This year, Halloween falls on a Friday, which means the spooky holiday fun can last all weekend long. Most Halloween parties tend to take place at night, but if you want to host a holiday event that will stand out from the haunted houses and ghoulish themes of all the after-dark shindigs, why not throw a Halloween brunch on Sunday?
After a weekend of scaring one another and gorging on candy, a spooky brunch could be the perfect way for you and your guests to cool down before hanging up your vampire capes and witches’ hats for another year. Even if you don’t require your guests to dress in costume, you can still have fun with your offerings and craft a thematically appropriate selection of food and drinks your guests are sure to love.
Blood oranges are a great choice to feature at your post-Halloween gathering, as they’re a little creepy but also good for you. They look like regular oranges on the outside, but peel them open and you’ll find the juicy red pulp that gives them their spooky name. You can create a lot of blood orange-based drinks and dishes. For instance, you could serve mimosas made with blood orange juice. You could also serve up a cheesecake drizzled with a blood orange glaze that looks quite a bit like, you guessed it, blood. Use your favorite cheesecake recipe, or just buy one in the store, and top it with this glaze, adapted from Martha Stewart magazine.
- 7 tablespoons fresh-squeezed blood orange juice, strained (about 2 oranges)
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 3/4 teaspoon unflavored gelatin
- 1/4 teaspoon cornstarch
Pour two tablespoons of the juice into a small bowl and sprinkle the gelatin over the red liquid. Let that stand and thicken for about 10 minutes. Boil 3 tablespoons of juice with the sugar in a small pot. Grab another bowl and stir together the cornstarch and remaining tablespoon of fruit juice. Stir that mixture until the cornstarch is dissolved and then pour into the boiling pot. Remove from heat immediately, then stir in the gelatin blend. Let it cool until it’s lukewarm and then drizzle over your cake.
Jack-o-lanterns are as much a staple of Halloween as pumpkin is a flavor of autumn, so it only makes sense to serve up pumpkin-based foods. Pumpkin pancakes can be a great place to start. Use a squeeze bottle with a small tip to craft Jack-o-lantern pancakes if you’re feeling extra crafty, or at least aim for pumpkin-shaped cakes. This recipe, adapted from Food.com, yields about 24 silver dollar pancakes.
- 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 4 tablespoons sugar
- 4 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon ginger
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
- 2 cups low-fat milk
- 3/4 cup pumpkin puree
- 4 tablespoons melted butter
- 2 eggs
Whisk all the dry ingredients together in one bowl, and combine the wet ingredients in another. Then fold the wet mixture into the dry, stirring until just combined. If you want to use a squirt bottle, pour the batter into it while your griddle or frying pan heats up. Spray the surface with non-stick spray and start making pancakes. Keep them smaller so all of your guests can try at least one. When the batter starts to bubble on top, it’s time to flip them over. Another minute on the griddle and they’ll be ready to eat. Serve them with butter and syrup, or offer whipped cream or vanilla ice cream to accompany these brunch treats.
These are just a few ideas for your Halloween brunch, but the options are limitless whether you want to stick with traditional Halloween fare like candy apples or try new dishes inspired by the season. Have fun with it, and your guests will surely enjoy whatever you come up with.