Halloween’s not all about ghoulies and ghosties and long leggeddy beasties and things that go bump in the night.There’s also the excuse for lots of dressing up and great parties – the sicker your snacks look, the happier your guests will be – not be mention the odd witch’s finger or eyeball might just keep those trick or treaters at bay.
• First things first you’ll need to make a pumpkin lantern (or several) to provide that all important atmospheric lighting.
• This is really the easy part, though make sure you check out the pumpkin cupcake recipe below to avoid wasting all that lovely pumpkin flesh.
• First grab your pumpkin, you can find them on sale at bigger supermarkets.
• Give it a good rinse in cold water and make a slice about 4cm down from the stalk so you can remove the top – you can either make a clean cut through or a zig-zag for added drama.
• Take the top off and scoop out (and save) the insides, then comes the fun part as you carve out eyes, nose and mouth through which your candle will shine. You can go for the traditional triangular shape for the eyes and nose or go for outlandish shapes to add to the drama.
• For the mouth, why stick with the usual big grin when you can add teeth, fangs or zig-zags. If you’re feeling really arty and dedicated there are even on-line stencils for making all sorts of intricate designs.
• Pop a red or white t-light inside and off you go!
Then try these easy recipes for some culinary treats to scare away your guests’ hunger.
Wicked witch finger cookies
1 cup butter, softened
1 cup confectioners’ sugar
1 tsp almond extract
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
3/4 cup blanched almonds
• Mix the first five ingredients until well combined the add the remaining ingredients except the nuts and mix through. Wrap the dough in plastic and chill 20 to 30 minutes.
• Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
• Work with one heaping teaspoon at a time and roll each piece back and forth like play dough into long skinny finger shapes, 6-8cm long. Pinch dough in two places to form knuckles. Score each knuckle lightly with the back of a small knife to make knuckle wrinkles. Push almond nails onto finger tips.
• Transfer fingers to a greased baking sheet and bake until lightly browned, usually about 20 minutes.
• Some people add a little green food colouring or paint the fingernails and you can also add red gel to the ‘severed’ ends or put some strawberry jam under the fingernails.
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp coarse salt
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
1/4 tsp ground allspice
1 cup packed light-brown sugar
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
4 large eggs, lightly beaten
425g pumpkin puree
• Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line cupcake pans with paper liners; set aside. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and allspice; set aside.
• In a large bowl, whisk together, brown sugar, granulated sugar, butter, and eggs. Add dry ingredients, and whisk until smooth. Whisk in pumpkin puree.
• Divide batter evenly among liners, filling each about halfway.
• Bake until tops spring back when touched usually 20-25 minutes, rotating pans once if needed. Transfer to a rack to cool completely.
• Top with cream cheese frosting – cream cheese, butter, icing sugar and your choice of flavouring from chocolate to spice or lemon rind, go nuts with the creepy theme maybe weaving cobwebs or eyeballs or whatever takes your fancy.
Horrible mummy hot dogs
11-ounce can of refrigerator breadsticks
12-pack of hot dogs
• For each mummy, separate one breadstick and slice it in half lengthwise.Wrap one strip at a time snugly around the hot dog. Depending on the size of the hot dog, you may not need all of both strips. Leave about 1/2 inch of hot dog exposed for the face area and continue wrapping the top of the hot dog.
• Bake on a cookie sheet at 350 degrees for 15 to 18 minutes or until the breadstick wrapping is golden.
• Remove the mummies from the oven and cool them for five minutes. Add yellow mustard eyes just before serving.