Vampire Mouth Marshmallow Sandwich Cookies
from Niki Achitoff-Gray, Serious Eats
For the Cookies
1 batch Homemade Chocolate Graham Cracker Dough, raw (recipe below)
For the Frosting
16 ounces cream cheese, softened
8 ounces unsalted butter, softened
1 1/2 tablespoons confectioners’ sugar
Red food coloring
Approximately 240 mini marshmallows from a 10.5 ounce bag
Approximately 48 slivered almonds
For the Cookies: Adjust oven racks to upper and lower middle positions and preheat the oven to 350°F. On a large surface lightly floured with cocoa powder, roll dough out into a disk 1/8th-inch thick. Using a 4-inch round cookie cutter, cut out 24 rounds and transfer to 2 parchment-lined baking sheets.
Place the sheets into the oven and bake until dry to the touch, rotating trays top to bottom and back to front half way through cooking, 8 to 10 minutes total. When cookies are done and still hot, gently slice each in half with a sharp knife or bench scraper. After 5 minutes, remove from baking sheet and transfer to wire rack to cool completely.
For the Frosting: Combine cream cheese and butter in the bowl of an electric stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment and beat until thoroughly combined. Add sugar and beat until smooth. Slow stand mixer to a low speed and begin to add food coloring until it acquires a bright reddish-pink hue, approximately 50 drops.
For Assembly: With an offset spatula or butter knife, spread 1 tablespoon frosting on each cookie half. Add the mini-marshmallows to 12 cookie halves, starting at the center and placing them side by side along the entire curved edge. Top them with the remaining 12 cookie halves. Add a sliver of almond on either side of the center 4 marshmallows, using the cookie's frosting as an adhesive if necessary. Serve.
Makes 24 Cookie Sandwiches
Orange Ombre Cake
from McCormick Spice
1 package (2-layer size) white cake mix
2 teaspoons Pure Vanilla Extract
1/2 teaspoon Pure Orange Extract
Yellow Food Color
Red Food Color
2 cups (4 sticks) butter, softened
1 tablespoon Pure Vanilla Extract
2 boxes (16 ounces each) confectioners’ sugar
3 tablespoons milk
Prepare cake mix as directed on package, using whole eggs. Stir in extracts. Divide batter evenly into 3 medium bowls. Stir 24 drops (about 1/4 teaspoon) yellow food color and 12 drops red food color into first bowl, tinting batter dark orange. Stir 10 drops yellow food color and 4 drops red food color into second bowl, tinting batter medium orange. Stir 5 drops yellow food color and 1 drop red food color into third bowl, tinting batter light orange.
Pour each bowl of batter into separate greased and floured 8-inch round cake pans. Bake as directed on package. Cool cakes on wire rack.
For the Frosting, beat butter and vanilla in large bowl until light and fluffy. Gradually add confectioners' sugar, beating well after each addition and scraping sides and bottom of bowl frequently. Add milk; beat until light and fluffy. Place dark orange cake layer on serving plate. Spread with 1/3 cup of frosting. Top with medium orange cake layer. Spread with 1/3 cup of frosting. Top with light orange cake layer. Frost top and sides of cake with a thin layer of frosting. Refrigerate 20 minutes.
Meanwhile, divide remaining frosting into 3 small bowls. Stir 12 drops yellow food color and 6 drops red food color into first bowl, tinting frosting dark orange. Stir 6 drops yellow food color and 3 drops red food color into second bowl, tinting frosting medium orange. Stir 3 drops yellow food color and 1 drop red food color into third bowl, tinting frosting light orange.
Frost bottom third of cake with dark orange frosting. Frost middle third of cake with medium orange frosting. Frost top third and top of cake with light orange frosting.
from Disneyland's Club 33
1/2 teaspoon dry yeast
1/4 cup warm water (105 degrees)
4 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup canned pumpkin puree
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup hot water
2 tablespoons vegetable shortening
1/2 teaspoon salt
Vegetable oil, for frying
3 tablespoons butter
1/4 cup maple syrup
1 cup powdered sugar
For pumpkin beignets: Sprinkle yeast over warm water in a small bowl, stirring to dissolve. Let stand for 5 minutes.
Combine flour, pumpkin puree, sugar, heavy cream, hot water, egg, shortening, and salt in a large bowl; stir in yeast mixture. Mix dough just until combined and smooth.
Let dough rest in bowl, covered with a clean kitchen towel, 30 minutes.
Transfer dough to a well-floured surface. Pat to about 1/4-inch thickness and cut into 2-inch squares. Cover with a clean kitchen towel and let dough rise in a warm, draft-free area, about 1 to 1 1/2 hours.
Heat 3 inches of vegetable oil to 350 degrees F in a deep, heavy pot over medium-high heat. Fry beignets until golden brown, about 2 to 3 minutes, turning as soon as they brown on one side.
Remove with tongs or a slotted spoon and place on paper towels to drain.
For maple glaze: Combine butter and maple syrup in a medium microwave-safe bowl. Microwave until butter melts. Whisk in powdered sugar until smooth.
Drizzle warm beignets with maple glaze and serve immediately.
Makes 24 beignets
Spiced Pumpkin Shortcakes with Apple Filling
from King Arthure Flour Company
2 cups King Arthur Unbleached Self-Rising Flour
1/4 cup sugar
1 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice
1 cup pumpkin purée
2 tablespoons heavy cream
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
Coarse white sparkling sugar, optional; for topping
4 cups diced unpeeled cooking apples (Granny Smith, Galas...)
1/4 cup sugar
1 tablespoon Apple Pie Spice
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons sugar
To make the shortcakes: Preheat the oven to 425°F; line a baking sheet with parchment.
Whisk together the flour, sugar, and pumpkin pie spice; set aside.
In a separate bowl, mix together the pumpkin, heavy cream, and vanilla.
Make a well in the flour/sugar mixture, pour the pumpkin mixture into the well, and stir until everything comes together.
Using a muffin scoop or 1/4-cup measure, scoop the dough onto the prepared baking sheet, leaving at least 1" of space between each shortcake.
Sprinkle the tops of the shortcakes with coarse sparkling sugar, if desired.
Bake the shortcakes for 14 to 16 minutes, until they're golden brown. Remove them from the oven, and cool them right on the pan, or on a rack.
To make the filling: Place the apples, which you've diced into 1/2" cubes, into a microwave-safe bowl.
Add the sugar, apple pie spice, butter, and salt, and toss together until evenly coated.
Microwave in 1-minute bursts until the apples are slightly softened, about 5 minutes.
To make the whipped cream: Whip the heavy cream in a medium-sized bowl until soft peaks form.
Add the sugar and beat until the cream is stiff.
