October 9, 2005

Happy Halloween!!!

 I hope you enjoy our special edition of Halloween Recipes. For more go to Razzle Dazzle Recipes in our Halloween Recipe Section. I just added a page where the kids can go and decorate our pumpkins a week ago. Have fun and stay safe!     

   Mary Ellen         



Black Olives
Cream Cheese

Stuff black olives with cream cheese. Serve on a plate. A perfect, fast, fun, creepy treat!


1/2 cup medium or hot picante sauce
8 ounces (2 cups) American cheese, shredded
1 (15-ounce) can black beans, rinsed, drained
1 (4-ounce) can mild or hot chopped green chiles, drained
Tortilla chips

Combine all ingredients except tortilla chips in 2-quart saucepan. Cook over low heat, stirring constantly, until cheese is melted (8 to 10 minutes.

Serve warm with tortilla chips.

TIP: A small electric slow cooker makes a great serving container and keeps the dip warm. Keep it set on the Low heat setting.

Yield: 2 1/2 cups


1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon butter
2 medium chopped onions
4 minced garlic cloves
2 teaspoons minced crumbled dried thyme
5 cups cooked black beans, with one cup of cooking liquid reserved
4 cups chicken broth
2 cups diced tomatoes
2 teaspoons ground cumin
2 teaspoons tabasco sauce

Place the butter and oil in a large soup kettle and melt over medium heat. Add the onion and cook until the onion is softened and translucent.

Add the garlic and thyme and cook for an additional three minutes. Add the remaining ingredients. Bring to a boil. then reduce the heat to medium low. Cover and simmer for 20-30 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Remove three cups of the soup from the pot and in three batches (do not process all at once because a lot of hot black bean soup will be all over your ceiling!) process the three cups of soup until smooth, adding the puree back to the soup after it is pureed.

Reheat until the soup is thoroughly warmed again.

Spoon into serving bowls and garnish with sour cream.

To decorate with a spider web on top, place a small amount of sour cream thinned with milk in a small plastic bag. Snip off the corner. Make several concentric circles. Use a knife and draw lines thru to make a spider web. Place a clean plastic spider on top and serve.


Cream Cheese Tart Shells

1/2 cup butter, softened
3-oz. pkg. cream cheese, softened
2-3 Tbsp. milk
1-1/2 cups flour
1/8 tsp. salt

Combine butter and cream cheese until well mixed and beat in milk. Add flour and salt, mix well and shape into a ball. Chill at least 2 hours. Using about 1 tablespoon of dough, form into a small ball and press into miniature muffin cups.

Bake at 425 degrees 4-6 minutes until light golden brown. Cool.

Makes about 24.

24 fully cooked frozen meatballs, thawed
1/3 cup salsa OR 1/3 cup processed cheese spread
24 small slices of mozzarella cheese
sliced pitted ripe olives

Spoon a small amount of salsa OR cheese spread in the baked tart shells. Top each with a thawed meatball. Bake at 350 degrees 15 minutes until heated. Top each meatball with a piece of cheese and place a ripe olive slice on the sour cream to create the eye. The cheese will melt and help hold the olive on the tarts.

Makes 24


4 cups apple cider
¼ cup brown sugar
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
pinch ground ginger
1 cup coarsely chopped unsulphured dried apricots
½ cup dried figs
1 cup coarsely chopped prunes
1 cup dried cranberries
1 cup dried golden raisins
3 peeled and cubed tart apples
1/3 cup apple brandy

Bring the apple cider to a boil in a large heavy saucepan. Add the sugar and the spices and cook until the sugar dissolves. Add the dried fruit and return to a boil. Reduce the heat, and simmer for 15 minutes.

Add the apples and cover. Simmer for 10 minutes, or until the apples are tender. Remove the fruit and place in a heat tolerant serving dish.

Return the cider to the burner and return to a boil. Boil uncovered for 5-7 minutes or until the mixture thickens slightly. Pour over the fruit mixture.

Heat the brandy in the microwave or small saucepan until warm. Carefully light and pour the flaming brandy over the compote.

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Cut frozen sweet-roll dough into two pieces, or more for smaller breadstick bones portions.

Roll the dough into long, thin logs. Tie off each end into a knot. Snip a small indentation in the middle of each breadstick to replicate a joint connection.

Sprinkle some cinnamon sugar over the breadsticks.

