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    5 Gourmet Halloween Appetizers

    October 17, 2013

    We've already covered a lot of ground for planning your Halloween party, including the location, decorations, costumes, and even theme parties. We've even suggested some fun and festive food ideas for your Halloween party. But what about appetizers? People love finger foods, especially at a Halloween party where candy is king. Check out some of these more gourmet Halloween appetizers to liven up the traditional fare at your next Halloween party.
    Peanut Butter Caramel Corn


    Try this festively fall sweet treat and place in a creepy display, like the one shown above. Recipe courtesy of My Recipes.

     

    Ingredients

    Cooking spray
    2 tablespoons canola oil
    1/2 cup unpopped popcorn kernels
    1/2 cup sliced almonds
    2/3 cup packed brown sugar
    2/3 cup light-colored corn syrup
    2 1/2 tablespoons butter
    1/2 teaspoon salt
    1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
    1 teaspoon vanilla extract

    Preparation


    1. 1. Preheat oven to 250°.

    2. 2. Line a jelly-roll pan with parchment paper; coat paper with cooking spray.

    3. 3. Heat oil in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add popcorn; cover and cook 4 minutes, shaking pan frequently. When popping slows, remove pan from heat. Let stand until popping stops. Uncover; add almonds.

    4. 4. Combine sugar, syrup, butter, and salt in a medium saucepan; bring to a boil. Cook 3 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat. Add peanut butter and vanilla; stir until smooth. Drizzle over popcorn; toss well. Spread mixture out onto prepared pan. Bake at 250° for 1 hour, stirring every 15 minutes. Cool completely.


    5.  


    Spiderweb Nacho Dip

     

     

    This is a holiday twist on a classic favorite, the multi-layered nacho dip. This will keep your guests satiated all night long, and the colors of the dip make for a fitting decoration!


    Recipe courtesy of Woman's Day.

     

     

    Ingredients


    Bean Layer:
    2 cans (16 oz each) lowfat refried black or pinto beans
    1/4 cup chopped cilantro
    2 tablespoons lime juice
    1 tablespoon hot Mexican chili powder
    1 teaspoon minced garlic
    3 large plum tomatoes, sliced

     

     

    Middle Layer:
    1 1/2 cup thick and chunky salsa
    1 cup (4 oz) shredded Mexican cheese blend

    Guacamole Layer:
    4 ripe Hass avocados
    3 tablespoons lime juice
    2 tablespoons minced red onion
    2 large jalapeno chiles, seeded and minced
    1 teaspoon salt
    Web:
    1 cup reduced fat sour cream

    Decoration: a clean plastic toy spider
    Serve with: blue, yellow, red corn tortilla chips

    Preparation

    1.  

      1. Make Bean Layer: Scrape the mixture onto a 12- to 14-in. round serving plate and smooth into a 10-in. circle with a spatula. Arrange tomato slices around edge of bean layer to make a border.

      2. Make Middle Layer: Drain salsa in a strainer to get rid of excess juice. Spread over bean mixture, leaving some of the bean layer showing around the edge. Sprinkle cheese over salsa, leaving some of the salsa layer showing.

      3. Make Guacamole Layer: Halve avocados; remove seeds and spoon flesh into a medium bowl. Add lime juice, onion, jalapeños and salt, and mash until fairly smooth. Spoon over cheese layer and spread into an even layer.

      4. Make Web: Place sour cream in a ziptop bag; seal bag and snip a small tip off one corner. Pipe a spiderweb design over guacamole and onto the plate. Decorate with toy spider. Serve with tortilla chips.


      5.  


    2.  


    Spiced Pumpkin Seeds


    This is a great, simple recipe that recycles those pumpkin seeds after a pumpkin carving! Place the seeds around the party for an easy snack. Recipe courtesy of All Recipes.

     

    Ingredients

    1 1/2 tablespoons margarine, melted
    1/2 teaspoon salt
    1/8 teaspoon garlic salt
    2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
    2 cups raw whole pumpkin seeds

    Preparation


    1. Preheat oven to 275 degrees F (135 degrees C).

    2. Combine the margarine, salt, garlic salt, Worcestershire sauce and pumpkin seeds. Mix thoroughly and place in shallow baking dish.

    3. Bake for 1 hour, stirring occasionally. Serve in festive bowls.


    4.  


    Devils on Horseback

     

    This delicious appetizer is definitely a crowd pleaser and a heartier appetizer that will leave your guests wanting more (thank you, bacon). Check out the recipe courtesy of Martha Stewart.


    Ingredients

     

     

    24 large dates, pitted
    12 slices bacon, halved crosswise
    1/3 cup crumbled Stilton cheese

    Preparation

    1.  

      1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place 24 toothpicks in a small bowl filled with water; let soak 15 minutes. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and fit with a wire rack; set aside.

      2. Halve dates lengthwise being careful not to cut all the way through. Place a small amount of cheese in the center of each date. Wrap a piece of bacon around each date. Secure bacon with a toothpick.

      3. Place dates on prepared baking sheet. Bake until bacon is cooked through, 20 to 25 minutes.


      4.  

    2.  


    Chocolate Mice


    For another sweet treat, try these chocolate mice for a bite sized Halloween snack better than your average candy bar. Recipe courtesy of Grace Parisi via Delish.

     

    Ingredients

    3 ounces cream cheese, softened
    2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
    1 cup confectioners' sugar
    3 1/2 ounces semisweet chocolate, melted and cooled
    2 (9 inches each) round baked chocolate cake layers, warmed
    4 ounces white chocolate, chopped
    7 ounces extra-bittersweet chocolate, chopped
    1/2 cup toasted pumpkin seeds
    12 black licorice whips, cut into 3-inch lengths

    Preparation


    1. In a large bowl, beat the cream cheese with the butter, 1/2 cup of the confectioners' sugar and the melted chocolate. Crumble 1 1/2 of the warm cake layers into the bowl and beat at low speed until incorporated. Roll level tablespoons of the mixture into 3 dozen ovals, tapering one end to shape the nose. Arrange the mice on a wax paper–lined baking sheet; press a toothpick into the tail end of each. Refrigerate until firm, 30 minutes.

    2. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 275 degrees F. Crumble the remaining 1/2 cake layer and spread on a rimmed baking sheet. Bake for 30 minutes, stirring frequently, until almost dry. Very finely crush the crumbs.

    3. In a microwave-safe bowl, heat the white and extra-bittersweet chocolate together on high power until three-quarters melted. Stir the chocolates until completely melted and cooled to 90 degrees F on an instant-read thermometer. Working quickly, and using the toothpick as a handle, dip the mice into the chocolate to coat; let any excess drip back into the bowl. Roll the mice in the cake crumbs and press 2 pumpkin seeds into the heads of each mouse to make ears. Refrigerate until firm, about 20 minutes.

    4. In a bowl, combine the remaining 1/2 cup of sugar with water to make a stiff glaze. Transfer to a small plastic bag and snip off a tiny corner from one end. Pipe eyes on the mouse. Remove the toothpicks and insert a licorice whip into each indentation for the tails.


    5.  


    What are some of your favorite Halloween appetizers? Tell us in the comments below, or on Facebook or Twitter.

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