Mortals, Beware: The Recipes in This Unofficial Hocus Pocus Cookbook Are Frighteningly Tasty

Ulysses Press | Bridget Thoreson
Ulysses Press | Bridget Thoreson
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For many of us mortals, mummy sausage wraps, pumpkin bread, butterbeer, and caramel apples are typical Halloween delicacies. But if you've ever wondered how the supernatural feast on the other side, just take a peek inside this Unofficial Hocus Pocus Cookbook, by Bridget Thoreson, and the Sanderson sisters are sure to ask for a seat at your table. Packed with over 60 frighteningly good Halloween recipes, the book includes savory dishes like Life Potion Soup and Mischief Night Pasta, all guaranteed to be tastier than the "little children" the Sanderson sisters have on the menu.

If your taste buds err more on the sweet side, the cookbook also includes recipes for Chocolate-Covered Finger of a Man Named Clark and Clever Little White (Witch) Chocolate Chunk Cookies inspired by Allison and her makeshift salt protection circle. There's even a recipe for a tuna biscuit dinner that any familiars furry friends, Binx included, would want to get their claws on. Personally, I can't wait to snack on the indulgent Brown Butter "Booooook" Blondies while Winnie Sanderson serenades me to the tune of "I Put a Spell on You" this Halloween.

Whether you were born in the '90s or you've seen Hocus Pocus too many times to count, carefully brew yourself a fiery Black Flame Cocktail (recipe below) and flip through some of the spookiest concoctions in The Unofficial Hocus Pocus Cookbook ahead.

Life Potion Soup
Ulysses Press | Bridget Thoreson

Life Potion Soup

Serves: 6 | Prep Time: 10 minutes | Cook Time: 35 minutes

4 medium zucchini, shredded with a cheese grater
1 medium white onion, thinly sliced
1/2 cup salted butter
2 1/2 cups chicken broth
1/4 cup packed fresh basil leaves
1 cup heavy cream
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
Freshly ground pepper
Sea salt


  1. In a Dutch oven, sauté the zucchini and onion in the butter until the onion is fragrant.
  2. Add the broth, salt, and pepper and stir. Bring to a boil and let it simmer for 15 to 20 minutes.
  3. Remove from the heat and let it sit for 5 minutes to cool.
  4. Add the basil.
  5. Use an immersion blender and blend the ingredients until completely smooth.
  6. Add the heavy cream and nutmeg and stir well.
  7. Season again with salt and pepper to taste.
  8. Return to heat and bring to a soft boil. Reduce the heat and simmer until it is heated to desired temperature to serve.
Dead Man's Toes, Dead Man's Toes
Ulysses Press | Bridget Thoreson

Dead Man's Toes, Dead Man's Toes

Serves: 8 | Prep Time: 15 minutes | Cook Time: 12 minutes

8 hot dogs
1 package Pillsbury crescent rolls
1 tablespoon ketchup
1 tablespoon your favorite kind of mustard


  1. Preheat the oven to 375°F.
  2. Cut the hot dogs into equal halves.
  3. Open the crescent rolls container. Unroll the dough and cut it so that you have 16 similarly sized triangles.
  4. Roll each hot dog half with a crescent roll so that the cut half of the hot dog is wrapped in the dough and the uncut half is sticking out fully exposed.
  5. Using a sharp paring knife, make two or three thin shallow slits in the top of the hot dog toward the middle right at the edge of the crescent roll dough (this will be the knuckle).
  6. On the top of the hot dog at the uncut edge, use the paring knife to cut half of a long ellipse out of the top of the hot dog so that it looks like the shape of a fingernail bed.
  7. Place the hot dog rolls on a greased baking sheet and bake for approximately 12 minutes.
  8. When the hot dog rolls are done, use a pastry brush or small spoon to cover the nail bed of the hot dogs with the mustard or ketchup.*

*Variation: For a fancier manicure, you can make a mustard glaze by heating 1/4 cup Dijon mustard, 1/8 cup Worcestershire sauce, and 1/8 cup light brown sugar in a small saucepan over medium heat until the ingredients melt together and thicken. Brush on the nail beds before the hot dog buns go in the oven.

Black Flame Cocktail
Ulysses Press | Bridget Thoreson

Black Flame Cocktail

Serves: 1 | Prep Time: 10 minutes

1/8 cup sugar
food coloring
lime wedge
2 ounces Captain Morgan Black Rum
1/2 ounce dry vermouth
blackberry, for garnish
1/4 ounce Bacardi 151


  1. Chill a cocktail glass.
  2. Pour the sugar into a small resealable storage bag.
  3. Add a few drops of the food coloring to turn the sugar the desired color. Shake the bag well to distribute the coloring throughout the sugar.
  4. Dump the bag contents onto a plate.
  5. Use a lime wedge to rim the cocktail glass.
  6. Dip the rim of the glass in the colored sugar so it is evenly coated with the sugar.
  7. Fill a cocktail shaker with ice. Add the black rum and vermouth and shake well.
  8. Strain the cocktail into the rimmed glass.
  9. Garnish with a blackberry.
  10. Optional: Drizzle the Bacardi 151 onto the top of the cocktail and light on fire. Let it burn out before you drink!
Brown Butter Booooook Blondies
Ulysses Press | Bridget Thoreson

