If one pumpkin on your porch is enough to have you smiling all season long, just imagine how happy thousands of pumpkins will make you. We bet that’s exactly what the masterminds behind these impressive pumpkin patches were thinking. But it’s more than just volume that lures visitors — it’s the insanely creative displays (like the village scene at the Dallas Arboretum) and the promise of fall fun (hayrides, doughnuts and corn mazes). Eager for a pumpkin-packed day out? Here are five spots around the country that do it right.
After going doorbell to doorbell in head-to-toe costume, you can bet your kids aren’t give up their candy loot for just anything. But there’s only so much damage you can do to a never-ending bag of sweets. This year, don’t even think about letting your hard-earned loot go to waste; instead, bring it into these sweet-as-can-be post-Halloween treats.
When a surplus of candy calls, make this showstopping Chocolate Cake Decorated with Halloween Candy (pictured above). The amount of candy you’ll need depends on the size of your cake, but, for reference, it takes about 4 cups of candy to cover a two-layer 8-inch round cake.
Though you (and your kids) may disagree on whether pillowcases should be stuffed with candy rather than slept on, we’re here to tell you that Halloween is — gasp! — about more than the sweet stuff. No, your dentist didn’t send us to get you to nosh on more than candy ropes and chocolate bars this year. Instead, we’re just plain excited about these ghoulishly good recipes. Feast on these substantial-yet-spooky dishes we scared up for your Halloween party, like mummified hot dogs (pictured above) and ghost-shaped pizzas, or snack on them while you’re handing candy out to the neighbors.
For a party bite that will stop guests dead in their tracks, make these to-die-for Crispy Phyllo-Wrapped Hot Dog Mummies. The phyllo gives the little dogs a bandaged look and offers a buttery flakiness to every bite.
Whether or not you’ve been carving grinning pumpkins for your home’s stoop, munching on pumpkin seeds is something you have to do this season, whether they’re homemade or store-bought. Though pumpkin seeds are tailor-made for easy snacking, you should also consider using your loot as a way to bring nutty crunch to your favorite meals. Learn how to roast pumpkin seeds at home and then use them in these fall-inspired recipes to bring a little nuttiness and crunch to your favorites.
This year, leave the straight-from-the-wrapper candy bingeing to trick-or-treaters and save your splurges (and candy!) for an epic homemade Halloween treat. Here are our most festive, decadent desserts for your fright-night party.
Squirrel away some extra chocolate-coated candies (or use your leftover loot) to make this decadent chocolate pie. Candy gets folded into the filling and makes an appearance atop the pie along with a generous layer of whipped cream.
Just because these Halloween goodies are spooky doesn’t mean they won’t satisfy a horde of hungry guests. Putting a sinister face on party food takes nothing more than a few choice ingredients and some simple sleight of hand. Cool off a sweet berry punch with frozen lychee “eyeballs” — or fashion some creepy chocolate spiders out of a few pantry staples. Kids especially will love our spine-tingling recipes, though we think partygoers of all ages can get behind these snacks and sweets with a ghoulish twist.
Pull-Apart Graveyard Cupcakes (pictured at top)
If you’re looking for a spooky self-serve dessert, look no further. Although it looks almost like a sheet cake, this chocolatey graveyard is made up of individual cupcakes. Oval sandwich cookies make perfect tombstones, and pliant marzipan is great for shaping the small orange pumpkins and billowy white ghosts.
You don’t have to bake ghoulish cupcakes or serve garlicky anti-vampire snacks to throw a good Halloween bash. Instead of going the spooky route, serve a beautiful dessert dressed in the official holiday colors: orange and black. Food Network Magazine created four new recipes that are classy enough for a cocktail party but sweet enough for any little monsters in your life.
A platter full of doughnut holes is much more tempting than a bowl filled with candy. This recipe yields about five dozen chocolate-glazed bites, which is especially great if you’re planning on a full (haunted) house on the 31st.
Skip messy face paint and itchy wigs this Halloween, and dress up like one of your favorite snacks instead with a little inspiration from Amanda Kibler, the wardrobe whiz from Good Eats with Alton Brown. After years of costume design, Kibler has nailed down the recipe for a successful food-themed costume: It must be eye-catching but comfortable, and it needs to be sturdy enough to endure a long night of door-to-door candy collection. That sounds like a tall order to fill, but Kibler’s life-size designs for pizza, bacon and more are a cinch to pull together at home. Best of all? Each costume relies on thrifty materials like fleece, felt, foam and cardboard.
For the Small Fry
No ghoulish masks or fake blood here — just some giant golden french fries stuffed inside a life-size carton. Aside from looking adorable, trick-or-treaters will stay plenty warm on the notoriously chilly night of Oct. 31 when they’re surrounded by the soft foam fries.
If the over-the-top outdoorsy sabotages that Alton Brown recently unveiled at Camp Cutthroat are any indication, the host’s devotion to eviliciousness knows no bounds, and he’s not one to shy away from a theme. And it’s a good thing that’s the case, because on tonight’s special Halloween episode of Cutthroat Kitchen, he answered the call of fright-night duty by dressing up as none other than Dr. Evil, complete with a bald cap and a telling facial scar. Simon Majumdar, who — like Alton — will stop at nothing for the betterment of the show, donned a series of getups, including a pink-lipped Princess Leia costume, which he showed off on Alton’s After-Show. The duo looked back on the most-haunting Halloween-themed sabotages of the day, from chainsawed sandwich wraps to a time-sucking coffin.
“It was a coffin break, Simon,” Alton told the judge of the Round 2 midround challenge as the crew rolled out the coffin. “The Bobs are awakening,” Simon noted, looking into the coffin as a wigged Bob waved back at him. But not long after the Bob was revealed did Alton slam the top of the coffin upon him, and Simon learned that Chef Adia was forced to spend a spooky five minutes inside that coffin. No matter her lost time, though, Chef Adia ultimately proved her scary-good sabotage prowess by surviving the challenges and earning evilicious glory.
Grab a bucket of candy and prepare for a scare, because Season 5 of Halloween Wars is set to begin Sunday, Oct. 4 (premiering at 9|8c). Before this fright-night celebration of all things spooky and sugary begins, FN Dish is taking you inside the competition to hear from the five teams of Halloween warriors who will be facing off for the chance at a whopping $50,000.
Today we’re introducing you to team Spell Binders, made up of Kristen Lovullo, Joseph Yakovetic and Charity George. Read on below to hear from all three of them.
What is the first thing that comes to mind when you think of Halloween?
Kristen Lovullo: The first thing that comes to mind when I think of Halloween is creating fun and spooky treats for the Bake Shoppe.
Joseph Yakovetic: The first thing that comes to mind is pumpkins — what else?
Charity George: [I think of] setting up all our crazy Halloween decorations at my house and how we will change it up every year.