To assemble the shortcakes: Split each cake in half horizontally.
Top each bottom half with 1/4 cup apple filling and a generous dollop of whipped cream.
Add the top halves, and top with more whipped cream, if desired.
Makes 9 large filled shortcakes
Black-Widow Spider Bites
from Martha Stewart Living
1 Hass avocado
Freshly squeezed juice of ½ lime
Store-bought sweet-potato chips
Pitted black olives
Mash avocado; season with salt and lime juice. Mound dollops of avocado mixture on top of sweet-potato chips. Halve olives lengthwise; place 1 olive half, cut-side down, atop each chip. Thinly slice more olives lengthwise to create legs, and place 4 on each side of the olive halves.
Makes enough for about 15
2 ounces Campari
Blood-orange soda, such as San Pellegrino Aranciata Rossa
Fill a glass with ice. Pour in Campari; top with soda. For an extra kick, add a shot of gin.
1/2 cup fresh orange juice
1 cup canned pumpkin puree
1 pint vanilla ice cream, softened
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon, plus more for serving (optional)
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
Pinch of ground cloves
1/4 cup bourbon (optional)
Combine all ingredients in a blender. Puree until smooth. Pour into glasses, sprinkle with cinnamon, and serve immediately.
Makes 3 cups
Rice Krispies Treats® Pumpkin Faces
3 tablespoons butter or margarine
1 10 ounce package regular marshmallows (about 40) or 4 cups miniature marshmallows
Red food coloring (optional)
Yellow food coloring (optional)
6 cups Rice Krispies® or 6 cups Ready-To-Eat Cereal Cocoa Krispies
Canned frosting or decorating gel
In large saucepan melt butter over low heat. Add marshmallows and stir until completely melted. Remove from heat. To tint orange stir in red and yellow food coloring, if desired.
Add KELLOGG'S RICE KRISPIES cereal. Stir until well coated.
Using 1/2-cup measuring cup coated with cooking spray divide warm cereal mixture into portions. Using buttered hands shape each portion into pumpkin shape. Decorate with frosting and/or candies. Best if served the same day.
In microwave-safe bowl heat butter and marshmallows on HIGH for 3 minutes, stirring after 2 minutes. Stir until smooth. To tint orange, stir in red and yellow food coloring, if desired. Follow steps 2 and 3 above. Microwave cooking times may vary.
Makes 12 servings
Notes: For best results, use fresh marshmallows. 1 jar (7 oz.) marshmallow creme can be substituted for marshmallows. Diet, reduced calorie or tub margarine is not recommended. Store no more than two days at room temperature in airtight container. To freeze, place in single layer on wax paper in airtight container. Freeze for up to 6 weeks. Let stand at room temperature for 15 minutes before serving.
Halloween Chex® Mix
8 ounces white chocolate baking bars, coarsely chopped
4 cups Corn Chex® or Rice Chex® cereal
2 cups bite-size pretzel twists
1/2 cup raisins
1 cup candy corn
1/4 cup orange and black candy decors
In large microwavable bowl, microwave chopped baking bars uncovered on High 1 minute 30 seconds to 2 minutes 30 seconds, stirring every 30 seconds, until melted and smooth.
Gently stir in cereal, pretzels and raisins until evenly coated. Stir in candy corn and decors.
Spread on waxed paper or foil until cool and chocolate is set, about 30 minutes. Break into chunks. Store loosely covered.
Makes 18 servings (serving size: 1/2 cup)
Cookie Ice Cream Sandwich Spiders
Chocolate Chip Cookies
Orange chocolate candies
Black licorice laces
If baking cookies, cool 2 minutes then remove from cookie sheet to cooling rack. Cool completely, about 10 minutes.
Using small dots of cookie icing, attach the candy eyes and orange chocolate candies to the top of the cookie to create the spider body.
Add a scoop of ice cream to the bottom of another cookie. Coat with chocolate sprinkles. Then drape four 7-inch strips of black licorice shoe laces across the top of the ice cream to create the spider legs.
Place the spider body on top of the ice cream and serve!
It's best to refrigerate the cookies you are going to use as the ice cream sandwich "bottoms."
Finish all the spider heads before you start putting the ice cream sandwiches together.
Get all your supplies ready so you can make assemble the ice cream sandwiches before the ice cream melts.
Sounds like great drinks. Thanks for sharing.
Cran-Cherry Plasma Transfusion
1 can (14 1/2-ounce) dark, sweet cherries
1 can (15-ounce) fruit cocktail
2 cups cranberry juice cocktail
For transfusion bags
6 zipper-lock sandwich bags
6 straws, twisted or flexible
6 shower curtain rings
Puree the cherries and fruit cocktail, with their liquids, in a blender or food processor until smooth.
Mix in the cranberry juice cocktail and refrigerate until chilled.
To prepare the "transfusion bags," punch a hole with a hole-punch in the corner of one layer of a zipper-lock sandwich bag just below the zipper.
Insert a twisty straw or flexible straw in the hole and punch another hole in the same corner of the bag through both layers, just above the zipper.
Thread a shower curtain ring through that hole.
Repeat with remaining bags, straws and shower curtain rings.
To serve, pour 1 cup of the cranberry-cherry mixture into each bag and seal.
Hang by the shower curtain rings on hooks.
Guests can hold their drink by the ring and sip through the straw.
Halloween Test Tube Shooters
1 package of (3-ounce) orange-colored gelatin powder, such as orange, peach or apricot
1 cup boiling water
1 can (15-ounce) peaches, apricots or pears in juice or extra-light syrup, not drained
2 1/4 cups purple grape juice
1/4 cup hot-chocolate mix
Mix gelatin powder and boiling water until the powder completely dissolves, about 2 minutes.
Purée the canned fruit in a blender or food processor until completely smooth.
Mix with gelatin and divide between 18, 2-ounce test tubes; you should fill each test tube about half way.
Refrigerate until firm. Heat the grape juice in a sauce pan until simmering. Stir in the hot-chocolate mix until it dissolves; refrigerate.
To serve: Fill the test tubes with the grape-juice mixture. Poke a skewer down the sides of the test tube into the gelatin so that the grape-juice mixture flows down creating dark stripes through the orange gelatin.
Note: For adults, in place of the grape-juice mixture substitute with 2 1/4 cups sparkling wine.
Crimson Gash Cocktail
1 1/2 tablespoons Cointreau
1/4 teaspoon blood orange bitters
Freixenet Cordon Negro Brut Cava to top with
1/4 cup grenadine syrup
1/3 cup sugar
2 pinches of corn starch
Blood Garnish: Add grenadine syrup to a small pot on medium to low heat. Slowly add in sugar bit by bit stirring constantly until all is dissolved. Stir in two pinches of corn starch and bring to a boil. Let mixture boil for 3-4 minutes.