Brown Butter Booooook Blondies

Serves: 16 | Prep Time: 20 minutes | Cook Time: 30 minutes

2 sticks (16 tablespoons) unsalted butter
1 1/2 cups packed dark brown sugar
1/4 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup chocolate chips
1 1/2 to 2 cups mix-ins such as chocolate chips or crushed pretzels (optional)
16 white chocolate Kisses


  1. Place the butter in a small saucepan. Cook over medium heat. When the butter begins to foam, use a teaspoon and skim the foam off the top of the butter into a small bowl. (This will prevent the butter from burning.)
  2. Continue to heat the butter without the foam until it becomes fragrant and golden brown, about 10 minutes. There will be brown bits at the bottom of the pan. Remove from the heat and cool to room temperature.
  3. While the butter cools, preheat the oven to 350°F, and chop any mix-ins.
  4. When the butter is cool, beat together with the brown and granulated sugars on a low speed until just incorporated.
  5. Add the eggs and vanilla, and beat until light and fluffy (about 3 minutes). Add flour, baking powder, and salt, and beat on medium speed until mixed.
  6. Mix in the chocolate chips with a spatula. If you wish to use mix-ins, fold them in now.
  7. Spoon the batter into a greased or lined 9 x 13-inch pan and spread evenly. Bake on the middle rack at 350°F until golden brown and shiny, about 22 to 25 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool.
  8. Once the blondies are cool, cut them into approximately 16 pieces.
  9. Remove the Kisses from their wrappers. Plunge one chocolate Kiss point down into the top of each blondie.
Clever Little White (Witch) Chocolate Chunk Cookies
Ulysses Press | Bridget Thoreson

Clever Little White (Witch) Chocolate Chunk Cookies

Serves: 8 | Prep Time: 15 minutes | Cook Time: 12 minutes

1 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 eggs
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 (11-ounce) bag white chocolate chips


  1. In a large bowl, mix together the brown sugar, granulated sugar, softened butter, and vanilla extract. Beat with a mixer on medium speed for about 2 minutes until fluffy.
  2. Add in both eggs and beat until fully combined.
  3. In a medium bowl, mix together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon. Add slowly to the wet ingredients with the mixer on low until combined.
  4. Mix in the white chocolate chips by hand. Cover well and refrigerate for at least 35 minutes.
  5. Allow the dough to come to room temperature so you can spoon it onto sheets. Preheat the oven to 350°F and line the baking sheets with parchment paper or nonstick spray.
  6. Spoon the dough onto the baking sheets, about 1 to 1 1/2 tablespoons at a time.
  7. Bake in the oven for approximately 12 minutes until lightly golden. Cool and serve or store.
Witch's Brew Espresso Martini
Ulysses Press | Bridget Thoreson

Witch's Brew Espresso Martini

Serves: 1 | Prep Time: 22 minutes

1 1/2 ounces espresso
1 ounce vodka
1 teaspoon simple syrup
1 ounce heavy cream


  1. Brew espresso and let it sit for 20 minutes to cool.
  2. Pour the espresso over ice in a rocks glass and give it a stir to cool it further.
  3. Add vodka and simple syrup.
  4. Add the heavy cream and stir well.
Hearty Breakfast Frittata
Ulysses Press | Bridget Thoreson

Hearty Breakfast Frittata

Serves: 8 | Prep Time: 15 minutes | Cook Time: 25 minutes

6 eggs
3 tablespoons heavy cream or half-and-half
2 tablespoons olive oil
6 ounces grated cheddar cheese
3/4 cup chopped white onion
3/4 cup chopped zucchini
3/4 cup chopped tomato
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste


  1. Preheat the oven to 425°F.
  2. Whip together the eggs, cream or half-and-half, salt, and pepper with a wire whisk. Stir in the cheddar cheese.
  3. Heat the skillet on the stove over medium-high heat. Add the olive oil.
  4. Sauté the onion until soft, about 5 minutes. Then add the zucchini and sauté for 2 to 3 minutes. Add the tomato and butter, and finish sautéing the vegetables so that they are all cooked through.
  5. Pour the egg and cheese mixture over the sautéed vegetables and let them cook on the stove for about 1 minute.
  6. Transfer the skillet to the oven and let the frittata bake for 8 to 15 minutes, or until the edges are golden brown. Remove the frittata from the oven and let it sit for 2 to 3 minutes before cutting into it.
A Spell For Flayed and Crispy Breast of Chicken
Ulysses Press | Bridget Thoreson

A Spell For Flayed and Crispy Breast of Chicken

Serves: 6 | Prep Time: 30 minutes | Cook Time: 20 minutes

3 boneless chicken breasts
3 cups flour
4 eggs
3 cups seasoned bread crumbs
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
1 tablespoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
Olive oil


