recipes, food and cooking

October 23, 2003

Ghosts, goblins and mice, oh my! Halloween is next week and it's time to start planning if you haven't already some special treats for your loved ones. We also have a collection of Halloween Recipes at Razzle Dazzle Recipes.

     Mary Ellen        

RECIPES FOR HALLOWEEN

CARAMEL APPLES

8 apples, any variety

1 C. chopped peanuts or other nuts of your choice

1 C. heavy cream, divided

3/4 C. light corn syrup (Karo is one brand)

1/2 C. unsalted butter

1 C. sugar

1 t. vanilla extract

Wash and completely dry the apples. Insert a stick into the stem end of each. (NOTE: We recommend sticks that are not round, so the apples don't twist on them while they're being eaten.)

Line a 9-inch by 9-inch or 7-inch by 11-inch baking pan with foil. Place the chopped nuts into the lined pan.

Fit a heavy-bottomed saucepan with a candy thermometer. Over high heat, cook 3/4 cup of the cream, the corn syrup, butter and sugar to 280 F. or firm-ball stage; at this point the syrup will be golden. Remove from the heat and carefully swirl in the remaining 1/4 cup of cream and the vanilla. Do this very carefully, for the syrup is very hot and may spatter.

While the caramel is hot, dip and turn the apples into the caramel to coat and let the excess drip off. Dip the bottoms into the chopped nuts. Arrange the apples on a nonstick or waxed paper-lined cookie sheet and let cool.

BLACK CAT COOKIES ON A STICK

1 C. butter (no substitutes), softened

2 C. sugar

2 eggs

3 t. vanilla extract

3 C. all-purpose flour

1 C. baking cocoa

1/2 t. baking powder

1/2 t. baking soda

1/2 t. salt

24 wooden craft or Popsicle sticks

48 candy corn candies

24 red-hot candies

Heat oven to 350 F. Lightly grease baking sheets and set aside. (Do not use air-cushion baking sheet on these cookies, for best results.)

In a mixing bowl, cream butter and sugar. Beat in eggs and vanilla. In a separate bowl, combine the flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt; gradually add to the creamed mixture. Using hands, roll dough into 24 1 1/2-inch balls. Place balls 3 inches apart on baking sheets.

Insert a wooden stick into each cookie (perpendicular to the baking sheet). Flatten cookie with a glass dipped in sugar (do not smash so flat and thin that the cookie won't hold the stick properly; this should be a sturdy cookie). Pinch top edge of cookie to form ears, smoothing as you need to. For whiskers, press tines of a fork once into each side of cookie.

Bake for 10-12 minutes or until cookies are set. Remove from the oven; immediately press on candy corn for eyes and a red-hot candy for a nose on each cookie.

Remove to wire racks to cool.

Makes 24.

POPCORN BALLS

1 1/2 C. white sugar

1 1/2 C. light corn syrup

2 t. cider vinegar

2 t. vanilla

5 T. butter

10 to 12 C. popped popcorn, salted or unsalted as preferred

In a saucepan combine sugar, corn syrup and vinegar. Attach a candy thermometer to the side of the saucepan making sure that the bulb is submerged but not touching the bottom. Cook the mixture over medium high heat, stirring until sugar dissolves. Continue to cook, uncovered, without stirring until the temperature registers 260 F. or alternatively until a hard ball forms when a bit of the mixture is dropped in cold water. Remove pan from heat and stir in vanilla and 4 tablespoons of the butter.

Pour mixture over popcorn in a large buttered bowl and stir to coat. Use remaining butter to coat hands and shape the popcorn into balls and transfer to a parchment or waxed paper-lined pan. When the balls have hardened, wrap them individually in colored plastic wrap or waxed paper and secure with a tie or ribbon.

Makes about 1 dozen 2-inch balls.

CANDY SHOP PIZZA

1 18 oz. package refrigerated chocolate-chip-cookie bar dough

1 6 oz. package chocolate morsels

1/2 C. chunky or creamy peanut butter

1 C. coarsely chopped assorted candy: Nestle Crunch, Butterfinger, Baby Ruth, Hershey's, etc.

Preheat oven to 325 F. Grease large baking sheet or pizza pan.

Place whole bar of cookie dough scored-side down, shaping to fit prepared baking sheet. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, or until golden-brown. Immediately sprinkle morsels over hot crust; drop peanut butter by spoonfuls onto morsels. Let stand for 5 minutes or until morsels are shiny. Gently spread chocolate and peanut butter evenly over cookie crust.

