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Deliciously scary Halloween treats

By Rita DeMontis, Toronto Sun
First posted: Wednesday, October 26, 2016 01:10 PM EDT | Updated: Wednesday, October 26, 2016 01:41 PM EDT
Halloween's coming up! Doesn't matter if you're a kid, or a kid at heart - there's something so heart-thumping about dressing up and getting spooked.
Halloween falls on a Monday this month - which means many parties are being planned for the weekend. Why not serve something deliciously scary?
The following recipes, courtesy Dairy Farmers of Canada, are perfect for parties, or to take the office and share on Monday.
Just don't forget to dress up!
All recipes courtesy of Dairy Farmers of Canada (Dairygoodness.ca (external - login to view))
DEVILISH CHEDDAR AND PUMPKIN PEPPERS
These delightful treats will certainly add fun to your Halloween!
8 choice of bell peppers
1 cup (250 mL) grated sharp Canadian Cheddar cheese
1 lb (450 g) ground beef
1 1/2 cups (375 mL) cooked pumpkin pulp
2 Tbsp. (30 mL) chopped fresh parsley
1 cup (250 mL) cooked brown rice
1/4 cup (60 mL) white wine
2 Tbsp. (30 mL) chopped fresh chives
2 eggs, beaten
Salt and pepper, to taste
Prepared vegetable broth
Preheat oven to 375F (190C). Slice top off of each bell pepper and cut peppers to create scary eyes, mouth and face (much like a Halloween pumpkin). Trim peppers and set aside. In large bowl, combinecheese with remaining ingredients, except broth. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Mix well.
Stuff each pepper with meat mixture. Place stuffed peppers in baking dish and pour in broth to come 1/2-inch (1 cm) up side. Bake for 35 minutes or until meat is well done.
Remove from oven and let stand for 5 minutes. Serve 1 to 2 stuffed peppers per person. Serve with steamed broccoli and cucumber salad with creamy fennel dressing.
Makes 8 devlish peppers.
BLOODY WITCHES FINGERS
Serve up some spooky fingers of bread this Halloween.
Pinch granulated sugar
3/4 cup (175 mL) hot water
1 Tbsp. (15 mL) traditional active dry yeast
3 Tbsp. (45 mL) butter, melted
1/4 cup (50 mL) freshly grated Canadian Parmesan cheese
2 Tbsp. (30 mL) chopped fresh parsley
1 Tbsp. (15 mL) chopped fresh basil or 1 tsp (5 mL) dried basil
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 cups (500 mL) all- purpose flour
1/4 tsp (1 mL) salt
Topping:
1 Tbsp. (15 mL) butter, melted
4 tsp. (20 mL) toasted sesame seeds
12 sliced natural almonds
1 1/2 cups (325 mL) pasta or marinara sauce
In large bowl, stir together sugar and water; sprinkle yeast over top and let stand for 10 minutes or until frothy. Stir in butter, cheese, parsley, basil and garlic. Stir in flour and salt until ragged dough forms. Using hands start to knead dough in bowl to bring it together.
Scrape dough out onto floured work surface and knead for about 3 minutes or until soft dough forms. (Dough should not be sticky.) Place in buttered bowl and cover with clean tea towel and let rise for about 1 hour or until doubled in size.
Punch down dough and divide the dough into 12 pieces and roll into about 4- inch (10 cm) fingers. Place on parchment paper lined baking sheet. Cover with clean tea towel and let rise for about 40 minutes or until doubled.
Preheat oven to 400F (200C).
Topping: Brush each finger with butter and sprinkle with sesame seeds. Press an almond slice at end of each finger for nails. Bake for about 20 minutes or until golden brown. Serve with pasta sauce.
Makes 12 fingers.
Tips: Use store-bought pizza dough. Knead cheese, parsley, basil and garlic into 1 lb (500 g) fresh or frozen, thawed pizza dough and shape into 12 fingers . Continue with recipe as directed above.
SPOOKY WITCHES CUPCAKES
Moist pumpkin spice cupcakes are dressed up ready to trick or treat!
Ingredients for pumpkin spice cupcakes
1 1/4 cups (310 mL) all-purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp. (7 mL) baking powder
1/2 tsp. (2 mL) EACH ground cinnamon and cloves
1/4 tsp. (1 mL) EACH ground nutmeg, ginger and all-spice
1/4 tsp. (1 mL) EACH baking soda and salt
2 Tbsp. (30 mL) butter, softened
1/2 cup (125 mL) sugar
2 Tbsp. (30 mL) brown sugar, packed
1 egg, room temperature
1/2 cup (125 mL) buttermilk
1/2 cup (125 mL) pumpkin puree (not pie filling)
2 Tbsp. (30 mL) vegetable oil
Cream Cheese Frosting
4 oz (125 g) cream cheese, softened
2 Tbsp. (30 mL) butter, softened
1 1/2 cups (375 mL) icing sugar
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
Food coloring (colour of your choice)
Decorations
12 googley eyeballs pieces (approx.)
6 small chocolate ice cream cones
6 small, plain chocolate cookies
Preheat oven to 375F (190C). Butter a 6-cup nonstick muffin pan or line with paper liners.
In a small bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, ginger, allspice, baking soda and salt; set aside.
In a large bowl, with an electric mixer, beat butter, sugar and brown sugar, until light and fluffy. Beat in egg, until incorporated. Stir in buttermilk, pumpkin puree and oil. Stir in flour mixture; mixing until just incorporated. Spoon into prepared pan. Bake for about 25 minutes or until tops spring back when lightly pressed. Let cool in pan for 5 minutes. Transfer to rack to cool completely.
