The Nightmare Before Christmas: The Official Cookbook & Entertaining Guide has you covered for Halloween, Christmas, and everything in between!
The Nightmare Before Christmas is such a delicious movie with its strange sense of macabre joy, its endless catchy songs, and its engaging characters, so of course we would want to make the recipes it’s inspired! The Nightmare Before Christmas: The Official Cookbook & Entertaining Guide has captured the magic of the movie in over 50 recipes, and so much more.
Since there’s a perpetual debate about whether The Nightmare Before Christmas is a Halloween or Christmas movie, this book has leaned hard in both directions. There are plenty of recipes for Halloween and Christmas, and also fun recipes themed for the characters, like Sally’s patchwork layer cake shown in the headline image.
The photographs in The Nightmare Before Christmas: The Official Cookbook & Entertaining Guide are beautiful and well themed, making every recipe look extremely enticing. The recipes are interesting and simple to follow, but some are still quite complicated. Luckily, the recipes are ranked by difficulty so you can work your way up.
As its title would suggest, The Nightmare Before Christmas: The Official Cookbook & Entertaining Guide is way more than a simple cookbook. The second half of this book is where things really get interesting. On top of its amazing recipes, it completely outlines five different themed parties in the spirit of The Nightmare Before Christmas, including invitations, decorations, favors, activities, and a menu!
A lot of this is accomplished using the online resources that come with The Nightmare Before Christmas: The Official Cookbook & Entertaining Guide. It’s filled with invitation, decor, and craft templates you can print out, taking your party to the next level.
All of the parties look seriously fun for both children and adults, although there are definitely activities geared toward one of these groups or the other. My favorite is the one simply titled the “Nightmare Before Christmas Party.” It’s a creepy looking Christmas party with an invitation that looks like a ransom note for Santa.
All of the crafts, decorations and activities have great instructions in The Nightmare Before Christmas: The Official Cookbook & Entertaining Guide, and most of them could be done well by anyone. The ideas are great whether you end up throwing one of the complete parties or not.
Below are some more detailed reviews of five recipes that I tried from the The Nightmare Before Christmas: The Official Cookbook & Entertaining Guide! Check them out to see more of what this book has to offer.
‘The Nightmare Before Christmas: The Official Cookbook & Entertaining Guide’ recipe review
Oogie Boogie Lemon Meringue Cupcakes
I dare you to try not to sing “Oogie Boogie’s Song” the entire time you’re making these cupcakes, because I don’t think it’s possible. I must confess I never associated the villain with lemon meringue, but the tangy flavor actually complimented the boogie man perfectly.
I loved the uncommon flavor of this cupcake. It was definitely something I wouldn’t ordinarily make, but I’m already eager to try it again. I went a little less uniform with my icing to make the cupcakes look more like Oogie Boogie, but next time I would use more food coloring to match his fluorescence!
Surprise, surprise, lemon and meringue make a great team! The lemon in these cupcakes was more subtle than lemon cakes I’ve had in the past, but it was still a great amount of tartness to offset the super sweet meringue.
These guys are super cute, and I would to play with the icing again to make them look even more like Oogie Boogie.
These were way less technical than I was expecting considering the flavor. Everything came together really easily for the cupcakes, and the meringue worked flawlessly. This is a great recipe for a beginner who wants to start branching out into more complicated desserts.
You will need a mixer (either stand or hand) and an icing bag/tip to execute this recipe.
Making meringue is always fun and it’s even better when you get to shape it into little Oogie Boogies!
Dr. Finkelstein Roasted Cauliflower ‘Brain’ with Tomato Chutney
You’ll feel just like Dr. Finkelstein when you’re transferring half a brain to a plate for your guests. This snack is both horrifying and healthy, and it’d be a perfect addition to any Halloween party. Just be careful, as it may have you wanting to eat brains all the time.
The spices on the cauliflower were delicious and the chutney was the perfect blend of sweet and savory. I’ll be making it to serve with a lot of dishes in the future.
This is one of the spookiest multi-purpose Halloween recipes in The Nightmare Before Christmas: The Official Cookbook & Entertaining Guide. Just make sure you pick the perfect cauliflower head for the job.
This is another easy one, but it requires some caution when removing the core from the cauliflower.
