What’s a Halloween teatime without “frightful” treats? For one thing, it’s not very Halloweenish. I mean, after all, the whole point is to get at least a little shiver going up and down your spine, right? Then, you gulp some tea and get all warmed up again. Ah!

You basically have two choices here: buy it or make it. Okay, so that’s obvious. So what are some of the treats? I have a few ideas (bet you didn’t expect that — yeah, right!).

“Frightful” treats can be either frightful in appearance or in taste or both. Jelly doughnuts are an example of something that can look normal but taste frightful. It all depends on what you use in place of the jelly filling. They’re pretty easy to make. Just bake up the doughnuts as normal, allow to cool a bit, then fill with your “frightful” concoction. It could be something as innocent as puréed black olives and ketchup. It could be something a bit more frightening like minced raw onions and fish paste with a dash of Worcestershire sauce and a dollop of lemon curd.

If you want to play it safe by just having treats that look “frightful,” you can top some cupcakes with more than just orange-colored frosting. Add on a plastic spider or two, or use a bit of frosting dyed black to draw a scary face on the cupcake top. Another option would be to take some doughnut holes coated with powdered sugar and add black frosting spots for irises and a bit of raspberry or strawberry jam as blood vessels on these “eyeballs.”

Of course, you can throw in some treats that just have “frightful” names, such as Walker’s Monster Munch which is nothing more than pickled onion flavor baked corn snacks. You can label your spinach dip as “Mummy Guts Dip” or your Rice Krispie treats as “Sticky Ghost Goo Squares.” A little imagination goes a long way, and the power of suggestion is often, well, pretty powerful! If you’ve ever been to a “Haunted House” setup, you will have been handed peeled grapes in a dark room and told that they were eyeballs or spaghetti that was supposed to be some creature’s “guts.”

Did you know that there is an annual Spooky Cake Decorating Contest? There is, honest, I wouldn’t make up something like this. It’s too important. Designs range from the totally expected, such as black cats, witches’ heads, and haunted houses, to the downright bizarre, such as nests of spiders or bats dancing around, that make you ask of the cake decorator “Who the heck is this person?”

Don’t forget a little “frightful” tea. A bit of food coloring goes a long way to turn a pot of green tea into something even greener. Just called it “Witch’s Blood Tea” and you’ll have your guests hesitating before pouring a cupful.

I think I just creeped myself out. Time for a “hubby hug” to make me feel all safe again. Enjoy!

Spooky enough? Get a load of Tea Time with A.C. Cargill!

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