Halloween Themed Recipes You'll Crave All Year - The Bend Magazine

Halloween Themed Recipes You’ll Crave All Year

Two tasty recipes for a spooky season

By: Kayla Butts, MS, RDN, LD   Photos by: Rachel Benavides

When did we start doing Halloween all wrong? Let me explain. When we think of Halloween, we envision children of all ages costumed in masks and capes or sheets with eyes cut out of them. We put candles in hollowed-out gourds. We keep plastic cauldrons brimming with treats on hand to ward off neighborhood “ghouls and goblins.” 

Come to think of it, not all that much has changed about Halloween over the past two centuries. The holiday originated from the Celtic celebration Samhain, a festival marking the end of the harvest. Villagers offered up the best of their gardens and herds to a large pyre built by resident clergy. Celts believed that sacrificing these goodies would appease evil spirits and newly departed souls who returned to earth on the night before the new year. As the sacrificial bonfires died down, townsfolk donned animal skulls and pelts, parading any lingering ghosts out of town. 

After conquering the Celts’ homeland in northern Europe, Romans brought their cultural practices along with colonization. They celebrated Pomona, the goddess of fruit trees, with piles of apples, pears, nuts, and figs. Roman family elders spat black beans (thought to be the food of the dead) throughout their home to ward off evil ghosts. Every year, during Parentalia, they congregated at the familial plot and prepared a meal or brought a picnic to share with the deceased. 

But somewhere along the way an homage to our fallen forebears turned into a nationwide sugar high. Perhaps the shift came when Scottish colonials brought their tradition of “souling” to the States. Soulers were often destitute youths who sold prayers for the dead door-to-door in exchange for food. Their entertaining counterparts, “guisers,”  performed jokes, tricks, or songs instead. 

Fast forward to now, we’re still dressing up as ghosts and bobbing for apples. Our “treats,”  however, have changed and are now thoroughly modern America. I wonder if our contemporary spooks would appreciate a couple of figs from the backyard or that tenderloin we’ve been saving for a special occasion. Perhaps not.  But we may want to spit a few beans around the house—you know, just in case. 

These inside-out crostinis are a fun appetizer to start a Halloween feast or tasty nibble before trick-or-treating. 


Serves 6-8

Prep time: 7 minutes

Cook time: 3-5 minutes


1 baguette

4 oz brie 

1 large apple (recommend Fuji, Honeycrisp or Granny Smith)

3 oz prosciutto

Optional: Green and black olives, capers, seeds, nuts, pickled okra, or gherkins


Preheat oven to Hi-Broil setting for at least 5 minutes. 

Slice baguette into 1 1/2” slices on the diagonal. Brush with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Top each baguette slice with 1/4” slice of brie. Cook in preheated oven until cheese is bubbly and golden and bread has crisped. 

Slice apple thinly on its vertical (top to bottom). Arrange apple at the top of the crostini to try to mimic the shape of a skull. Repeat for remaining crostini. Wrap each crostini with prosciutto and decorate with olives, capers, gherkins, or pickled peppers. 

A standard pie can be easily transformed into an adorable Halloween dessert in just a few steps. We chose a seasonal favorite, fresh figs, for the filling. 



Makes three 4” pies

Prep time: 30 minutes

Inactive prep time: 30 minutes

Cook time: 30-35 minutes


1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour

8 tbsp butter, cold and cubed

2 tsp sugar

1 tsp salt

4 tbsp ice water

Fig Filling:

1 lb fresh figs

2 tsp vanilla extract

2 tbsp granulated sugar

1 tbsp all-purpose flour

Juice of 1 lemon


In a medium-sized bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, and salt. Cut in butter until mixture resembles dry oatmeal. Add in cold water until almost all of the flour is picked up. Roll into a ball and flatten slightly to form a disk shape. Wrap dough in cling wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes. 

While dough cools, place ingredients for fig filling in a food processor and pulse until figs are roughly chopped. 

Preheat oven to 350ºF. Flour a clean, dry surface. Remove dough from the refrigerator and roll out to 1/4” inch thickness. Cut dough into thirds. Place crust over 4” tart pan. Trim away excess crust, leaving a 1/2” border. Pour in 1/3 of fig filling (about 3/4 cup). Cut leftover crust into thin strips and arrange them over filling as desired. Press the top and bottom edges of the pie dough together with your fingers. Bake for 30-35 minutes, until crust is a golden brown.