As a child, I especially loved getting homemade treats at Halloween. Stopping by friends’ and family members’ homes to trick-or-treat was the highlight of the season, and we always knew which houses gave out the “best” candy. Dumping out the plastic jack-o-lantern later that night to see what all I had collected turned into a sorting game. Favorite candy went into one pile, candy that was somehow mysteriously and partially unwrapped went into another, and the undesirable stuff belonged to a third pile. My greatest treat, though, was the yummy assortment of homemade items. Caramel coated apples, popcorn balls, fudge, haystacks, and peanut brittle were immediately devoured. This Halloween, locate some small mason jars or treat bags and fill them up with goodies to give to children and adults alike. They will appreciate the kind gesture, and no tricks allowed because 2020 has already provided us with enough.
8 cups Crispix cereal
2 ½ cups Cheez-It crackers
2 ½ cups mini pretzels
¼ cup vegetable oil
1 packet (1 ounce) Ranch Seasoning and Dressing Mix
Combine cereal, crackers, pretzels and oil. Spread on a 9x13 pan and bake at 250 degrees for 13-14 minutes. Stirring after 10 minutes. Place the dressing mix in a two-gallon bag and add cereal mixture, seal bag and shake until thoroughly coated. Store in an airtight container.
S’more Snack Mix
5 cups Golden Grahams cereal, divided
4 cups Chex cereal
1 cup chocolate chips
½ cup Nutella or peanut butter
1 cup powdered sugar
2 cups mini marshmallows, divided
In a medium bowl, combine chocolate chips and Nutella or peanut butter. Stir and microwave for 30 seconds. Stir again and microwave another 30 seconds. Stir and microwave again for 20 seconds. Remove and stir in one cup of marshmallows to the bowl.
In a large bowl, combine 4 cups of Golden Grahams and 4 cups Chex. Pour the chocolate mix over the cereals and stir until evenly coated. Pour the powdered sugar into a large Ziploc bag. Pour the cereal mixture into the bag, and shake until the powdered sugar coats the cereal.
Fold in the remaining Golden Grahams and marshmallows. Spread the mixture onto a lined baking sheet and allow to cool 5-10 minutes.
Churro Chex Mix
4 1/2 cups Rice Chex cereal
4 1/2 cups Corn Chex cereal
1 cup packed light brown sugar
1/2 cup (1 stick) salted butter
1/4 cup light corn syrup
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
2/3 cup sugar
2 teaspoon cinnamon
Preheat oven to 350. Place cereal in a large bowl. Line a large baking sheet with foil and spray with nonstick baking spray.
In a small bowl, combine cinnamon and sugar and set aside.
In a heavy saucepan over medium heat, heat brown sugar, butter, and corn syrup until the mixture comes to a boil. Let boil for one minute, stirring constantly, then remove from heat and stir in baking soda. Pour over cereal and stir until cereal is coated.
Spread cereal on baking sheet. Sprinkle evenly with cinnamon/sugar mixture. Bake for about 5 minutes, then flip with a spatula and bake for 3 more minutes, until cereal turns golden brown. Remove from oven and let cool completely, then break up and store in an airtight container.
16 oz. dark chocolate (I use a combined amount of semi-sweet chocolate chips, 60% cacao chips, chocolate baking bars, and/or Hershey’s Special Dark bars to equal 1 pound)
1 ½ cups mini pretzels, crushed a little
10 Oreos (chocolate-stuffed if available), roughly chopped
1/3 cup toffee bits
1/3 cup coarsely chopped roasted, lightly salted peanuts
1/3 cup coarsely chopped almonds
Sea salt for sprinkling, to taste
Line a 10x15 baking tray with parchment paper; set aside. Chop up the chocolate or break into chunks if needed. Place chocolate in a large microwave-safe bowl. Heat on high power to melt, 2 to 3 minutes, stopping every 15 seconds to check and stir until mixture is smooth. Be careful not to scorch it. Pour melted chocolate onto parchment and with a spatula, shape into a large rectangle.
Evenly sprinkle, pressing down if needed, with pretzels, Oreos, toffee bits, peanuts, almonds, and sea salt to taste. Allow chocolate to set up for at least 1 hour at room temperature, or in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes. After chocolate has set, break into pieces.
Will keep several weeks at room temperature in an airtight container or in the refrigerator.
Spooky Candy for Goodie Bags
Mix together and label accordingly, or package candies separately with individual tags.
• Mini Marshmallows = Skeleton Teeth
• Gummy Worms = Goblin Guts or Zombie Guts
• Hershey’s Kisses = Witches’ Hats
• Candy Corn = Werewolf Fangs
• White Chocolate Covered Pretzels = Skeleton Bones
• Pop Rocks = Fizzy Spider Eggs
• M&M’s or Reese’s Pieces = Frog Toes, Spider Eyes, or Witches’ Warts
• Gumballs, Jawbreakers, or Fire Balls = Monster Eyeballs
2 medium red apples
1/3 cup Nutella
1/3 cup candy corn
Do not peel the apples. Core and then cut each apple into 8 thick slices. Spread about a teaspoon of the Nutella on each apple slice; this is the bottom lip slice. Add at least 5 candy corn pieces for teeth. Spread another apple slice with about a teaspoon of Nutella and press on top of the first apple slice. Hold in place for a few seconds. Serve immediately.