Halloween Entertaining

Even if you’ve outgrown ghoulish makeup and pillow cases filled with snickers, bubblegum, and jujubes, Halloween still makes a great excuse for the consumption of cocktails and candy! This year, consider skipping the store-bought stuff and making your own festive treats. Here’s a collection of recipe ideas for a classy Halloween get-together, from homemade candies to fancy finger foods to highbrow cocktails.

Caramel Apples with Nuts

What could be better than gooey, delicious caramel-coated apples? Gooey, delicious caramel-coated apples with nuts, like these.
Author and SAVEUR contributing writer Peggy Knickerbocker gave us the recipe for these simple hors d’oeuvres–among her fondest childhood memories of the elaborate holiday dinners her mother hosted.
The alcoholic fruit drink we know as punch is an Indian invention that was adopted in the 1600s by British sailors, who later introduced it to the Caribbean islands, where it flourished.

Peppermint Patties

This chocolate-coated, fondant-centered candy is best enjoyed with a mug of hot cocoa.

Coconut Candy Bars

For these chewy, sweet bars, paraffin wax–a now mostly forgotten candy-making ingredient–is mixed with chocolate so that it will set properly when cooled and take on a shiny appearance.

Lollipops

This recipe, a version of which appears in the Candy Cookbook, can be flavored any way you like. Don’t substitute a flavored extract for the flavored oil, though; its taste will be diminished when it’s added to the hot sugar. These lollipops are best when made on a dry day, as humidity may prevent the candy from hardening properly.

Roasted Almonds

These delicious nuts are well received at any party.

Hemingway’s Death in the Afternoon

Named after Ernest Hemingway’s 1932 novel about the rituals of bullfighting, this champagne cocktail takes its greenish hue from a splash of absinthe.
These fragrant, skillet-roasted pecans get their earthy, spicy bite from rosemary, Spanish smoked paprika, and chili powder.

Flaming Punch (Punschglühbowle)

The name of this flaming red wine punch translates from the German as “punch glow bowl”. Light-bodied red wine laced with brandy is an impressive sight when lit aflame before serving.
Cinnamon oil or extract gives these confections a tongue-tingling heat.

Chocolate Truffles

Adding rolled oats that have first been ground in the food processor helps hold these chocolate balls together while giving them an earthy note. Get the recipe for Chocolate Truffles »

Almond Caramels

Mini caramels flavored with almond, orange zest, and syrup make simple, delicious treats (and wonderful gifts).
When making these truffles, use supermarket-quality white chocolate, which has more stabilizers than expensive brands and sets up better.

Chocolate-Covered Cherry Cordials

Invertase, a liquid enzyme that’s found in small bottles at most candy-making supply stores, is used in these candies to liquefy the luscious fondant filling. Once you’ve made the cordials, it will take about ten days for the filling to liquefy. We based this recipe on one found in Peter Greweling’s Chocolates and Confections (Wiley, 2010). For more Valentine’s Day recipes, check out our guide. Get the recipe for Chocolate-Covered Cherry Cordials »

Hazelnut and Apricot Rochers

Hazelnut liqueur adds an extra-sweet, nutty flavor to chopped hazelnuts, dried apricots, and semi-sweet chocolate.

Chocolate and Peanut Butter Nougat Squares

These decadent candies taste best with a pinch of sea salt sprinkled on top.

Chocolate Marshmallows

We use Dutch-process cocoa powder here because it’s mild and won’t overwhelm the sweetness of the marshmallows. Get the recipe for Chocolate Marshmallows »

Cheese Straws

Serve these clever little appetizers instead of bread at lunchtime or for supper.

Glögg (Spiced Wine)

The secret ingredient to this version of a classic is Indonesian long pepper, which is not as unusual a Scandinavian ingredient as it might sound. Long peppers were one of the first things that Sweden brought back when the Dutch East India Company established trade in 1602.

Pickled Jalapeño Deviled Egg

Deviled foods get their name from the fact that they benefit from the addition of an assertive ingredient, such as horseradish or chiles, or in this case pickled jalapeño.

