This year, when all the little ghouls and goblins in your neighborhood come searching for something sweet, why not greet them with a devilishly decadent candy buffet in vintage black amethyst glass?


As a collectahollic of sorts, I'm always on the lookout for unusual pieces with rich, dark color. Throughout the year, and at Halloween especially, I love stacking pieces to create displays of different heights. For this candy buffet, I began, as I think we all should, by experimenting and having fun(!)—this one here, that one there—until I felt I'd arrived at a good mix of shapes and styles.


Here it is all finished!


How pretty are these Hammond's lollipops in a vintage black glass flower frog and footed urn? All their candy is handmade and some of the most beautiful I've ever seen! The centerpiece bowl with the peanut butter taffies has been a favorite piece of mine for years. I love it for wickedly wonderful Halloween arrangements like black dahlias on a dining room table. Finally, the pair of early American pressed glass compotes with striped licorice pillows adds a lightness to the mix and enhances the symmetry.      


On the other side, I love the spooky, sawtooth edge of the footed gumdrop bowl, as though the creepy carved mouth of a Jack-O'-Lantern. The licorice taffies I picked up at the Dollar Store, among other things, while the pretty orange cream barber poles are from Hammond's. Finally, this pretty pair of candlesticks does double duty as miniature dishes for orange M&M's.     


As a caterer years ago, I used to create edible landscapes for parties of a hundred or more. Even the most conventional serving pieces, I learned, can be used in unconventional ways. Take, for example, this laced rim compote with the striped licorice pillows. On the Halloween special airing next Sunday, I used it for serving roasted pumpkin seeds by the fire during the party scene, but here it provides the perfect prop for these pretty rock candy swizzle sticks. For height, I stacked the gumballs in an elegant footed compote, while the candy corn I piled high in an unusual fluted bowl with tripod legs, whose Gothic rim could encircle a cloud of cotton balls in a powder room with equal panache.


Next week, I'll show you how to create the fiendish feather wreath on the mirror, along with sinfully simple batkin rings, perfect for a ghoulish feast come Halloween. Then, once the show airs, we'll post a quick and easy trick-or-treat bag that's just the right size for little hands—and big ones too! Have a sweet weekend, everyone!