Turn off burners and while hot use the back of a spoon to drip sugar mixture on the inside edges of a small glass.
Keep glasses in fridge until ready to serve.
Crimson Gash Cocktail: Mix Cointreau and bitters together with ice. Strain into the chilled “blood rimmed” glass and top with chilled Freixenet Cordon Negro Brut cava.
Note: Prep the “blood” on the glasses in advance, then simply mix the cocktail and serve.
1 1/2 ounces Vodka
1/4 ounce sour mix
1/4 ounce Triple Sec
1/4 ounce cranberry juice
Pinch of sugar
8 muddled raspberries
Squeeze of lemon juice
Muddle Raspberry with lemon juice, add all the other ingredients.
Shake with ice and pour in martini glass or on the rocks.
Bloody Screwdriver Punch
20 750 ml bottles sparkling wine (or champagne)
1 cup Italian Volcano(R) Blood Orange Juice
1 cup orange liqueur
1 cup mandarin-orange flavored vodka
Combine all ingredients, serve over ice.
Serpents on a Stick
from Betty Crocker
1/4 cup soy sauce
2 tablespoons lime juice
2 tablespoons honey
1 tablespoon dark sesame oil
1 teaspoon grated gingerroot
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
10 uncooked chicken breast tenders (not breaded)
20 bamboo skewers (6 inch)
10 green onions, chopped
1 1/4 cups Thai peanut sauce
In small bowl, mix soy sauce, lime juice, honey, sesame oil, gingerroot, pepper flakes and garlic. Cut each chicken tender in half lengthwise. Place in shallow glass or plastic dish. Pour marinade over chicken; turn to coat. Cover; refrigerate 2 hours, stirring occasionally. Meanwhile, soak bamboo skewers in water at least 30 minutes before using to prevent burning.
Heat gas or charcoal grill. Remove chicken from marinade; discard marinade. Thread 1 chicken strip on each skewer, twisting chicken on skewer to look like a snake. Place skewers on grill over medium heat. Cover grill; cook 6 minutes, turning once, until chicken is no longer pink in center.
Arrange chicken on platter; sprinkle with green onions. Serve with peanut sauce.
3 cups pomegranate juice
1 (6-ounce) container frozen limeade concentrate, thawed
1 (6-ounce) container frozen lemonade concentrate, thawed
4 cups dry red wine
2 cups cold water
16 maraschino cherries
1 lime, washed and cut into chunks
1 orange, washed and cut into chunks
In a large pitcher, combine pomegranate juice, limeade and lemonade concentrates; add wine and stir until well combined.
Stir in remaining ingredients and serve in wine or tall ice-filled glasses.
Spider Cookies (3 kinds)
Spider Sandwich Cookies
Halloween sandwich cookies (We used Oreos with orange filling)
Small Candy Coated Chocolate Candies (We used mini M&M’s)
Licorice Whips, cut into 2-3 pieces
A small amount of chocolate frosting
Just insert the licorice whip pieces into the cookie filling for legs. Using dots of frosting, “glue” the candy eyes to the top of the cookie. These make great last-minute additions to any Halloween occasion.
Hairy Scary Spider Cookies
12 oz bag of chocolate chips
6 oz bag of either butterscotch or peanut butter flavored chips
Bag of Chow Mein noodles
Red Hots, or Mini M&M’s
Line a cookie sheet with buttered waxed paper. In a microwave safe bowl, heat the chocolate and butterscotch or peanut butter flavored chips at 50% power for 1 minute. Stir, repeat until the chips are completely melted and smooth. Stir in the chow mein noodles. Drop by spoonsful on the waxed paper. Immediately add 2 red hots or M&M’s for eyes, while cookies are still warm. Refrigerate until firm.
Spider Topped Cookies
1 cup peanut butter
1 cup margarine
1 cup sugar
1 cup brown sugar
Cream these four ingredients together until smooth and fluffy.
2 teaspoons vanilla
1/4 cup milk
Sift together and add slowly:
3 1/2 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
Make small balls of dough about the size of a quarter. Roll the balls in granulated sugar and place them on an ungreased cookie sheet. Bake 10-12 minutes at 375 degrees. Remove cookies to a cooling rack and immediately top each with a caramel filled chocolate candy like Rolo’s. Press this down slightly into the top of the cookie. In a few minutes, the candy will become soft. Add licorice whip legs and M&M eyes to the candy to complete your spider. See the picture for placement.
Banana Halloween Chocolate Spider Web Cake
6 Bananas, yellow with brown flecks, cut in 3 to 4 sections
1 (24 oz.) package semi-sweet chocolate morsels
1-1/2 cups Butter
1-1/2 cups creamy Peanut butter
1 cup Powdered sugar
5 cups Toasted rice cereal
Create a double boiler by using a saucepan with one inch of water over medium heat and covering with stainless steel bowl. In bowl place chocolate and butter, and let sit until chocolate starts melting. Add bananas, powdered sugar, 1 cup peanut butter, and whisk until mixture thickens. Place 3/4 of chocolate mixture over rice cereal and stir. Place plastic wrap in 8 to 10 inch pan and place rice mixture in pan. Use your hands to spread crispy mixture evenly then let it sit for ten minutes to harden. Place plate over pan and turn rice cake onto the plate. Top with the rest of the chocolate mixture, smooth it out with a knife or spatula, and let cool for ten minutes or until chocolate is cooled. Put 1/2 cup peanut butter into pastry bag or plastic freezer bag and form peanut butter so it is in one corner of the bag. Cut the tip of the bag and pipe circles around your cake, then pipe lines to make the cross web. Let stand at room temperature until it's time to serve.
Candy Corn Fudge
3 cups sugar
3/4 cup Butter
1 (5-ounce) can evaporated milk
1 (7-ounce) jar marshmallow crème
3 teaspoons vanilla
3/4 cup real semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 cup white baking chips*
Orange gel or paste food color
1/2 teaspoon freshly grated orange zest, if desired
Orange or yellow decorator sprinkles
Line 8-inch square pan with aluminum foil, extending foil over edges. Butter foil; set aside.
Combine sugar, butter and evaporated milk in 2-quart saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until butter is melted and mixture comes to a full boil (6 to 7 minutes). Continue cooking, stirring often, 5 minutes. Stir in marshmallow crème and 1 teaspoon vanilla. Remove from heat.
Spoon 1 1/2 cups mixture into small bowl; stir in 3/4 cup chocolate chips until smooth. Spread into prepared pan. Place into freezer until set (5 minutes).
