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This Delicious Cookie Cake Recipe Puts Your Leftover Candy to Good Use

Why make cookies when you can make a skillet cookie cake with some of your favorite leftover Halloween candy? Whether the Halloween haul was unusually bountiful or the doorbell didn’t ring as much as you thought it would, this skillet cookie cake is a delicious way to make sure no candy is left unwrapped (as if). Go for chocolate candy bars, peanut butter cups, M&M’s, or Twix bars. The chocolate melts wonderfully, and candy covered pieces like peanut M&M’s break up in the dough for bits of colorful chocolate, but sneaky bits of peanut, too (avoid hard candy as you don’t want to chip anyone’s teeth!). Making your own cookie dough will result in a stellar outcome. Cut your cookie into bars or dig right into the warm dessert once it comes out of the oven. Ice cream isn't a must, but definitely a nice addition.

No-Bake Pumpkin Pie

A no bake pumpkin pie is controversial, but controversial in this case means insanely delicious and perfect for anyone looking for a new and easy twist. Not to mention, it’s a problem solver if fussing with pie dough stresses you out, managing oven-space on Thanksgiving day sounds like a chore, or if baking just sounds like too much work. Relate? Then this easy pumpkin pie recipe is for you. (Psst: It still counts as homemade and from scratch, just in case your mother-in-law is asking.) The crust is of the classic press-in graham cracker variety—a winner no matter what—but here it’s the pumpkin and white chocolate filling that shines. White chocolate not only adds creamy vanilla taste to the pie, it firms up as it cools, meaning that you don’t have to get involved with gelatin or worry about a runny filling. With the addition of cream cheese and warm spices, the result is like pumpkin cheesecake meets pumpkin pie, and that is something to celebrate. Pointers: make sure the cream cheese is truly at room temperature and that the chocolate is cooled before whisking in to the pumpkin puree. This will ensure a super smooth filling.

Chicken Thighs With Sweet Potatoes and Prunes

This boneless chicken thighs recipe proves that you can use everyday ingredients to create a delicious, flavorful dinner. The easy spiced chicken and sweet potato dish takes its cues from Moroccan cuisine. There are cinnamon- and coriander-spiced boneless chicken thighs, a saucy mixture of shallots, dried pitted plums, and sweet potatoes, plus couscous to soak everything up. Boneless, skinless chicken thighs are extra juicy since they are considered “dark meat,” without needing to rely on skin for richness or flavor. Starting the spiced chicken thighs in the pan with a quick sear allows them to get a nice, golden brown crust, and leaves behind flavor to cook the vegetables in. If you have gluten-free eaters in the family, white rice can be substituted for couscous, or even a quinoa for a protein-rich swap.

Spaghetti Pasta Salad With Avocado-Basil Dressing

Spaghetti rarely gets to star in a pasta salad, but it should. This easy pasta salad recipe makes a case for the long noodles to get top billing when paired with a tangy, no-cook dressing. To make the simple sauce, just blend up avocados, basil, and Greek yogurt plus apple cider vinegar for tart balance and honey to take the edge off raw ingredients. It makes the perfect coating for long swirls of spaghetti, which soak up every drop of the sauce. Chopped toasted almonds add crunch and cherry tomatoes add bursts of bright acidity. This makes a great casual weeknight dinner, and would pack particularly well for lunch on the go.

Spaghetti Scramble With Ham and Cheese

You certainly don’t need more reasons to eat spaghetti—those are endless—but new ways to eat spaghetti? A jar of marinara or butter and parmesan can start to feel a little boring on weeknights. Enter a ham-and-egg scramble with spaghetti added to the mix. Genius! The spaghetti is toasted in oil before cooking in chicken stock, which adds toasty, nutty flavor to the dish. Finish with ham, melted Cheddar cheese, and sharp scallions for a satisfying, original meal. Given the breakfast staples at play here, this recipe plays equally well in the morning or the evening, depending your mood.

Spaghetti Funnel Cakes

When you’ve got leftover spaghetti on hand, what to do? Sure you could reheat plain noodles and add butter, but here’s an exciting idea: turn them into funnel cake-inspired fritters. Funnel cakes are popular at state fairs, but the basic concept of a fried dough tossed with powdered sugar plays all year long. In this case, there’s ricotta in the batter for richness, and that batter coats the precooked strands of spaghetti. What you get is something great for breakfast or dessert. The cakes are great as is, but if you want to mix the flavors up, try adding a pinch of cinnamon to the powdered sugar or some lemon zest to the batter.

Roasted Fingerling Potatoes With Pistachio-Parsley Crumble

Give roasted potatoes a fresh new feel with zesty parsley, crunchy pistachios, and spicy garlic. This roasted potatoes recipe comes together quickly and because all of the ingredients get tossed together right on the baking sheet, it’s incredibly simple to make: no cooking skills required. Multicolored fingerling potatoes are not a must but will add gorgeous color to the table. Feel free to use red potatoes or any baby potato variety. Serve them any night of the week or as a vibrant Thanksgiving side dish.

Roasted Garlic-and-Sweet Potato Polenta

If you’re looking for a new creamy polenta recipe, look no further. Polenta gets a major flavor (and nutritious!) upgrade with the addition of roasted sweet potatoes and garlic. A whole head of garlic roasts wrapped in aluminum foil while the sweet potatoes become tender in the oven. The result? A creamy garlic paste as smooth as butter, stirred into polenta along with the roasted sweet potatoes, for the creamy polenta recipe of your dreams. A topping of crispy sage leaves will really knock it out of the park. File this under Thanksgiving side ideas and all fall recipe cravings.

Spooky Halloween Punch

Dry ice vapor gives this crowd favorite an eerie effect. Purchase about five pounds of dry ice pellets a few hours before you’ll need them and store them in an insulated cooler (never the fridge or freezer). Then, wearing protective gloves, use a plastic cup to fill a large plastic or metal bowl about a quarter of the way full with pellets. (Don’t use a glass bowl, which the extreme cold can shatter.) Nestle a medium bowl into the large one and add more pellets to the space between the two bowls until it's about three-quarters full. Prepare your punch separately before adding it to the medium bowl. When you're ready to activate the vapor, pour a cup of room-temperature water onto the dry ice. Serve in a well-ventilated area. Add more dry ice every two hours or as needed.

Recipe by Paige Grandjean

Spiderweb Cookies

We dressed up our favorite Black and White Cookie recipe with a super easy spiderweb decoration for a sophisticated non-candy treat. To spin the tidiest web, you’ll want to make sure that the base chocolate icing is completely cool before you pipe on top of it. We like to use an offset spatula to spread the chocolate evenly across the flat side, but a regular old dinner knife works too. If you do a lot of cookie and cake decorating, invest in an inexpensive set of Ateco piping tips. Use a small round tip for the webs here, but if you don’t have one, you can fill a sturdy resealable plastic bag and snip a tiny hole in one corner. That’ll do the trick.