When asked the age-old question “trick or treat?” we definitely stand with team treat. Check out five easy, last-minute recipes to help you get in the spooky spirit, from “poison” candy apples to a crowd-pleasing dessert dip. Bone appetit!
Quick and Easy Halloween Dessert Recipes
Poison Candy Apples
Channel your inner Snow White with this sweet recipe.
- 12 small Granny Smith apples
- 12 dowels or wooden candy apple sticks (available at craft stores)
- 1 1/2 cups sugar
- 1/2 cup light corn syrup
- 1 tsp. black gel paste food coloring
- Note: you’ll also need a candy thermometer
- Wash and dry the apples thoroughly. Place them on a baking sheet and insert the dowels. Using a second baking sheet, line with buttered parchment paper and set aside.
- Place a candy thermometer in a saucepan. Add sugar, 3/4 cup water, and corn syrup, and place over medium heat. Whisk sugar until it’s dissolved.
- Let the temperature rise without stirring until the mixture reaches 310 degrees. Remove pan from heat, and carefully remove the thermometer.
- Add the food coloring and swirl to mix the color completely.
- Swirl each apple through the candy, allowing any excess to drip off. Place on buttered baking sheet.
- Repeat with remaining apples.
Owl Sugar Cookies
Simple and sweet! You can make basic sugar cookies using this recipe, or go the easy route and purchase a pre-made slice-and-bake option.
- One package slice-and-bake sugar cookie dough (such as Pillsbury or Nestle)
- Small package of sliced almonds
- 1/4 cup chocolate chips
- 2 tbsp. shelled sunflower seeds
- 1/4 cup whole almonds
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees (or whatever temperature is stated on the back of your packaged dough)
- Set all but one cookie round onto a parchment paper-lined baking sheet. Use the remaining unbaked cookie to make small balls that will become each owl’s eyes. Lightly press two balls onto the top of each cookie, then place a whole almond on its side in between the two eyes for the beak. Add a chocolate chip on top of each dough ball to create the pupil. Use six sunflower seeds (three on each side) to make the owl’s feet. Finally, overlap three sliced almonds on each side to create wings.
- Bake for about 20 minutes until the edge of the cookies are lightly golden. Let cool for 5 minutes on the sheet, then transfer onto a wire rack to continue cooling.
Perfect for a crowd of hungry ghosts and goblins.
For the dip —
- Shallow, wide dish
- 1 package room temperature cream cheese (8 ounces)
- 1/4 cup room temperature unsalted butter
- 5 tablespoons cocoa powder
- 2 tablespoons light brown sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 2 tablespoons milk
- 2 cups plus 2 tablespoons sifted powdered sugar
- Crushed Oreo cookies (enough to cover the top of the dish)
For decorating —
- Milano cookies
- Black decorating icing
- Candy corn pumpkins
- Gummy worms
For serving —
- Graham crackers
- Apple slices
- Beat together the cream cheese and butter until smooth. Add the cocoa powder, brown sugar, vanilla extract, salt, and milk. Beat on low speed until incorporated, then increase to high speed until smooth, about 3 minutes.
- Transfer to desired serving dish and smooth with a spatula.
- Spread the crushed Oreos over the top of the dip to form “dirt.” Use decorating icing to write tombstone messages on the Milano cookies, then stand them upright to create the tombstones. Scatter with candy corn pumpkins and gummy worms to decorate.
- Serve with graham crackers, pretzels, and sliced apples.
It’s fruit, so it’s healthy… right?
- 4 ripe bananas
- 1 pound plus 4 ounces white chocolate
- M&M minis
- 4 ounces milk chocolate chips (optional)
- 8 lollipop sticks (available at craft stores)
- Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. Skewer each banana half with a lollipop stick and freeze until firm, at least 2 hours and preferably overnight.
- In a large, microwave-safe measuring cup, melt 1 pound white chocolate in the microwave according to package directions. One at a time, dip the bananas into the chocolate to coat, allowing excess to drip. Return to the baking sheet and immediately place two M&M candies near the top for eyes.
- Melt the remaining white chocolate in the microwave according to package directions and fill a small piping bag fitted with a small, round nozzle tip (a Ziploc plastic bag with the corner cut off will also work!). Pipe zigzags over the banana to form bandages. Repeat this step with the milk chocolate, if using. Chill or freeze until ready to serve.
Can’t decide if you prefer your treat salty or sweet? These haystacks feature both flavors!
- One 5-ounce can thin chow mein noodles (such as La Choy)
- 8 ounces bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
- 1/2 cup vanilla frosting, tinted desired colors
- Candy eyes or jelly beans
- Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. Meanwhile, melt chocolate in microwave according to package directions.
- Place chow mein noodles in a large bowl, pour melted chocolate over top and gently toss until noodles are evenly coated
- Drop 10 heaping spoonful’s (about 1/4 cup each) onto prepared baking sheet. Refrigerate until firm, 20 to 30 minutes.
- Transfer frosting to a resealable plastic bag(s). Snip off a tiny corner and use as glue to stick the eyes on creatures, then pipe on an additional pupil.