Come Little Children, This Hocus Pocus Inspired Cookbook Has Wonderfully Witchy Treats

Come Little Children, This Hocus Pocus Inspired Cookbook Has Wonderfully Witchy Treats
A crop of the book cover. See the full image below. (Image: Courtesy of Ulysses Press)
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“You know, I’ve always wanted a child. And now I think I’ll have one on toast!” We’re two months out from Halloween, and since it’s never too early to start planning for the best day of the year, Gizmodo is thrilled to be sharing four recipes inspired by one of our favourite seasonal films (which has a sequel on the way), courtesy of Bridget Thoreson’s Unofficial Hocus Pocus Cookbook: Bewitchingly Delicious Recipes for Fans of the Halloween Classic.

“I hope you enjoy this homage to Hocus Pocus as much as you enjoy the film itself,” Thoreson said in a press release. “While blondies are no substitute for Bette [Midler] and no cocktail is quite as funny as hearing a young girl humiliate her older brother by saying ‘Yabos,’ I hope you’ll find the recipes and references fun, delicious, and delightfully spooky, and you’ll rewatch the film again and again accompanied by the goodies in this booo-ooooo-ooook.”

Image: Courtesy of Ulysses Press Image: Courtesy of Ulysses Press

The press release also notes — since diehard Hocus Pocus fans will surely be morbidly curious — “don’t worry, no children were harmed in the testing of these recipes.” Keep reading for photos of all the dishes (including an appetizer, a dessert, and two cocktails), and their recipes!

Dead Man’s Chungs

Image: Courtesy of Ulysses Press/Bridget Thoreson Image: Courtesy of Ulysses Press/Bridget Thoreson

Yes, the implication is there, but fear not! No actual human flesh goes into the making of these crab cakes, but a lot of seasonings and other tasty things do. Recipe on the next slide.

How to Make Dead Man’s Chungs

I won’t speak for any man, but when it comes to body parts they’d give up for a witch’s potion, I’m sure many would gladly volunteer a toe or a nose if it meant they could hang onto their chungs.

Happily, this recipe isn’t quite so hair-raising and no men — dead or undead — are required to achieve a most bewitching dish.

Serves: 4 | Prep Time: 20 minutes, plus 30 minutes to chill |

Cook Time: 20 minutes

REMOULADE SAUCE

4 medium green onions, chopped

1 clove garlic, chopped

1 cup mayonnaise

¼ cup chilli sauce

2 tablespoons Creole mustard

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

1 tablespoon Louisiana-style chilli pepper hot sauce

2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley

½ teaspoon Cajun seasoning

1 teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon freshly ground pepper

1 teaspoon Old Bay seasoning

CRAB CAKES

450 grams lump crabmeat

⅓ sleeve lightly salted crackers

1 egg

¼ cup mayonnaise

2 green onions, finely chopped

2 teaspoons Old Bay seasoning olive oil


1. Add all remoulade ingredients to a medium mixing bowl and blend well with a rubber spatula. Set aside.

2. Gently separate the crab meat and check for shells without breaking up the lumps of crab meat.

3. Crush the crackers in a sealed bag so that they are completely crushed, while leaving some slightly larger pieces.

4. Beat the egg in a small bowl.

5. In a large mixing bowl, add the crab meat, crackers, mayo, green onions, egg, and Old Bay seasoning.

6. Gently mix the ingredients with a rubber spatula so that they are well blended, without breaking the large lumps of crab meat.

7. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.

8. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius.

9. Remove the crab meat mixture from the refrigerator and gently press it into small balls, approximately the size of a ping-pong ball.

10. Drizzle some olive oil onto a baking sheet and place the crab cakes on the sheet in the oil.

11. Bake the crab cakes for approximately 10 minutes so they are warm all the way through.

12. Finish the crab cakes by broiling for approximately 2 to 3 minutes (watch them closely so they do not burn).

13. Place the crab cakes on a serving platter with a small ramekin of the remoulade sauce for dunking.

Brown Butter Booooook Blondies

Image: Courtesy of Ulysses Press/Bridget Thoreson Image: Courtesy of Ulysses Press/Bridget Thoreson

True fans know you must pronounce “booooook” with a theatrical trill, exactly like Bette Midler’s Winifred Sanderson, whenever you’re saying the name of this particular recipe out loud.