Bake in the oven for 15 minutes at 325 degrees.

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"This is the essential base for making pumpkin bread, pumpkin pies, pumpkin soup, and many other dishes. Why would you do this rather than just open a can? This produces a much better quality pumpkin puree, which makes your whole recipe sing with flavor and is very simple to make. In a pinch you can use canned solid pack pumpkin."

1 three pound pumpkin

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Cut the pumpkin in half and scrape out the seeds and threads. Reserve the seeds for toasting and snacking. Place the halved cut side down on a greased jelly roll pan. Bake the pumpkin until it is very tender and can easily be pierced with a fork.

A 3 pound pumpkin takes 1 hour, so vary your time estimates based on that. Set the pumpkin aside to cool. When it is cool enough to handle, cut the skin off with a sharp knife.

Chop the flesh into pieces small enough to fit in a food processor and process until pureed.

Leftover puree can be refrigerated for up to five days or frozen.


2 cups flour
3/4 cups packed brown sugar
1-1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp ginger
1/4 tsp cloves
1/8 tsp nutmeg
3/4 cup canned pumpkin
1/2 cup butter, melted and cooled
1/4 cup buttermilk
2 eggs, lightly beaten
3 tbsp molasses
1 tsp vanilla
3/4 c coarsely chopped pecans or walnuts
3/4 c chopped dates (optional)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Grease twelve muffin cups. In a large bowl, stir together first 9 ingredients. In another bowl, stir together pumpkin, butter, buttermilk, eggs, molasses and vanilla until blended. Make a well in center of dry ingredients; add pumpkin mixture and stir just to combine. Stir in pecans and dates.

Spoon batter into prepared muffin cups; bake 20 to 25 minutes or until a cake tester inserted in center of one muffin comes out clean. Remove to wire rack. Cool 5 minutes before removing muffins from cups; finish cooling on rack.


1 (15 oz) can Libby's 100% Pure Pumpkin
2 (8 oz) packages cream cheese, softened
2 cups sifted powdered sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground ginger

Beat cream cheese and pumpkin in large mixing bowl until smooth. Add powered sugar, cinnamon and ginger; mix thoroughly. Cover; refrigerate for 1 hour. Serve as a dip or spread.


1 pkg. (18 oz.) spice or carrot cake mix
1 cup 100% Pure Pumpkin
3 large eggs
1/3 cup water
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
2 pkgs. (3 oz. each) cream cheese, softened
2 tablespoons margarine or butter, softened
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
4 cups powdered sugar
*Black string licorice, Milk Chocolate-Covered Raisins and Halloween candy corn (optional)

Preheat oven to 350º F. Grease and flour two 8- or 9-inch-round cake pans.

Combine cake mix, pumpkin, eggs, water, vegetable oil and pumpkin pie spice in large mixer bowl until moistened. Beat for 2 minutes or until thoroughly mixed. Pour batter into prepared pans.

Bake for 30 to 35 minutes or until wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pans on wire racks for 10 minutes; remove to wire racks to cool completely. Frost with Cream Cheese Frosting.

BEAT cream cheese, margarine and vanilla extract in small mixer bowl until light and fluffy. Gradually beat in sugar. Spread between layers and on top and side of cake.

Form licorice strings into ghost shapes; press into side of frosted cake. Use Raisinets for eyes. Arrange candy corn between ghosts on side and around top edge of frosted cake.

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1 (11 oz.) pkg. pretzels
1 (10.5 oz) pkg. mini peanut butter filled Ritz crackers
1 c. dry roasted peanuts
1 c. sugar
1/2 c. butter
1/2 c. light corn syrup
2 T. vanilla extract
1 t. baking soda
1 (10 oz.) pkg. M&M's
1 (18.5 oz) pkg. candy corn

In a large bowl, combine the pretzels, crackers and peanuts. In a large saucepan, combine sugar, butter and corn syrup. Bring to a boil over medium heat, boil for 5 minutes. Remove from heat; stir in vanilla and baking soda (mixture will foam). Pour over pretzel mixture and stir until coated.

Pour into a greased 15"x10" baking pan. Bake at 250 degrees for 45 minutes, stirring every 10 - 15 minutes. Break apart while warm. Toss with M&M's and candy corn. Cool completely. Store in airtight containers.


