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You will notice that Graceful Order during the holidays is a little less about organizing the home, and a lot more about entertaining in the home. After all, what’s the point of having all our platters organized if they never peek out of the drawer?
My kids love to have little parties for every and any occasion and Halloween is no exception. On Halloween night, I set up a large table with treats and I will also have butternut squash soup cooking on the stove. The adults and kids in our family know that they are welcome to stop by, grab a bite and walk around the neighborhood getting treats with the boys. My boys enjoy the setup and they take turns between getting candy from our neighbors and giving out candy to the little ones that knock on our door. Last year we had over 100 kids stop by our home! I know this because I make the little treat bags ahead of time and we ran out (I had made 100). Other years it’s less, but we have to be prepared because I hate to turn down a swarm of cute princesses, superheroes and astronauts!
Halloween is definitely fun, but also hectic — there is no way to get around that. This is the time to employ as many shortcuts as possible and give kids and adults what they want — silly-looking sweet treats! I headed to Target to find some decorations for my party (you know you can count on Target for that!) and these fun combo packages of PEEPS® Brand Marshmallow that are available exclusively at Target. I also picked up a few Betty Crocker™ favorites to add to my party.
Many of the decorations I found in the Target dollar section, and the products I used were found in the baking and Halloween isles, seen below.
I followed package instructions for most of the items but I embellished the Yellow cake in the following recipe, by using a few bananas that were past their prime.
Banana Bread Cupcakes
Prep time 10 minutes / Cook Time 15-20 minutes / Servings 24 cupcakes
List of Ingredients
1 Betty Crocker Yellow Cake Mix
1/3 Cup of Vegetable Oil
3 Ripe Bananas
Optional: Add 1/2 cup of chocolate chips
Heat oven to 350 degrees and grease the pan that you will be using. I was using liners in my cupcake pan.
Mash the bananas using a fork.
Combine the bananas and the rest of the ingredients in a bowl and beat using a mixer (or vigorously by hand).
Pour into the cupcake pan. It was about 3 tablespoons per cupcake liner.
Bake for about 15 minutes and take a peek. If you insert a toothpick and it comes out clean, they are done. Otherwise, allow them to bake for a few more minutes.
Allow them to cool completely before icing.
I iced these cupcakes with different flavors. One was a vanilla icing topped with yellow sprinkles. The other was simply some hazelnut spread mixed with whipped topping (I totally licked the spoon). The finishing touch were these cute little PEEPS peeking out of each cupcake! My boys loved these!
A good idea for displaying cupcakes is carefully stacking pedestals to create a little height in your party table. Also, nestle decorations around your cupcakes.
As far as the decor, I like to keep it cute but not scary because I don’t want to scare the little ones and by little ones I mean me. I chose a fun bat theme and instead of hanging fabric as a backdrop, which I tend to do, I adhered these bats to the bamboo shade as if they were flying out of the table. I used 2 tablecloths which is a good tip for adding interest to a party table or creating zones (drink zone, sweets, savory…).
Another tip for setting up a party table is creating your own cake stands by using an inverted bowl with a plate on top and voila – a pedestal. I found this little bowl in the Target dollar section. Most of my plates are white so it was a fun way to add color.
If you notice above, I didn’t use all the PEEPS that were in the box for the cupcakes. These ghosts had to make an “appearance” elsewhere. I placed them on a bed of whipped topping and added a stick so the kids could help themselves!
I wanted the food to match the decor as much as possible (I know…totally type A) so I added some queso and black corn chips to the spread.
Here are the brownies that I made. I just followed the instructions on the box and once cooled, I cut them into little squares so that everyone could have a little bite.
Following with the bat theme, below is a free printable for you! I had a separate tub with drinks but I thought it would be cute to set aside a few water bottles and customize them for our party.
Click image below to print.
I removed the label from these water bottles.
I printed these thanks to my little Brother (as in the printer).
Cut them out by hand following the lines provided.
And with a small piece of tape, I adhered them to the water bottle.
Just a little Batty!
Here are the other drinks which were apple juice and water. Not that I was trying to stick with the color scheme or anything. Ok, I was 100% trying to stick with the color scheme. I’m a little batty.
The trick or treat sign was also a Target dollar section find!
I also made special treat bags for our special neighborhood friends. Those included Peeps, stickers, candy and glow sticks. Glow sticks are so inexpensive and kids love them!
So we are just a little batty over here! What are your traditions on this night? Do you get together at your home or do you go to a friend’s house?
For more fun ideas, visit the Collective Bias Hub page. Also, be sure to check out more sweet recipes at Betty Crocker. I’d love to hear about your favorite recipes for fall parties. Do you decorate on the spooky side or do you also keep it cute and silly like we do?