Witches’ Brew

Witches' Brew
Witches’ Brew

1 cup sugar
1 cup water
8 medium kiwifruit, peeled and quartered
1/2 cup fresh mint leaves
Green food coloring, optional
1 cup vodka, optional
1 liter ginger ale, chilled
Ice cubes

In a small saucepan, bring sugar and water to a boil. Cook and stir until sugar is dissolved; set aside to cool.

Place the kiwi, mint and sugar syrup in a blender; cover and process until blended. Tint green if desired. Pour into a large pitcher; stir in vodka if desired. Refrigerate until chilled.

Just before serving stir in ginger ale. Serve over ice.

Yield: 6 servings.

Ghoul Punch

12 gummy spiders
1 vinyl glove
1 gallon tropical fruit punch, chilled
2 liters lemon-lime soda, chilled
1 quart raspberry sherbet

Pour water into an ice cube tray; add a gummy spider to each of 12 compartments. Freeze for at least 4 hours.

Fill glove with water; tie or seal and freeze for at least 4 hours.

In a 7-qt. punch bowl, combine punch and soda. Add sherbet and ice cubes. Remove glove from hand-shaped ice; add to punch. Serve immediately.

Yield: 32 servings (6 quarts).

Aspen Handcrafted Glass Punch Bowl Set – 8 Pieces

Ghosts in the Graveyard Cupcakes

1 package (2-layer size) white cake mix
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon black food color
2 containers (16 ounces each) vanilla frosting
24 oval-shaped cookies
Chocolate sprinkles, (for decoration)
Miniature chocolate chips, (for decoration)

Prepare cake mix as directed on package, adding vanilla. Tint cake batter grey with 1/4 teaspoon black food color.

Bake as directed on package for cupcakes. Cool cupcakes on wire rack.

Tint 1 container frosting black with 1 teaspoon black food color. Frost cupcakes, reserving 1/4 cup of frosting. Spoon reserved frosting into small resealable plastic bag. Snip a small corner from bag. Pipe “RIP” onto top half of each cookie. Push tombstone cookies gently into cupcakes.

For the ghost, spoon remaining container of white frosting into large resealable plastic bag. Snip a corner from bag. For the body of the ghost, pipe 1/2-inch dollop next to tombstone. Pipe a smaller dollop on top, lifting while squeezing bag so that top of dollop is pointed. This is the head of the ghost.

Use chocolate sprinkles and chocolate chips to decorate the ghost’s face.

Makes 24 (1 cupcake) servings.

Tip: For easier measurement, 1/4 teaspoon food color = 20 to 25 drops

Bellemain Cooling Rack – Baking Rack , Chef Quality 12 inch x 17 inch – Tight-Grid Design, Oven Safe, Fits Half Sheet Cookie Pan

Ghosts in the Graveyard

2 pkg. (3.9 oz. each) Jell-O Chocolate Instant Pudding
3 cups cold milk
1 tub (12 oz.) Cool Whip Whipped Topping, thawed, divided
15 Oreo Cookies, crushed (about 1-1/2 cups)
Assorted decorations: 3 Cameo Creme Sandwich Cookies, decorating gel, 5 candy pumpkins, 10 candy corn pieces

Beat pudding mixes and milk in large bowl with whisk 2 minutes. Let stand 5 minutes. Stir in 3 cups Cool Whip and half the cookie crumbs. Spread into 13×9-inch dish; sprinkle with remaining crumbs.

Refrigerate 1 hour. Meanwhile, decorate Cameo Cookies with decorating gel to resemble tombstones.

Insert decorated cookies into top of dessert just before serving. Add candies. Drop large spoonfuls of remaining Cool Whip onto dessert to resemble ghosts.

18 servings, about 1/2 cup each

Pyrex Simply Store 6-pc Rectangular Set

Ghostly Greens

1 1/2-inch Halloween-shaped cookie cutters
6 slices (1/2 inch thick) white or whole-grain bread
1-1/2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
1/4 teaspoon garlic salt

1 cup packed fresh basil leaves
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon sugar
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

2 bags (5 oz each) mixed spring greens
1 cup sliced and quartered English (seedless) cucumber
1 cup halved cherry tomatoes
1/3 cup sliced ready-to-eat baby-cut carrots
1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese (2 oz)

Heat oven to 350°F.

Using cutters, cut 4 shapes from each slice of bread. Place on cookie sheet; brush with 1 1/2 teaspoons oil.

In small bowl, mix Italian seasoning and garlic salt; sprinkle over shapes. Bake about 8 minutes or until edges begin to brown. Cool completely, about 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, in blender, place basil leaves, vinegar, sugar and salt. Cover; blend on high speed. Scrape sides. Add 1/4 cup oil; blend until smooth, stopping once or twice to scrape sides.

In large bowl, toss greens, cucumber, tomatoes and carrots with dressing. Top with feta cheese and croutons.

Cooking with Basil

Cooking with Basil

Ghostly Bat and Cat Cookies

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (spooned and leveled) plus more for rolling and cutting out dough
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
12 tablespoons unsalted butter — (1 1/2 sticks) room temperature
1 cup sugar
1 large egg
Small candies or sprinkles — for decorating (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, cocoa, and salt; set aside.

