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16 Oct

I hope you’re ready to talk cupcakes.

Because that’s what’s happening today… and then for the next few days after that.

There will be cupcakes with surprises inside and cupcakes with creepy things on top.

We’ll even use a few different cupcakes as a way to use up some of that Halloween candy we’re sure to have lying around on November 1st.

Today we won’t be doing any of that though.

Today is for cupcakes that are easy and quick.

Cupcakes that only require two ingredients, a little mixing, and a dollop of whipped cream or vanilla frosting on top.

I’m partial to the whipped cream on top of these cupcakes. It really makes them taste as close to an actual root beer float as they’re ever going to but if you prefer to use canned frosting, go for it! Just make sure it’s vanilla flavored.

As I always say, if you’re opposed to convenience foods like boxed cake mixes, look away now.

Root Beer Float Cupcakes:

1 box white cake mix

1 can of your favorite root beer

1. Lightly grease your muffin tin or fill with paper liners.

2. Dump your cake mix into a big bowl.

3. Add a can of root beer.

4. Mix until there are no lumps.

5. Fill your muffin tin about 3/4 of the way with the cake batter

6. Bake at the temperature printed on the box of cake mix until the tops of the cupcakes spring back when you touch them.

7. Let the cupcakes cool completely and then frost with whipped cream or vanilla frosting.

To make whipped cream:

Whip about a cup of heavy cream with half of a teaspoon of vanilla. Once it has stiffened a bit, slowly pour in a couple tablespoons of sugar and continue whisking until the sugar is dissolved and the cream is stiff enough to pipe or frost the cupcakes with.

You can leave the cupcakes just as they are at this point or top with Halloween colored candies. I used Sixlets.

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15 Oct

I really hope you guys like cupcakes because I have quite a few to share with you over the next couple of weeks.

If you’re looking for cupcake ideas for your upcoming Halloween party, or even some ideas for how to use up all that candy you’re sure to have very soon, I may have some ideas for you. 😉

Those two cupcakes up there might look time-consuming but actually, they’re pretty easy if you have access to a silicone mold.

I found my skull molds at my local dollar store but you may also find them at craft and baking supply stores as well.

Making the skulls is easy, just pour some melted white chocolate or white candy melts into your molds (assuming you have the molds of course) and wait for them to set up completely. I put mine in the freezer because I’m impatient.

Once the skulls are set, you can literally just pop them right out of the molds and use them however you like.

If you want to make red or blood-shot eyes, just dab a little red food coloring on the inside of the molds with a paper towel or small paint brush before you pour the white chocolate in.

The skull on the left is sitting on a heart made of marbled fondant. I’m a big fan of homemade marshmallow fondant. But if you’re not interested in making any, you can always use the packaged stuff from a baking supply store. It won’t be nearly as tasty though.

This is the recipe and method that I use to make fondant.

Whether you’re using the pre-made stuff or the homemade stuff, you’ll need to color it if you’re going to be doing any marbling. Just add a few drops of color and knead the fondant until you see the marbling that you want.

Then roll out the fondant with a rolling pin until you reach your desired thickness and cut out with a small heart-shaped cutter or the cutter of your choice.

Lay the fondant cut-out on top of the frosted cupcake, set your fancy skull on top, and get ready for lots of ooohs and aaaahs from your friends and family.

I like to use pliable candy like Starburst, Tootsie Rolls, and Airheads to make any additional details like the pink rose buds and bows.

If fondant isn’t for you, you can always use the molds to make the skulls and then just place them on top of your frosted cupcakes…

And… if you prefer a healthier treat, just fill the molds with your kids’ favorite yogurt and freeze until set. I like to add sprinkles or creepy candy eyes to the eye sockets before I fill the molds with yogurt:

14 Oct

That’s right.

I still have a few more tricks and treats to share.

I told you Halloween is my favorite!

These sweet witch hats only require two ingredients and just like everything else I’ve shared so far, are easy to make.