Meanwhile, add white baking chips and remaining vanilla to remaining marshmallow crème mixture; stir until smooth. Spoon 1 1/2 cups mixture into another small bowl. Add enough food color to remaining mixture in saucepan for desired orange tint. Stir in orange zest, if desired.
Remove chocolate mixture from freezer; spread orange mixture over top. Return to freezer until set (5 minutes).
Remove fudge from freezer. Microwave white mixture in microwave-safe bowl on HIGH (100% power) to soften (10 seconds), if necessary. Spread over orange fudge. Sprinkle with decorator sprinkles. Refrigerate until set (1 hour).
Remove fudge from pan using foil ends; place onto cutting surface. Carefully peel off foil. Cut fudge into 36 squares. Cut each square in half diagonally.
72 pieces (3 pounds)
*Substitute 2 (4-ounce) white chocolate bars, chopped.
1 envelope (2-3/4 tsp) unflavored gelatin
1 cup granulated sugar
In a medium mixing bowl, sprinkle gelatin over 1/3 cup cold water to soften.
In a small saucepan over medium-high heat, dissolve granulated sugar in 1/4 cup water, stirring.
Brush inside edges of pan with water to remove sugar crystals and boil until the temperature reaches the soft-ball stage (238 degrees F) on a candy thermometer - do not stir, or you will create large sugar crystals.
Slowly drizzle mixture in to bowl of gelatin and whisk on medium speed for 3 min.
Increase speed to high and whisk until soft peaks form, 8 to 10 min.
Transfer ghost poop goo to a plastic baggie and snip off the end.
Pipe into mounds on parchment.
If left out, poop will become crunchy on the outside and soft on the inside.
If kept in a sealed container, ghost poop will remain soft and gooey throughout.
Mummy Pizza Puffs
by Pepperidge Farm Recipes
1 tablespoon water
All-purpose flour, enough for sprinkling
1 package (17.3 ounces) Pepperidge Farm Puff Pastry Sheets, thawed
6 tablespoon tomato sauce (here is one recipe, or you can use store-bought)
3/4 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
18 slices pepperoni
12 slices pitted ripe olives
Heat oven to 400°F. Line baking sheet with parchment paper. Beat egg and water in small bowl with fork.
Sprinkle flour on work surface Unfold 1 pastry sheet on work surface. Cut pastry sheet into 3 rectangles along fold lines. Cut pastry rectangles in half crosswise, making 6 (about 3x5") rectangles. Place pastry rectangles onto baking sheet.
Spread about 1 tablespoon of tomato sauce on each pastry to edge. Top each with about tablespoons of cheese and 3 slices of pepperoni.
Unfold remaining pastry sheet on work surface. Cut pastry sheet into 3 rectangles along fold lines. Cut each pastry rectangle crosswise into 12 (about 3/4" wide) strips, making 36 in all.
Arrange 6 pastry strips on each pastry, placing slightly askew over filing to resemble mummy's bandages. Brush with egg mixture. Place 2 olive slices on each pastry for "eyes."
Bake 20 minutes or until pastries are golden brown. Let pastries cool on baking sheet on wire rack for 10 minutes.
Makes 6 mummy puffs
Flavor Variation: For a twist on ham and cheese, omit the sauce, mozzarella cheese and pepperoni. Layer 1 slice deli ham, 2 slices salami and 1 slice deli Cheddar cheese on each pastry rectangle, folding the edges as needed to fit on the pastry without hanging over the sides. Arrange the pastry strips over the filling and proceed as directed above.
Baking Tip: Parchment paper keeps the pastry from sticking to the baking sheet and also makes for easier cleanup. If you don't have parchment paper, you can spray the baking sheet with cooking spray instead. However, cooking spray may cause the bottoms of the pastries to brown more quickly, so begin checking for doneness 5 minutes early.
1 cup water
1/2 cup unsalted butter, cut up
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup all-purpose flour
4 large eggs
1 cup grated Gruyere cheese (4 oz)
black sesame seeds (for eyes)
Preheat oven to 400° F. Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper.
In a heavy saucepan bring water, butter, and salt to a boil, stirring to help melt butter. Add flour all at once and beat vigorously with a wooden spoon until mixture forms a dough. Continue beating over medium-low heat until dough is smooth and pulls away from sides and bottom of pan, about 2 minutes.
Remove pan from heat and let cool 2 minutes. Beat in eggs one at a time with the wooden spoon or an electric mixer, beating after each addition until batter is smooth again. Beat in the grated cheese.
Transfer dough to a pastry bag fitted with a 1/2-inch plain tube. Pipe "ghosts" onto lined baking sheet so that they are about 1-inch wide at base and 3 inches long, tapering to a point at top (they will be about 1/2-inch thick).
Press two black sesame seed eyes onto each ghost and bake in upper and lower thirds of oven, switching positions halfway through, until golden and crisp, about 25 minutes.
To make "moldy" biscuits, lightly mix some green food coloring into the dough.
Cut stones out of cardboard, paint them gray, then inscribe with epitaphs (silly or not). Use duct tape to attach a garden stake to the back of each tombstone and stake them all in the front yard, tipping some at odd angles for that 17th-century look. Partially bury a hat or boots in the front of each stone so it looks as if the deceased may rise to the occasion.
Add a couple drops of dish detergent to a small bowl of water. Dip your finger in the water and write a spooky greeting on the outside of the glass, then put it in the freezer for at least 10 minutes. Remove the glass from the freezer and look for the ghostly letters.
Old pillow cases; scissors; large balloons; string; markers.
Blow up balloons and tie off and attach string to knot.
Cut a hole in one corner of the pillow case.
Place the balloon inside the pillowcase and move to the cut corner. Pull the string through the hole.
Holding balloon in place, mark off the areas of the pillowcase where you will cut eyes and mouth or you may just draw them on with the markers. You may also use cut felt pieces for facial features as in photo above.
Remove the balloon and draw or cut the shapes you desire on the pillow case. Cut slits if desired on bottom of pillow case for fringe look.
Place the balloons back into place, cut string to desired length and hang. These are excellent hanging from trees on a breezy evening. You may also achieve the same effect with sheets and bigger balloons for larger ghosts, why not make a whole family.
Realistic Fake Blood
2/3 c. Corn Syrup
1/3 c. Warm Water
5 Tbsp Corn Starch
4 tsp red food coloring
1 Tbsp Powdered Cocoa
2 drops of green or yellow food coloring
Mix the corn starch with the water in a large mixing bowl. Stir in the corn syrup. Add the food coloring slowly, checking for color.
