2 cups sliced almonds
12 ounces milk or semi-sweet chocolate chips
2 sticks butter, cut into bits
1 & 1/2 cups packed light brown sugar
1. Preheat oven to 325º. Spread out almonds on a baking sheet and bake, stirring occasionally, until lightly browned, 5 to 7 minutes. Let Cool.
2. Coarsely chop chocolate chips in food processor, pulsing on and off. Transfer to medium bowl. In same processor bowl, coarsely chop almonds, pulsing on and off. Add to chocolate chips, tossing to combine. Spread half of mixture evenly over bottom of a well-greased 13 x 9-inch baking pan.
3. In a heavy medium saucepan, bring butter and brown sugar to a boil, stirring constantly, over medium heat. Cook 5 to 7 minutes, or until syrup is light golden-brown and just reaches the hard crack stage (300ºF on candy thermometer). At that point, a bit of syrup, when dropped into a boil of ice water, should separate into threads that are hard and brittle.
4. Pour hot syrup evenly over nut mixture. Top with remaining nut mixture, smoothing and pressing down gently with a spatula. Refrigerate until toffee is set and chocolate is firm, about 1-½ hours. Cut into squares or irregular pieces. Store in a tightly covered container in refrigerator up to 2 weeks.
Pumpkin Muffins with Candied Ginger
nonstick cooking spray
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
1/2 cup brown sugar, firmly packed
1 large egg
1/2 cup canned pumpkin puree
1 teaspoon freshly grated ginger root
1 cup all purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
1/3 cup low-fat buttermilk
1/2 cup minced crystallized ginger
1. Preheat the oven to 350°F and spray 12 muffin tins with nonstick spray.
2. Place the butter in a mixing bowl and beat at high speed with an electric mixer for 30 seconds. Gradually add the sugar and continue to beat until the mixture is very fluffy.
3. Add the egg and mix on low speed to combine. Add the pumpkin puree and grated ginger root and mix again.
4. Sift the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg and allspice together.
5. Fold in half of the flour mixture. Stir in the buttermilk. Fold in the remaining flour mixture and the crystallized ginger. The batter should be smooth, but be careful to not overmix.
6. Fill the prepared tins halfway with the batter. Bake until the muffins are golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the center of a muffin comes out clean, about 25 minutes.
7. Transfer the muffin tins to a wire rack and cool for 10 minutes before removing the muffins.
Serving Size: 1 muffin
Pumpkin Creme Caramel
For the caramel base:
3/4 cup super fine sugar
3 tablespoons water
For the flan:
1 cup super fine granulated sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon cardamom
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups pumpkin puree (canned or fresh)
1 12-ounce can evaporated skim milk
3/4 cup egg substitute
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
For the caramel base:
1. Melt sugar with water in a small copper or heavy-gauged saucepan over moderate heat. Stir occasionally to melt sugar.
2. Let the mixture boil without stirring for at least 5 minutes until the liquid turns golden brown.
3. Immediately pour into a 9″ baking dish.
For the flan:
1. Mix the pumpkin, evaporated milk, egg substitute and vanilla in a bowl by hand or mixer.
2. Add the dry ingredients and blend well.
3. Pour the mixture into the prepared baking dish.
4. Place the dish in a larger pan and pour hot water into the larger pan until the water comes halfway up the edge of the baking dish.
5. Bake for 1 hour or until the flan is set.
6. Cool until room temperature then refrigerate for at least 4 hours and up to 1 day before serving.
7. Before serving run a sharp knife around the edge of the flan and invert onto a platter making sure that the caramel runs down the top and sides.
Serving Size: 1/10th
Vampire Blood with Bugs
Items you will need:
4 fresh or frozen strawberries
1/2 cup whipped topping or 1/4 cup milk
2 Tablespoons Strawberry syrup
1/4 cup whole Blueberries
Red licorice Stick
1 Tablespoon Chocolate Sprinkles
Mix all together and serve.
Chocolate Peanut Butter Coated Apples
A new, delicious twist on the traditional caramel apple! These are ideal for fall when you have an overabundance of apples, but don’t discount them for other holidays and occassions! Simply change the color of the sprinkles or other decorations to fit the season or event.
Editor’s note: For children with allergies to peanuts, replace the peanut butter chips with butterscotch or mint for a different twist!
You will need :
12 wooden ice cream sticks
12 medium apples, stems removed
1 package (10 ounces) peanut butter chips
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2/3 cup confectioners’ sugar
2/3 cup cocoa
Optional for decorating apples:
chopped peanut butter chips
chopped or mini chocolate chips
chopped vanilla chips
What you do:
Insert wooden stick into each washed and dried apple. Cover a baking sheet or tray with waxed paper.