This would be another great project for little hands to help with. If your kids like playing with play-doh, they will love this.

All you need are Tootsie Rolls Minis and caramels. I use the individually wrapped caramels from Kraft for this but use whatever you have as long as it is soft enough to mold.

To make the witch hats:

1. Warm the Tootsie Roll up in your hand a bit by rolling it back and forth.

2. Form the Tootsie Roll into a cone shape. You want it to be wider at the bottom and more narrow at the top. You can do this in your hand or on a flat surface.

3. Take the larger side of your Tootsie Roll and press it down on a flat surface to create the hat’s brim.

4. Pinch the brim a little with your fingers to flatten it out even more.

5. Pinch the narrow end of the Tootsie Roll to make a pointy top. You can leave it pointy or fold it over a bit like I did.

6. Pinch off a small piece of caramel and roll it in your hands to warm it up a bit.

7. Roll it into a log/snake shape.

8. Wrap the caramel around the base of your witch hat.

9. If you want a more fabric-like appearance to your hat, just press lines into the Tootsie Roll using a toothpick.

If the cone-shape thing just isn’t happening for you, don’t worry. Once the Tootsie Roll is warm enough, you can pretty much just shape it by hand.

I put mine on top of some cupcakes but you can use these however you like. Make these a day or two ahead, store them in an air-tight container, and then use them when you’re ready.

11 Oct

These crunchy creepers were made a few years ago, back before I ever thought of starting a blog.

So… unfortunately, I don’t have as many pictures to share as I’d like but I think you can get the idea from the picture above.

Basically, you just make Rice Kripies Treats, mold them a little with your hands while they’re warm, and then use various candies to decorate their creepy faces.

Everything from licorice, to candy corn, to m&m’s, to jelly beans, to chocolate chips – anything goes here.

Use the recipe on the cereal box, or use my favorite treats recipe. I prefer to increase the butter and decrease the cereal called for in the original recipe. I prefer a gooier Rice Krispies Treat.

My go to recipe for Krispies Treats:

Melt 1/2 a stick of butter in a large sauce pan.

Add a bag (usually around 10.5 oz) of mini-marshmallows and stir over low heat until melted.

Turn off the heat and add 5 cups rice cereal. Stir to combine.

To make the heads:

While it’s still warm, grab a handful of the mixture and shape it into a mostly oval shape. Then pinch in the sides a little until it resembles a skull.

Place your candies on top to add facial features. The candy should stick if the treats are still warm. If not, you can use a little frosting or honey as glue.

10 Oct

 

Here’s another super simple and kid friendly treat.

I made these candy corn parfaits for our Halloween party last year and they took me all of about 10 minutes to put together and that included whipping the cream.

The bottom layer is banana pudding, the middle layer is mandarin oranges, and the top layer is freshly whipped cream sweetened with a little sugar.

I had the little wooden spoons left over from Cam’s birthday party so I just wrapped each one with a little Halloween themed sticky ribbon I found on sale at Michael’s and stuck them in the parfait glasses. You can also usually find small wooden and plastic spoons at most party stores.

My “parfait” glasses are actually votive holders that were never used. I ordered a ton of them for my wedding a few years ago and ended up only using a handful so that left me plenty of extras for party parfaits!

I love using them for parties because they’re just the right size for little ones or for adults to have a small bite of something. They’re also much cheaper than parfait glasses.

You can find clear votive holders at most craft stores for a pretty reasonable price. Be sure to look for any available coupons before you go.

 

9 Oct

Have you seen these floating around the interwebs?

I have no idea where the original idea came from but it’s genius.

Seriously, check out how easy these are to make:

1. Cut an apple into thin wedges

2. Smear some peanut butter onto each wedge.

3. Lay a few mini marshmallows on top of an apple wedge.

4. Top with another apple wedge.

That’s it!

