One of the best things for me about having kids is being able to make my own childhood fantasies come true. As a child, it was always very important to me that things in my life were the “way they were supposed to be”. For example, if you are having a party, there MUST be two colors of crepe paper twisted together to make streamers and taped across the room. I had seen this in books and movies, and so decided that this is was you need for a party. Pumpkin-shaped cookies MUST be decorated with candy corn. There MUST be a cake that has layers with icing in the middle, just like the pictures in all the books! In my childhood-mind this is what a party looks like. So as an adult with access to the craft store and funds, I get to throw the parties for my kids that I wanted to have. Not to say that I didn’t have some wonderful parties- When I turned 16 my parents dressed up like waiters and served me and my friends a fancy dinner party. Here are some ideas for a fun and easy party, that your kids will love. I may or may not have time to put up streamers.
Kids Halloween Party Menu
- Candied Apples (click for recipe)
- Pumpkin Spice Cookies
- Mummies In a Blanket
- Pumpkin Soup (or Curried Kabocha Squash Soup)
- Brownie Bite-backs
- Peanut Butter And Jelly “Finger” Sandwiches
- Chips and salsa, pretzels, carrots, fruit, etc.
Pumpkin Spice Cookies
- 1 box Krusteaz Sugar Cookie mix
- 1/2 C. canned pumpkin
- 1 stick of butter, softened
- 1/2 C. flour
- 1 t. vanilla
- 1 t. cinnamon
- 1/4 t. freshly grated nutmeg
- 1/2 t. ground ginger
- Icing: 1 C. powdered sugar, water, 1 t. vanilla, food coloring
Combine all ingredients in a bowl and mix until combined. Wrap and chill for an hour or overnight. Roll out and cut into desired shapes. Bake at 350 on a parchment lined baking sheet for 10 minutes, or until set. Cool before decorating.
Combine 1 C. powdered sugar with vanilla, and water a few drops at a time, until smooth. You want it spreadable and not too drippy. If it gets too thin, add a bit more powdered sugar. Pour a little of the icing into a small bowl and color it with green food coloring. Color the rest of the icing with orange food coloring. Decorate the cookies with icing, then add sprinkles, candy corn, licorice, etc.
Tip: if you are having the kids decorate, give them each a cookie sheet or tray to work on, that way your sprinkles don’t end up all over the floor.
Mummies in a Blanket
This is one of those supermarket check-out women’s magazine kind of ideas that I hate, but kids love. No matter how “foodie” we are, we all know that Little Smokies taste flipping awesome, so stop scoffing. You know you love them.
- 1 package of Little Smokies cocktail sausages
- 1 roll of prepared crescent roll dough
- Yellow mustard
Unwrap the crescent roll dough and use a pizza cutter to cut it into little strips about three inches long and 1/3 inch wide. Wrap the smokies with the dough like a mummy, leaving a little space for a “face”. Bake on a rimmed baking sheet at 375 degrees for about 10-12 minutes, or until the dough is golden. Let them cool for a minute, then use a toothpick to dot mustard on to make the little eyes.
I know, kids might not care for this one, but the moms and dads need something to snack on too! This is butternut squash soup, but you are going to tell everyone it’s pumpkin soup because it is Halloween and everything MUST be pumpkin related! I love serving soup at a party in these little glass cups. They are just the right size for sipping, and you don’t need a spoon. Garnish with a slice of crispy bacon or a lemon wedge!
Peanut Butter and Jelly Finger Sandwiches (makes 12-16)
Make Four PB and J’s on white bread as you usually would. I like to use a really red jelly for the gross out factor. Cut the crusts off all sides with a serrated knife. Cut each sandwich into four or five rectangles- the long way, depending on the size of your bread, and how big you want the fingers to be. Use a butter knife to press knuckle marks into the bread at the halfway point. Use a dab of peanut butter to stick on the peanut “fingernail” at one end. Make these a few hours ahead and cover loosely if you want to, or they can be made right before the party.
The day before the party, make the candied apples, the pumpkin cookies, and the soup. A great party activity is to decorate the cookies, so I leave that part to the kids and just roll, cut and bake the cookies ahead of time.
Brownie Bite Backs
My 7 year old came up with the cute name for these little iced brownies with eyes.
- 2 eggs
- 1/2 C. sugar
- 1/2 C. brown sugar
- 1/2 C. canola oil
- 1/2 C. cocoa powder
- 1 t. vanilla
- 1/2 C. flour
- 1 t. cinnamon
- pinch of salt
Preheat the oven to 300 degrees. Beat the eggs and sugar with a whisk until well combined. Stir in all other ingredients. Line a mini muffin tin with paper liners and spray with cooking spray. Drop a teaspoon of batter into each one. Bake for about 12 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of one comes out clean. Allow to cool.
Mix 1 C. of powdered sugar with 2 T. cocoa powder. Add milk or almond milk a few drops at a time until smooth. Spread icing on top of cooled brownie bites and top with an edible eye.
Here are some links to craft ideas for your party: