Chocolate Spiderweb Cookies
Get festive with these delightful chocolatey cookies. For the spiderweb glaze, snip a very small hole in the corner of the plastic bag. If it's too small, you can always make it bigger.
Frosted Brown Butter Blondies
This festive fall dessert became an instant staff favorite. Brown butter imparts a rich flavor to blondies composed of bittersweet chocolate and cream cheese. A plastic zip-top bag makes it easy to pipe the web pattern onto the frosting.
Honey Cider-Beer Cocktails
Whether it's an adult version of an ice cream float, a pilsner bloody mary, or a citrus-spiked shandy, these beer cocktails are perfect for changing up your booze game. Easy to mix, and cheaper than solely serving liquor-based drinks to guests, beer cocktails are needed at your next party or tailgate.
The cider-honey base of this fall beverage makes enough for a whole batch. Beer and cider are refreshing and lower in sugar and alcohol than stronger potions, which tend to go down a bit too easily. The cider syrup needs time to cool; let it rest while you get ready for your party.
Chocolate Halloween Cutout Cookies
If orange food coloring isn't available, combine red and yellow to create an orange hue. Either way, these adorable, festive cookies are sure to impress your Halloween guests. When it comes time to decorate, let your kids help out for a fun holiday craft. Undeniably rich and sweet, we think these cookies are way better than a store-bought chocolate candy bar.
Slow Cooker Chicken Chili
Get the chili started in the morning and keep warm in the slow cooker while you're out. Calling for a mixture of beans and hominy, this recipe boasts bold, rich flavor, something that can often be dulled in a slow cooker. Whirring some of the beans in a food processor thickens the soup, lending a heartier texture to the dish. We suggest serving the soup with green onions, cheese, cilantro, peppers, and plain yogurt, a great substitute for sour cream. Serve with Cheesy Jalapeno-Sour Cream Corn Muffins (next slide).
Cheesy Jalapeño-Sour Cream Corn Muffins
What is chili without corn muffins? Pickled jalapeños add a little extra zip and dimension without too much heat. You can omit them or substitute minced cilantro if you like. Make the corn muffins a day or two ahead and refrigerate then leave out at room temperature with the Kale, Jicama, and Orange Salad and Frosted Brown Butter Blondies. The addition of sour cream makes these muffins incredibly tender—they won't dry out if made in advance. Looking for a spooky spin? Use blue cornmeal; it'll turn the muffins a greenish blue.
Spooky Spider Cupcake Toppers
Halloween is a holiday for pulling out all the stops, for having fun with all kinds of ghoulish decorations. Here's a scary-good way to go big and give kids and grown-ups a thrill—3-D chocolate spiders that perch on top of cupcakes and definitely give you the creepy-crawlies. Dare you reach for a sweet treat, lest these spiders crawl onto your hand? The chocolate arachnids are frighteningly easy to make, requiring readily found craft-store ingredients and just a few steps. Any leftover chocolate can turn into eerie spiderwebs.
Halloween Crispy Treats
Pull out the Halloween cookie cutters and get creative! Marshmallow-and-crispy-rice squares remain one of the great, simple treats, loved by ghosts of all ages. For a Halloween party, make a batch and spookify it by cutting the squares into shapes with cookie cutters—right in the pan. Chocolate minichips work for eyes; secure with a dab of melted chocolate. Dark-colored bars become bats, spiders, coffins, or cauldrons.
To really make a spooky splash, try one of our 9 Crispy Rice Bar Recipes.
Slow Cooker Chicken, Bacon, and Potato Soup
The slow cooker gently coaxes out delicious flavors from simple, hearty ingredients. This soup is perfect for ushering in fall: It's hearty enough for the beginning of soup season, yet brothy and veggie-packed so that it doesn't feel too heavy. Pair it with a slaw or kale side salad and crusty whole-grain bread for a light, satisfying dinner. This recipe is ideal for a weekend, when you can check on the slow cooker after just a few hours; though you won't be able to leave the soup unattended all day, this still offers the benefit of hands-free, fuss-free cooking. Either baby red, Yukon Gold, or fingerling potatoes will work well here, as they'll maintain their shape nicely during cooking.
These candied apples combine the buttery richness of caramel apples with the fun crunch of candied ones—two old standards twisted together.
