Monday, November 2, 2015

Halloween Appetizer Buffet and Mini Graveyard Dessert Cups

We had a great time this past weekend celebrating Halloween. I always have so much fun decorating for Halloween and watching classic Halloween specials all October. Then, when Halloween arrives, it has been our tradition for years now to host a Halloween open house appetizer buffet. I serve classic appetizers and play family friendly Halloween shows, friends and family can drop by in between trick or treating and have some snacks and goodies. Here are a few pictures from our Halloween appetizer buffet this year, as well as links to the recipes I use.

I always start Halloween day with getting my Mulled Cider going in the crock pot.

I simple peel the center section of the apple peel away, like shown above, then stud the apple with whole cloves. I also add a sachet of mulling spices (you can find them in the spice or tea aisle or online) the tea bag style sachet has orange peel, cinnamon, and other spices that help to flavor the apple cider. I use a basic bottled apple cider from the grocery store as the base. The apple cider is best after about four hours in the crock pot, then I leave it on low for the rest of the evening and set out whipped cream and caramel for the topping. The hot mulled cider always hits the spot after getting cold while out trick or treating, and it makes the house smell wonderful!

Every year I pick a selection of hot appetizers, this year I chose crescent wrapped li'l smokeys, mushroom pinwheels, classic sweet and sour meatballs (this year I used regular meatballs, some years I use Turkey meatballs, they both work great), and our favorite bacon wrapped tater tots. Click the links for the recipes, you can find more appetizer recipes in the recipe index on my side bar.

I also like to set out cold appetizers and other snacks that don't have to be baked and can be pre-made. I made a ham and onion cracker spread which I serve with Ritz Crackers, I also decided to set out some thick cut radishes for this dip as well, and the spread is delicious with the radishes. I will definitely be serving this spread with radishes from now on! :) I also made the classic pickle and cream cheese ham roll ups which are always tasty and easy to make. I set out some fun bone shaped cheese puffs and Halloween shaped tortilla chips with queso blanco dip which I purchased pre-made in a jar.

Of course a Halloween party would not be complete without a nice selection of sweets. We had a huge bin of candy to pass out, and on the table I set out the many different Halloween snacks that were available this Halloween season. There were Halloween Oreos, and pumpkin spice Oreos, Halloween Chips Ahoy, a nice selection of different Halloween Peeps, Popcorn Balls, and little tiny bags of mini cheese puffs for extra treats to take home. Out of all of the packaged Halloween treats this year I was so impressed with the Caramel Apple Peeps, I wasn't sure how it would taste but it looked fun and I love caramel, well I was surprised! The caramel was delicious, the apple flavoring was yummy and not overwhelming, and it even had a little hint of saltiness to balance out the sweet, I sure hope they make them again next year, the caramel apple peeps are definitely a new favorite of mine! :)

Of course the packaged treats are fun, but I always like to make a special dessert as well. When the kids were little I made a fun pudding graveyard dessert, they really enjoyed it and were hoping I would make it again this year. I figured it would be hard to serve a crowd, so instead of the style that is made in a 9 X 13 pan I made them in individual cups. Also instead of using cookies as the gravestones I used the new Gravestone peeps as decorations. Here is the simple recipe.

First crush up an entire package of regular Oreos, I imagine you could use a food processor if you have one, I don't, so I put the Oreos into a large Ziploc freezer bag, then I used a meat mallet to crunch them up until they were in nice small pieces, and the frosting filling was well incorporated into the crumbled cookies. The Ziploc bag stared to break after a bit so before cookie crumbs went everywhere I put the Ziploc bag into another Ziploc bag to double bag it, and that did the trick.    Mix two regular sized boxes of instant chocolate pudding with 3 cups of milk until well mixed, then let that stand for five minutes. Then fold in one regular sized tub of thawed Cool Whip into the pudding, and half of the crumbled up Oreos. Spoon into short clear plastic drink cups, then top with a rounded 1/8 cup of cookie crumble, pat down the crumble cookie topping and spread it out so it covers the pudding mix, then top with a Gravestone Peep and a pumpkin candy. This recipe will make about ten cups, I doubled the recipe and made twenty cups so I would have plenty to serve. They turned out really yummy, and they looked fun! :)

I made a short video of our Halloween Open House and Appetizer Buffet so you can get a better look at how things were set up.

I hope everyone had a fun and safe Halloween. I always feel like Halloween kicks off the Holiday season, yesterday I was shopping after church and Christmas things were being set up at all of the stores, such and exciting time of year! Today I will be busy removing all of my Halloween decorations, boxing them up carefully for next year, and putting out my Thanksgiving decorations. :)

Thanks for stopping by! :)

Linking to:
Inspire Me Tuesday
Show and Share
Clever Chicks Blog Hop
Artful Homemaking Link-Up


  1. Another great video, April! I loved seeing you! I subscribed to your channel and gave you a thumbs up :) That's a wonderful idea to have a Halloween buffet for people to stop in while out trick-or-treating. I'd probably stop in and forget about going trick-or-treating!


  2. Love your idea of Halloween buffet, I'll be saving some of these ideas for next year. Thank you for sharing with the Clever Chicks Blog Hop! I hope you’ll join us again next week!

    Kathy Shea Mormino
    The Chicken Chick


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