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Chocolatey peanut butter cup goodness. (CU Independent/Alaina Ambrosio)
Chocolatey peanut butter cup goodness. (CU Independent/Alaina Ambrosio)

Four terrifyingly tasty Halloween treats

Every good Halloween party needs a few spooky snacks to help set the mood. That’s why CUI has compiled four recipes, some found and some original, and adapted them to Boulder’s altitude for your Halloween bash!

Outside inspiration:

Homemade Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups

Chocolatey peanut butter cup goodness. (CU Independent/Alaina Ambrosio)

This is a vegan-friendly version of a Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup.  The chocolate and peanut butter in these cups is very prominent, so if you’re not a fan, do not attempt to make these goodies. For those of you brave enough to try them out, the recipe can be found on The Kind Life website.

Recipe for Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups

Spicy Cheddar Witch Fingers

For savory-inclined buffs, this recipe is sure to please. Spicy Cheddar Witch Fingers are a scary, altitude-friendly addition to any Halloween smorgasbord. If you’re interested in trying this cheesy snack, check out the recipe on Food and Wine Magazine’s website.

Recipe for Spicy Cheddar Witch Fingers

Treats of our own:

Katarzyna’s Pumpkin Cookies

Whoever has leftover pumpkin morsels from jack-o-lantern carving will be delighted to find this recipe. My great-great-grandma Katarzyna always made these cookies for my mother, whose birthday happens to be on Halloween. Since my mom always speaks fondly of these delicious treats, I decided to give them a try.

Cooking time, start to finish: 45 minutes

Makes about 18 cookies.

Pumpkin Cookie Ingredients:

1 cup raisins (I used golden raisins)

1 stick unsalted butter, softened

1 ½ cups sugar (I used cane sugar)

1 egg

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

½ teaspoon grated ginger

250 grams canned pumpkin (about 1 cup)

2 ½ cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 pinch salt

1 teaspoon cinnamon

½ teaspoon nutmeg

Directions for Cookies:

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Fit two baking sheets with parchment paper.

2. In a large bowl, mix the butter and sugar. Then add the egg, vanilla and grated ginger. Once combined, stir in the pumpkin.

3. In a medium bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg.

3. Fold the dry mixture into the pumpkin mixture. Once the mixture is uniformly combined, add the raisins.

4. With an ice cream scoop, place about six spoonfuls of the batter on each baking sheet. Bake for 16 minutes or until cookies are slightly golden around the edges.

Cream Cheese Frosting Ingredients:

4 ounces cream cheese at room temperature

4 tablespoons (about half a stick) unsalted butter at room temperature

1 cup sifted confectioner’s sugar

½ teaspoon vanilla extract

1 teaspoon non fat half-and-half creamer

Directions for Frosting:

While the cookies cool, prepare the frosting.

1. Combine the butter and cream cheese.

2. Mix in the sugar, vanilla, and cream.

3. Once the icing is lump-free and the pumpkin cookies are completely cooled, spread a thick layer of icing on each cookie. Enjoy!

La Tenerina d’Anna

This decadent chocolate cake hails from Ferrara, Italy, and is called La Tenerina, a name deriving from the Italian word for soft or tender “tenera.” During my year abroad in Italy, my Italian quasi-aunt, Anna, taught me how to make this sophisticated and delicious dessert. To add a Halloween twist, cut out a spooky design using parchment paper and cover the exposed areas of the cake with powdered sugar.

Cooking time, start to finish: 45 minutes

Makes 1 cake


7 ounces good quality, dark chocolate (about 2 ½ bars)

14 tablespoons unsalted butter (almost 2 sticks)

1 cup sugar

3 eggs (separated, save both the egg whites and yolks)


1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease a cake tin and sprinkle with a thin layer of sugar (whatever size you have in your kitchen works fine).

2. In a medium pot, boil some water. Dice the butter and chocolate and put in a medium bowl.  Place this bowl on the surface of the boiling water, and mix the contents until melted.

3. Remove the bowl from the boiling water and leave to cool while you prepare the rest of the cake.

4. Combine the three egg yolks and sugar. Next, pour the flour into the chocolate mixture. Mix the sugar combination into the chocolate.

5. Beat the remaining egg whites until stiff peaks form. In order to reach peaks more quickly, add a pinch of salt before you begin mixing. If possible, use a hand mixer. When at the right consistency, fold the egg whites into the chocolate batter.

6. In your prepared cake tin, pour the chocolate mixture.

7. Bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes, then lower the heat to 285 degrees and bake for another 15 minutes. The Tenerina is finished when it appears to be congealed. Let it cool and serve in bite sized squares. Enjoy!

If you have any recipes you would like to share for Thanksgiving, please contact:

CU Independent Staff Writer Alaina Ambrosio at

About Alaina Ambrosio

Alaina is pursuing a B.A. in Italian, although she has no idea what she is doing to do with it. She adores photography, Italian movies and baking. As an avid reader, she is always recommending books. Her latest obsession is "Cutting for Stone" by Abraham Verghese.

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