12 oz. pkg. semisweet chocolate chips
6 oz. pkg. milk chocolate chips
1 16-oz. can sweetened condensed milk
2 Tbsp. butter
Assorted gummy worms, licorice spiders, and gummy bugs

In microwave, melt chocolate chips with sweetened condensed milk and butter on MEDIUM for 2-3 minutes. Stir well. Return to microwave if necessary and continue melting on MEDIUM for another 2-3 minutes. Stir until smooth. Pour into greased 8" square pan, and top with the candy creatures, pushing them gently into the fudge. Chill until firm. Store well covered in the refrigerator.


Wax paper
1 cup creamy peanut butter (not all-natural)
2 tablespoons butter or margarine
2 cups powdered sugar
1 Butterfinger Candy Bar
2 cups Premier White Morsels
3 tablespoons vegetable shortening
2 pkg. Butterfinger BB's Candies
1 small tube red decorator icing
Wooden pick or skewer for dipping

Line 2 baking sheets with wax paper.

Beat peanut butter and butter in large mixer bowl until creamy. Beat in powdered sugar until mixture holds together and is moistened. Stir in chopped Butterfinger. Shape into 1-inch "eyeballs." Place on prepared baking sheets. Freeze for 1 hour.

Melt morsels and shortening in large, uncovered, microwave-safe bowl on MEDIUM-HIGH (70%) power for 1 minute 30 seconds; STIR. Morsels may retain some of their original shape. If necessary, microwave at additional 10- to 15-second intervals, stirring just until melted. Remove one baking sheet of frozen "eyeballs" from freezer (keep other sheet in freezer until ready to use).

Dip one "eyeball" into melted morsel mixture using a wooden pick or skewer. Shake off excess and return to baking sheet. Gently press 1 Butterfinger BB on top of "eyeball" to make a "pupil." Repeat procedure with remaining "eyeballs" on baking sheet. Refrigerate until coating is set. Repeat with remaining sheet of "eyeballs" and coating. You may find it necessary to reheat morsel mixture before dipping second batch. Before serving, pipe decorator icing around eyeballs to create bloodshot markings. Store in covered container in refrigerator. Best served cold.


4 or 5 medium apples
Wooden sticks
2 (14 ounce) packages caramels (96 pieces), divided

First Caramel Layer
Wash and dry apples; insert stick into stem end of each apple.

Microwave 1 package of the caramels and 2 tablespoons of the water in a small deep microwave-safe bowl on HIGH for 2 1/2 to 3 1/2 minutes or until smooth, stirring every minute. If caramel sauce is too thin, let stand about 2 minutes before dipping apples.

Dip apples into hot caramel sauce; turn until coated. Scrape excess sauce from bottom of apples. Place on greased wax paper. Refrigerate 1 to 2 hours.

Second Caramel Layer
After refrigerating, repeat microwave and dipping directions with remaining the remaining package of caramels and 2 tablespoons water.

See decorating ideas below for warm caramel apples. Otherwise, refrigerate 1 to 2 hours. See decorating ideas below for chilled caramel apples.

Store decorated apples in refrigerator. Let stand at room temperature 15 minutes before serving to allow caramel to soften. Makes 4 to 5 medium apples or 2 large (3/4 to 1 pound each).

Decorating ideas for warm caramel apples
Roll in chopped pecans or nuts of your choice; drizzle with melted apples.

Decorate with non-pareil covered semi sweet chocolate chips; drizzle with melted white chocolate.

Roll in graham cracker pieces and miniature marshmallows; drizzle with melted chocolate.

Roll in macadamia nuts or premium mixed nuts; drizzle with melted white and semi-sweet chocolate.

Decorating ideas for chilled caramel apples
Dip apple in melted chocolate, several times, waiting for chocolate to harden a little between each dip. Use white or semi-sweet chocolate or marbleize.

Dip bottom of apple in melted chocolate; decorate with toasted coconut and slice almonds.

Decorate with melted white or semi-sweet chocolate and sprinkles.

Any of these apples can be decorated with anything you choose, such as raisins, chopped malted milk balls, peanut butter chips, chopped potato chips or pretzels.


15 cups popped corn
1/2 tsp. salt
1 cup butter
2 cups packed brown sugar
1/4 cup corn syrup
1/4 cup molasses
1 Tbsp. ground ginger
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. baking soda

Place popcorn into 2 13x9" pans. Mix together salt, butter, brown sugar, corn syrup, molasses, ginger and cinnamon in a heavy, large saucepan. Heat over medium heat until mixture comes to a boil, stirring frequently. Boil for 5 minutes. Remove pan from heat and mix in baking soda.