This recipe calls for a cast iron pan, but you could likely also get good results on another type of pan so this one is good for everyone.
I never knew how fun it could be to take a brain apart, but I’ll stick to the vegetable kind!
Roasted Squash Mummy Tartlets
The Nightmare Before Christmas: The Official Cookbook & Entertaining Guide has found another perfect Halloween party recipe with these little mummies. This is a savory treat, but the introduction to the recipe also recommends trying them with an apple or peach filling for something sweeter, which is an amazing idea!
The recipe called for frozen puff pastry, which I couldn’t find anywhere, so I substituted for Pillsbury crescents. These worked well, but I don’t think they needed as much baking time as the puff pastry because my mummies turned out a little overdone, but still yummy.
I think I would prefer the sweet version that the recipe recommended, as I found the squash filling didn’t have a strong enough flavor to compete with the pastry. Next time I would use more cheese in the filling and add more salt and pepper to my squash.
I love how these little guys look, and they were more than worth the effort they took to mummify. It’s easy to create a dessert that looks good, but I appreciate how The Nightmare Before Christmas: The Official Cookbook & Entertaining Guide added so many amazing looking appetizers too.
There was some difficulty in creating the mummy effect with the pastry, and it was extremely time consuming. This certainly isn’t a quick dish to whip up, but you can’t put a time limit on impressing your friends!
As long as you can get your hands on the puff pastry, you should have no trouble making these in your kitchen.
I loved that I got to create each mummy individually, by hand. I was almost too attached to serve them to my guests by the end!
Mini Jack-O’-Lantern Cupcakes
‘Tis the season for all things pumpkin! Well, depending on when you’re reading this. But it probably is the season for all things pumpkin, because pumpkin season seems to be getting longer every year. Of course, Jack “Pumpkin King” Skellington couldn’t be happier about it.
Out of all the recipes I tried, this one definitely had the most “wow” factor. And by that I mean that multiple people said “wow” upon biting into it. If you don’t have a cheesecake in your pumpkin arsenal, you need to add this cupcake immediately.
This recipe was not pictured in The Nightmare Before Christmas: The Official Cookbook & Entertaining Guide.
Again, all I need to say is “wow.”
You can have as much fun with these as you do with carving your pumpkin every year. They look like perfect mini jack-o-lanterns, especially when they literally have Jack’s face on them.
This recipe was pretty easy for a cheesecake and had very minimal cracking. With more expertise you can minimize sinking in your cheesecake cupcakes, but they’ll look great no matter what.
You’ll need a mixer, a muffin tin, and an icing bag for this recipe. However, a ziploc bag or a toothpick will do in a pinch, which this recipe points out!
I had the most fun crafting these “Jack”-o-lanterns. The only hard part was not eating them before I could get the faces on.
Cucumber and Mint Limeade Love Potion
Channel your inner Sally and brew this minty fresh love potion. All the better for kissing later! This drink is so delicious and fresh tasting in its base form, but The Nightmare Before Christmas: The Official Cookbook & Entertaining Guide also suggests adding tequila or rum for adults if they wish. The alcohol is a great compliment to the fresh flavors, but only if you’re over the legal drinking age, of course.
My “potion” turned out to be much more green than the photograph, which I think is simply due to the lime I used. In my opinion it made it look all the more like the love potion it’s been titled!
This is a really great cocktail or mocktail for any day of the year. The cucumber, mint, and lime go so well together, giving the drink an interesting, flavorful profile.
Whether the drink comes out bright green like mine, or has more a yellow hue like the one pictured in The Nightmare Before Christmas: The Official Cookbook & Entertaining Guide, it looks like a love potion that would be hard to resist.
Everything in this recipe was fairly easy, but there were quite a few steps, including making your own lime simple syrup.
A blender is required to make this love potion, because aren’t blended drinks always the best?
You’ll feel like a wizard putting this potion together, and I’m always intrigued by any drink that requires making a puree.
‘The Nightmare Before Christmas: The Official Cookbook & Entertaining Guide’ hit store shelves in August 2021
Buy The Nightmare Before Christmas: The Official Cookbook & Entertaining Guide by Kim Laidlaw, Caroline Hall, and Jody Revenson from Insight Editions, Bookshop.org, Book Depository, Amazon, or add it to your Goodreads list.