Making Spooky Halloween Food with 7 Ingredients You Already Have at Home


As you might remember from last year, I’m a little nutty when it comes to Halloween. My posts from the past mostly revolved around projects, like the Borax spiders and the Brazen heads made out of turnips. And I do have some crazy and cooky, geeky projects planned for this year. So stay tuned.

However, in the mean time, I came upon this post over at Web Urbanist, with some truly delightful, sometimes vomit-inducing, Halloween food pictures. I’m not sure when it started, but clearly adults are having just as much fun with spooking up their food as kids are. In fact, it’s become something of a trend in recent years.

I’ll provide some more recipes later, but I think one of the hallmarks of a successful Halloween party is using what you’ve got. So, I’ve compiled a list of items you probably already have in your house that can make a big impact on your Halloween cuisine.

Corn syrup – Forget ketchup. Corn syrup doused with red and blue food coloring bears a striking resemblance to blood. And because corn syrup is very sweet, you can add it as an accent to just about anything. Drizzle on ice cream, cupcakes, or whatever you choose. It’s bloody good.

Lunch meat – There really is so much room for creativity here. Ham, in many incarnations, happens to shape up really well when you want to go for that muscular, fleshy look. Liverwurst is moldable, like putty, and you can add food coloring to it for a really eerie appearance (green pate, anyone?). Salami, in spite of being delicious, can be cut into various shapes. And then there’s head cheese. Which is terrifying all by itself. Same goes for blood sausage (not saying it isn’t delicious, just that eating blood is perfect for the season).


Tonic water – The magic of tonic water is not in its taste, unless you dig that sort of thing. However, when placed under black light, it glows. You can make ice cubes out of it, for an accent, or use it as a basis in drinks. Gin and tonics have never been so spooky!

Gelatin – Ah, gelatin. It comes in plain, which is totally tasteless, which can be used as a bonding agent for almost anything. Use green Jello and grind it up, then sprinkle in bits of red-dyed bloody fruit (or use blood oranges if you can find them, no dye required). The flavorless stuff can be used to make wiggly, weird savory dishes, filled with horrifying vegetables and unidentifiable meat. Let your creativity go with this one. Jello shots with floating eyeballs, wiggly worms floating in Gelatin… the sky’s the limit.


Oreos – Nothing makes dirt taste so good. Crumble up Oreos, and you’ve got dirt for any use. I made graveyard cupcakes last year (see below), and to get the dirt to stick I first dipped the tops in ganache, then coated with the Oreo dirt. Tasted delicious. I’ve also seen many riffs on the famous Dirt Desert.

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Pasta – Worms, anyone? If you’re feeling saucy (get it?) you can splurge on some squid ink noodles, which are black and very worm-like. But there are also plenty of cheaper, multicolored and odd looking pastas out there. Linguine can easily be mistaken for tapeworms. Not to mention the origins of the word vermicelli.


Chocolate – And its counterpart, white chocolate. You can buy this in bricks and melt it down and mold it into anything. It makes custom chocolates super cheap and wonderfully creepy. Mix in things like rice crispies (fried maggots, perhaps?) or other cereals to play with texture.

Any ingredients you’d suggest adding to this list? I’d include Borax, but that’s not edible!

Look for more recipes, experiments, and spooky, geeky science for Halloween next week, here at Geeks Are Sexy.

[Skull Image via Not Martha; Pumpkin Graveyard Cupcakes via Natania Barron; Brain Picture via Flickr; Meat Skull via Flickr]