Celebrate All Hallows Eve with Spooky, Creepy Treats from Kitchen!
Your little ghosts and goblins with gobble up these goodies with freaky fast! The recipes below are easy to create for home, school or your office gathering. The only thing to fear is a few extra calories. Enjoy!
Pecan-Caramel Spiders (a terrifying take on tempting turtles)
1 1/2 cups toasted pecans
1 cup heavy cream
1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup light corn syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, in pieces
1/4 teaspoon salt
5 ounces thin black licorice strands, cut into 2-inch pieces
6 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped
4 ounces milk chocolate, chopped
Chocolate curls, optional
Line 2 baking sheets with waxed paper and lightly spray with nonstick spray. Mound 30 small clusters of pecans, about 3 or 4 pecans each, spaced a couple inches apart on the pan. To make caramel, warm the cream over low heat and keep warm while you cook the sugar. Put the sugar and corn syrup and in a deep, heavy-bottomed large saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally until the sugar dissolves. Stop stirring, raise heat to medium-high, and simmer until the sugar reaches the hard crack stage, or 305 degrees F on a candy thermometer, about 7 minutes. Whisk the butter and salt into the sugar mixture. Gradually pour in the cream and vanilla taking care since the mixture will bubble up. Reduce the heat to medium and continue to cook, stirring occasionally, until the sugar reaches soft ball stage, 240 degrees F on the thermometer, about 5 minutes more. Immediately remove from the heat and cool for a minute. Ladle a couple tablespoons of warm caramel over some of the nut clusters, to make the spider bodies. Then press 6 pieces of licorice into the warm caramel to make the legs. Repeat with the remaining caramel and licorice. This is where your little helpers can share in the spider building fun! If caramel hardens, warm over very low heat. Let spiders cool 15 minutes. Meanwhile, put the chocolates in a medium heatproof bowl or double broiler. Bring a saucepan filled with 1-inch or so of water to a very slow simmer; set the bowl over, but not touching, the water. Stir the chocolate occasionally until melted and smooth. You can put the chocolate in a medium microwave-safe bowl instead and melt it at 50 percent power in the microwave until soft, about 1 minute. Stir, and continue to heat until completely melted, 2 to 3 minutes more. Spoon about 1 tablespoon of melted chocolate on top of each spider. Sprinkle with chocolate curls, if desired. Let cool until firm.
Screaming Spice Cookies – you’ll be screaming for more!
2 cups all-purpose flour, plus additional for rolling out dough
1/4 teaspoons baking soda
1 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice
1/2 teaspoon fine salt
3/4 cup unsalted butter, slightly softened
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup light brown sugar
1 large egg
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
Hard candies, try yellow, red, black, (Jolly Ranchers preferred)
1/4 cup water
2 tablespoons egg white powder
3/4 teaspoon orange extract
1 1/2 to 2 cups confectioners’ sugar
1 empty metal tuna fish can, (about 6 ounces) for cutting cookies
Lollipop sticks, available in craft or bakers’ supply stores
For the cookies, whisk the flour, baking soda, pumpkin pie spice, and salt together in a medium bowl. Beat the butter in a large bowl with a handheld mixer until fluffy. Scrape down the sides of the bowl, add the sugars, and continue beating until light, about 3 minutes. Add egg and vanilla extract, beating until smooth. Gradually add the dry ingredients while mixing slowly to make a smooth dough. Divide dough in half and press each half into a disk. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate until firm, at least 1 hour. Transfer 1 disk of dough to a floured work surface and roll about 1/4-inch thick. Cut into cookies with a pinched tuna can. To make the spooky scream-cookie shape, remove the top and bottom of the clean and dried tuna can. Pinch the sides of the can together to make a skull-like shape.Transfer cookies to a nonstick or silicon lined baking sheet. Cut out eyes and a mouth with a pastry tip, fat straw, or a knife. Press the lollipop sticks into the narrow end of each cookie, if using. Repeat with remaining dough. Press excess dough together, roll and cut into cookies. Refrigerate cookies for at least 30 minutes. Evenly space the racks in the oven and preheat to 350 degrees F. Put the candies in a small plastic bag and hit with a rolling pin to break into little pieces. Bake the cookies just until they are set, about 20 minutes. Remove baking sheets from the oven and carefully sprinkle the broken candies into the eyes and mouth of the cookies. Continue to cook until the candy liquefies, about 3 minutes more. Cool cookies on pan for 10 minutes before removing from the pan. Cool cookies on a rack.
For the icing, whisk the water, egg white powder and orange extract in a medium bowl until foamy but smooth. Gradually whisk in the confectioners’ sugar to make a smooth icing. Spread a layer of icing over the entire surface of the cookies with the back of a teaspoon. Let rest until the icing sets, about 30 minutes. Serve or store in a covered container for up to 3 days.
Crazy Creepy Carrot Fingers with Dip (for the health-minded haunters)
1 bag peeled baby carrots
1 cup sliced almonds
Place a bit of cream cheese on the end of a baby carrot and place an almond slice face down on top. The almond should look like a fingernail on the carrot “finger”. Repeat until all carrots are finished. Pour dressing in a bowl and stand a few carrot fingers upright in the bowl. Place the bowl on a platter and lay the remaining carrot fingers around the bowl.
Happy Halloween, everyone!