Black paper (construction or scrapbook paper works best) cut into 8- by 8-inch squares
Time needed: About 1 Hour
1. Fold an 8- by 8-inch square of black paper into a triangle.
2. Fold down the top 2 inches of the triangle.
3. Fold each side flap in along the inner lines shown here, then back out along the outer lines, to form dimensional wings.
4. To create ears, use scissors to cut a notch along the top, between the wings.
5. Flip the bat over and add eyes with glow-in-the-dark paint. To give the body dimension, make a vertical crease down the center.
These fruity parfaits, made fast with flavored gelatin, yogurt, and frozen fruit, have a deliciously wicked bit of heat.
1 box (4-serving size) strawberry-flavored gelatin
½ to ¼ teaspoon ground red pepper (cayenne)
¾ cup boiling water
1 box (10 oz) frozen strawberries in light syrup, thawed
1 package (8 oz) cream cheese, softened
2 tablespoons sugar
1 container (6 oz) Yoplait® French vanilla yogurt
½ teaspoon vanilla
In small bowl, mix gelatin and red pepper. Pour boiling water on gelatin; stir until gelatin is dissolved. Stir in strawberries in syrup. Refrigerate 15 minutes; stir. If not thickened, refrigerate about 15 minutes longer or until thickened but not firm.
In large bowl, beat cream cheese and sugar with electric mixer on low speed until blended. Add yogurt and vanilla; beat until blended. Scoop rounded tablespoonful in each of 8 (4- to 5-oz) liquor glasses or plastic cups. DO NOT LEVEL OUT.
Spoon 2 tablespoons strawberry mixture over cream cheese mixture on each. DO NOT LEVEL OUT. Top each with rounded tablespoonful cream cheese mixture, then strawberry mixture.
¾ cup all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon baking powder
¾ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tablespoon instant espresso powder
¼ teaspoon salt
1 ½ sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
½ cup sour cream
1 stick unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 cups confectioners' sugar
2 teaspoons milk
1 cup marshmallow fluff
36 dark chocolate baking chips
Make Cupcakes: Preheat oven to 350°F. Line cupcake tin with holders.
In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, cocoa powder, espresso powder, baking soda, and salt.
In a large bowl, beat butter together butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Beat in eggs, one at a time. Add vanilla extract and beat until just combined.
Beat in 1/2 flour mixture, followed by sour cream. Beat in remaining flour mixture. Pour batter into cupcake holders.
Bake until a cake tester comes out clean, about 25 minutes.
Make Frosting: In a medium bowl, beat butter for 1 minute. Add confectioners' sugar and milk and beat until smooth. Add marshmallow fluff and beat until well combined. If needed, continue to mix until frosting is proper fluffy consistency.
Frost each cupcake. Cut 24 of the baking chips in half. Place two halves on each cupcake to serve as eyes. Add one whole chip below eyes to serve as mouth.
Peanut Butter Pumpkin Cookies
1 roll (16.5 oz) Pillsbury® refrigerated peanut butter cookies
1 egg yolk
½ cup all-purpose flour
⅓ cup orange decorator sugar crystals
14 twisted butter-flavor pretzel sticks, broken in half
Heat oven to 350°F. Spray cookie sheets with cooking spray. In medium bowl, stir cookie dough, egg yolk and flour until well mixed.
Pour sugar crystals into small bowl. Shape dough into 28 (1-inch) balls; roll in sugar crystals. Insert 1 pretzel piece into each ball for pumpkin stem. Using toothpick or tip of teaspoon, make lines around sides for pumpkin ridges. Place balls 2 inches apart on cookie sheets.
Bake 9 to 11 minutes or just until set in center when touched with fingertip. Cool 2 minutes; remove from cookie sheets to cooling racks. Cool completely, about 10 minutes.
Look for decorator sugar crystals in the gourmet section of supermarkets or in cake-decorating supply stores.
Tint flaked coconut by tossing it with a drops of diluted green food color. Sprinkle the green coconut on a platter to represent grass, and arrange the pumpkins on top.
Special equipment: Parchment paper, writing icing
2 egg whites
1/8 teaspoon cream of tartar
½ cup granulated sugar
Black writing icing, for decorating the faces
Preheat oven to 225°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Set to the side.
In a small bowl, beat egg whites and cream of tartar on medium speed until soft peaks form. Gradually add sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time, beating on high until stiff peaks form. Place mixture in a heavy-duty re-sealable plastic bag; cut a small hole in a corner of bag.
On parchment-lined baking sheets, spoon the meringue mixture into 2-inch circles then use the end of the spoon to lightly drag the end of the meringue into an elongated shape, so it looks circular on top with an elongated thinner end (skull-shaped!).
Repeat with the remaining meringue. Bake for 1 hour and 15 to 30 minutes or until firm. Remove to wire racks.
Directly before serving, use writing icing to decorate the skull faces: two black dots for eyes, and upside-down heart for a nose, and a rectangle with lines for teeth.
Graveyard Sandwich Tray
If you're having a Halloween Party, this is a great way to serve your "salad" sandwiches. You'll have to make egg salad, tuna salad, chicken salad, ham salad, etc. for it to work (the sandwiches need to stay together).
Trim your bread into headstone shapes then toast them in a toaster oven until browned. Add the filling, making as many sandwiches as you want in your graveyard. Decorate each sandwich with “R.I.P.”, dates, or skull and crossbones with ketchup or mustard in squirt bottles.
On a large tray, arrange finely shredded green lettuce then place sandwiches on end into it.
Add whatever other decorations you want (i.e., clean plastic ghosts or skeletons or even marzipan pumpkins (see recipe below).
Headless Halloween Gingerbread People
10 ounces (300 grams) self-raising flour
4 ounces (100 grams) caster sugar*
3 teaspoons ground ginger
2 ounces (50 grams) margarine or dairy-free spread
3 tablespoons golden syrup**
4 tablespoons milk or water
1 tablespoon raspberry or strawberry jam
Heat oven to 160 degrees Celsius or 325 degrees F. Grease a baking tray.
Put salt, flour and ginger in a bowl. Warm sugar, fat and syrup together, and add this to the dry ingredients. Mix well.
Add milk or water and mix to a firm consistency, then knead lightly.
Roll out dough and use a person-shaped cookie cutter to cut shapes out.
Modify these shapes with a knife, removing most of the head. Feel free to get creative and leave jagged edges at the neck or remove part of a limb too etc!
Place on baking tray and bake for 10-15 minutes. Remove and cool on cooling rack, as syrup-based cookies need a few minutes to crisp up after baking.
Decorate with the jam and a pasty brush/small paintbrush, brushing the jam onto the necks. Again, feel free to get creative - clumps or trickles of jammy 'gore' are all in the spirit of Halloween!
