If you consider Halloween the beginning of your “holiday season,” then you may or may not have a Pinterest board dedicated to themed snacks already, but one easy entry point to Halloween-themed treats is a can of crescent dough. Some of these savory snacks can serve as either appetizers or mains, and others can be sweet treats when you’re not hitting the candy stash.
There are a few iterations of this hot-dog concoction, but the Pillsbury mummy dog recipe is well-rated, and it’s easy to achieve photogenic results: Simply slice the dough into long strips, then wrap it around a hot dog (tuck a hot-dog-width slice of American cheese in with the meat, if you like), then bake them up on a cookie sheet and add condiment eyeballs as desired. Your goblin helpers can prep this one for you while you’re carving their pumpkins for them.
For those of you who aren’t into hot dogs, this variant of the mummy still looks cute and spooky but resembles more of a ham and cheese hand pie. Or, for a sweeter mummy, look to these Nutella and banana treats from Fabulously Frugal or these from XoXo Bella that use up some of your fun-sized Snickers. I bet you are allowed to use Milky Way or even Baby Ruth, too, if you like.
Claws (or paws)
If your children fear the reaper, you can cute up these lightly seasoned claws a bit and make them into kitten paws (less seasonal, but whatever), or you can scar them for life by incorporating the “The Monkey’s Paw” short story into your presentation. Prep work just involves snipping and twisting lengths of the dough, then adding cashew talons and brushing the whole thing with a seasoned egg wash before baking. They taste good at room temperature or warm, dipped in soup or chili. Mess with the spices to complement your seasonal soups, or stick with the recipe’s recommended taco seasoning.
Due to the triangular shape of the dough when you roll it out, witch hats are one of the easiest things to make from canned crescent rolls. Basically, you unfurl a triangle of dough, tuck some thin strips of meat and cheese at one end, and roll up that edge to create a stuffed “brim” for the hat. There are several well-rated iterations of this recipe on the world wide (spider) web, some more complex and three-dimensional than others, but feel free to make it your own with different garnishes or spices. There’s also a chocolate variation if you like your witches sweet.
I am hungry as I write this, which was a good choice, because this recipe for savory stuffed crescent roll intestines actually did give me the icks. A clever parent and chef came up with the idea to include meat, cheese, and red sauce in this child-friendly display of body horror. Cook the turkey and red sauce together, add cheese and meat to the rolled-out dough, roll it up, wind the entrails around a baking sheet—you get it. They sound really delicious, based on the ingredients, but kinda gross me out. I don’t think I can make these, but your kids will probably love them.
These adorable cheesy ghosts, which you can eat plain or dipped in marinara, are simple in both their ingredients and their preparation, so they’re another one you can have your child familiars help with, if you dare.
These spider web crescent cups end up looking pretty impressive, but only if you really like olives, have a fair amount of time for appetizer prep, and want to put your knife skills to use. They’re basically tiny deep-dish pizzas topped with a whole olive surrounded by sliced olive “legs” to form a spider. These Halloween treats are likely to go over better with adults, unless you have one of those weird kids who likes black olives straight from the can.