Mixture will foam up - this is why you need a large pan!

Pour this foamy mixture over popped corn in the prepared pans and mix thoroughly.

Bake both pans at 250 degrees for one hour, stirring every 15 minutes, until corn is glazed and crisp.

Cool completely, then store in airtight containers.

YIELD: 30 1/2 cup servings


6 cups popped popcorn
3 Butterfinger Candy Bars
1/4 cup butter or margarine
3 1/2 cups miniature marshmallows
Nonstick cooking spray

Combine popcorn and chopped Butterfinger in large bowl.

Melt butter in medium saucepan over low heat. Stir in marshmallows. Heat, stirring constantly, until marshmallows are melted and mixture is smooth.

Pour over popcorn mixture; quickly toss to coat well. Spray hands with nonstick cooking spray. Form popcorn mixture into six 3-inch balls. Place on wax paper to cool. Store in airtight container.

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1/2 cup vegetable shortening
1 1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
1 egg
1/2 apple juice, divided
2 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1 cup apples, peeled and shredded

2 to 3 tbsp. margarine, softened
1/3 cup packed light brown sugar
2 tbsp. water
1 1/2 cup powdered sugar
2 to 4 tbsp. milk
5 tbsp. finely crushed walnuts

Beat shortening and brown sugar in medium bowl until blended; beat in egg. Mix in 1/4 cup apple juice, combined flour, baking soda, salt, and spices; mix in remaining 1/4 cup apple juice and apples. Drop by teaspoonfuls, 2 inches apart, onto greased cookie sheets. Bake at 350 until browned, 10 to 12 minutes. Cool on wire racks. Spread with frosting and sprinkle each cookie with crushed walnuts.

Caramel Frosting: Heat margarine, brown sugar, and water over medium high heat in saucepan, stirring until sugar dissolves. Remove from heat; beat in powdered sugar and enough milk to make spreadable consistency; use immediately. If frosting begins to harden, return to low heat and stir in more milk.


1/2 cup butter, softened
1-1/2 cups peanut butter
1 pound powdered sugar
1 tbsp vanilla extract
12 ounces white chocolate almond bark

Cream the butter and peanut butter together. Add the sugar and vanilla; blend thoroughly.

Shape into small 1-inch balls. Refrigerate on waxed paper for about 30 minutes. Melt the white chocolate in the microwave, or slowly in a saucepan.

With a toothpick, dip the "eyeballs" into the white chocolate, covering all but a small circle on the top. Let cool on waxed paper.


1 c Peanut butter
1 c White Karo syrup
1 c Powdered sugar
3 c Powdered milk

In a large bowl, mix peanut butter, Karo and powdered sugar together. Add powdered milk and knead until smooth. Add more powdered milk if needed. Place in individual zip-loc bags and include an even smaller bag of M&Ms for decorating.


1/3 cup Butter
6 cup Miniature marshmallows
1 tsp Vanilla
8 cup Crispy rice cereal
2 oz Semisweet chocolate, chopped

Pallor Frosting
1 cup Granulated sugar
3 tbsp Water
1 Egg white
pinch Cream of tartar
pinch Salt
1/2 tsp Vanilla

Pallor Icing: In top of double boiler over boiling water, combine sugar, water, egg white, cream of tartar and salt. With electric mixer, beat at high speed for 7 minutes or until stiff glossy peaks form. fold in vanilla. Cover and refrigerate for 1 hour or until thickened. [Can be stored up to 3 days.] [Makes 2 cups.]

Ghosts: In Saucepan, melt butter over medium heat; stir in
marshmallows until smooth. Stir in vanilla. Scrape into large bowl; stir in cereal until coated.

Set bowl over saucepan of boiling water. Using rubber gloves, shape cereal mixture into 4-inch long ghost shapes. Let stand for about 30 minutes or until firm. Spread with Pallor Icing; let stand for about 30 minutes or until set.

In top of double boiler over hot (not boiling) water, melt chocolate; pipe onto ghosts to make faces.

Ghosts can be refrigerated in airtight container for up to 3 days.

Decorate by drawing faces with chocolate, or use candies and licorice strings.

Variation: Jack-O-Lanterns: Add orange food coloring with vanilla; shape into 1-1/2 inch balls. Create face with currants, red fruit leather, and licorice shoestrings and twists.


