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Hosting a Halloween Party

October 03, 2023

Halloween is around the corner and with it comes another excuse for a spooktacular party. Whether you opt for a festive Halloween soirée or a ghoulish gathering, these ideas will help to give your guests the fright… we mean night of their lives!

Hosting a Halloween party

A memorable Halloween party is one that will keep your guests entertained all night long. This means hosting fun games throughout the day; murder mystery, a pumpkin carving contest, and a costume contest are all fun options. You can even turn on some of your favorite spooky Halloween music and have a monster mash dance-off!

Halloween isn't just about tricks; you can't forget the treats! From cake brains to banana ghosts, have some fun making unique frightful foods and give your guests a scare. Get your party started off right by offering a spread of Halloween themed sweet and savory appetizers! Some great ideas include pumpkin risotto, deviled pumpkin eggs, mummy jalapeno peppers, and cheesy witch brooms. The possibilities are endless! For dessert, bake some treats yourself. Consider making ghosts out of marshmallows or cake pops shaped like creatures, if you're looking to take it to the next level these witch finger cookies will be sure to impress all your guests! (recipe and photo courtesy of

Hosting a Halloween party
What you'll need:
• 1 1/4 c. (142 g.) powdered sugar
• 1 c. (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened.
• 1 large egg
• 1 tsp. almond extract
• 1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
• 5 to 6 drops green food coloring
• 2 3/4 c. (330 g.) all-purpose flour
• 1 tsp. kosher salt
• 1/2 c. finely chopped pistachios (about 70 g.), plus more for decorating
• 3/4 c. sliced almonds (about 85 g.)
• 1/2 c. (135 g.) cherry, strawberry, or raspberry jam

1. In the large bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment (or in a large bowl using an electric mixer) on medium speed, beat powdered sugar and butter until pale and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add egg and continue to beat until incorporated and fluffy, about 1 minute more. Add almond extract, vanilla extract, and food coloring and beat until combined.

2. In a small bowl, whisk flour and salt. Add to butter mixture and beat on low speed until just combined. Fold in pistachios. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 30 minutes or up to 2 days.

3. Line 2 rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper. Remove one-quarter of dough from the refrigerator and portion into 12 to 13 (1-tablespoon) balls. Roll each ball between your palms until it starts to form a finger shape, about 3"-by-1/2", or the length of your pinky finger but slightly thinner. Arrange logs on a prepared sheet and press an almond slice into each, where the nail would be on a finger. Carefully pinch dough just below almond and halfway down log to create a knuckle. Using a sharp knife, carve horizontal lines of varying lengths into knuckles. Place 1 or 2 pistachio pieces in the finger to make warts. Repeat with remaining dough. Freeze for 30 minutes.

4. Preheat the oven to 375°. Bake, rotating trays front to back halfway through, until edges are firm and tops of cookies are dry, 7 to 9 minutes, Let cool slightly.

5. Gently lift off the almond fingernail. Add a tiny dab of jam to the tip of your finger, then replace almond fingernail, pressing down to make jam ooze out. Spread jam onto bottom of each finger. Let cookies cool completely.

Level up your Halloween party with cocktails that are scary, sometimes gimmicky, and fun to make! Consider making classic drinks like mimosas or martinis with a unique twist. You can even make some over the top cocktails, decorated with ghoulish props and garnishes. For a more crowd-pleasing option you can try your hand at color-changing cocktails with golden glitter and special effects. If you're looking to create a showstopping drink this witch’s brew cocktail incorporates fascinating special effects that will wow your guests! (photo and recipe courtesy of

Hosting a Halloween party
What you'll need:
• 1 ½ ounces* Midori
• 1 ½ ounces Cointreau or Triple Sec
• 1 ounce fresh lemon juice
• For the garnish: 1 small dry ice cube**, cocktail cherry

1. Make the drink: Add the Midori, Cointreau and lemon juice to a cocktail mixing glass (or cocktail shaker). Add 2 handfuls regular ice cubes and stir until cold. Strain the drink into a lowball glass. Garnish with a cocktail cherry.

2. Break the dry ice into 1-inch chunks (if using): Do this as close to the time you’ll be serving the drinks as possible, though you can buy the dry ice a few hours in advance. Start by dropping the plastic bag with the dry ice on the ground several times to allow it break into large chunks. Remember never to touch the dry ice with your bare hands! Put on goggles and gloves. Use a chisel to break the dry ice into smaller pieces using a screwdriver or ice pick. The ideal size is 1/2-inch to 1-inch chunks that are large enough to sink to the bottom of the drink, but small enough to disappear in a few minutes. Wrap the small chunks in a towel and place them in a cooler with the top off until you’re ready to serve the drinks. Do not place the dry ice in the freezer.

3. Add the dry ice: Using tongs (do not touch the dry ice!), add a 1/2-inch to 1-inch chunk of dry ice to the glass, which will sink to the bottom and immediately make a smoking effect. The ice cube will disappear in about 5 minutes. Do not drink dry ice! Wait until the cube disappears before enjoying your drink (or you can take sips with the dry ice in the bottom). Review these Dry Ice Handling Instructions.

Is it really Halloween if you don't venture outside and experience the chill as you gaze up at the moon? Extending your decorations outside is essential! Make sure to decorate your outdoor space with spider webs, orange string lights and carved pumpkins. Utilize your firepit to enjoy the chilly evening outside while drinking a cocktail and sharing spooky scary stories!