* Baker's Sugar (C&H makes some) -- it's a very fine sugar but DO NOT use powdered sugar
** if you can't find this at your local grocer, try a British specialty shop or use 2 parts light corn syrup plus 1 part molasses as a substitute
12 large eggs
1/3 cup plus 3 tablespoons mayonnaise
1 small ripe avocado, halved and pitted
1 tablespoon dijon mustard
1 tablespoon minced scallion or shallot
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon salt
24 black olive slices
red food coloring
Place eggs in a large pot with cold water, covering eggs by 1 inch. Bring to a full boil; boil 1 minute. Cover pot and remove from heat. Let sit, covered, for 15 to 17 minutes. Drain and run cold water over the eggs. Crack eggs and let sit in cold water 10 minutes or until cool. Drain, then peel eggs.
Cut eggs in half lengthwise, then carefully remove the yolks, leaving the whites intact. Place yolks in a bowl; mash with 1/3 cup mayonnaise, avocado, mustard, shallot, lemon juice, and salt until blended. Using 2 teaspoons or a small ice-cream scoop, scoop yolk mixture into small balls and position in hollows of whites to resemble eyeballs.
Press an olive slice into center of each yolk eyeball. Stir together 3 tablespoons remaining mayonnaise and a few drops of red food coloring in a small bowl for the "blood."
Transfer colored mayonaise mixure into a small sealable bag and snip the corner to form a pastry bag. Decorate eyeballs with bloodshot veins. Cover and refrigerate up to 6 hours before serving.
Cheesy Earthworm Pasta Bake
1/2 pound organic lasagna, cooked al dente
2 tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 small onion, finely chopped
8 ounce white mushrooms, sliced
One (10 ounce) box frozen spinach, thawed and drained
8 ounce pepperoni, quartered (vegetarian or meat)
1 teaspoon basil
1 teaspoon oregano
salt and pepper to taste
One (12 ounce) can chopped tomatoes (Italian spice-style)
1 jar Pasta Sauce (your favorite)
8 ounces ricotta cheese
1/4 cup parmesan cheese, grated
8 ounces Mozzarella Cheese, shredded
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Cut each lasagna sheet lengthwise into six long strands. Place "tapeworm" strands in a 9 by 13 baking dish.
In a large sauté pan, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add garlic and onions and cook for 2 minutes, until soft. Add mushrooms, spinach, pepperoni, spices, salt and pepper. Cook until mushrooms are soft, about 2 minutes. Stir in tomatoes and sauce. Pour over "tape worms."
Mix ricotta with parmesan cheese, and place dollops over pasta. Sprinkle mozzarella cheese over pasta. Cover with foil and bake for 20 minutes. Remove foil and bake for 10 to 15 minutes longer (until cheese is golden and bubbling).
To drain spinach with ease, place thawed spinach in the middle of a clean kitchen towel. Gather towel to form an envelope and wring out the spinach over a sink. Remove "dry" spinach from towel and add to your favorite recipe.
Ooey Gooey Witch’s Fingers
1 bottle natural red food coloring
1 small new paint brush
1/4 cup warm water (about 110 degrees F)
1 teaspoon instant yeast
3/4 cup water
1 tablespoon Extra Virgin Olive Oil
4 cups organic bread flour, plus extra for work surface
1 teaspoon salt
1 Henry’s Large Egg, beaten
Nonstick cooking spray
8 sticks of string cheese, cut in half
3 tablespoons Butter, melted
1 jar Marinara Sauce, heated
Bring one-cup water to a boil. Add almonds and blanch for one minute. Remove from heat and place on a towel. Take another towel and rub off the skins. Place a couple drops of food coloring in a small bowl, and using the paintbrush paint each almond red. Place on wax paper to dry.
Mix yeast with water in a glass bowl or 2-cup measuring cup. Let stand about 5 minutes. Add enough water to equal 1 cup water total. Stir in oil. Place flour and salt in food processor. Pulse to mix. Slowly add liquid while processor is running. Once the dough forms a ball, process for an additional 30 seconds. Turn dough onto a lightly floured surface, and knead for about 5 minutes. Place in oiled bowl, and cover and let rise for 2 hours. Punch dough down and divide into two balls. Take one ball and roll into an eight inch strand. Cut into 8 pieces. Roll out each piece so it is 5 inches long and 2 inches wide. Place a piece of string cheese on dough and roll to form a "finger-like" shape. The gnarlier, the better!
Mix egg with 2 tablespoons water. Brush edges of dough with egg wash, to form a seal. Press an almond at one end as the fingernail. Use a knife and gently press into the "finger" to create "knuckles." Place competed fingers on baking sheet sprayed lightly with cooking spray. Repeat with rest of dough until it is all used.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Brush fingers with melted butter. Bake for 15 minutes, or until golden. Remove from oven and serve with marinara sauce.
Cocoa Cobweb Cupcakes
2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa, preferably Dutch-process
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, softened
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 cup buttermilk
For the icing:
2 egg whites
2 1/2 to 3 cups confectioners' sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 tablespoons fresh orange juice
Black or dark brown food coloring
Preheat an oven to 350 degrees F. Butter 12 muffin-tin wells or line them with paper muffin cups.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, and salt; reserve.
In a large bowl, using an electric mixer set on medium-high speed, beat together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the egg and vanilla and beat well. Beat in the flour mixture in 3 batches, alternately with the buttermilk.
Spoon into the prepared muffin tins, filling each cup about two-thirds full. Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean, 16 to 20 minutes. Remove from the oven, let cool in the pan for 5 minutes, then transfer to a rack and let cool to room temperature.
To make the icing, place the egg whites in a bowl. Using an electric mixer set on high speed, beat until soft peaks form. Add the confectioners' sugar, vanilla, and orange juice and continue to beat until thick and shiny. The icing should spread easily. If too thick, add more orange juice. If too thin, add more confectioners' sugar.
Transfer one-third of the icing to a small bowl and color with black or dark brown food coloring. Spoon this dark icing into a pastry bag fitted with a tip, or pour it into a plastic squeeze bottle.
Now, ice the cupcakes and make the cobwebs: Spoon the white icing into the center of the cupcake and spread with a small spatula or butter knife. Starting at the center of a cupcake, pipe a spiral of the dark icing from the center to the outer edge. Then, drag a sharp knife point from the center of the spiral to the edge of the cupcake. Wipe the knife clean, move about a 1/2 inch to the left or right and drag the knife in the opposite direction from the outer edge to the middle of the cupcake. Continue in this way until you have worked your way around the cupcake and formed the cobweb. Repeat with the remaining cupcakes.
From FamilyFun Magazine
24 unfrosted cupcakes (white or yellow works best)
Junior Mints, chocolate chips, and slivered almonds
Cut the marshmallows in half widthwise using kitchen shears dipped in confectioners' sugar (this keeps them from sticking).
