Spooky treats for a cozy Halloween night in Article By: Darianna Young

Pumpkin and ghost shaped apple hand pies

Ingredients… For filling: three granny smith apples, half cup granulated sugar, two tablespoons cornstarch, two teaspoons cinnamon, half teaspoon salt. For pie shell: two shells pie dough, thawed and prepared, pumpkin and ghost shaped cookie cutters.

College hack: Instead of buying all these ingredients for pie, substitute for two cans of apple pie filling for faster prep time!


(1) Roll out the dough on a clean, flat surface and begin cutting out pumpkin shapes. Repeat until all the dough has been used. Remember two shapes cut makes one pie.

(2) Open up a can of the apple filling (smells great, by the way) and scoop out a small amount onto one of the pumpkins. Place another pumpkin on top, and gently seal closed using a fork. Gently poke holes into the top of the pie. Repeat with the other dough pieces.

(3) Put your pumpkin-shaped pies onto a baking sheet in an oven set to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Place the pies into the oven and let bake for about 20 minutes. After baking, let cool for 10 minutes and your pumpkin shaped hand pies are good to go!

Additional tips… The apple chunks are pretty big, don’t try to stuff the pies otherwise they won’t seal properly, and to combat this you can cut them into small pieces and fill more with the thick filling. Otherwise the pies will taste dry, and no one likes dry pie. Make sure to keep an eye on your pies so they don’t over-cook. Check every 10 minutes or so, you may need to add an extra 10 minutes if the oven you’re using is older.

Mummy shaped raspberry jam and apple hand pies (courtesy of Sur La Table's official facebook page)

Halloween chocolate bark

Ingredients… One bag of Nestle milk chocolate chips, one small bag of Nestle white chocolate chips, assorted food coloring (to make orange), bags of assorted chocolate candy (M&M’s, Snickers, Twix, etc.), 16 oz. jar or bottle of coconut oil (we love a multi-purpose oil), wax or parchment paper.


(1) Fill a large pot halfway with water and let it come to a boil. While this is happening, fill a smaller saucepan with a handful of chocolate chips and a scoop of coconut oil and begin to stir with either a spoon or whisk. Add more chocolate chips to your discretion, as well as oil to help the mixture keep from forming lumps. Set aside into a separate bowl.

(2) Repeat step one for white chocolate. Add in orange food dye or mix colors till desired orange color is achieved.

(3) Place parchment paper onto a baking pan and pour the chocolate mixture onto the paper, making a roughly rectangular shape.

(4) Immediately after, pour on the “orange” chocolate, and use a toothpick to create colorful swirls. Side note: make sure the consistency of the white chocolate isn’t too thick, otherwise it won’t spread well. My bark came out as layers because of this, but layering it is also an option if that’s what you want.

(5) Time for mix ins! Using any candy you want, break candy into small pieces and sprinkle all throughout the bark mixture. An easy way to do this would be to use a knife and chop the mini chocolate bars into pieces. You can also add in other ingredients such as almonds or coconut flakes.

(6) Optional: Melt all of the left-over chocolate chips to create a second layer of chocolate and spread that on top of the bark. Repeat step five and add more candies so there’s an even distribution.

(7) Refrigerate the chocolate for about two hours or even overnight to properly set. Break apart into random shapes and pieces to enjoy your delicious bark!

Halloween chocolate and candy bark (photo courtesy of Just A Taste's official facebook page)

Dirt brownies

Ingredients… For brownies: one and a quarter cup sugar, three quarters cup cocoa powder, 10 tablespoons of melted butter, a quarter teaspoon salt, one teaspoon vanilla, two eggs and a half cup of flour. For toppings: one can of chocolate frosting, one package of Oreos for the cookie crumbs and two small bags of gummy worms.

College hack: Unless you have the time and resources to do so, buy some box brownie mix to save some money and cut down on prep time.


(1) Preheat the oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit.

(2) Follow the boxed brownie instructions accordingly. Tip: To keep the brownies from being dry, replace the water with milk to increase the fat content, which will help the texture of the brownies.

(3) Place the brownie mix into a baking pan and bake for 20 minutes. After 20 minutes, let it completely cool before adding your toppings.

(4) Spread chocolate frosting on top of brownies, and then place gummy worms on top of the frosting. After this, take crumbled Oreo cookies and sprinkle it on top of the worms and frosting to create the ‘dirt’ effect.

Halloween themed dirt brownie desserts (photo courtesy of My Baking Addiction's facebook page)

Darianna Young can be reached at dayoung@umass.edu.

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