Snacks & Treats

6 Classic Homemade Halloween Treats

Oct 19, 2015

Halloween falls on a Saturday this year (every kid’s dream!), which means the festivities may stretch from early morning excitement to a late-night celebration that wouldn't be possible on a school night.

Making these homemade treats will keep kids busy during the day as they anticipate trick-or-treating. It’s a particularly suitable activity for older kids and tweens who might need different stimulation than younger children.

Making your own treats helps avoid a few of the overpackaged, artificially coloured and flavoured sweets that abound at this time of year. These treats worked for ghosts and goblins in decades past—classic candies made with real ingredients like butter, sugar, cream, dried fruits, nuts and popcorn are delicious. 

Whether you’re looking for decadent treats or healthier snacks to balance them out, here are half a dozen homemade ideas for your Halloween soirée. 

Sponge Toffee

Crunchy sponge toffee is like a science experiment—make sure you have plenty of room, as the candy will expand when you add the baking soda. Let cool before cracking into chunks to eat!

  • 3/4 cup sugar

  • 1/4 cup corn syrup
  • 1 Tbsp. baking soda

1. Butter or spray a 9 x 13-inch pan with nonstick spray, or line it with parchment.

2. In a large, heavy saucepan, combine the sugar and syrup over medium-low heat (make sure there is lots of room in the pan for the mixture to foam up when you stir in the baking soda). Stir until the sugar begins to melt. Continue to cook, swirling the pan occasionally but not stirring, until the mixture turns a deep caramel color. Watch it carefully—sugar burns fast!

3. Remove from heat and quickly stir in the baking soda. It will foam up like a science experiment! Quickly pour the mixture into the pan, scraping it out with a heatproof spatula and set aside for a couple hours, or until set. Break into chunks to serve.

Serves about 10.

You'll Also Love: 5 Non-Candy Halloween Snacks For Classmates

Pink Popcorn

A bowl of pink popcorn.

You can use any type of red gelatin powder for this. I tried cherry and raspberry and liked the flavour of raspberry better, although the cherry was a paler pink. Green would be creepy, or try orange for the season! Recipe >

Red Candy Apples

A tray of red candy apples.

A Halloween classic—and perfect for parties. Try classic red, or modify the recipe a little bit to make caramel apples. Recipe >

Pumpkin Seed Brittle

A stack of pumpkin seed brittle.

Pumpkin seed brittle looks pretty in little gift bags and it's perfect to hand out at a Halloween party. Recipe >

Homemade Chocolate Bars

Homemade chocolate bars.

A simple recipe for customizable chocolate bars. Melt chocolate, add your favourite chocolate bar additions and chill. That's it! Recipe >

Roasted Pumpkin Seeds

A bowl of roasted pumpkin seeds.

A classic Halloween treat! After carving your jack-o-lantern, roast pumpkin seeds for a salty, crunchy snack. Recipe >

You’ll need to package anything you make at home, but that’s part of the fun: small paper or plastic bags, mini Chinese take-out containers and even paper cones—disposable drinking cups or those rolled out of a sheet of parchment—will suffice for individual servings.

If you're serving a crowd, put out bowls of pink popcorn, roasted pumpkin seeds or chunks of sponge toffee with a stack of multi-coloured paper muffin liners. One-off candies, such as homemade chocolate bars, can be wrapped in squares of waxed paper, parchment or cellophane.

Article Author Julie Van Rosendaal
Julie Van Rosendaal

Read more from Julie here.

Julie Van Rosendaal is the author of six best-selling cookbooks (with a seventh due out this fall), the food editor of Parents Canada magazine and the food and nutrition columnist on the Calgary Eyeopener on CBC Radio One. She is a recipe developer, TV personality, food stylist and writes about food for local, national and international publications. She is perhaps best known as the voice behind her popular food blog, Dinner with Julie, where she documents real life at home in Calgary with her husband and nine-year-old son. Connect on twitter @dinnerwithjulie.


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