For an extra gross factor, you could also add a couple drops of green food coloring to some shredded coconut and mix it up with your hands. Then stick some coconut strands in between the teeth.

8 Oct

This would be a great craft for a party or to put in a lunchbox as a special treat.

And of course, it’s really easy too.

All you need is some scrapbook paper, a little tape, and a few cute stickers to spookify the front of your juice boxes.

To make these wrapped juice boxes, first remove the straws from the back of each box and set aside. You’ll obviously need these later.

Then cut strips of scrapbook paper that are as wide as the boxes are tall and long enough to wrap completely around the box.

Once all of your strips are cut out, wrap each box and secure with tape. I use double-sided tape so that I can secure each one from the inside flap of paper and the tape doesn’t show.

Then just attach your stickers to the front.

See, easy!

If you want to cover the tops, just cut a small strip of paper that will lay over the top of each box and tuck the sides down into the other paper.

 

 

 

7 Oct

gooey grapes

 

I hope you’re not tired of Halloween treats yet because I have another week of kid friendly party food to share with you.

Starting with these gooey grapes for your little ghouls.

I have to say, I was pretty skeptical about this combo when I first heard about it.

But these sweet and slightly tart little treats were much better than I had anticipated.

They’re actually quite addictive. It’s hard to stop at one.

And just like everything else I’ve shared with you so far, they’re pretty easy to put together.

 

You’ll need:

green grapes

a bag of caramels (I use Kraft)

toothpicks or Halloween themed food picks

heavy cream

sprinkles or chopped nuts, crushed cookies, small candy – whatever you want to adorn them with.

 

1. Add all the caramels to a medium sauce pan with about 2 tablespoons of heavy cream.

3. Heat the caramels/cream mixture on low and give it an occasional stir while everything melts together.

4. In the mean time, impale each grape with a toothpick and add some sprinkles into a small bowl.

5. When the caramel/cream mixture has melted, dip each grape into the melted caramel until the caramel comes about halfway up the sides of the grape. Then dip the bottom of each grape into the sprinkles.

6. Set each dipped grape on a piece of parchment paper or a silicone liner to set up.

7. Once the caramel has set, you can remove the grapes and transfer them to your spooky serving platter.

4 Oct

 

This is a great food project to make with kids and all you need is some dough.

The kind of dough you use doesn’t matter but the easiest way to make these is by using bread sticks from a can.

Just pop the can and separate the bread sticks.

To make the bony ends, you can either tie a knot at each end, or use clean kitchen scissors to snip a couple of inches down each end of the bread stick, and then roll down each side.

You can pretty much tell from that picture up there just how each one was made.

You can brush each bone with a little extra virgin olive oil and then sprinkle on your favorite seasonings before baking.

Or you can just shove them in the oven plain. Either way, they’re delicious.

Bake the bones at the temperature listed on the can and pull them from the oven when they’re light golden brown.

If you’re opposed to convenience foods, you can still make these bones using your favorite home-made bread or pizza dough.

Just roll out the dough to your desired thickness, cut into strips, make the bony ends, and bake as you normally would. Just remove from the oven when they are light golden brown.

Serve the bones with blood (naturally). Just warm a little pizza sauce or marinara and spoon into a serving dish for dipping.

Can be served warm or at room temperature.

3 Oct

I’d like to first point out that it’s a good thing my husband is somewhat artistic.

Otherwise, things like this just wouldn’t get made.

Or they might get made but they sure wouldn’t look as good.

We made these Freaky Frankenheads for our last Halloween party and they were a big hit with our little freaks. 😉

To make them for your favorite little freaks, first draw some faces on a few clear plastic cups with a permanent marker.

I found mine at my local dollar store.

Then, just dye some vanilla pudding green using a couple drops of food coloring and spoon it into a clear plastic cup.

 Once you’ve spooned your pudding into each of the cups, add some crushed Oreo cookies (or generic equivalent) on top.

Voila!

Freaky Frankenheads.