Carefully pull each cupcake liner partially away from the cake and tuck half a marshmallow between the paper and the cupcake to create the skull's jaw.
Frost each cupcake and marshmallow, then add Junior Mints with white frosting dots for eyes, a chocolate chip nose, and slivered almond teeth.
From FamilyFun Magazine
FOR 8 SERVINGS:
1/2 cup small tapioca pearls (found in the baking aisle of most grocery stores)
4 tablespoons sugar
8 gummy fish
8 gummy worms
MAKE THE EGGS: Bring 6 cups of water to a boil and add the tapioca pearls. Reduce the heat slightly and boil the pearls, stirring occasionally, for 20 to 25 minutes.
COLOR THE EGGS: Divide the pearls, with the remaining water, between two bowls. Add 4 drops of food coloring (we used 3 drops of yellow and 1 drop of green in one bowl, and 4 drops of blue in the other) and 2 tablespoons of sugar to each bowl. Stir the mixtures, then allow them to sit uncovered for 20 to 25 minutes. Drain and rinse the pearls with cold water.
ASSEMBLE THE DRINK: Spoon 2 tablespoons of pearls into each glass and drop in a gummy fish. Fill the glasses with seltzer water, then add a splash of lemonade. Place a gummy worm around a spoon as shown.
Stained Glass Spooks
These stained-glass creatures can be hung in a window to catch sunlight or moonlight. Here's a secret: you can eat them, too!
Active Time: 10 Minutes
Total Time: 20 Minutes
Halloween metal cookie cutters such as pumpkin, ghost, cat, and bat
Heavy-duty aluminum foil
Canola or safflower oil
Small hard candies in assorted colors, such as Jolly Ranchers (the best) or LifeSavers
Satin baby ribbon, 1/8-inch wide
Preheat an oven to 350 degrees.
Line the bottom and interior sides of the cookie cutters with aluminum foil and brush the foil lightly with the oil. Set on a baking sheet.
Arrange the hard candies in a single layer on the foil bottom of the cookie cutter. Bake until the candies melt, about 10 minutes.
Remove from the oven, let cool for 1 minute, then poke a hole in the top with the wooden skewer. Cool; then pop out the stained glass shapes from the cookie cutter and peel off the aluminum foil. Thread the ribbon through the hole. Hang in a sunny window.
For the Kids:
Bubbling Witches Brew
This Halloween drink can be made in a bowl or cups but needs to be prepared JUST before serving for the maximum effect.
Mountain Dew, Sprite, Gingerale, or Club soda (COLD)
Marshmallows (small) - used as teeth
Pour the cold soda into a serving bowl or cups. Add marshmallows (for teeth).
When guests arrive (or before they have a drink of the brew) add the frozen lime sherbert. The sherbet will bubble and fizz like a real witches brew!
Warm Witch's Blood
4 cups Apple-cranberry juice
2 cups Orange juice
1 tsp whole Cloves
1 stick Cinnamon
3-4 Allspice berries
1-2 tblsp Sugar to taste
Bring to a boil in a saucepan and reduce heat to simmer. Simmer gently for 15 minutes, stirring and muttering appropriate incantations. Serve in ghoulish glasses, garnish with an orange slice if desired.
Haunting Hot Chocolate
Makes: five 6-ounce servings
1 medium orange
3 cups whole milk
2/3 cup vanilla-flavored baking pieces or vanilla-flavored candy coating
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 teaspoon vanilla
Whipped cream (optional)
Ground nutmeg (optional)
Purchased marshmallow ghosts
Remove peel of orange with vegetable peeler; set aside.
In a medium saucepan combine 1/4 cup of the milk, the vanilla-flavored baking pieces, orange peel, and nutmeg; whisk over low heat until baking pieces are melted. Remove orange peel. Whisk in remaining milk and heat through. Remove from heat. Stir in vanilla.
Serve warm in mugs. Add a marshmallow ghost, dollop with whipped cream, and sprinkle with nutmeg, if desired. Makes five 6-ounce servings.
For the Adults:
1/2 - 3/4 oz. Peach Schnapps
Float 1-2 Tbl. of Baileys on top
Drop 1 tsp of grenadine through the Baileys
. . . tastes like Peaches and Cream!
2 shots vanilla vodka
1 shot soda
hearty splash of cream
Mix and serve in a martini glass
2 shots Cream de Cassis
3 shots Vodka
1 shot triple sec
1 shot fresh lemon juice
1 shot Pomegranate juice
licorice strings, cut into about 6" strips
Mix all ingredients in a shaker. Put 4 licorice strings into middle of each martini glass with ends hanging over rim. Pour drink into glasses.
Booda's Black Brew
1 oz Malibu rum
3/4 oz Blue Curacao
3/4 oz Chambord raspberry liqueur
1/2 oz Grenadine
Fill with Cranberry juice
Fill with Ice
In a Hurricane Glass: Fill with Ice, Malibu Rum or Parrots Bay Coocnut Rum, Blue Curacao, Chambord, Grenadine, fill with Cranberry; top and Shake.
Graveyard (for those wanting to get there...)
1 or 1/2 pint Triple sec
1 or 1/2 pint Bacardi 151 proof rum
1 or 1/2 pint Vodka
1 or 1/2 pint Gin
1 or 1/2 pint Tequila
1 or 1/2 pint Bourbon
1 or 1/2 pint Scotch
Mix the 5 whites and 2 whiskies in a beer mug in equal amounts. Top up the rest of the mug with half beer and half stout.
Blood and Guts Potatoes
4 baking potatoes
3 balls fresh mozzarella, diced
2 tablespoons tomato ketchup, plus more to decorate
Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.
Prick the potatoes here and there with a fork and put them into the oven, straight on the wire rack, for 1 to 1 1/2 hours, depending on their size.
Take the potatoes out of the oven and let them cool down a little before you handle them. Carefully slice each 1 in half and scoop out the fluffy potato flesh into a bowl, reserving the skins.
Put the diced mozzarella into the bowl with the potato and add the 2 tablespoons of ketchup. Mix with a fork and then spoon the filling back into the potato skins.
Sit the loaded potato skins on a lined baking sheet, and dribble over some more ketchup in a gory blood-dripping kind of way. Put back in the oven to cook for 15 minutes, by which time the cheese will have melted and the potatoes be warmed through.