In a large bowl, with an electric mixer, beat butter and sugar until light and fluffy; beat in egg. On low speed, mix in flour mixture. Divide dough in half, and form into 2 disks, each about 3/4 inch thick. Wrap disks in plastic; chill until firm, at least 45 minutes and up to 2 days.

On a lightly floured sheet of waxed paper, using a floured rolling pin, roll dough 1/4 inch thick. (If dough becomes too soft to work with, refrigerate for a few minutes.)

Using 2- to 3-inch Halloween cookie cutters, cut out shapes, dipping cutters in flour as necessary to prevent sticking; place on a baking sheet, spacing them 1 inch apart.

Bake until surface is dry to the touch, 10 to 15 minutes (if decorating, press candies into dough halfway through baking). Cool cookies 1 to 2 minutes on baking sheet; transfer to a rack to cool completely. Serve, or store in an airtight container up to 3 days.

Halloween Cookie Cutters – 5 Piece Boxed Set – Pumpkin, Ghost, Skull, Bat, Witch’s Hat – Ann Clark – US Tin Plated Steel

Chocolate Spiders

1 1/2 cups semisweet chocolate morsels
1 can (5oz) chow-mein noodles
1 cup salted peanuts
1 large pkg. colored round candies, such as M & M’s

Place chocolate morsels in top of double boiler; bring water to a boil. Reduce heat to low; cook until chocolate melts. (* Note)

Add noodles and peanuts, stirring well. Drop chocolate mixture by teaspoonfuls onto greased baking sheets.

Press in two candies for spider eyes.

Refrigerate 8 hours or overnight. Keep chilled until ready to serve.

Yield: about 3 dozen.

Note: this can be done in the microwave on lowest possible setting, a few seconds at a time, checking frequently.

Stainless Universal Double Boiler

Black Magic Cake with Voodoo Frosting

Black Magic Cake with Voodoo Frosting
Black Magic Cake with Voodoo Frosting

1 3/4 cups flour
2 cups sugar
3/4 cup Hershey’s cocoa
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup strong black coffee (or 2 teaspoons instant coffee mixed with cup boiling water)
2 eggs
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup buttermilk or sour milk (1 cup regular milk with 1 tablespoon vinegar added)

1 cup chocolate fudge topping
1 tablespoon instant coffee
4 cups frozen non-dairy topping, thawed and divided (like cool-whip)

Cake: Combine dry ingredients in a bowl. Add all the rest of the ingredients. Beat at medium speed for 2 minutes. Batter will be thin. Pour into 2 greased and floured 9-inch cake pans. Bake at 350°F for 30-35 minutes until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool on rack until ready to frost.

Frosting: For layer filling, combine hot fudge and instant coffee granules in a medium sauce pan; heat until coffee crystals are dissolved. Cool for 15 minutes and then fold into fudge mixture 2 cups of the whipped topping. Refrigerate 30 minutes.

Place first cake layer on a serving plate and spread with 1 cup filling. Top with second layer. Add remaining 2 cups whipped topping to the remaining fudge mixture and mix well. Frost top and sides of the cake with topping mixture.

Keep cake refrigerated.

Serves 8 -12

Tip: Garnish with chocolate curls, chocolate coated coffee beans or grated chocolate.

Blood Orange Punch

Blood Orange Punch
Blood Orange Punch

2 bottles (32 ounces each) cranberry juice, chilled
1 cup lemon juice
2/3 cup sugar
1 bottle (33.8 ounces) blood orange Italian soda, chilled
Ice cubes
Wax candy fangs

In a large punch bowl, combine the cranberry juice, lemon juice and sugar; stir until sugar is dissolved. Just before serving, add the soda, ice and candy fangs.

Adam’s Scary Red & Black Candy Apples

Adam’s Scary Red & Black Candy Apples
Adam’s Scary Red & Black Candy Apples

8-10 medium sized apples
8-10 wooden twigs, trimmed
3 cups granulated sugar
1/2 cup light corn syrup
1 cup of water
several drops of cinnamon flavored oil
1/4 teaspoon of red food coloring
1/4 teaspoon of black food coloring

Clean and dry the apples.

Try to remove as much of the wax as possible. If you purchase them from your local farmer’s market then chances are they have not been treated with the food grade wax that makes them shine.

Remove any stems or leaves and insert a twig into the end of each apple. To facilitate easier twig entry you can carefully sharpen the end of the twig or use a candy stick to create a guide hole. Set apples aside.

Heat and stir sugar, corn syrup and water in a saucepan until sugar has dissolved. Boil until the syrup reaches 300° on a candy thermometer. Don’t go over 310° or your candy burns and then you’ll be sad.

Remove from heat and stir in flavored oil and food coloring.

Dip one apple completely in the syrup and swirl it so that it becomes coated with the melted sugar candy. Hold the apple above the saucepan to drain off excess. Place apple, with the stick facing up, onto a baking sheet that’s greased or lined with a silpat. Repeat the process with the remaining apples. If your syrup thickens or cools too much, simply reheat briefly before proceeding. Let the apples cool completely before serving.

A note about the black apples: Lighter colored apples (Granny Smith, Golden Delicious) work well in making the red appear bright and glassy; darker apples like red delicious help the black candy appear as dark as possible. Muy spooky!

Also, Adam made one batch with red food coloring and after he had a few red apples he reheated the candy mixture and added black food coloring. Adding black to red will make it darker. He repeated the dipping process. Black food coloring can be found online or at specialty baking stores.