Halloween Party 2011 Menu

This year, we planned a somewhat impromptu Halloween Party for a few of my daughter’s friends. We had some yummy treats…Pumpkin Krispy Treats (see recipe below), