Locals share spooky Halloween treats

Published on: October 28, 2015


The Sarmiento family of Riverview found a devilish way to celebrate Halloween a little early this year. While vacationing in the North Georgia mountains, the family’s cooks — Cindy Lynn Sarmiento, Yolanda Sarmiento  and Tobie Sarmiento — conjured up these ghoulish dishes to delight their family and friends. “We wanted to find recipes that were easy enough for anyone to make, but spooky enough to spice up any Halloween party table,” said Cindy. Here are their creations:


Photo courtesy of Cindy Sarmiento.

Dead Mans Dip

1 small plastic skeleton
1 loaf unsliced oblong bread
1 pkg. Lipton vegetable soup mix
1 16 oz. container sour cream
1 cup mayonnaise
1 9 oz. frozen chopped spinach

Slice bread loaf not quite through, leaving a hinge for the top of coffin. Hollow out bread leaving ½ inch on all three sides. Thaw, rinse and thoroughly drain spinach, and mix with remaining ingredients. Scoop into bread loaf cavity, place skeleton on top, and garnish with creepy plastic or candy bugs and spiders.


Bloodshot Eyes

Photo courtesy of Cindy Sarmiento.

Photo courtesy of Cindy Sarmiento.

Hard boiled eggs
Red Food Coloring
Green Olives

Boil eggs, drain and place in bowl to cool. Crack but do not remove shells. Completely cover the cracked shells with red food coloring, and let sit 10-15 minutes.

Remove shells. Cut olives in half and attach with a toothpick to resemble the pupil of an eye. Place on a plate for a gruesomely tasty treat.

Monster Punch Bowl

1 latex glove
1 liter chilled lemonade
2 liters cold lemon-lime soda
1 bottle green food coloring

Photo courtesy of Cindy Sarmiento.

Photo courtesy of Cindy Sarmiento.

Fill latex glove with water, leaving ½ inch from the glove opening. Add 5 drops of green food coloring. Secure tightly with rubber band, shake glove gently to mix food coloring, then lay flat in your freezer. Mix remaining ingredients for punch. (Apple-flavored vodka, Sprite, or pineapple juice can also be used.) Remove glove from freezer once it’s thoroughly frozen and float frozen hand in punch. For a spine-tingling presentation, place punch bowl in a larger glass bowl filled with dry ice to create a mysterious smoky halo effect.


Meanwhile, back in Sun City Center, Alaine Gough was conjuring up her own tempting treats to complete her fiendish Halloween feast.

“It’s no secret that Halloween is my favorite holiday,” said Alaine, who is known for her Halloween parties featuring eerie themes like ghostly brides dressed in real wedding gowns. When it comes to making Halloween desserts, Alaine favors the simplest store-bought mixes, giving her more time to focus on building the decorations.

Here are this year’s creepy concoctions from Alaine’s kitchen:

 Black Widow Spider Cakespidercake

1 box Betty Crocker Devil’s Food cake mix
1 can Betty Crocker Rich and Creamy Vanilla Frosting
1 black plastic spider 

Prepare cake mix as directed on box and bake in a 9-inch round cake pan that is 5 inches deep. Remove from pan and cool thoroughly. Mix up purple icing by adding red and blue food coloring to vanilla frosting. Use lots of frosting at room temperature, leaving some of the frosting white to use for the spider web. Lay parchment paper over the frosted cake so that you can smooth out the surface using a putty knife or ruler. Decorate with white icing for spider web and place a large plastic or candy spider on top of cake for a gruesome garnish that will make your skin crawl.


Haunted House Cake

Lisa Stark photo.

Lisa Stark photo.

1 pre-assembled gingerbread house
1 box Betty Crocker Red Velvet Chocolate cake mix
1 can Betty Crocker Cream Cheese Frosting

The Haunted House cake is made in two stages. The first step is to make the gingerbread house at least two days ahead. Use a recipe for roll-out gingerbread cookie/house. Good resources are and Once you find your recipe, use the following instructions for assembling the house.

Roll out dough on parchment paper and cut out 12 pieces to construct the walls, roof and chimney of the haunted house. Pieces should be cut asymetrically to give the house a rickety look. Cement the pieces together by beading icing in the cracks like glue until house is sturdy. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.

Bake cake as directed on box and cool thoroughly. Frost with cream cheese frosting tinted with orange food coloring. Decorate with small Halloween candies, such as candy corn, miniature ghosts, skeletons and eyeballs.

Place the house on top of the prepared cake and decorate with small candies, plus orange, white and black frosting for a tantalizing Halloween centerpiece that will leave your party guests amazed.