Pulled BBQ Chicken Sandwiches
(kinda looks like you're eating a bloody mess)
1 tablespoon canola oil
1 large onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 (14-ounce) can low-sodium tomato sauce
1/4 cup tomato paste
1/2 cup water
1/3 cup apple cider vinegar
5 tablespoons molasses
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon liquid smoke
1 whole rotisserie chicken, skin removed, meat shredded into thin strips
(about 4 to 4 1/2 cups)
6 whole-wheat hamburger rolls
6 large green lettuce leaves
Heat the oil in a large saute pan over a medium heat. Add the onions and cook until they are soft and translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute more. Add tomato sauce, tomato paste, water, vinegar, molasses, pepper and liquid smoke and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for 15 minutes. Add chopped chicken, return to a simmer, and cook an additional 10 minutes.
Split rolls. Place a leaf of lettuce on each roll, then pile on 3/4 cup of the chicken mixture onto the roll.
Black Halloween Punch
1 (.13 ounce) envelope unsweetened grape soft drink mix
1 (.13 ounce) envelope unsweetened orange soft drink mix
2 cups white sugar
3 quarts cold water
1 liter ginger ale
To make a frozen hand, wash a disposable glove, fill with water, seal with a rubber band and freeze until hard.
Stir together grape soft drink mix, orange soft drink mix, sugar and water until solids are dissolved. Combine with chilled ginger ale just before serving. Dip the frozen hand briefly in warm water, then peel off the glove. Float the prepared hand in the punch bowl for a ghastly effect.
Pumpkin Black Bean Soup
3 (15 ounce) cans black beans, rinsed and drained
1 (16 ounce) can diced tomatoes
1/4 cup butter
1-1/4 cups chopped onion
4 cloves garlic, chopped
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
4 cups beef broth
1 (15 ounce) can pumpkin puree
1/2 pound cubed cooked ham
3 tablespoons sherry vinegar
Pour 2 cans of the black beans into a food processor or blender, along with the can of tomatoes. Puree until smooth. Set aside.
Melt butter in a soup pot over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic, and season with salt and pepper. Cook and stir until the onion is softened. Stir in the bean puree, remaining can of beans, beef broth, pumpkin puree, and sherry vinegar. Mix until well blended, then simmer for about 25 minutes, or until thick enough to coat the back of a metal spoon. Stir in the ham, and heat through before serving.
2-1/3 cups biscuit baking mix
2/3 cup milk
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
3 tablespoons butter or margarine, melted
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
In a bowl, combine biscuit mix, milk and Italian seasoning. Turn onto a lightly floured surface; knead 10 times. Divide into 30 portions; set half aside. Roll the remaining 15 pieces into 7-in. ropes for broom handles; fold in half and twist. Place on ungreased baking sheets.
Shape reserved pieces into 2-1/2-in. circles; cut with scissors to form a bundle of broom twigs. Place below each broom handle; pinch edges to seal. Brush with butter; sprinkle with Parmesan cheese. Bake at 450 degrees F for 10-12 minutes or until lightly browned. Serve warm or cool on a wire rack.
Very Easy Jack-o-Lantern Cake
Warning: this a big cake
2 boxes cake mix (I use spice)
2 containers buttercream (do not use the fluffy) or cream cheese frosting*
1 flat bottom ice cream cone
orange food coloring paste (or mix red and yellow)**
green food coloring paste (not necessary id you can get a green cone)
Decorating items: black or brown icing or black licorice rope (the skinny plain ones) or browm M&Ms or anything you want to make a face
Bake the cakes as directed in 2 regular Bundt pans. Cool completely. Reserve enough frosting to frost the cone. Mix enough orange food coloring paste into the rest of the frosting to make it the shade you want. Using some of the frosting, stick the 2 cakes together at the flat parts. Frost the cake completely. Add green food coloring paste to the reserved frosting. Frost the ice cream cone, if necessary. Place frosted cone on top of cake at an angle. Create a face on the cake using any decorating ingredients you choose.
* If you want to make your own cream chees frosting a recipe is below.
** the paste works better than the liquid.
Cream Cheese Frosting
2 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup butter, softened
2 cups sifted confectioners' sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
In a medium bowl, cream together the cream cheese and butter until creamy. Mix in the vanilla, then gradually stir in the confectioners' sugar. Store in the refrigerator after use.
Wiggly, Jiggly Crystal Ball
4 3-ounce packages yellow Jell-O
2 envelopes unflavored gelatin
6 cups boiling water
Melon, cantaloupe, watermelon and blueberries
In a large, deep bowl, mix the Jell-O and the unflavored gelatin. Pour the boiling water over the mixture and stir until completely dissolved. Refrigerate for 1 1/2 hours, or until partially set.
Meanwhile, use cookie cutters to carve the melons into stars and moons (sets of the cutters or aspic cutters are available in kitchen supply stores for about $16 and are worth the investment). Press all the fruit into the partially set gelatin, then refrigerate for 4 more hours, or until set.
Place the bowl in a pan of hot water to loosen the Jell-O from the sides, then invert onto a wizard-like platter.
Serves 16 to 18.
1 tube of refrigerated breadstick dough (an 11-ounce tube makes 12 bones)
Unroll a tube of refrigerated breadstick dough and separate the rectangular pieces.
Working with one piece at a time, stretch the dough to lengthen it a bit and then use kitchen scissors or a knife to cut a 11/2-inch slit in the center of each end.
Roll or shape the resulting four flaps of dough into knobs that look like the ends of a bone.
Place the dough bones on an ungreased baking sheet, spacing them a few inches apart, and sprinkle on a little coarse salt. Bake the bones until they are light golden brown, about 12 minutes.
Note: One reader suggested making some crescent-shaped bones and maybe a skull so that it doesn't look like a pile of "dog bones". Another reader sprinkled them with cumin and gralic before baking and served with "blood sauce" (tomato sauce) and "green slime sauce" (avocado dip).
1-7 oz box Odense Marzipan*
yellow food coloring paste** or gel
red food coloring paste** or gel
A few drops, vegetable oil
A few toothpicks
Knead a small amount of food coloring into Marzipan. You will use approximately 1 part red to 2 parts yellow to get a good pumpkin color.
Take a small piece of the tinted Marzipan and form a ball
With your little finger, make a small indentation in the top of the Marzipan ball.
Dip a toothpick in vegetable oil. This keeps the Marzipan from sticking to it. Starting at the ball's North Pole, press the toothpick's side in gently from pole to pole to make pumpkin "creases."
For a final touch, add some tiny stems cut from stalks of mint or other non-toxic plant.
Yield: 15 mini pumpkins
Idea: Use Marzipan pumpkins as place card holders for your Halloween and Thanksgiving dinners.
*Odense Almond Paste may be substituted
**Paste food coloring is generally preferred over liquid as it won't change the consistency of the Marzipan as the liquid may.
I made a bunch of these a couple years ago at Thanksgiving and they were a big hit!