1 pkg. chocolate cake mix
1 cup chopped peanuts
1 cup evaporated milk
1/2 cup butter or margarine
5 Baby Ruth Candy Bars
2 pkg. SweeTarts Gummy Bugs

Preheat oven to 350° F.

Combine cake mix and peanuts in large bowl. Stir in 2/3 cup evaporated milk and butter (batter will be thick). Spread half of batter into ungreased 13 x 9-inch baking pan (layer will be thin).

Bake for 15 minutes. Meanwhile, melt chopped Baby Ruth and remaining 1/3 cup evaporated milk in small saucepan over low heat, stirring frequently, until melted. Drizzle over brownie base to within 1/2-inch of edge.

Drop remaining batter by heaping teaspoon over melted candy bar mixture.

Bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until center is set. Cool in pan on wire rack. Cut into bars using wet knife. Awesome served warm, but great at room temperature too. Top with gummy bugs before serving.


1 cup butter (no substitutes), softened
1 cup confectioners’ sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon almond extract
2-3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
Red decorating gel
1/2 cup sliced almonds

In a mixing bowl, cream butter and sugar. Beat in the egg and extracts. Combine the flour, baking powder and salt; gradually add to the creamed mixture. Divide dough into fourths. Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes or until easy to handle.

Working with one piece of dough at a time, roll into 1-in. balls. Shape balls into 3-in. x 1/2-in. fingers. Using the flat tip of a table knife, make an indentation on one end of each for fingernail. With a knife, make three slashes in the middle of each finger for knuckle.

Place 2 in. apart on lightly greased baking sheets. Bake at 325° for 20-25 minutes or until lightly browned. Cool for 3 minutes. Squeeze a small amount of red gel on nail bed; press a sliced almond over gel for nail, allowing gel to ooze around nail. Remove to wire racks to cool.

YIELD: About 5 Dozen Cookies


8 chocolate sugar ice cream cones
1 tube chocolate decorating gel
8 thin round chocolate wafers
(2-1/4-inch diameter)
1 quart pistachio, mint
or ice cream of your choice
Black shoestring licorice
16 semisweet chocolate chips
8 candy corn candies
Red decorating gel

Coat edge of ice cream cones with decorating gel; press chocolate wafer against gel to make brim of hat. Set aside.

Drop eight scoops of ice cream onto a waxed paper-lined baking sheet. Cut licorice into strips for hair; press into ice cream. Add chocolate chips for eyes and candy corn for noses. Pipe red gel for mouths.

Flatten scoops slightly to hold hats in place; position hats over heads. Freeze for at least 2 hours or until hats are set. Wrap each in plastic wrap after solidly frozen.

Yield: 8 servings.


3 c. small pretzels
3 c. shoestring potatoes
3 c. Spanish peanuts
1/2 c. seasoned croutons
4 1/2 oz. can French fried onions
1/2 c. margarine
1/2 c. Parmesan cheese

Mix well.
Bake at 250 degrees for 1 hour, stirring often.

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1 quart ginger ale
1 cup cranberry juice cocktail concentrate
1 cup mango, orange or peach sherbet or sorbet
Fruit leathers

Combine ginger ale and cranberry juice concentrate in serving bowl. Drop sherbet by tablespoonfuls into punch.

Using Halloween cookie cutters, cut shapes out of fruit leathers. Sprinkle shapes over sherbet or use to garnish punch glasses. Serve immediately.

Note: For extra gnarliness, add some green grapes as edible eyeballs, or float some plastic eyeballs on top. Looks really spooky served in a pumpkin punch bowl!

Or: Freeze green punch in a gelatin mold along with plastic bugs, spiders and eyeballs. And place a few small glow sticks underneath the punch bowl -- when the lights are turned down, the brew will radiate in a mysterious and unearthly fashion.


Make a batch of gelatin shooters in red, green or black cherry flavors. When they are set but not yet firm, place a gummy worm "crawling" out of each one.

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Make a Halloween homemade version of Pin the Tail on the Donkey by drawing a witch's head on construction paper. Make a long pointy nose and let the kids play pin the Nose on the Witch.

Have a craft ready for the kids to do as they arrive. Set up a table and let them decorate their own treat bags or placemats. Set out construction paper, markers, craft foam, stickers, ribbon and glue.

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