Tomorrow is Halloween and if you're anything like me, skeletons are dangling, cobwebs are up, the walls are appropriately blood-splattered, and your pumpkins (which you've definitely submitted to our pumpkin carving contest) are merrily casting their eerie, cackling shadows of doom.
But...what's on the menu? I mean, hey, no pressure, it's only the holiday with the most potential of all time. I'm genuinely sorry to say that we don't have the keys to the BraveTart haunted
castle mansion or these yogurt-inflected illustrations. But for those of you hosting a crowd in the coming days, we've got some appropriate campy finger food projects to get you through your Halloween festivities in style.
CAUTION! Bad puns and over-enthused Halloween "humor" lies ahead!
Pumpkin Cheddar Cheese Crackers
Don't let the name mislead you—there's nothing "pumpkin" about these flaky, cheddar-packed crackers aside from their appearance. A thematic cookie cutter comes in handy, but you don't actually need anything more than a pairing knife (and some patience) to get the job done. The dough holds its shape, so you can get as intricately creepy as the-bloody-cavity-where-your-heart-once-was desires.
Setting up to carve an awesomely elaborate photograph onto your pumpkin? Be sure to reserve those seeds for a quick and easy roast in the oven. Lemongrass, chili, and toasted coconut; ginger and sage; garlic and Parmesan—the limitless seasoning possibilities will follow you to the grave (and beyond!). Experiment with your own or give one of our combos a shot.
Deviled Egg Eyeballs
Not only are these (be)deviled eggs obviously awesome looking—they actually deliver on flavor. Black olive pupils and roasted red pepper veins add some salty smokiness to the classic hors d'oeuvre.
Chocolate Mini Cheesecakes
Whipping up a batch of these cakes is an easy, straightforward job. Baked in a standard muffin tin, with a crust of vanilla wafer crumbs and butter, the creamy cheesecake filling gets a rich dose of melted bittersweet chocolate. Finishing them off just requires some piping dexterity with the icing—if spiderwebs seem too complicated, give these skulls a go.
Chocolate Peanut Butter Jack-O-Lantern Cookies
You'll want a cookie-cutter to speed this project along. These cookies are made from thin chocolate roll-out cookies sandwiched over peanut butter. They're chocolatey, nutty, crispy, creamy, and, most importantly, they're jack-o'-lanterns!
It's a simple idea: Make dough, tie ends in a knot, and you've got bones. They look sort of like the rawhides for dogs. There's even almond "marrow" inside!
Need more inspiration? See our full collection of spooktacular Halloween sweets! »
And, of course, what's a Halloween cocktail party without the cocktails? For everything from candy-infused spirits to pumpkin-centric brews, pay a visit to our complete guide to Halloween drinks! »
About the author: Niki Achitoff-Gray is the associate editor of Serious Eats and a graduate of the Institute of Culinary Education. She's pretty big into pizza. Also, she likes offal. A lot.