For Halloween, we scared up some vintage Halloween treats from old cookbooks from the 50s, 60, and 70s. In those times, Halloween was mainly a kids’ event; so, these snacks are geared towards simple tastes.
When I was growing up we didn’t really celebrate Halloween. However, I do remember as a small child making costumes from paper grocery bags from which my mother had cut holes for head and armholes. Since I was Adam, my sister was naturally Eve. We happily colored our fig leaves before walking over to surprise the neighbors. Fortunately, these vintage Halloween recipes for Halloween contain no fig leaves, only kid-friendly treats.
Easy Vintage Halloween Treats for Kids
The first vintage Halloween recipe up is spooky faces. This Halloween party idea is easy enough for kids to make and decorate on their own. The old cookbook recipe called for a piece of bread cut into a circle. However, I just used hamburger buns for convenience; English muffins would work well too. Simply spread on the peanut butter for the base, and then make the face using chopped dates or raisins. Grate some orange peel and orange it as crazy hair. I was initially skeptical of orange and peanut butter, but it was pretty good. The tart sweetness of the orange cut through the rich peanut butter. I imagine you could adapt this kids’ Halloween recipe using different kinds of butter or dried fruits too.
Creepy Bavarian Brain Jello Mold Recipe
The next creepy idea came from my brain and a retro Jell-o book from the 70s. Bavarian cream Jell-o looked spooky enough to make from orange Jell-o
and molded into a brain. I used the modern speed-set gelatin method that used ice cubes. I whipped the cream and folded it in once the gelatin had cooled. It was tricky to keep the billowing fluff of the egg whites when mixed. I let it cool in the fridge for a few hours to firm up. Because of all the ridges in the cerebellum, it was hard to remove the brain from the mold, even though it was oiled. A spatula and spoon extracted the brain but also performed a partial lobotomy in the process. It came back together with some nudging but didn’t have so much detail as desired. Overall, it tasted good. The orange flavor blended well with the cream in a cool fluff dessert.
Scary Old Recipe: “Spooks”
The final vintage Halloween treat reached further back to ancient Egyptian times. The recipe description of “Spooks” called for biscuit dough. In modern times I just substituted crescent rolls to make mummies. The child had fun wrapping them up, even if they were wound rather wide. (Perhaps some mummies had an itch and shifted their bandages?) The cookbook instructions included an inside spread of mustard and horseradish and mayonnaise. I was suspicious that it might be too strong for a kids’ Halloween treat, but it came across well with a zing that cut through the thick bread wrapping and fat of the hot dog.
It was a night of friendly spooky foods that may raise themselves again next year.
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