Halloween is almost here, and if your Christmas shopping tradition is any indication, you've probably also left your lolly-buying to the last minute. But why continue to fill Hershey and the Mars family's wealthy pockets with your hard-earned cash when a little doi-it-your-selfing can result in big savings and only slightly disappointed neighbourhood kids.
Here's everything you need to make your own Halloween treats, from misshapen gummy bears, to lopsided caramel apples, to marshmallow treats that leave no doubt that you were trying to cut corners this year.
It's unfortunate that every year millions of apples give up their lives to be nothing more than delivery vehicles for caramel and other toppings. But eating it straight out of a jar is an unhealthy social no-no. And when your sugary treat has a tart apple at the core, it's easier to convince yourself you're eating healthy. $US80.
It's actually designed for making ice cubes, but the beauty of a food-safe silicone tray is that you can use it to mould almost any edible ingredient. And whipping up a small fleet of Millennium Falcon-shaped chocolates is sure to keep your home egg free. Even if today's kids have no idea what it is. $US10.
If at Halloween shock factor is more important to you than distributing a tasty treat, just whip up a batch of these incredibly life-like looking gummy eyeballs and you'll have the local police knocking on your door in no time. You'll just need to learn Japanese between now and next week to follow the recipe. DIY.
If you think marshmallow Peeps are only for Easter then you're living in the past. Thanks to a brilliant marketing push they're available for every major holiday now, and with this kit you won't even need an excuse to whip up a custom batch. Pass your road test? Here's a marshmallow airbag for you. $US76.
Did you know you custom order M&M's with more than just a big 'M' stamped on them? You can add captions or even your own photos now, which is a fantastic way to send a message to the local kids. "Keep off my lawn!" is easier to swallow with a hard candy shell. $US130 for 2kg.
Sometime in the past 30 years potato chips weaselled themselves into trick-or-treat bags. But since they're technically still junk food no kid has ever blinked an eye. These crisps claim to be healthy, though, but you'll want to keep that on the down-low unless you want to find your lawn littered with 'healthy' snacks come morning. $US60.
Second only to bananas as the world's most perfect food, gummy bears are great all year round. But with a little skill you can whip up custom Halloween versions far scarier than bears. Gummy bats, gummy skulls, and even gummy limbs will probably be a bigger hit with kids — if you choose to give them out and not just eat them all yourself. $US10.
Chocolate is still the preferred treat come Halloween, and if you want to make your own you'll need to temper your chocolate first. It's a very precise process made extra easy with this convenient machine that does the hard stuff for you. All you have to do is fight the urge to keep your fingers out of the vat. ~$US350.