In a medium microwave-safe bowl, stir together peanut butter chips and oil. Microwave on high 1-1/2 minutes or until chips are softened. Stir until melted.
Stir together confectioners’ sugar and cocoa; gradually add to melted chip mixture, stirring until smooth. Microwave on high 1 minute or until very warm.
Dip apples into mixture, twirling to remove excess coating. (If coating becomes too thick, return to microwave for a few seconds). Roll coated apple in chopped chips or coconut if desired, or sprinkle toppings onto apples. Allow to cool on prepared baking sheet or tray.
Yield: one dozen apples.
Edible Haunted House
Here’s a fun Halloween project for the whole family. Use your imagination to decorate this house any way that you desire. Watch out for ghouls and goblins, they may just devour your masterpiece early!
You will need:
2 containers (16 ounce) chocolate fudge frosting*
2 empty 1 qt. milk cartons, rinsed and dried
1 large tray covered with foil.
*You can use a thick homemade frosting instead.
black licorice and red twists
Foil wrapped Halloween Candy
Colored icing for writing or decorating
Tape each milk carton closed at top. Tape milk cartons together to make a house. Wrap with foil. Attach firmly to the covered tray with tape. Frost cartons with chocolate frosting. Frost the tray also to use as the lawn. Decorate with the assorted treats!
*Sprinkle orange sugar on the roof of the house.
*Rice crackers make neat “attic” windows.
*graham crackers for windows and doors-highlight with icing.
*pretzel stick window panes
*M&M “pathway stones” leading to the door.
*Candy corn “icicles” under the roof
After you have the house and pathway finished add details to the lawn area. Foil wrapped candy is great because you buy little mummies, ghosts or pumpkins and place them on the pathway and around the house. Buy from the bulk section of your grocery store to get a really good selection without having to buy a lot of one type of candy. After all the oohs and ahs have subsided and Halloween is over, let the kids pick off all the candy while they discuss what to do for next year’s Haunted House Spectacular!
A plateful of these crisp and tasty bones makes a wonderfully creepy addition to your Halloween table.
3 egg whites
1/4 tsp. (1 mL) cream of tartar
pinch of salt
2/3 cup (150 mL) granulated sugar
1 tsp. (5 mL) vanilla
Preheat the oven to 225° F (105° C). Line two cookie sheets with parchment paper.
In a mixing bowl, with an electric mixer, beat the egg whites with the cream of tartar and salt until foamy. Gradually — one spoonful at a time — add the sugar, beating well after each addition so that the sugar is absorbed into the meringue. Continue beating until the meringue stands up in a glossy, firm peak when you lift the beaters out of the bowl. Beat in the vanilla.
Spoon the meringue into a pastry decorating bag with a plain round tip approximately 3/8-inch (1 cm) wide (a bit smaller is ok, but no smaller than 1/4-inch). Pipe 3-inch (7.5 cm) bone shapes — one long line with two rounded blobs on each end. Pipe all the meringue at once because it cannot be baked in batches — it will deflate if it sits too long.
Place the cookie sheets in the preheated oven and bake for 1 hour. Without opening the oven door, turn the heat off and let the meringues remain in the oven for 1 more hour to dry and crisp.
Remove from cookie sheets carefully — you don’t want any broken bones!
Makes about 4 dozen.
12 squares (1 ounce each) semisweet chocolate
3 squares (1 ounce each) unsweetened chocolate
1 can (about 14 ounces) sweetened condensed milk
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons cherry-flavored liqueur (optional)
1/4 cup chopped nuts
1/2 cup maraschino cherries, drained and chopped
2 packages (6 ounces each) premium white chocolate baking bars
2 teaspoons vegetable oil
Assorted colored sprinkles
1. Heat semisweet and unsweetened chocolate, sweetened condensed milk
and salt in saucepan over medium heat, stirring, until chocolate is
melted, 7 minutes. Remove from heat. Add liqueur if using, and nuts and
cherries. Cover surface directly with waxed paper; refrigerate until
cold, 1-1/2 hours.
2. Using measuring tablespoon, or spoon, scoop out slightly heaping
tablespoon chocolate mixture; roll into smooth ball between hands. Place
on waxed paper-lined baking sheet. Continue with remainder.
3. Melt white chocolate with oil in small saucepan over low heat,
stirring. Let stand until cool to touch, 1 minute. Using 2 forks, dip
balls into white chocolate. Transfer to waxed paper to dry. Decorate
with sprinkles. Makes 42 truffles.