Icing: In a medium bowl, with an electric mixer, beat cream cheese and butter until smooth. Add sugar gradually, beating well after each addition. Add cinnamon and vanilla extract; beat until fluffy. Frost cooled muffins.
To assemble: Place cupcakes on a plate and apply icing. Add candy eyes on icing. Place one chocolate cookie on each cupcake. Finally, add more cream before finishing with cones hats.
Makes six cupcakes.
SPARKLY SPIDER CAKES
Moist chocolate cakes are dressed up with a little icing and a whole lot of fun.
1 cup (250 mL) 10 % half-and-half cream
1/4 cup (60 mL) unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 cup (125 mL) dark chocolate chips
1 1/2 cups (375 mL) all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp (2 mL) baking powder
1/4 tsp (1 mL) baking soda
1/4 tsp (1 mL) salt
2/3 cup (160 mL) sugar
1/4 cup (60 mL) butter, softened
1 egg
1 tsp (5 mL) vanilla extract
Icing:
1/2 cup (125 mL) dark chocolate chips
1/4 cup (60 mL) 10 % half-and-half cream
1/2 tsp (2 mL) vanilla extract
2 tbsp (30 mL) butter, softened
1 cup (250 mL) icing sugar
Black food colouring (optional)
Decorations:
1/2 cup (125 mL) black decorator sugar or sprinkles, (approx.)
15 26-inch (65 cm) pieces black string licorice, (approx.)
24 small white or yellow candies
Preheat oven to 350F (180C) with racks positioned in upper and lower thirds of oven. Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper.
In a small saucepan, gradually whisk cream into cocoa until smooth; stir in chocolate chips. Heat over medium-low heat, whisking often, for about 3 minutes, until melted and smooth. Let cool to room temperature.
In a medium bowl, combine flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, beat sugar and butter until fluffy; beat in egg and vanilla extract. Using a wooden spoon, stir in flour mixture alternately with cream mixture, making 3 additions of flour and 2 of cream, until blended.
Divide batter into 12 mounds (6 on each prepared baking sheet), dropping about 1/4 cup (60 mL) batter for each cake at least 3 inches (7.5 cm) apart. Bake for about 15 minutes, switching pans on racks halfway, until tops spring back when lightly touched. Let cool on pan on a rack for 5 minutes. Transfer cakes to rack to cool completely.
Icing:
In a small saucepan, heat chocolate chips and cream over medium-low heat, whisking often, for about 2 minutes, until melted and smooth. Stir in vanilla extract. Let cool to room temperature. In a medium bowl, using an electric mixer, beat butter until fluffy. Beat in about 1/3 of the icing sugar until blended; beat in chocolate mixture. On low speed, beat in remaining icing sugar, in two additions until blended and smooth. If desired, beat in black food colouring to tint icing a dark brown/black.
To assemble:
Set 2 Tbsp. (30 mL) icing aside. Spread mounded tops of cakes with a thin layer of icing. Cut ninety-six 4-inch (10 cm) lengths of string licorice and insert 8 into each cake to resemble legs. Holding each cake over a shallow dish (to catch excess sugar), sprinkle decorator sugar all over icing to coat, pressing lightly to help it stick to icing. Using reserved icing, stick 2 small candies on each spider for eyes. Use the tip of a toothpick or paring knife to dot icing onto candies for pupils. Let stand for about 30 minutes at room temperature for icing to set.
NOTE: If you can't find plain white or yellow candies to resemble eyeballs, cut miniature marshmallows into thin, crosswise slices.
CARAMEL APPLES
What kid would not love to bite into this sweet and sticky treat? For extra goodness, double dip your apples.
2 cups (500 mL) 35 % cream
2 cups (500 mL) corn syrup
2 cups (500 mL) sugar
1/2 cup (125 mL) water
1/2 cup (125 mL) sweetened condensed milk
1/2 cup (125 mL) butter, cut into cubes
9 to 10 apples, such as Granny Smith or MacIntosh, washed and dried
9 to 10 popsicle sticks, thick wooden skewers or chop sticks
In a large, heavy bottomed pot, combine cream, corn syrup, sugar, water, condensed milk and butter; bring just to a boil on medium-high heat, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon. Reduce heat to medium-low; place a candy thermometer in the pot and bring to 235F (112C), about 70 minutes or until thickened and deep caramel in colour, stirring frequently.
Meanwhile, line baking sheet with parchment paper. Remove stems from apples; insert popsicle sticks into the stem end. Place on baking sheet and refrigerate.
Remove from heat and carefully pour mixture into a heat-proof bowl; let cool to 200F (100C), about 10 minutes.
Holding apples by the stick swirl each apple into the caramel mixture, until fully coated; allowing excess to drip back into bowl; scrape excess caramel from bottom. Place on prepared baking sheet and refrigerate for 10 minutes or until just firm. Repeat with remaining caramel for double dipped apples, returning caramel mixture to pot and heating on low if it hardens.
Refrigerate until firm; cover with parchment paper and tie at end. Refrigerate for up to 3 days.
Makes 9 to 10 candy apples.
NOTE: Be careful not to use plastic wrap to cover the apples as it will stick to the caramel.
After the final dipping of caramel, dip bottoms of the apples in seasonal Halloween candy, such as candy corn, or candy chocolate pieces. Toasted chopped nuts are another option.
Deliciously scary Halloween treats | DEMONTIS | Eat | Life | Toronto Sun