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Halloween Dinner

A Halloween dinner combines two seasonal favorites from fall’s bountiful harvest: pumpkin and apple.

A night of trick-or-treating calls for a hearty meal beforehand so the kids don’t fill up on candy. And what better way to celebrate the spooktacular holiday then with a fun and festive Halloween dinner? This Halloween dinner serves up Pig and Pineapple Pumpkin Calzones, which the kids will get a kick of because they’re shaped like pumpkins and are made from a savory pumpkin dough. To complement that flavors is an Apple Cider Citrus Punch which is equally tasty hot or cold. Make this Halloween dinner an annual tradition the kids will always remember.

Pig and Pineapple Pumpkin Calzones

Set the kids to work finger painting stripes and stems on calzones.

Makes 4 large calzones
Prep time: Approx. 40 minutes
Cook time: 18-20 minutes

1 Savory Pumpkin Pizza Dough (below)
1 (8-ounce) can crushed pineapple in pineapple juice
4 Provolone cheese slices
Thinly sliced deli ham, torn into pieces
Thinly sliced onion slivers
Thinly sliced bell peppers
2 cups shredded mozzarella
Olive oil for brushing
Salt and Pepper
Crushed red pepper (optional)
1 teaspoon unsweetened cocoa powder
1 teaspoon water or enough to make a thick paste
Warm marinara sauce
A few small basil leaves for decoration (optional)

1. Strain the juice from the pineapple in a colander, pressing the juice out with the back of a spoon.
2. Divide the dough into four equal sized pieces. Then divide those pieces in half.
3. Roll out each piece until quite thin and place four of the pieces on two cookie sheets covered with parchment paper. Brush the 4 pieces of dough all the way to the edge with olive oil.
4. Then top each with a slice of provolone, then top with ham, onion, bell peppers, some pineapple, ½ cup shredded mozzarella, a little salt, pepper, and crushed red pepper to taste leaving a ¾-inch border.
5. Top calzones with the other dough pieces, pinching well to seal. Then pull the top up into a stem shape, and give it a little divot on the bottom. Brush tops with olive oil.
6. With your fingers, paint the stem brown with the cocoa paste. Then paint four lines down the pumpkins, smearing in the paste.
7. Cover the pumpkins with another sheet of parchment or a clean towel and rest in a warm place for 40 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 450°F.
8. Uncover the pumpkins and bake for 18 to 20 minutes until done. Poke a small hole near the stem with a knife and tuck in a piece of basil for a leaf.
9. Serve with warm marinara sauce for dipping or smothering calzone.

Savory Pumpkin Pizza Dough

Adding pumpkin to pizza dough is an excellent way to sneak in an extra vegetable.

Makes 2 12-14-inch crusts
Prep time: 1 hour 20 minutes

½ cup lukewarm water
1 teaspoon honey
1 tablespoon active dry yeast
3 ½ cups bread flour
1 cup canned pumpkin, (not pumpkin pie filling)
2 Tablespoons olive oil, plus more for the bowl
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon onion powder
½ teaspoon garlic powder

1. Measure water in a wet measuring cup and stir in the honey and yeast. Set aside for 5 minutes.
2. In a stand mixer with a dough hook add all the ingredients including the yeast mixture and knead for several minutes.
3. Turn the dough onto a clean surface and knead with your hands for a couple more minutes. Coat a large bowl with a little olive oil, toss in the dough turning once to coat, and cover in plastic wrap.
4. Let the dough rise in a warm place for about an hour, or until doubled in size.

Apple Cider Citrus Punch

Simple and sweet, serve this punch warm or chill and enjoy cold.

Makes 8 servings
Prep time and Cook time: 10 minutes

8 cups apple cider or apple juice
¾ cup raspberry concentrate, thawed
Peel of 1 orange

Warm the ingredients in a large saucepan over medium-low heat. Serve immediately for warm drinks, or cool and then refrigerate for cold punch.

By Kristen Doyle • Photography and recipes by Laura Flowers

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