Ghoulish Goodies: Your Guide to Cheerfully Eerie Edibles | Civil Eats

Ghoulish Goodies: Your Guide to Cheerfully Eerie Edibles


There’s nothing funny about all those E. coli and salmonella outbreaks that keep popping up and plaguing us like the Undead. But with trick- or-treat season right around the corner, I thought it might be nice to take a brief break from food scares and focus on scary food we can safely sink our teeth into, like Rocky Road-To-Perdition Fudge or I’Scream Cake.

Those are just two of the diabolically delicious recipes I found in Ghoulish Goodies by Sharon Bowers, a clever collection of Halloween-themed concoctions. Some are sweet, others savory, but they all sound eerily tasty. I spotted this book at a friend’s house last weekend and essentially stole it after leafing through its pages and finding such ingenious Halloween snacks as Cheddar Eyeballs, Candy Corn Pizza, and Bandaged Fingers, to name just a few of the more than seventy inventive recipes featured in Ghoulish Goodies. The recipes have simple ingredients, easy-to-follow instructions and plenty of photos to inspire you.

The eyeballs, for example, are just a round, bite-sized ball of dough with a pimento-stuffed green olive plunked in the center to glare back at you. The bits of cheddar cheese baked into the dough leave little orange streaks that give the eyeballs a bloodshot quality.

Other perfect finger foods, literally, are the Bandaged Fingers, a twisted take on the eternally popular Pig in A Blanket, featuring cocktail wieners wrapped in flour tortilla strips, with just the tip of the wiener jutting out. A dollop of ketchup on the tip serves as a bloody-looking fingernail.

This hors d’oeuvre is horrifying enough without the added atrocity of factory farmed meats, of course. A vegan version with tofu dogs is one alternative. I’ve yet to find a source for cocktail wieners from pastured livestock, so I’m going to go with my favorite local grass- fed hot dogs instead of, say, Costco cocktail wieners. I’ll cut them in half, which will make for a rather long–and presumably even creepier–finger.

The recipe for Ladies’ Fingers offers a sweet variation on the finger concept, using a shortbread-style cookie dough embellished with reddened sliced almonds for fingernails–a bit of beet juice would be the ideal liquid for coloring if, like me, you find food dyes truly too scary!

My favorite savory offering in Ghoulish Goodies is the Candy Corn Pizza, which, thankfully, does not require any real candy corn. You need only four ingredients to create it: a pizza dough (ready-made is fine); tomato sauce; shredded mozzerella; and shredded cheddar. You apply the tomato sauce at the edge, then a ring of orange cheese, and then white cheese in the center. Slice it into triangles, and voila! You’ve got all of candy corn’s charm and none of its cloying sweetness.

We’ll bring the news to you.

Get the weekly Civil Eats newsletter, delivered to your inbox.

Like every other holiday, Halloween has fallen victim to rampant commercialization in recent decades. I’m not sure what’s more appalling: the orgy of chocolate candy made from cocoa beans harvested by enslaved children; the avalanche of cheap plastic pumpkin baskets and other landfill-ready Halloween accessories; or the obnoxious and offensive costumes–the most egregious, this year, being the Illegal Alien costume which Target had the bad taste to stock before outrage compelled it to remove the offending item from its shelves.

Ghoulish Goodies gives you some great DIY ways to reclaim Halloween from all the retail horror. So skip the mass-produced monstrosities and bake your way to a less heinous–but cheerily eerie–holiday!

Originally published on the Green Fork

Thank you for being a loyal reader.

We rely on you. Become a member today to read unlimited stories.

Kerry Trueman is a climate change activist/writer/consultant who advocates low-impact living, healthy eating, sustainable agriculture and related topics in a lively, non-wonky way. She has been a Huffington Post blogger since 2007, and occasional contributor to AlterNet, Grist, Civil Eats, and MomsCleanAirForce. Trueman also wrote the chapter on how to eat ecologically for Rodale's Whole Green Catalog. Read more >

Like the story?
Join the conversation.

More from



Kelsey Keener feeds chickens at Sequatchie Cove Farm. (Photo credit: Sarah Unger)

How Tennessee Officials Lost Out on Millions in Funding for Farmers and Food Banks

The Tennessee Department of Agriculture missed a USDA grant deadline to allow food banks to buy from local farmers. Now, the state is looking for ways to make up the funds.


Inside Bayer’s State-by-State Efforts to Stop Pesticide Lawsuits

a farmer walks in a cornfield early in the season; superimposed over the picture is the text of the Iowa bill that would prevent anyone from suing chemical companies over harms from pesticides

Chemical Capture: The Power and Impact of the Pesticide Industry

a farm field with a

In ‘Barons,’ Austin Frerick Takes on the Most Powerful Families in the Food System

author austin frerick and the cover of barons, his new book about corporate consolidation, monopolies, food systems, and more. (Author photo by Kris Graves)

Native Youth Learn to Heal Their Communities Through Mycelium

A parent walks an infant through a corn field as part of spirit of the sun's traditional ecological knowledge programming. (Photo courtesy of Spirit of the Sun)