  1. Preheat the oven to 425°F.
  2. Flay each chicken breast.
  3. Using a meat tenderizer, tenderize each flayed breast to desired thinness.
  4. Scoop the flour into a bowl.
  5. Whip the eggs in a separate bowl.
  6. Blend the bread crumbs, parmesan cheese, garlic powder, salt, and pepper in a separate bowl.
  7. Pat each chicken breast dry.
  8. One by one, dredge each chicken breast in the flour, shake off excess flour, then dunk in the egg, dredge in the bread crumbs, and then set aside.
  9. On a baking sheet, generously drizzle olive oil. Place each chicken breast directly on the olive oil. Then drizzle more olive oil generously on the tops of the chicken breasts.
  10. Cook in the oven for 10 minutes and then flip the chicken breasts.
  11. Cook for another 10 minutes.
Baked Witch Casserole
Ulysses Press | Bridget Thoreson

Baked Witch Casserole

Serves: 8 | Prep Time: 15 minutes | Cook Time: 1 hour

1 1/2 pounds russet potatoes, peeled and diced
1/2 cup heavy cream
5 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt, divided
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium white onion, diced
1/2 cup diced celery
3/4 cup chopped green bell pepper
2 pounds ground beef
1 cup crushed tomatoes
2/3 cup seasoned bread crumbs
1 1/2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
1 1/2 tablespoons tomato paste
Fresh parsley, for garnish


  1. Preheat the oven to 400°F.
  2. Place the potatoes in a pot and fill with water until they are covered. Bring the water to a boil on high heat. Reduce the heat to keep the water simmering. Allow the potatoes to cook for approximately 15 minutes, until they are tender. (Test the potatoes by stabbing them with a fork.)
  3. Drain the water when the potatoes are cooked.
  4. Add the heavy cream, butter, 1 teaspoon of kosher salt, and one clove of minced garlic. Mash the potatoes until they are smooth and the ingredients are well blended.
  5. Place a cast-iron skillet on the stove and heat it on high. Just before the skillet starts to smoke, add the olive oil, onion, celery, and bell pepper, and sauté until they are soft.
  6. Add the ground beef and sauté until it is cooked.
  7. Remove from the heat and add the remaining salt, crushed tomatoes, bread crumbs, Worcestershire sauce, and tomato paste. Mix the sauce into the ground beef filling.
  8. Spread the meat filling into a casserole dish or the cast-iron skillet. Spread the mashed potatoes evenly over the meat filling. Place the casserole in the middle of the oven and let it bake for 25 minutes.
  9. Garnish with parsley.
Red Velvet Tombstone Cake
Ulysses Press | Bridget Thoreson

Red Velvet Tombstone Cake

Serves: 8 | Prep Time: 20 minutes | Cook Time: 25 to 30 minutes

Red Velvet Cake Ingredients:
1 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup Dutch-processed cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup buttermilk
1 tablespoon distilled white vinegar
2 tablespoons red food coloring

Cream Cheese Frosting Ingredients:
2 (8-ounce) blocks of cream cheese, softened
½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
4 cups powdered sugar, divided
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
¼ teaspoon kosher salt


  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease two 9-inch round cake pans or coat with cooking spray.
  2. In a large bowl, beat together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy (2 or 3 minutes).
  3. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each. Mix in the vanilla extract.
  4. In a separate large bowl, stir together the flour, cocoa, baking soda, and salt. Add half of the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients, mixing until just combined.
  5. Add the buttermilk, vinegar, and food coloring, beating well to combine. Add the remaining dry ingredients, folding in until just incorporated.
  6. Pour the batter evenly into the two cake pans. Bake about 25 to 30 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Let cool fully before frosting.
Mischief Night Pasta
Ulysses Press | Bridget Thoreson

Mischief Night Pasta

Serves: 6 | Prep Time: 10 minutes | Cook Time: 30 minutes

Homemade Pasta*
2 pounds ground sausage
2 heads broccoli, cut into medium-sized florets
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
2 teaspoons minced garlic
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
2 cups freshly grated pecorino romano cheese
1/2 teaspoon salt, plus an extra pinch for the water
1/4 teaspoon pepper
fresh parsley, for garnish


  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and add the pasta.
  2. Cook the pasta (if you haven't already) for approximately 3 minutes, stirring constantly. (You may want to have a small piece of the pasta, separate from the sheets in the water, so you can taste a small piece to test if it is cooked.)
  3. Drain the pasta and set aside.
  4. Sauté the sausage over medium heat until browned. Set aside.
  5. Steam the broccoli in a steamer pot for 5 minutes. Set aside.
  6. To make the alfredo sauce, melt the butter in a medium skillet over medium heat.
  7. Add the garlic to the skillet before the butter is completely melted.
  8. Add the cream to the skillet, then add salt and pepper. Whisk continuously until the cream starts to simmer.
  9. Add the cheese a bit at a time, whisking regularly until it's fully melted.
  10. Add the pasta, sausage, and broccoli to a large bowl. Pour in the cheese and gently toss to combine.
  11. Plate and serve.

*For a tasty homemade pasta recipe, check out the full recipe in The Unofficial Hocus Pocus Cookbook.