Hallowe’en celebrations should be irresistibly haunting and undeniably delicious. It isn’t only about decorations (although whose life isn’t improved by amber-eyed raven lights?) and recipes for haunting cookies, demonic apples, and blood-red punch. To create the perfect ambience, your food and drink need the right presentation, from cake to glass. That means shopping for prep, as well as plating.
Show your heart. Fill this fist-sized mold to make jello or red velvet no-bake cheesecake (use non-stick baking spray and set the cheesecake in the freezer for fifteen minutes, to make it easier to release—but nobody will complain if you serve an All Hallow’s broken heart). Thin jam with water or brandy, and pour it over the unbeating heart for a pool of edible blood. Don’t worry if the sauce is lumpy; just say that the lumps are clots, raise your glass of deep red punch, and glide along.
If you’d rather serve small cakes than large ones, these small molds must be the skulls of shrunken heads.
This lemon pound cake makes clean white skulls. Add food coloring to the mix, and brighten the sweet-crumbed bones of the dead. For extra-gross Halloween greatness, use patches of icing to stick on cropped licorice strings for tattered hair.
Bake the haunted castle of your darkest dream. Nordic Ware’s turreted bundt pan has walls and hollows to populate with edible evil creatures.
With a ten-cup volume, it will feed plenty of your visiting vampires, zombies, and fiends.
Bring a story-tale graveyard to the cookie table with gingerbread man skeletons.
Tovolo’s coffin cookie cutters have ghosts, webs, zombies, and skeletons. You don’t have to ice them to bring on the grim…but you’ll probably want to.
Cake Boss’ fondant presses turn out finely formed cookies. The Hallowe’en set has a witch, a cat, a web, and a bat, each with detailed cartoonish style.
Serve drinks tiki style. These tall heads are ceramic nightmares, and this streamlined skull is distinctly cracked (although it will hold its liquor, every time). Bring out their shadows with strategically placed tiki tea light holders.
The perfect Hallowe’en brunch dish has unblinking eyes. These nonstick silicon forms turn eggs and pancakes into ghoulish delights. Eggs have an advantage; the yolks become the eyes of owls and skulls. For pancakes, drop sliced berries or red M&Ms into the eye holes while the pancakes are cooking, creating a glaring, werewolf-time-of-the-month gaze.
Make muffins in this display-worthy cast iron pan, and let your guests chow down on jack o’lanterns, ghosts, and high-tailed cats.
The morning after Hallowe’en is All Saint’s Day. Reward your hostly self, and pour your favorite caffeine into this Witches’ Brew mug. Each hand-lettered mug holds a hefty 15 ounces: enough to shake off the last of last night’s haunting. These camp mugs are sturdy, with thick black enamel, making them perfect for travel, camping, or glamping.
Save some ghost stories for sharing by the campfire. Hallowe’en may be over, but haunting never ends.
Header image courtesy of Nordic Ware.