Spooky Halloween Treats

Congrats to Madeline O. from Colorado Springs CO who won our Zojirushi sweepstakes!

I have three ideas for Halloween treats for you. One is a little “iffy,” one is easy and the other…you’ll get on Video Friday this week.

First the “iffy” one. With Halloween coming up, I’ve been toying with how to make baked apple mummies. My idea is simple: scoop out the core of small baking apples, stuff with a raisin mixture, then wrap with puff pastry dough strips for the bandages, stick in cloves for the eyes, and bake. Seemed easy enough….

In thinking through the idea, I decided I needed to pre-bake the apples so they cook by the time the puff pastry is done. So I stuffed and microwaved the apples first. Microwaving is quick but not without some complexity.

Some things you need to know about microwave cooking, in general:

  • Ovens have different power settings and to micro-bake with some precision, you need to know the wattage (my little microwave is a mere 700 watts).
  • Microwave ovens cook from the outside in; so to pre-cook the apples, you will need to rotate them so each side gets zapped.
  • The larger the object, the slower it will cook so you need small apples; the Granny Smith apples I used were 4 ½ ounces.
  • The more apples you put into the oven, the longer the time to microwave. I limited mine to four apples. If I were doubling the recipe, I’d still microwave in batches of four.

So if you try this recipe, you need to be flexible and improvise, based on how your oven is doing, the size of your apples and so forth.

The second Halloween idea uses commercial ingredients – box cake mix, canned frosting, packaged cookies, tube icing and Gummy Worms – to make graveyard cupcakes. It’s easier to show than explain in writing. Check out the video below.

To get the recipe and shopping list on your smartphone (iPhone, BlackBerry, Android device) or PC, click here.

Apple Mummies
4 small Granny Smith apples (about 4 ½ ounces each)
2 tablespoons raisins
3 teaspoons light brown sugar, packed
2 teaspoons softened butter
2 tablespoons oats
1 sheet frozen puff pastry, defrosted
8 cloves
1 egg, beaten

Using the small scoop of a melon baller, scoop out the top of the apple (stem end) and remove the core. Do not hollow out to the bottom of the apple and keep the cavity narrow. To make the filling, combine raisins, sugar, butter and oats, kneading with fingers to mix thoroughly.

Stuff apples with filling, dividing equally. Put apples in a microwave-safe dinner plate, spreading the apples as far apart as possible. Microwave 1 minute. Remove from oven and rotate the apples on the plate so the side that was facing the outside is now turned inward. Microwave 1 minute more.

Cool apples about 15 minutes. Meanwhile, heat oven to 400°F. Cut puff pastry into ½-inch strips. Wrap the strips around the apples, mummy fashion, covering the hole at the top of the “head” as you wrap. Join strips by pressing together. Poke two cloves in the apple for eyes. Put apple mummies on small rimmed baking sheet. Brush puff pastry area only with beaten egg.

Bake 15 minutes or until crust is baked through. Do not overbake or apples will begin to split their skins.

Makes 4 apple mummies

Note: This recipe was tested in a 700-watt microwave oven. Adjust times or power setting if your oven has a higher wattage.

To get the recipe and shopping list on your smartphone (iPhone, BlackBerry, Android device) or PC, click here.

Graveyard Cupcakes
15 to 20 chocolate cookies
12 chocolate cupcakes made from scratch, a mix, or purchased from the bakery
1 can chocolate frosting
1 tube black icing, with fine tip
12 Pepperidge Farm Milano double chocolate cookies
15 Gummy Worms

To make the dirt: Break up cookies; put them in a food processor and process to make crumbs.

To make the graveyard: Frost cupcakes. Working over a dinner plate or cookie sheet, spoon chocolate cookie crumbs over the frosting. Alternatively, hold cupcake upside down and dip into a bowl of crumbs.

To make the gravestone: Arrange Milano cookies vertically and pipe RIP on the top half of the cookies. Using a bamboo skewer, gently dig a hole in the cupcake and gently push the bottom half of the cookie into the cupcake.

To finish: Using kitchen shears, cut all the worms in half lengthwise to get double the number of worms. Arrange two worm halves in front of the gravestone. Cut another worm crosswise in half. Use a bamboo skewer to make a hole and gently insert the worm into the cupcake so its head is peering out of the “ground.”

Repeat for remaining cupcakes.

Makes 12 graveyard cupcakes.

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Posted: Oct 21st by Sandy_Hu