Halloween is not just about the sweet stuff.
If you want to creep out your family with scary-looking treats, you need some real food, too, to counteract the inevitable sugar rush that comes with candy consumption.
Warm and flaky is always good, as is any nosh that requires dipping. And if you can work some fresh fruit or vegetables or a healthful nut butter into the mix? Even better.
We've assembled some creepy-crawly Halloween treats that have two decidedly unscary things going for them. They're assembled with everyday ingredients you probably already have in your pantry or fridge. And they require almost no effort.
All five of the scary foods can be made in five easy steps — not even that many if you don't consider turning on the oven an action that requires effort.
[RELATED: Stuffed peppers as jack-o’-lanterns]
They include a bewitching finger food that looks like actual fingers, a quick-and-easy bedtime snack that's an edible doppelganger for the carved pumpkin on your doorstep and kid-friendly hot dogs wrapped up like mummies.
Not one revolves around sugar, which means you don't have to feel guilty when indulging.
Sliced olives turn deviled eggs into creepy crawlies.
Juicy Spider Eggs
- 6 eggs
- 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
- 2 tablespoon mayonnaise, or more to taste
- Dash of white wine vinegar
- Salt and ground black pepper
- Paprika, optional
- 18 whole black olives
Hard-cook eggs using desired method.
To steam: Add about 1 inch of water to a medium pot and bring to a boil. Place eggs in a steamer insert that fits in the pot and gently lower the steamer into the pot. Reduce the heat to medium-low, cover and steam the eggs for 13 minutes.
To boil: Place the eggs in a saucepan in a single layer and fill the pan with enough cold water to cover the eggs by about an inch. Bring to a rolling boil over high heat, then remove the pan from the heat, cover and let stand for 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, combine ice and cold water. When eggs are finished cooking, using a slotted spoon transfer them to the ice bath and let cool for 5 minutes before peeling.
Peel eggs and then cut each in half lengthwise, and gently scoop out the yolks into a medium bowl. Arrange whites on a platter. Use fork or spoon to mash the yolks and then stir in the mustard, mayonnaise and vinegar; season to taste with salt and pepper.
Spoon the yolk mixture into the cavity of each egg white, heaping it carefully. Sprinkle with paprika, if desired.
Slice 6 of the black olives in half. Top each mound of filling with an olive half for the spider's body.
Cut the remaining 12 olives in half lengthwise, then cut each half into 4 slivers to make the spider's legs. Arrange 4 slivers on each side of each olive half. You'll want four legs on each side for accuracy.
Makes 12 spider eggs.
These flaky, crescent roll-wrapped mummy hot dogs are instant party hits for kids and adults. Serve with ketchup or mustard for dipping.
Mummy Hot Dogs
- 1 (8-ounce) tube refrigerated crescent rolls
- 2 ½ slices American cheese
- 10 hot dogs, patted dry with a paper towel
- Cooking spray
- Mustard or ketchup, if desired
Heat oven to 375 degrees.
Unroll dough; separate at perforations, creating 4 rectangles. Press perforations to seal. With knife or kitchen scissors, cut each rectangle lengthwise into 10 pieces, making a total of 40 pieces of dough.
Cut the whole cheese slices into quarters (squares) and the half slice into two small squares.
Wrap 4 pieces of dough around each hot dog and a square of cheese to look like "bandages," stretching dough slightly to completely cover hot dog. About ½ inch from one end of each hot dog, separate "bandages" so hot dog shows through for "face."
On an ungreased large cookie sheet, place wrapped hot dogs (cheese side down); coat dough lightly with cooking spray. Bake 13 to 17 minutes or until dough is light golden brown and hot dogs are hot. With mustard or ketchup, draw features on "face."
Makes 10 mummy dogs.
Recipe adapted from pillsbury.com
These quesadillas are stuffed with chicken and cheese, but you could also use seasoned ground beef or leave the meat out altogether. Serve with salsa, guacamole, sour cream and/or hot sauce.
- 2 cups shredded chicken
- Juice of ½ lime
- ½ teaspoon chile powder
- ½ teaspoon cumin
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- 8 medium flour tortillas
- 1 ½ cups shredded Mexican cheese
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil, for brushing
- Hot sauce, guacamole, salsa and/or sour cream for serving
Heat oven to 425 degrees and line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
In a large bowl, add chicken and toss with lime juice and spices.
Using a paring knife, cut a jack-o'-lantern pattern into 4 flour tortillas.
Sprinkle chicken and cheese onto remaining 4 tortillas, and top with jack-o'-lanterns.
Place quesadillas onto baking sheet, brush with oil, and bake until cheese is melted and tortillas are golden brown, about 10 to 12 minutes.
These smiling apple faces will make your guests smile, too. I used Granny Smith apples and almond butter. You can find candy eyeballs in the baking section.
Scary Apple Bites
- 2 medium-size green apples, each quartered
- 1 to 2 tablespoons sunflower, almond or peanut butter
- 32 sunflower or pumpkin seeds, or puffed rice
- 2 to 3 strawberries, sliced thin
- Candy eyeballs
Cut the middles out of each quarter of the apple to create a mouth. Don't worry about perfection, you are filling this gap with nut butter anyway so if you cut too deep, you can always just cover it up and no one will know.
Coat the inside of the cut gap with a filling of your choice of nut butter.
Place 4 sunflower or pumpkin seeds or pieces of puffed rice on the top of the "mouth" for the teeth.
Place 1 slice of strawberry inside the mouth for the tongue.
"Glue" each eye above the mouth with a dab of nut butter to stick.
Makes 8 to 12 apple bites.
Recipe adapted from forkandbeans.com
These spooky snacks look just like witches' fingers, with slivered almonds for nails. Serve hot with ketchup or marinara sauce.
Potato Witch Fingers
- 1 large russet potato (around 13 ounces), cooked, peeled, mashed
- ¼ teaspoon salt, or to taste
- 1 ½ teaspoons olive oil
- 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour, or more as needed
- 24 slivered almonds
In a bowl, combine all the ingredients, except the almonds and mix to form a smooth dough. You may need to add more flour if it's sticky.
Using a measuring spoon, scoop around two teaspoons of the mashed potato dough and with floured hands, roll into a ball.
Roll the ball into the shape of a finger, shaping one end to a point for the nail to sit on. Place the shaped finger on the prepared baking tray. Repeat with the remaining dough.
Using a paring knife, score knuckle lines on the finger with 3 or 4 lines below the nail area, and 3 or 4 lines toward the end of the finger. Place an almond half on the nail area.
Bake in a 400-degree oven for 15 to 20 minutes, until the bottoms are brown and crisp and the top is puffed and firm.
Makes around 2 dozen fingers.
Recipe adapted from idahopotato.com