Salted Caramels

Michael Laiskonis, executive pastry chef at New York City’s Le Bernardin, gave us the recipe for these caramel candies. Be sure to wrap them individually in wax paper to store them. Get the recipe for Salted Caramels »

Mexican Corn-on-the-Cob Popcorn

Inspired by the flavors of elote, Mexican corn on the cob, this popcorn topping mixes bright lime zest with spicy chile and salty cheese.

Citrusy Chile-Chocolate Popcorn

Orange zest lends depth to this sweet popcorn topping, inspired by the chile-chocolate flavors of Mexican hot chocolate.

Maple-Bacon Popcorn

Smoky bacon, sweet maple, and a kick of black pepper make for an entirely addictive bowl of popcorn. Get the recipe for Maple-Bacon Popcorn »

The Zombie cocktail

Donn Beach, the founding father of tiki bars and restaurants, set a limit of two per customer for this potent drink made with three kinds of rum, citrus, and spice. Get the recipe for The Zombie cocktail »

White Whiskey Punch

Clear, unaged white whiskey stars in this potent, tropical-inspired punch. Get the recipe for White Whiskey Punch »

Chilled Cider Punch

This chilled cider punch combines the fall flavors of a mulled cider with the celebratory feel of a sparkling punch. Get the recipe for Chilled Cider Punch »

The Swedish Vampire

Aquavit combined with fresh citrus, tomato juice, Tabasco, and brisk Perrier Lemon makes a fruity-fresh, bloody good concoction. Get the recipe for The Swedish Vampire »

Churros con Chocolate Caliente (Mexican Fritters with Hot Chocolate)

Ruben Ortega, a native of Puebla and the pastry chef at Hugo’s in Houston, Texas, shared his recipe for long, fluted fritters, served with thick hot chocolate for dunking. Get the recipe for Churros con Chocolate Caliente (Mexican Fritters with Hot Chocolate) »

Pumpkin Old Fashioned

Mingling the orange-scented old fashioned with subtly sweet pumpkin yields a brilliantly colored seasonal cocktail. Get the recipe for Pumpkin Old Fashioned »

Pecan Pie Brittle

This twist on traditional pecan pie provides a snack-able ending to the holiday feast. This recipe first appeared in our November 2012 issue along with Ben Mims’s story Sugar and Spice. Get the recipe for Pecan Pie Brittle »

Sweet Potato Honey Fries with Curry-Honey Sauce

An aromatic combination of spices elevate the humble sweet potato oven fry to something truly special. Get the recipe for Sweet Potato Honey Fries with Curry-Honey Sauce »

Bacon-Wrapped Jalapeño Poppers

These poppers have a perfect marriage of textures and flavors—creamy, chive-flecked cheese cuts the bite of roasted jalapeños, while crispy bacon adds crunch.

Apple and Stilton Welsh Rarebit Bites

Piquant Stilton replaces the more traditional cheddar in this bite-sized twist on the classic British dish. Get the recipe for Apple and Stilton Welsh Rarebit Bites »

Sage Tempura Shiitake Mushrooms

Earthy sage enhances the woodsy flavor of shiitake mushrooms in this simple fried appetizer.

Classic Caramel Corn

Crunchy, sweet homemade caramel corn can be made even better with the addition of nuts or chocolate chips. This recipe first appeared in our Jan/Feb 2013 issue along with our article Caramel Corn. Get the recipe for Classic Caramel Corn »

Mulled Apple Cider

Steeped in cinnamon and cloves, this nonalcoholic potion lends a warm, fragrant note to chilly nights. Get the recipe for Mulled Apple Cider »

Corpse Reviver No. 2

Popularized by the 1930 Savoy Cocktail Book by Harry Craddock, this classic cocktail is part of a succession of “Corpse Revivers” originally devised as a hangover cure. An ice-cold nip of this elixir is refreshing, astringent, and strong enough to perk up the senses. Get the recipe for Corpse Reviver No. 2 »