Halloween is upon us. One of those holidays that calls for having fun, being silly, and indulging in that sweet tooth of yours. Because it falls in the middle of the week this year, I’ve decided that while the kids are out trick-or-treating, the adults will play at home – in a casual, grown-up, yet gourmet way of course. Since you’ll be busy answering the door all evening, it’s not the time for a sit down dinner. Instead I’ve decided to recreate those childhood Halloween favorites into a more grown-up gourmet version that my adult friends will love. I’m not going to lie, I’m a little Pinterest-obsessed these days. If you are in need of inspiration this holiday season, I highly recommend it. Or hopefully the ideas below will help spark a bit of creativity as well.

As I always say, every great party starts with a cocktail. And so on the cold and windy (thank you Hurricane Sandy) evening we will be sipping Spiced Apple Cider. Of course there will be plenty leftover for the kids when they return home – just omit the spiced rum.

candy apple bar

The main course and the part I’m most excited about is The Gourmet Candy Apple Bar. Everyone loves a crisp caramel apple this time of year, but why not let you guests create their own? Have plenty of options for dipping sauce – caramel, chocolate, white chocolate etc., then countless toppings – sprinkles, crushed nuts, sea salt, bacon, bits of fruit, etc. The options are endless and guests can even take theirs home as a little gift!

To munch on throughout the night I plan on serving a gourmet version of caramel corn I’ve just recently fallen in love with – Maple Chile Popcorn. Then because we haven’t had enough sugar I will be recreating one of my childhood favorites – Mounds Candy Bar – from this fabulous recipe I stumbled upon.

And who said Halloween was just for the kids? Have your friends over while the kids trick-or-treat and celebrate in a grown-up gourmet way. Just don’t forget to buy some actual candy for all the trick-or-treaters and Happy Halloween!

Maple-Chile Popcorn

Cook Time: 22 minutes

Yield: Makes 8 cups

Maple-Chile Popcorn

Popcorn is one of those treats that everyone loves, and I am no exception. It’s my go to snack, and so throughout the years of catering we have created many different types. This recipe is my new fall favorite flavor for popcorn. The maple sugar makes it sweet while the pepper gives it heat!

Recipe adapted from myrecipes.com


  • 8 cups plain popcorn popped
  • Cooking spray
  • ½ cup maple syrup
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon ground red pepper


Preheat oven to 300°F. Spray a large baking pan with cooking spray. Coat a large mixing bowl with cooking spray and place popcorn in bowl.

Over medium heat, combine syrup, butter, salt, and pepper in a saucepan. Bring to a boil, stirring until all ingredients are combined. Let cook 2 minutes without stirring. Pour syrup mixture over popcorn, stirring to mix.

Spread popcorn mixture onto baking pan with a silicone spatula sprayed with cooking spray. Bake in oven for 15 minutes and allow to cool.