heat just until the chocolate is melted and the mixture is smooth.
3. In a large mixing bowl, toss the noodles and peanuts together. Pour the melted chocolate mixture over them and stir. Use a rubber spatula to coat the noodles and nuts with chocolate quickly before the chocolate hardens.
4. Use 2 soup spoons to scoop up spoonfuls of the mixture and place on the prepared baking sheet. Set the baking sheet in a cool place or refrigerate for 15 minutes until the chocolate hardens.
5. The clusters can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 1 month.
Handstand Kids Chinese Cookbook Kit by Yvette Garfield

9. Pumped-Up Pumpkin Pie Bites

Butter-flavored cooking spray
3/4 cup whole grain, crunchy, high-fiber, low-sugar cereal (I used Kashi 7 Whole Grain Nuggets)
2 tablespoons 100% pure maple syrup
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
8 large egg whites
1 can (15 ounces) solid pumpkin puree
3/4 cup agave nectar
2 tablespoons whole wheat pastry flour
2 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1-1/4 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup Whipped Topping (below), optional

1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Lightly mist an 11" x 7" glass or ceramic baking dish with spray.
2. Add the cereal to the bowl of a food processor fitted with a chopping blade. Process it for 15 to 20 seconds, or until the cereal is crushed. Transfer it to a small mixing bowl and add the maple syrup and cinnamon. Mix them until well combined. Spoon the mixture into the prepared baking dish. Gently press down on the cereal mixture, spreading it evenly across the bottom of the baking dish. Bake for 7 to 9 minutes, or until slightly browned. Set aside.
3. Meanwhile, add the egg whites to a large mixing bowl. Using a sturdy whisk, lightly beat them until they bubble very slightly. Still using the whisk, stir in the pumpkin, agave, and flour until well combined. Stir in the vanilla, pumpkin pie spice, baking powder, and salt and continue mixing until well combined. Pour the filling over the baked crust. Using a rubber spatula, spread it into an even layer.
4. Bake for 40 to 45 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out dry (a few crumbs are okay). Transfer the dish to a wire cooking rack, allowing it to cool to room temperature. Carefully cut 32 pumpkin "bites" (3 cuts along the width of the pan, 7 cuts along the length, creating 4 x 8 bites). Just before serving, top each bite with 1 teaspoon whipped topping, if desired. Serve immediately or store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. Makes 16 servings (32 bites)

Whipped Topping
It's important to use this topping within about 1 day or to freeze any excess. After a day in the refrigerator, it begins to separate. In the freezer, it will stay as made for weeks and never gets hard so it’s great for topping anything, as the cravings hit. 

Though you may be tempted to use a double boiler for this recipe, unless you have a very large double boiler insert, I would highly recommend using a saucepan and a large metal or heavy-duty glass mixing bowl that sits on top the pan (and isn’t too much larger than the pan). For maximum results, you need a large bowl so that a lot of air whips into the egg whites, creating volume. I’ve found that most double boiler inserts aren't quite big enough to allow that.

Please note that every time I have made this, it yields a different amount of whipped topping, ranging from as few as 6 cups to as many as 8-1/2 cups.  I've noticed that even slight variations in the size of the egg whites, temperature of the egg whites, the type of beaters you use, the size of the bowl, etc. make a difference.  I’ve calculated the nutritional information based on the recipe making only 6 cups to give you a good sense of what you’re consuming, “worst case scenario”. If it makes more, as it likely will, it has even fewer calories per tablespoon.

3/4 cup light agave nectar
3 large egg whites, room temperature
1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar

1. Add water to a medium saucepan until it is about 1/4 full. Bring the water to a boil over high heat.
2. Off the heat, combine the agave, egg whites, and cream of tartar in a large metal or heavy duty glass mixing bowl (that will fit onto the top of your saucepan). Beat on medium-high with an electric mixer fitted with beaters until well blended. Place the bowl over the pot of boiling water. (For safety, be sure to wear an oven mitt while holding the bowl over the heat, as it will get very hot). Beat for about 7 minutes, occasionally running the beaters around the sides of the bowl to scrape any of the mixture, until stiff peaks form. Remove the bowl from the water and continue beating for 5-7 minutes more, rotating the bowl and scraping down the sides with the beaters  as you do, or until the mixture is thick, very fluffy, and has very stiff peaks. Makes about 6 cups. 

Reprinted from The Biggest Loser Dessert Cookbook by Devin Alexander © 2010 by Universal Studios Licensing LLLP. The Biggest Loser (TM) and NBC Studios, Inc., and Reveille LLC. Permission granted by Rodale, Inc., Emmaus, PA 18098. Available wherever books are sold.  Photo Credit: Mitch Mandel

10. Pumpkin Cheesecakes with a Gingersnap Crust

(For the crust)
Oil for greasing the jars
3 cups gingersnaps, ground into crumbs
6 tablespoons (¾ stick) unsalted butter, melted
For the cheesecake
3 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese, at room temperature
1 1/2 cups pumpkin puree
1 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
Pinch of cardamom
3 large eggs
1/3 cup sour cream or Greek-style yogurt
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

(For the topping)
1 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons confectioners' sugar
Cinnamon, for sprinkling

1. Preheat the oven to 325ºF. Grease the bottoms and sides of sixteen 4-ounce jars or eight 8-ounce jars. Make the crust: In a medium-size bowl, mix together the gingersnap crumbs and melted butter until all of the crumbs are coated. Divide the crumb mixture evenly among the jars and use a wine cork or other small, flat-bottomed object to press down into the bottoms of the jars to form the crusts. Set aside.
2. Make the cheesecake: In a large bowl or in a stand mixer, beat the cream cheese until smooth. Beat in the pumpkin puree. Add in the sugar and spices, and beat for 1 minute until incorporated. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and add the eggs one at a time, beating to incorporate after each addition. Mix in the sour cream and vanilla. Spoon or pour the cheesecake filling over the crusts in the jars to ½ inch from the top.
3. Arrange the jars 2 inches apart in high-sided baking pans, such as 9 × 13-inch cake pans, with each pan lined with a clean kitchen towel. Place the pans with the jars in the oven and carefully add hot water to the pans to come halfway up the sides of the jars.
4. Bake the cheesecakes for 25 to 30 minutes, or just until their centers are almost set. Turn off the oven and allow the cheesecakes and water to cool slowly in the oven for 20 minutes. When the cheesecake and water have cooled slightly, remove them carefully from the oven and remove the cheesecakes from the pans. Allow to cool completely, then cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours.
5. Before serving, whip together the cream and confectioners’ sugar in a bowl until stiff peaks form. Spoon over the tops of the cheesecakes and sprinkle lightly with cinnamon. Serve cold.
From Desserts in Jars Recipe © 2013 by Shaina Olmanson and used by permission of The Harvard Common Press.

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