The pandemic has ruined a whole lot of plans this year, but hear this: It is NOT taking Halloween from us.
In some ways, Oct. 31 will be a day like any other in the year 2020. We’re already wearing masks all the time and comforting ourselves with junk food. About that junk food…
Maybe you’re tailoring your trick-or-treat routine to allow for less human (and goblin) contact. Or you’re not throwing a party and having your guests bob for apples (which was honestly kind of gross before coronavirus).
But you still need snacks. Fun ones, spooky ones, sugary ones.
Here are five inexpensive Halloween treats you can make in less time than it takes to figure out exactly how to do the Monster Mash. (Although that might be a bad example — does anyone actually know how to do the Monster Mash?!)
Need a last-minute costume idea? Here are 7 ensembles you probably already have in your closet.
5 Halloween Treats You Can Make for About $6
Here are five fun Halloween-themed treats you can make for just a few bucks — and in less than an hour! Some of them have common ingredients, and all of them use staples you probably already have in your pantry.
1. Pretzel Spiderwebs
These are so easy to make and turn out so cute (and cobwebby). Seriously, you only need two ingredients. (I’m assuming you already have sandwich bags and an oil of some type — Crisco, canola, vegetable, coconut — anything with a mild flavor will work here.)
½ cup white chocolate chips
96 pretzel sticks
Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper. For each web, break four pretzel sticks in half. Arrange the eight pieces in a circle on the parchment paper so that the pretzels tips are touching in the center and pointing outward.
Melt chocolate chips in the microwave in 30-second increments until fully melted, stirring in between. If the chocolate seizes up or becomes lumpy, add the oil a quarter teaspoon or so at a time, stirring and heating the chocolate between additions until you reach a smooth consistency.
Spoon the melted chocolate into the sandwich bag and use scissors to snip a small hole in one corner.
Starting in the center of each bunch of pretzels, pipe concentric circles or a spiral shape as you move outward.
Allow to cool and harden. Pop them in the fridge or freezer to speed up the process.
Makes 24 spiderwebs.
2. String Cheese Witches’ Brooms
These are quite possibly my favorite snack on this list. These brooms are a savory treat, so they’re a nice break from the onslaught of Halloween candy — plus they’re sort of absolutely adorable.
12 sticks of string cheese
24 pretzel sticks
Slice the cheese sticks in half widthwise so you have 24 smaller pieces. Then, take each half and make multiple slices on one end, starting about ⅔ of the way from one end, to create the bristles.
Poke a pretzel into the unsliced end. Wrap and tie a chive around each broom where the “bristles” meet the “handle.”
That’s the whole thing. I’m not even kidding. Stand them up, lay them down — however you serve them, they’re so freaking cute.
Makes 24 witches’ brooms.
3. Nutter Butter Ghosts
These adorably frosted cookies are so good they’ll haunt your dreams for weeks to come. (Lame joke, I know. Feel free to… boo me. Ugh, OK, I’m done for real this time.)
24 Nutter Butter cookies
1 cup white chocolate chips
¼ cup dark chocolate chips
Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.
Melt the white chocolate chips in the microwave in 30-second increments until fully melted, stirring in between. If the chocolate seizes up or becomes lumpy, add oil a quarter teaspoon or so at a time, stirring and heating the chocolate between additions until you reach a smooth consistency.
Dip the Nutter Butter cookies about ⅔ of the way into the white chocolate and lay them on the wax paper to harden. You may have to reheat the chocolate once or twice during the dipping process.
Repeat the melting process with the dark chocolate chips. Spoon the melted chocolate into a sandwich bag, cut a tiny hole in one corner, and pipe eyes and a tiny gaping mouth on each ghost. (Alternatively, you could press three miniature chocolate chips into each ghost’s face while the white chocolate is still warm.)
Makes 24 ghosts.
4. Spider Deviled Eggs
These are almost terrifyingly simple to make and are another nice break from the Halloween barrage of sweets, sweets and more sweets.
A dozen eggs
½ cup mayonnaise
2 teaspoons white vinegar
2 teaspoons yellow mustard
24 black olives
If you don’t have your own classic deviled eggs recipe, you can use this one to create the base of this snack. But hold the paprika — we’re topping them with something else!
Once you have your deviled eggs made, creating the spiders couldn’t be easier.
Slice each olive in half lengthwise. Place one full half on top of each deviled egg. Take the other olive half and slice it into eight thin strips. Arrange these around the olive halves already on the eggs to create the spider legs.
Makes 24 creepy-crawly deviled eggs.
5. Witch’s Brew Punch
Kids love this witch’s brew punch for its haunting color. As the night goes on, they’ll discover the witch’s secret ingredient (hint: it’s worms!).
1 quart cranberry juice
One 11-ounce bag of gummy worms
1 two-liter bottle of lemon-lime soda
½ teaspoon green food coloring
½ teaspoon yellow food coloring
You’ll want to start the prep work here a couple of days early because you’ll need time to freeze ice cubes. Start by pouring cranberry juice into ice cube molds. Drop a gummy worm into each cube and freeze overnight.
Add yellow and green food coloring to the lemon-lime soda to make an eerie, green punch.
During the party, let guests add the ice cubes to their drinks — as they melt, the blood-red juice will seep and swirl into the glowing green punch, and the worms will be a frightful surprise.
Makes about 10 servings.
Grace Schweizer is an email content writer at The Penny Hoarder.
This was originally published on The Penny Hoarder, a personal finance website that empowers millions of readers nationwide to make smart decisions with their money through actionable and inspirational advice, and resources about how to make, save and manage money.