Halloween treats could scare up hungry guests

Wednesday, October 29, 2003


We have a lot of fun in the fall after a long, hot summer, and Halloween just seems the fun way to bring fall foods to a new adventure. These are a few fall recipes I enjoy making -- and even a few especially for Halloween. I hope they help make your Halloween a fun-filled evening.

Fresh Apple Cake

4 cups apples, peeled and sliced as for pie

2 cups sugar

1/2 cup oil

2 eggs, well beaten

2 teaspoons vanilla

2 cups flour, spooned into cup

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1 teaspoon salt

1 generous cup pecans, chopped

Mix the sugar, oil and eggs until creamed. Add vanilla. Combine dry ingredients and add to wet mixture. Add apples and nuts. Turn into a greased and floured 9-by-13-inch baking pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes. Remove from oven and top with the following: Combine in saucepan and cook together for 5 minutes: 1/2 cup sugar, 1/2 stick margarine, 1 (5-ounce) small can evaporated milk.

After it has cooked 5 minutes, add:

1/4 cup flaked coconut

1/4 cup chopped pecans

1/4 teaspoon vanilla

Pour this mixture over the warm cake and spread evenly. Broil under broiler until browned and bubbly.

You'll want to put this pizza recipe in your permanent "keeper" file. It is one of our children's favorite recipes and usually a big hit wherever I take it.

Taffy Apple Pizza

1 (20-ounce) tube refrigerated peanut butter cookie dough

3 tablespoons flour

1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, softened

1/2 cup brown sugar

1/2 teaspoon vanilla

2 Granny Smith apples

1 cup 7-Up or Sprite


1/4 cup caramel ice cream topping

1/2 cup salted peanuts

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Add flour to cookie dough and knead in. Press in a 14-inch circle in a 15-inch pizza pan. Bake 15 to 20 minutes or until lightly brown. Let cool 10 minutes. Loosen from pan and cool completely. Blend cream cheese, brown sugar, cinnamon and vanilla together until smooth. Spread on cooled cookie crust. Peel, core and slice apples. Dip in soda to prevent browning. Arrange apples on cream cheese layer. Heat caramel topping slightly and drizzle over apples. Sprinkle with chopped peanuts on top. Cut and serve. Makes 12 to 16 servings.

As it is with any Halloween punch, a frozen "hand" adds just the right spooky touch! The combined colors make a delightfully scary look! In a discount store over the weekend, I saw they had liquid smoke fluid. It would be fun to set the punch bowl in a large bowl and put the liquid smoke around it.

Black Halloween Punch

1 (0.13-ounce) envelope unsweetened grape soft drink mix

1 (0.13-ounce) envelope unsweetened orange soft drink mix

2 cups white sugar

3 quarts cold water

1 liter ginger ale

To make a frozen hand, wash a disposable glove, fill with water, seal with a rubber band and freeze until hard.

Stir together grape soft drink mix, orange soft drink mix, sugar and water until solids are dissolved. Combine with chilled ginger ale just before serving. Dip the frozen hand briefly in warm water, then peel off the glove.

Float the prepared hand in the punch bowl for a ghastly effect. Makes 1 gallon (32 servings).

Children will love these whimsical edible mice. To make dark mice, roll the cookies in 1/3 cup finely crushed chocolate wafers instead of the confectioners' sugar.

Chocolate Mice

4 (1-ounce) squares semisweet chocolate

1/3 cup sour cream

1 cup finely crushed chocolate wafer cookies

1/3 cup chocolate cookie crumbs

1/3 cup confectioners' sugar

24 silver dragees decorating candy

1/4 cup sliced almonds

12 long red vine licorice

Melt the chocolate and combine with sour cream. Stir in 1 cup chocolate wafer crumbs. Mix well. Cover and refrigerate until firm. Roll by level tablespoonfuls into balls. Mold to a slight point at one end to make the nose. Roll dough in confectioners' sugar for white mice, or in chocolate wafer crumbs for dark mice. On each mouse, place dragees in appropriate spot for eyes, almond slices for ears, and a licorice string for the tail. Refrigerate for at least two hours until firm.

Makes 1 dozen (12 servings).

Black Magic Cake

Who doesn't like chocolate cake? This super spooky dark chocolate cake is suitable for all of your black magic get-togethers. And with the little addition of coffee in this recipe, it brings out a rich chocolate flavor like none you've had before.

1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour

2 cups white sugar

3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

2 teaspoons baking soda

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon salt

2 eggs

1 cup strong brewed coffee

1 cup buttermilk

1/2 cup vegetable oil

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour two 9-inch round cake pans or one 9-by-13 inch pan. In large bowl combine flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Make a well in the center. Add eggs, coffee, buttermilk, oil and vanilla. Beat for 2 minutes on medium speed. Batter will be thin. Pour into prepared pans. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 to 40 minutes, or until toothpick inserted into center of cake comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes, then remove from pans and finish cooling on a wire rack. Makes 24 servings.

Until next week, happy cooking.

Susan McClanahan is administrator at the Cape Girardeau Senior Center. Send recipes to her at smcclanahan@semissourian.com or by mail at P.O. Box 699, Cape Girardeau, Mo. 63702-0699. Recipes published have not been kitchen-tested by the Southeast Missourian staff.

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