Sprinkle candy in single layer over pizza. Cut into wedges. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Yield: 12 servings

PEANUT BUTTER RICE KRISPY TREATS

1 1/2 C. peanut butter

1 1/2 C. light corn syrup

1 1/2 C. sugar

8 C. rice krispies cereal

1 t. vanilla

In a large, heavy pan heat corn syrup and sugar. Boil until it spins a thread as it drips off the spoon.

Remove from heat, and add peanut butter and vanilla. Stir until melted and fold in rice krispies cereal.

Pour into a 9 x 13 greased pan. Press down lightly and let cool before cutting.

PUMPKIN DONUT BALLS

1 1/2 C. sugar

1/4 C. oil

2 eggs

1 C. pumpkin

3 1/2 C. flour

4 t. baking powder

3/4 t. ground cinnamon

1/2 t. ground ginger

1/4 t. ground nutmeg

1/4 t. salt

1/2 C. evaporated milk

1 t. vanilla

oil for frying

Mix the sugar, oil, eggs, and pumpkin in a large bowl. Beat well.

Stir together the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and salt.

Add to the sugar mixture alternately with the evaporated milk, beating well after each addition. Beat in the vanilla last.

Heat oil (350 F. - 375 F.) in a pan or a deep fryer. Drop tablespoons of batter in the oil for about 1 1/2 minutes per side.

Drain and roll in a mixture of cinnamon sugar or powdered confectioners sugar.

QUICK HALLOWEEN RECIPE IDEAS

Candy Corn Crispy Rice Treats: Make crispy rice cereal treats with your favorite recipe, but include candy corn and butterscotch chips as ingredients, and use red and yellow food coloring to dye it all orange.

Batty Chips: Cut out Halloween shapes in soft tortillas. Lightly spray with vegetable oil. Bake in 350 F. oven for about 5 minutes on both sides or until brown and crispy.

Worms on a Bun: Cut a hot dog into narrow strips. Microwave until the strips are curled, about 50 seconds. Place on a bun and serve with ketchup.

Boo, who? Banana is the base of this tasty treat. Cut a banana in half, push a popsicle stick into each of the cut ends. Cover each pop with plastic wrap and freeze until firm (about 3 hours). Next, melt a piece of white chocolate candy in the microwave, and spread melted chocolate on the frozen banana halves. Set the pops on a dish covered with waxed paper. Press on candies or raisins for eyes and mouths and return to the freezer until ready to serve.

HALLOWEEN DESSERT RECIPES

GOBLINS DARK AND CHOCOLATY ICEBOX PUDDING

Chocolate Icebox Pudding

1/2 C. granulated sugar
1/4 cup water
1 bar (1.5 oz.) Godiva Dark Chocolate, chopped
4 large egg yolks, at room temperature
1 C. butter, softened
1 C. confectioners' sugar
1 C. heavy cream

Chocolate Halloween Decorations

1 bar (1.5 oz.) Godiva Solid Ivory, coarsely chopped
1 t. vegetable shortening
Orange paste food color (optional)
1 bar (1.5 oz.) Godiva Dark Chocolate, coarsely chopped
1 t. vegetable shortening
Sweetened whipped cream

Make the chocolate icebox pudding:

Whisk together sugar and water in medium heatproof bowl set over pan of barely simmering water until sugar is dissolved. Add chocolate and continue to whisk until chocolate is melted and mixture is smooth. Add egg yolks, one at a time, and whisk until mixture is smooth. Remove from heat and let cool.

Beat together butter and confectioners' sugar in mixer bowl 3 to 5 minutes or until light and fluffy, using electric mixer at medium-high speed. Scrape down sides of bowl. Add chocolate mixture and beat 2 minutes. Continue to beat mixture until blended.

Whip heavy cream in bowl until soft peaks form, using electric mixer on high speed. Fold whipped cream into chocolate mixture. Cover and refrigerate for 3 hours or until well chilled.

Make the chocolate decorations:

Line baking sheet with waxed paper or aluminum foil.

Place solid ivory and shortening in small resealable plastic bag. Microwave on medium (50% power) for 1 minute or until it softens. Knead bag until mixture is smooth. Add orange food color if desired or leave plain. Place dark chocolate and shortening in another small resealable plastic bag. Microwave on medium (50% power) for 1 minute or until it softens. Knead bag until mixture is smooth. Snip off one corner of each bag and drizzle dark chocolate onto prepared baking sheet into Halloween shapes: witches' hats, pumpkins, spider webs, spiders, broomsticks, cats, ghosts, etc. Add orange or white accents to decorations with melted solid ivory. Refrigerate until set, about 15 minutes. Keep decorations refrigerated until serving time.

