How to host the ultimate Halloween party for kids and adults

Spooky snacks, creepy confections and devilish drinks galore!

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/ Source: TODAY
By Anna Helm Baxter and Meredith Sinclair

Lifestyle experts Anna Helm-Baxter of Woman's Day magazine and Meredith Sinclair are joining TODAY to share a few of their top tips for hosting a howling Halloween bash for adults and kids. Meredith makes spooky snacks and creepy cocktails for grown-ups, and Anna shows us how to prepare tricky treats for little ones.

Anna's Kid-Friendly Confections

Halloween just isn't complete for without some fun treats to make with the kids. They love to get creative in the kitchen, using cupcakes and cookies as their canvas. Of course, the best part is getting to eat their art at the end!

Chocolate Mummy Cookies

Chocolate Mummy Cookies

Anna Helm Baxter

When it comes to these mummy cookies, the messier the better! Use a fork to drizzle the frosting back and forth over the cookie then leave it to dry. I love to use different sized candy eyeballs to give each cookie their own unique personality.

These fun cupcakes use two mini doughnuts stacked on top for extra height. I love to use natural food dyes to make these a little less scary to eat!

Chocolate wafer cookies cut into quarters, make the perfect wings for these doughnut-hole bats. Dip the doughnuts in a dark chocolate ganache, then use banana runts or candy corn for the cutest blood-sucking teeth.

Meredith's Food to Die For

While your precious little goblins are out trick-or-treating, here are some delicious and hearty treats for all those grown-up ghouls who may be stopping by as well!

Cheesy Graveyard

Spookify your basic cheese board by transforming it into a tasty graveyard! All you need is your favorite variety of cheeses, a sharp knife and a few well-placed cuts. Smoked gouda makes great little tombstones, sharp cheddar can be transformed into grave crosses, and don't forget the perfect centerpiece ... a brie coffin! Fill in your graveyard with crackers, grapes, dates or nuts, and you've got he deadliest snack board in town.

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Get the recipe here.

Spider Web Taco Dip

Taco dip is always a hit, and easier than pie to make. This festive dish is designed especially for Halloween with a sour cream spider web and black widow (olive) spiders! Layer taco-seasoned refried beans, sour cream, salsa and guacamole in your serving dish. Then scatter cheddar cheese, sliced black olives, cherry tomatoes and green onions around the outside to form a 2-inch border. Construct your spider web by squeezing sour cream in a web pattern in the center. Add black olive spiders by cutting one olive in half and placing it cut side-down on the web. Use the other half to cut six strips for the legs.

Get the recipe here.

Skull Burritos

Using easy to make tortilla dough or store bought pizza dough, taco meat, cheese, corn and tomatoes, these bony burritos are sure to surprise and delight your grown-up guests. Simply place rolled-out dough into a skull-mold baking pan, and fill with layers of your burrito filling. Lightly brush with egg-wash and bake! Serve with a side of guacamole and sour cream.

Get the recipe here.

Mummified Jalapeño Poppers

Fun to make and even more fun to eat! Cut jalapeño peppers in half lengthwise and fill with a mixture of cream cheese, jack cheese, chopped scallions and salt. Then each wrap with store-bought crescent dough cut into strips. Brush with egg wash, pop into the oven for 8-10 minutes, top with candy eyes and you've got one hot mummy.

Get the recipe here.

Monster Burgers

Nathan Congleton / TODAY

These silly burgers are all about the creative condiments! Use your favorite burger recipe or even ready-to-grill patties from the grocery store. Then add your monstrous details. Cheddar cheese for the ferocious teeth, thinly sliced pickle tongues, stuffed olive eyeballs perched on toothpicks and, of course, lots of bloody ketchup!

Get the recipe here.

Spook-tacular Spirits

Pumpkin Keg

Create a gourd-geous tap for your favorite Halloween punch by using a big ol' pumpkin as the keg! Grab yourself a large pumpkin and cut a hole in the top. Remove the top and clean out the guts, then map out the perfect spot for your store-bought tap. Use an apple corer to make a small hole for the store-bought tap and insert. Next simply fill the pumpkin with your favorite Halloween punch, and poof! You're a pumpkin genius.

Get the recipe here.

The Scaredy-Cat Cocktail

This simple cocktail is slightly sweet and super spooky — the perfect compliment to your Halloween nibbles.

Ingredients

  • 1 ounce vodka
  • 1 ounce Chambord
  • 1 ounce cranberry juice
  • 1 splash club soda
  • 1 drop black food coloring
  • 1 dry ice pellet

Method

Combine the vodka (if you can nab some black vodka, you get extra bonus points and can skip the black food coloring mentioned), Chambord, cranberry juice and club soda into a cocktail shaker, and give it a good shake. Strain into a martini glass. Add one drop of black food coloring and using tongs, place a dry ice pellet into your concoction. The dry ice will begin to bubble, creating a spooky and festive effect.