Photo: CN Digital Studio
Halloween is just around the corner, and we’re looking forward to sinking our teeth into our favorite spooky snacks. With classic treats like caramel apples, candy corn, popcorn balls, fun sized chocolates, and toasted pumpkin seeds, it’s hard not to indulge.
What’s your favorite Halloween treat?
Our Halloween issue is bursting at the screams with terrifying pumpkin sculptures, ghastly goodies from around the world, and brand-new spooky snack recipes.
Download the free Gourmet Live app for access to all of the issues and recipes, and visit Gourmet.com to read this week’s issue in full, including:
Have you ever attended a seasonal soiree where the food falls flat and the drink options lack necessary luster? To all future party hosts, guests, and planners, do not fear. From keg to cake, we’ve wrangled the best in seasonal party recipes.
At the best fall bashes, cheap liquor and beer is little league at best. Time to make a major upgrade with Drinking Made Easy’s Pumpkin Keg or Caramel Apple Pie Pudding Shots from E is for Eat. If pudding shots and pumpkin kegs aren’t your thing, we suggest you serve a warm mug of Spiked & Spiced Hot Apple Cider from A Couple Cooks or a refreshing glass of Fake Ginger’s Honeycrisp Apple Sangria.
When you plan to serve liquid libations, it is best to have a selection of light bites on hand. If pumpkins or jack-o-lanterns are part of your party decor, why not feature the seeds on your snack table? A Subtle Revelry’s toasted Pumpkin Seeds Three Ways star in guest-pleasing flavors such as rainbow sprinkles, olive oil and sea salt, and cinnamon sugar. For the health-conscious, try replacing greasy potato chips and french fries with Carrot Fries from Dine & Dash and Crispy Cinnamon Apple Chips from Bijouxs.
If classic chips ‘n’ dip are going to be a party feature, why not make your own? My Baking Addiction will teach you how to make a flavorful French Onion Dip that will outdo any jarred variety. Chances are, the french onion dip will be finished in a flash, so plan ahead and make The Brass Paperclip Project’s 7-Layer Taco Dip. We promise that seven layers of cheese, guacamole, and other taco-inspired ingredients will be enough to satisfy the hungriest of party-goers. If you forget to purchase the chips, serve up some Fried Guacamole from Joy the Baker. Continue reading
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All around the country, kids dressed as superheroes and Disney princesses are currently dreaming of the mountains of sugary goodness they’ll rake in tonight. But how did October 31st come to be the Super Bowl of candy? Let’s take a quick look at the history of trick-or-treating.
Halloween, which has its roots in the Celtic celebration Samhain, has always been associated with food. Celts lit bonfires and set up banquet tables filled with edible offerings for visiting spirits. The poor dressed as ghosts and demons and performed antics in exchange for some of the food and drink in a practice known as mumming. Continue reading
Photo: Kemp Minifie
Need a quick showstopper dessert for your Halloween party tonight? These ghost cupcakes will do the trick, and they’re a cinch to make. Bake your favorite cake batter in 1/2-cup muffin pans lined with fluted paper cups. I used the Double Chocolate Layer Cake recipe from the restaurant Engine Co. No. 28 in Los Angeles, but grab a cake mix if you’re short of time—I’m no saint when it comes to homemade everything.
The frosting is the fastest marshmallowy meringue I know: Dump 1 large egg white—or the equivalent in reconstituted powdered whites—1/3 cup each confectioners’ sugar and light corn syrup, 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract, and a pinch of salt in a deep bowl and beat it with an electric mixer on high speed until thick, stiff, and white, 3 to 5 minutes. Amazing, right? Continue reading
So you’ve scooped out your pumpkin for Halloween, and you’re looking for some pumpkin seed recipes. But before you start cooking, know that most recipes involving pumpkin seeds — including Gourmet‘s Pumpkin Seed Brittle, Pumpkin Muffins, and the Pumpkin Flan with Spiced Pumpkin Seeds pictured above — are best with hulled green pumpkin seeds (also known as pepitas). Continue reading
Photo: CN Digital Studio
As a tyke, pre-packaged and store-bought Halloween costumes were banned from my home. While the coolest girls in grade 6 were clad as pink Power Rangers and off begging for candy, I was waddling between houses in a cardboard box fashioned as a TV, or tottering behind my mom’s car as an unwieldy Christmas tree (OK, that was last year). With the exception of the time in college when I was cajoled into dressing as a sexy lighthouse, Halloween has always been about fostering ingenuity.