Black Cat Sandwich Cookies
These yummy (and slightly spooky) confections are a tasty blend of shortbread-like cookies with a layer of soft chocolate.
Peanut Butter Caramel Corn
Just enough butter for caramel goodness. Peanut butter for heart-healthy richness.
Chocolate Spider Cupcakes
It's easy to make spiderweb designs on cupcakes: Simply pipe concentric circles and drag a wooden pick through wet frosting to create a webbed effect. No bourbon? Use water instead in the frosting.
Spiced Pumpkin Biscuits
When we prepared these Candied Apples in our Test Kitchens, we were won over by their simple charm. In particular, we liked the way the cinnamon candy coating complemented the sweetness and cool crunch of the fruit in a classic flavor match. Our recipe uses cinnamon candies (Red Hots are a good choice) instead of the cinnamon and red food coloring used in other versions.
Beef Daube Provençal
This classic French braised beef, red wine, and vegetable stew is simple and so delicious we named it one of our 25 best recipes ever. The flavor and texture allow you to keep it warm for your guests. Buy a whole-grain baguette, bagged salad greens, and bottled vinaigrette to round out the meal.
Caramel Apple Pie
You can't go wrong with a classic! A touch of kosher salt adds depth to the caramel topping.
Halloween Green Bean Salad
Throw together a quick salad full of fresh fruits and veggies while the kids are trick-or-treating. A white wine and orange juice-based vinaigrette helps marry all the flavors together.
Chocolate Cupcakes with Vanilla Cream Cheese Frosting
Instant coffee intensifies the chocolate richness of these cupcakes. To repeat the Halloween theme, decorate them with plastic cake toppers, licorice, jelly beans, or candy sprinkles.
Candy Apple Punch
Cinnamon candies and cranberry-apple drink help give this party-ready punch its fun, bright red color. For a toddy version, adults can substitute 1 cup rum for 1 cup water.
Peanut Butter and Chocolate Cookies
Like popcorn and butter or apple and cinnamon, chocolate and peanut butter is an enduringly irresistible combination. Bake on a weekend and serve as an after school snack or offer them at a Halloween party.
Roasted Root Vegetables with Sorghum and Cider
Sorghum—also known as sorghum molasses—is the distinctive, syrupy by-product of sorghum grain. Look for it in specialty stores and gourmet grocers, or substitute molasses.
This top-rated treat is always a hit. Divide and store in airtight containers to give as gifts or set out for friends and family to snack on at your next party.
Butternut Squash and Parmesan Bread Pudding
A side of sautéed kale or mustard greens would provide a nice counterpoint to the sweet butternut squash in this savory vegetarian entrée.
Jackson Pollock Candied Apples
Named for the abstract expressionist's signature paint-splattered canvases, these apples make great Halloween treats. Green Granny Smiths go well with the sweet white and bittersweet chocolates, but use any apple you like. Look for wooden sticks at craft supply stores, or use forks instead.
Caramel-bathed apples nestle in a tender crust, while crème fraîche lends a little French tang to this fall classic.
Shaved Fall Vegetable Salad with Cider Vinaigrette
Sparkling cider and cider vinegar amplify the apple flavor in this fresh seasonal salad also featuring butternut squash, celery root, and arugula.
Maple syrup provides a touch of sweet, while ground red pepper adds heat to this quick and easy appetizer. A heatproof spatula works best to combine and spread the ingredients into the pan.
Brownie Snack Cake
Don't be intimidated by the spiderweb design on this cake; it's much easier than it looks! Starting in center of cake, pipe frosting in 4 concentric circles. Then, starting at center circle, pull a wooden pick or tip of a knife through circles at regular intervals to edge of cake to form a "web" design.
Quick Fall Minestrone
Spiced Pumpkin Chiffon Pie
Vegetable shortening gives this piecrust—which we've deemed our best ever—a delicious, flaky texture. Be sure to read the nutrition labels and buy a brand with no trans fats though.
Brining overnight in a salt-and-cider mixture makes this chicken incredibly flavorful and moist while basting with reduced apple cider adds a hint of sweetness to the finished chicken.
Crisp and Spicy Snack Mix
Snack on this salty, spicy mix before dinner. And if there's any left, toss it on a salad.
Chicken with 40 Cloves of Garlic
This classic French comfort food is simple and satisfying at its best. One of the basic tenets of French cuisine is making full use of ingredients—hence, whole chickens in this recipe.