Start with a tray of adorable orange, pumpkin-shaped cheese puffs, made tangy with Romano cheese. Pipe cream cheese "stems" onto the pumpkins and fashion pumpkin leaves out of parsley sprigs.
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These tiny sandwiches are more silly than scary. Fill them with chicken salad, then top with olives "eyes," pimiento strip "noses," and pickle "fangs."
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You can make this cute, pumpkin-shaped cheddar-and-cream cheese ball a day ahead of time. Paprika gives it its orange hue, and a broccoli stalk makes a neat pumpkin stem.
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A kick of Cajun seasoning makes these homemade chicken fingers appealing to adults, but you can leave it out if little ones are sensitive to spicy foods. Create "claws" by adding a sliced triangle of yellow bell pepper at the end of each chicken finger, and serve with store-bought barbecue sauce—or as we like to say at Halloween, "blood!"
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A slow cooker makes it easy to serve this hearty beef stew with mushrooms and parsnips, and also keeps it hot on the buffet table during your open house. Pipe mashed potato "ghosts" onto each bowlful, or simply top spoonfuls of potatoes with a ladle of stew.
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This cream cheese-pumpkin dip can be served warmed or chilled. Make dippers by using a ghost-shaped cookie cutter (or any other shape you like) to cut out cinnamon-dusted flour tortilla triangles.
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Caramel-dipped apples rolled in crushed peanuts are a classic Halloween treat. Prep them ahead of time, or create a station where guests can dip their own, then roll in toppings of their choice (like crushed cookies, sprinkles, mixed nuts, and more).
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Spoon chocolate pudding into individual graham cracker tart shells for a single-serving dessert that's easy to hold while chatting. Use licorice to create spider legs and M&Ms for eyes—or if you're spooked by spiders, simply serve them unadorned.
Dip Nutter Butter cookies into white candy coating to make these fun, friendly ghosts. Serve with a pile of napkins so guests can wrap up their sweet endings and take them "to go," either out trick-or-treating or home for the night.
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