In keeping with the Halloween tradition of invention, I called upon Jasper Soffee, the lead mixologist at NYC’s Mulberry Project, which is the “it” bar for bespoke, creative cocktails. Bartenders at the Mulberry Project use fresh, locally sourced ingredients to tailor-make drinks for each guest. Essentially, they’re the antidote to the vodka soda (with all due-respect to my gateway drink). For a Hallo-weekend beverage worthy of your bunnies and goblins, Soffee recommends the Jackalope, which combines pumpkin and tequila (yes, tequila). Suspicious? Step out of the shrink-wrapped kitty costume and sip on something a little more daring. Continue reading
In this week’s Tricks & Treats issue of Gourmet Live I wrote about my recent trip to Kenya, where I discovered the Samburu and Masai tribes’ blood-based drink in The Real Bloody Mary Cocktail. The article details the six ceremonial types of the blood and milk blend, which I researched while learning about the country’s vast culinary scene.
Upon my return to New York City, I had a few follow-up questions while writing the piece, so I hopped on the computer for a series of video chats with two of my Nairobi-based sources, William Carr-Hartley and Lbukshash Lepeta. After writing the story I knew we needed a striking visual to really capture the imagery behind the article. The next day I made a stop at my local supermarket and Halloween shop and assembled the ingredients for the ultimate bloody milk mustache. Continue reading
Photo: Kemp Minifie
With East Coast pumpkin patches wiped out by Hurricane Irene, carving your jack-o-lantern is a pricier project this fall. When you shell out a small fortune for this Halloween ritual, you can’t afford to let it rot after trick-or-treating is over. Recycle it into pumpkin purée for bread, muffins, pie, or my buddy Kelly Senyei’s Pumpkin Turkey Chili.
Bakers will tell you that the pumpkins grown for carving aren’t as tasty as the sugar and cheese pumpkins preferred for pie. But hey, your jack-o’-lantern, after the melted wax is scraped out and the soot washed off, is still an edible squash and shouldn’t be wasted. Continue reading
Uncommon foods and organ meats can be scary to try for the first time since they often have textures we are not used to, and can be slimy, fuzzy, and sticky. I recently tried beef tendon, and I loved it! But, I want to know:
What’s the most unique thing you’ve ever eaten?
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It’s fall’s tiny, almost sickeningly sweet answer to the candy hearts and Peeps of spring. But did you know that candy corn has a history stretching back a century? Here’s the story behind one of our favorite seasonal treats.
Candy corn was first invented in the 1880s in Philadelphia by the Wunderle Candy Company. At the time, candy was frequently crafted in the shape of plants and other natural foods like chestnuts and clovers. Candy maker George Renninger wanted to try creating something in the shape of corn—which ironically wasn’t widely consumed by the public at the time—and wound up with candy corn. The first multi-colored candy, the tri-layering effect mesmerized the public. Despite corn’s associations of the time as unappealing and low-brow, it was an immediate success.
Each October, classrooms and families alike make their annual pumpkin patch pilgrimage, sorting through hay, mud, and pumpkin runts to return with the perfect canvas for a jack-o’-lantern. But when you think about it, hallowing out a large gourd to put a face on, candle in, and display on your front step would be kind of hard to explain to, say, visiting aliens. So why do we do it? Halloween itself dates back at least 2,000 years in Ireland to the celebration of the Celtic New Year, called Samhain or “Summer’s End.” Celts believed that on the night before the holiday, October 31st, deceased souls were closest to our world and could contact the living. Continue reading