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A Halloween Party for All Ages

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A festive black bean soup, spicy nibbles, savory cornbread, and sweet treats.

You'll need to double the Caramel Apples and Roasted Pepitas recipes; the shopping list reflects scaled-up amounts

A big pot of soup (orange and black, no less!) is the perfect main dish to warm trick-or-treaters before they head out, or for goblins staying in. Round the meal out with savory cornbread, prosciutto-and-tomato-studded salad, and an assortment of homemade candies and sweets. This menu serves eight, with leftover treats to take home.

Menu Timeline

Up to two days ahead

  • Make the black bean soup
  • Roast the pepitas

In the morning

  • Make the Caramel Peanut Popcorn
  • Make the Caramel Apples
  • Make the Nibby Fudge

One hour ahead

  • Make the Tex-Mex Cornbread

30 minutes ahead

  • Make the PLT salad.

Shopping List

Fresh Produce

  • 12 small red apples, such as Braeburn, Gala, or Pink Lady
  • 2 medium yellow onions, chopped
  • 2 medium sweet potatoes
  • 2 ears of corn
  • 1 fresh serrano or jalapeño chile
  • 7 oz. mixed salad greens, such as mesclun
  • 4 medium tomatoes
  • 1 bunch fresh flat-leaf parsley, chives or chervil
  • 1 bunch fresh thyme
  • 2 medium lemons
  • 1 lime
  • 1 bulb garlic

Meat, Eggs & Dairy

  • 6 thin slices prosciutto (about 3 oz.)
  • 1 egg
  • 1-1/4 cups buttermilk
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 18 Tbs. (9 oz.) unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup plain yogurt
  • 4 oz. extra-sharp Cheddar cheese

Other Groceries

  • 2 quarts lower-salt chicken broth or homemade vegetable broth
  • Four 15.5-oz. or two 29-oz. cans black beans
  • 2 cups large raw pepitas (pumpkin seeds)
  • 12 oz. semisweet chocolate
  • 1 cup lightly salted peanuts (extra large, if available)
  • 6-7 oz. day-old French bread
  • One 7-oz. jar marshmallow creme
  • 2/3 cup evaporated milk
  • 1/3 cup cacao nibs
  • One 3-1⁄2-oz. package plain (unbuttered natural flavor) microwave popcorn

Pantry Staples

  • 4-2/3 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 5 oz. (1 cup) stone-ground yellow cornmeal
  • 4-1/2 oz. (1 cup) unbleached flour
  • 2/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1⁄4 cup light corn syrup
  • 1 Tbs. pure vanilla extract
  • 1-1/2 Tbs. ground coriander
  • 1 Tbs. baking powder
  • 1-1/4 tsp. table salt
  • 1 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1 tsp. dried dill
  • 3/4 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp. aniseed
  • Pinch cayenne (optional)

The Menu

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