How to Make Brown Butter Booooook Blondies

There are a few things every good spellbook needs — a medieval-looking font, iambic pentameter, and at least one spell for turning a human into an animal. The truly great spellbooks need more — the most powerful and evil spells written in the Devil’s own hand, and perhaps a human body part or two built right into the binding.

These spellbooks have none of that, but they will truly delight instead of positively terrify. And the brown butter aroma is sure to help this treat make itself known anywhere in your home.

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

2 sticks (16 tablespoons) unsalted butter

1½ cups packed dark brown sugar

¼ cup granulated sugar

2 large eggs

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1¾ cups all-purpose flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon kosher salt

1 cup chocolate chips

1½ 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 180 degrees Celsius, 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 1 Kiss point down into the top of each blondie.

10. Place a chocolate morsel on top of the Kiss in the middle. Put the blondies back in the oven for 2 to 4 minutes until the chocolate is lightly melted. Plate and serve or store in an airtight container for up to 4 days.

“Ghost of Jimi” Hendrick’s G&T

Image: Courtesy of Ulysses Press/Bridget Thoreson Image: Courtesy of Ulysses Press/Bridget Thoreson

A classic gin and tonic with some bonus fiery flair, paying tribute to one of music’s all-time greats.

How to Make the “Ghost of Jimi” Hendrick’s G&T

Unless you’re new in town, you know that All Hallows’ Eve is the one night of the year that the spirits of the dead can return to Earth. A chilling thought for those mortal among us. In case the ghost of Jimi Hendrix shows up, pass on the virgin and make this extra-strength Hendrick’s Gin & Tonic. A couple of these and you’re sure to sleep like the dead.

Serves: 1 | Prep Time: 3 minutes

60mL Hendrick’s gin

120mL chilled tonic water

1 to 2 lime wedges

1 lime twist


1. Pour the gin and tonic water into a rocks glass filled with ice and stir.

2. Squeeze the lime wedges into the cocktail.

3. Cut the lime twist. Light a match, hold it over the gin and tonic with the pith facing away from the cocktail, and squeeze it into the cocktail so the citrus acid hits the flame and sparks.

4. Quickly run the peel through the flame and then drop the twist into the cocktail.

Oil of Boil Cocktail

Image: Courtesy of Ulysses Press/Bridget Thoreson Image: Courtesy of Ulysses Press/Bridget Thoreson

Another gin cocktail, the ingredients for this one surely make the final result a lot more delicious than the name, which sounds a bit like a potion that might turn you into some kind of swamp critter.

How to Make the Oil of Boil Cocktail

Any witch worth her salt needs a full arsenal of spells and potion ingredients at the ready. You never know when you may need to whip up a magical solution on the fly, or remember a complicated potion from hundreds of years ago. In terms of a witch’s starter pack, you can’t beat oil of boil — versatile, and much easier to procure than say, a fresh dead man’s toe — it can serve as the basis for numerous spells.

This Oil of Boil Cocktail, on the other hand, is a bit more niche. Traditionally called a “Slick Rick,”it’s not common on a bartender’s request list, but it’s a unique twist and a lot of fun.

Serves: 1 | Prep Time: 5 minutes

60mL gin

15mL lemon juice

15mL extra-virgin olive oil

15mL simple syrup

1 egg white

pinch of sea salt


1. Chill a coupe glass in the freezer.

2. Fill a cocktail shaker with ice.

3. Add the gin, lemon juice, olive oil, simple syrup, egg white, and sea salt.

4. Shake vigorously and pour into the coupe glass.

The Unofficial Hocus Pocus Cookbook: Bewitchingly Delicious Recipes for Fans of the Halloween Classic by Bridget Thoreson is out September 7, and you can pre-order a copy right here.