The phrase “trick-or-treating is cancelled” has become the latest COVID restriction to induce disappointment and even rage (check your Facebook wars). The differing of opinions from parents, communities and even medical professionals still doesn’t change the fact that in order to reduce risk and community exposure, it’s best to sit this year out. The good news is that Halloween comes around every year, so kids will definitely get another opportunity to trick-or-treat again...HOPEFULLY in 2021.
Diving deep into Halloween trick-or-treating alternatives has become our October. Even the brilliant and colourful fall leaves haven't managed to shake our fixation with what to do! So without calling ourselves Halloween experts (although we're semi-confident that we’ve committed close to 10,000 hours to reach 'expert status'), we can confidently suggest that a Halloween Baking Party is the way to go! How do we know this? Well, just ask our kids who we encouraged/forced to trial and error our long-list of Halloween activities.
To our surprise, baking Halloween treats was the one activity that garnered 5 stars from our small, but VERY critical team of tasters. Even the youngest one, who has just started stringing sentences together, clearly and firmly (even aggressively some would say) demanded more and more and MORE of our Halloween treats. So although some regions won’t be walking door-to-door this year, we can still fill our kids’ bellies with treats and celebrate the spirit of…cavities?....candy?......orange and black?.......what IS Halloween? See below for our top rated recipes and mark off the 31st for a true baking extravaganza!
Dessert bark always finds a way to make an appearance at every holiday. Obviously, its popularity and ease to incorporate themes, colours and even ingredients (hello X-mas peppermint bark!) make it a go-to crowd pleaser with each holiday. Halloween is no exception when it comes to the endless possibilities of Halloween-shaped sprinkles, googly eyes or colours that can be used in your bark to make it a spook-tacular and tasty addition to your baking party. And as all parents must know, dessert bark is best served as a bonus, found deep in your freezer after a very stressful bedtime routine months (if not years) after it’s been made! See our favourite Halloween bark recipe here.
Ghost S’mores with Caramel
Although it may be hard to believe, s’mores in Canada can be enjoyed all year long without a fire, camping or even the dreaded black flies. Halloween baking wouldn’t be complete without some added ghosts for your little goblins. If there was any question that a post-Halloween trip to the dentist wouldn’t happen, these ghost s’mores will surely guarantee you won’t be skipping this year’s annual visit! Because if you don’t go to the dentist after Halloween, does it even really happen?! Have a look below for the most delicious ghost s’mores:
What you need:
- 3 cups of dark chocolate melting chips
- 18 marshmallows
- ½ cup of caramel dip
- 1 sleeve of graham crackers
- 1 tube of black icing
- Heat oven to 350 degrees
- Pour chocolate chips into a loaf pan
- Place in oven 5 minutes until melted
- Place ¼ cup of caramel on one half of the chocolate, place ¼ cup on the other half
- Place marshmallows in a single layer on top of chocolate
- Toast in oven until golden brown
- Remove and draw faces of ghosts with place icing
- Serve warm and use graham crackers for scooping!
Easy Halloween Cookies
Grandma’s famous chocolate chip cookie recipe is indeed the gift that keeps on giving! It’s time to dig out that famous (now yellowed) recipe card, a staple long before Googling recipes with ALL THOSE ADS became the norm. Beware (in a good, tasty way), old recipes will probably include copious amounts of butter or lard – but don’t be shy, it’s Halloween! A phrase that we began uttering the moment we bought (and finished) the first Costco box of Halloween candy on September 30th. Now to add in the Halloween spirit, simply substitute orange and brown M&M’s for the chocolate chips and you have yourself some delicious, high calorie, Halloween cookies. Our favourite “Grandma All Recipes” is found here. Because really, how did anyone cook before the internet??!! Give me the ads, but don’t take my Google!
For the Healthy Eaters (and who we aspire to be)
Our version of healthy treats includes caramel covered apples, substituting natural peanut butter for regular peanut butter in recipes and yoghurt-covered almonds (do these count??). But for the truly healthy eaters, we discovered the MOST delicious and cute monster mouths that even include our own three healthy alternatives! These ‘spooky cute monster teeth’ will render squeals of delight. And when it comes to allergies, you can easily substitute Wow Butter for the peanut butter.
What you need:
- 4 medium-sized granny smith apples, cut into 8 sections each
- 1 cup natural creamy organic peanut butter
- 1 cup of yoghurt covered goji berries
- 1 Tbsp. of lemon juice
What you do:
- Section each apple and then sprinkle with lemon juice to prevent browning.
- Spread about 1 tsp. of peanut butter on each slice.
- Stick 4-6 yoghurt-covered berries on an angle in the peanut butter, then place a second peanut butter-covered apple slice on top. Don’t be afraid to use toothpicks if needed!
- Cool for 1 hour in the refrigerator before serving.
When All Else Fails
Listen, we are well aware that many of these recipes are ambitious, especially when you add many hands. Because oftentimes, many (small) hands are NOT helpful. So when in doubt, or exhaustion, grab some pre-made vanilla frosted cupcakes from your local grocery store and some packaged Halloween-shaped sprinkles. A simple dip into the sprinkles will give you the sense of baker’s accomplishment while skipping the mess and ingredients. Or better yet, visit some of your local bakeries (#shoplocal) to discover some ghoulish treats and, let’s be honest, discover what a real baker can do ;).
Halloween Goodie Bags
We live in a region that (currently) is letting us trick-or-treat; however, we are well aware that it could change! Halton is slowly creeping up in numbers, so it’s not unrealistic that we’ll be eating our sorrows away with baked goods on the 31st with a few other hot spots. But for those others who are trick-or-treating or will be handing out candy, it’s a great idea to spend the day filling some small brown bags with a few pieces of candy to be left on your porch to ensure your small costumed visitors can grab their own bag, with no contact. Those brown bags will also come in handy when the chaos of MANY small hands (why is this a stressful trend??) becomes too much: grab that bag, take a few breaths in and out and lower that heart and breathing rate ;).
Halloween is fun for all ages. With drinks a flowing (apple juice of course ;), questionable costumes (we’re talking about our 20 year old selves), and an endless supply of treats, it’s become a celebration that so many look forward to when the crisp fall weather begins. The good news is that drinks, dressing up, and treats are all still activities that can be done in the absence of trick-or-treating. Add in some baking, throw up some Caring Confetti decorations, blast some Michael Jackson's Thriller and you have yourself a party! With that being said, of course we’re disappointed, but now we have an entire year to plan an epic 2021 Halloween (say the moms who wrote a blog on how to NOT spoil your kids). See you all next year!
Let us know your favourite Halloween recipe by emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org!