Spoon pudding into bowls and top with sweetened whipped cream. Decorate each with chocolate decorations.

GOO-LISH CARAMEL APPLE SLICES

1 14 oz. bag vanilla caramels (about 48)

3 T. water

3 apples, cored, peeled, and sliced

1 C. semisweet chocolate pieces (6 oz.)

1 T. shortening

1/4 C. nut topping

Put unwrapped caramels and the water in a medium saucepan. Cook until caramels are melted and smooth, stirring constantly. Remove from heat.

Arrange apple slices on a pizza plate or pan. Use a spoon to drizzle caramel mixture over apples.

Put chocolate pieces and shortening in small saucepan. Cook over medium-low heat until mixture is melted and smooth, stirring constantly.

Use another spoon to drizzle the chocolate mixture over the caramel-covered apples.

Sprinkle with nut topping. Let stand at room temperature for up to 10 minutes.

Makes 6 to 8 servings

PUMPKIN CARROT CAKE

2 C. all-purpose flour

2 t. baking soda

2 t. ground cinnamon

1/2 t. salt

3/4 C. milk

1 1/2 t. lemon juice

3 large eggs

1 1/4 C. pure pumpkin

1 1/2 C. granulated sugar

1/2 C. packed brown sugar

1/2 C. vegetable oil

1 can (8 oz.) crushed pineapple, drained

1 C. grated carrots

1 C. flaked coconut

1 1/4 C. chopped nuts, divided

Cream Cheese Frosting (recipe follows)

Preheat oven to 350 F. Grease two 9-inch-round baking pans.

Combine flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt in small bowl. Combine milk and lemon juice in liquid measuring cup (mixture will appear curdled).

Beat eggs, pumpkin, sugars, oil, pineapple, carrots and milk mixture in large bowl; mix well. Gradually add flour mixture; beat until combined. Stir in coconut and 1 cup nuts. Pour into prepared pans.

Bake 30 to 35 minutes or until wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pans 15 minutes. Remove to wire racks to cool completely.

Frost with Cream Cheese Frosting. Garnish with remaining nuts. Refrigerate.

Cream Cheese Frosting:

Combine 11 oz. softened cream cheese, 1/3 C. softened butter and 3 1/2 C. sifted powdered sugar in large bowl until fluffy. Add 1 t. vanilla extract, 2 t. orange juice and 1 t. grated orange peel; beat until combined.

Makes 12 servings.

PUMPKIN SEED RECIPES

TOASTED PUMPKIN SEEDS

3 C. raw whole pumpkin seeds

1 t. salt

1 T. butter

Clean and dry pumpkin seeds so there is no goo or strings. Melt butter onto a cookie sheet. Spread pumpkin seeds evenly over the buttered sheet and sprinkle with salt. Bake at 350 F. for 10-15 minutes, shaking the pan every 4 minutes to ensure even baking.

Yield: 3 cups or 12 servings.

PUMPKIN PIE SEEDS

2 C. raw whole pumpkin seeds

4 T. melted butter

1 t. salt

3 T. light brown sugar

1 1/2 t. ground cinnamon

1/2 t. ground allspice

A pinch of ground nutmeg

A pinch of ground cloves

A pinch of salt

After rinsing seeds in cold water and removing all strings, pat dry. Transfer to a large bowl and add the butter, salt, brown sugar, cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg, clove and salt, stirring well to coat. Spread seeds on a baking sheet in a single layer. Bake at 350 F. until crisp and golden, 12 to 15 minutes.

Yield: 2 cups.

HERBED PUMPKIN SEEDS

2 C. raw, whole pumpkin seeds

2 T. olive oil

1 t. salt

1 T. dried rosemary

1 T. dried basil

Rinse seeds well in cold water, removing all of the fibrous strings and pat thoroughly dry.

Transfer to a large bowl and add the oil and salt, rosemary and basil, stirring well to coat. Spread seeds on a baking sheet in a single layer.

Bake at 350 F. until crisp and golden, 12 to 15 minutes. Taste for seasoning add more salt if desired.

Yield: 2 cups

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HALLOWEEN PARTY IDEAS

* Fog or boiling cauldrons can be made using dry ice. Be careful handling it, though. Dry ice, because of its super-cold temperature, can burn skin. Wear heavy gloves when using it. Never taste the dry ice and handle it in a well-ventilated area, because a concentrated amount of the gas can become toxic.

(Visit the www.dryiceInfo.com Web site for more information on handling and uses.)

* Put a selection of jack-o'-lantern or monster cookie pops in a real or plastic pumpkin beside the door, for guests to take as they leave.

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