Wednesday, October 29, 2008
These festive Americana party treats always reminds me of a more innocent time when caramel apples and unwrapped candy could safely be accepted by trick-or-treaters. And since I tend to prefer my Halloween in vintage style, try these recipes to add some old school charm to your masked soiree.
My favorite! And more than just a kiddy mix to eat out of dixie cups. Last year for a Halloween-themed dinner party that I co-organized, cellophane-bagged Goblin Gorp sat on each plate as a festive place holder and take-away.
I've updated the classic recipe with a few twists of my own.
Makes about 4 qts. of mixture.
2 1/2 qts. popcorn or kettlecorn
2 c. mini pretzels
1 c. salted peanuts
1 c. plain M&M's or Reese's Pieces
1 c. candy corn
1 c. Good & Plenty candy
1/2 c. sunflower meats (not seeds)
In a large bowl, mix and toss all ingredients together. Serve in dixie cups or wrapped in clear cellophane party bags.
Online I also found a zesty taco-flavored version with pumpkin seeds that intrigues the midwesterner in me..
My version of this simple (adult) witches brew, served in a real pumpkin shell.
1 large pumpkin
1 part real apple cider
2 parts ginger ale
1 part dark rum
vanilla bean ice cream
Cut a large opening in the top of the pumpkin using a knife and scrape the inside until it is clean and smooth (don't throw away the seeds! See recipe below). Wash inside if desired (though I prefer to let the pumpkin essence meld with the punch). Fill with rum, cider and ginger ale. Add enough ice to keep it cold and top with scoops of vanilla ice cream. Once the froth forms on the surface grind fresh nutmeg on top and serve.
And if you wanna get REAL crazy add some dry ice for effect (always use heavy gloves to handle the dry ice and place on a plate in the bottom of your pumpkin).
Toasted Pumpkin Seeds
Preheat oven to 300°F. Remove seeds from pumpkin using large spoon. To separate seeds from pumpkin fiber, place mixture in large bowl and fill with cold water. Stir mixture, and seeds will float to surface. Remove seeds with slotted spoon and pat dry on paper towels. Place seeds in bowl and coat with 2 tablespoons vegetable oil. Spread on foil-lined baking sheet, coated with non-stick spray, and sprinkle with salt and pepper. I sometimes make several batches with different flavors: chili powder for a kick or curry powder for an exotic twist. Bake 30 to 40 minutes, or until lightly browned.
My mother used to make these for Halloween carnivals and bake sales when I was a kid. I loved the texture, and the ridiculously brilliant marriage of cream cheese and chocolate.
8 oz. pkg. cream cheese
1/3 c. sugar
1/8 tsp. salt
2 tsp. grated orange peel
2 drops red food coloring
2 drops yellow food coloring
1 c. chocolate chips
Combine cream cheese, sugar, egg, salt, orange peel and food coloring in a small bowl. Beat until smooth. Add chocolate chips. Set aside.
1 1/2 c. unsifted all purpose flour
1 c. sugar
1/3 c. cocoa
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1/3 c. vegetable oil
1 c. water
1 tsp. vanilla
1 tbsp. vinegar
Combine ingredients in order listed. Blend well on low speed. Fill 24 paper muffin cups 2/3 full with batter. Spoon about 1 tablespoon cheese filling onto each cupcake. Bake at 350 degrees for about 20 minutes.