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It’s a dentist’s favorite time of the year: Halloween is creeping up, and while trick-or-treating might not be in the cards for many, who’s to say you can’t still indulge your sweet tooth? With all this time spent at home, there’s room for creativity. Ditch the sourdough starter for a DIY candy recipe.

Whatever your cravings, from vending machine chocolate bars to a box of caramels to baked bites, these seven ideas will save you a trip to the supermarket. If you have kids (or hungry roommates), get them involved in the prep process—there are tons of ways for them to personalize each dish with food coloring and fun shapes. We might still be a little far out from the actual holiday, but that just means you’ll have to make multiple batches. All in the name of recipe testing, right?  

Salted Caramel Nutella Chocolate Cups 

Make this for: A salty-sweet spin on Reese’s. 

Recipe notes: Making caramel from scratch doesn’t have to be scary: Broma Bakery’s version only takes 10 minutes. Paired with a dark chocolate–nutella casing, it’s exactly the sort of Frankensteinian combo we love to see—it is Halloween, after all. 

Homemade Candy Wafers

Make this for: Soothing a bout of childhood nostalgia.

Recipe notes: Heather Baird’s Technicolor circles are a convincing dupe of Necco Wafers. Be sure to give them a full 48 hours to dry, so they get their trademark snap. 

Candied Blood Chocolate Orange

Make this for: Satisfying your sweet tooth with a healthy-ish treat.

Recipe notes: If blood oranges are the closest you’re getting to spooky foods, try Daniela Gerson’s tart chocolate-dipped rings. Prep them in advance and keep them stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to two weeks. 

Spiked Lollipops

Photography by Sugar & Cloth

Make this for: Eye candy that tastes as good as it looks.

Recipe notes: The fun is in swirling the colors together—something you can easily get your littlest sous-chefs involved in (just keep an eye on the hot syrup). To make the ingredients in Sugar & Cloth’s marbleized sweets kid-friendly, simply skip the rum. 

Chocolate Hazelnut Sea Salt Caramels

Make this for: A DIY that exudes the elegance of an artisanal chocolate box. 

Recipe notes: Teresa Floyd created these tasty morsels for a portable sugar rush: She likes to snack on them when she’s on the go throughout the day. Their transportability also makes them a great hostess gift. Whip up a batch to bring to your neighborhood socially distanced Halloween party. 

Monster Cake Pops

Make this for: Anyone who doesn’t like candy. 

Recipe notes: Fanny Lam of the blog Oh Sweet Day! dreamed these up for her kids last October 31 and never looked back—as far as cake decorating goes, these are a low lift. Customize the candy melt colors for your own menagerie of mini monsters. 

Vegan Milky Way

Make this for: A dairy-free alternative to the classic chocolate bar. 

Recipe notes: The secret to the Minimalist Baker’s triple-layered confection? Date caramel, which bears a remarkably similar appearance to the traditional nougat filling. It will only take you half an hour to put together a batch—and less than that to down the whole tray. 

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