Going rogue on Halloween

What’s one of the most subversive acts one can commit in 2015?

Giving out homemade goodies to little trick-or-treating hobgoblins.

I know.  Hey, I was of trick-or-treating age when the razor blades in apples stories started.  Although really, out of everything in a sugar-drenched Halloween haul who actually eats the apple?  The kind of kid that reminds the teacher that she forgot to assign homework over the weekend, that’s who.

Umm, excuse me, teacher…

But we’ve all been so conditioned against it that to giving homemade treats is a shocking act analogous to running away with the milkman or blowing your entire paycheck on footy pajamas.

With a little preparation, it’s simple to hand out scratch-made goodies that will actually be eaten and enjoyed.  When you bag your treats, just include a tag with your name and address, along with a description of the items, as well as a list of potential allergens.

Like this:

halloween tag

And even if you can’t quite bring yourself to be so daring, it’s still fun to have some handmade candy.  I’ve got some recipes that are spooky easy, and lots of fun to make with your own little boys and ghouls.

These are very simple treats, but for two of them, chocolate has to be melted.  The easiest way is to use the microwave.  Do it slowly, and in 30 second increments.  Stir after each 30 seconds, and when it’s almost all melted, just stir until it’s completely smooth, rather than putting it back in the microwave.  This will keep the chocolate from scorching, which ruins it.

To keep the chocolate thin while working with it, sit the bowl on a heating pad set to low.

The first confection is for my mom.  One of her favorite candies is a Chunky bar.

Gramma’s Chunkies

halloween chunky

1-12 ounce bag milk chocolate chips

1 cup salted peanuts

½ cup raisins

½ cup orange Wilson candy melts (found online and in craft stores)

In a glass or plastic bowl, melt chocolate.  When completely melted and smooth, gently stir in peanuts and raisins.  Spoon mixture into a 12 spot ice cube tray, then smack it onto counter-top to get rid of air pockets.  Let harden.

When it’s totally set, pop out of tray.  Set on parchment paper, large side down.  Melt the orange candies.  Dip a fork into melted candy, and squiggle lines on the chunkies. 

Makes 12.

Chocolate Coated Peanut Butter Pretzels

choc pretzels

1-12 ounce bag milk chocolate chips

1-12 ounce bag semi-sweet chips

18 ounces peanut butter stuffed pretzel nuggets

1/3 cup finely chopped salted peanuts

Melt chocolates together.  Dip each pretzel into chocolate, and sprinkle with a bit of the chopped peanuts.  Allow to harden on parchment.  Makes approx. 4 dozen.

Saltine Toffee

saltine toffee

1 ½ sleeves saltine crackers

1 ¼ cup unsalted butter

1 ¼ cup light brown sugar

1-12 ounce bag chocolate chips


Preheat oven to 400. Line rimmed baking sheet with foil that has been sprayed with non-stick spray.

Lay out crackers in one layer. In a medium-sized saucepan melt butter and brown sugar. Stirring often, bring to full rolling boil, then boil mixture for exactly 3 minutes.

Pour over saltines and bake 5 minutes.

Remove from oven and sprinkle with chocolate chips and when they’re nice and melty spread them out evenly all over saltines.

Refrigerate until set then break into pieces.  Store in air-tight container.

I hope you go nuts and hand out homemade goods to trick-or-treaters.  But even if you don’t, make some of these sweets and have yourself a sugar-fueled Halloween bacchanalia.

Thanks for your time.

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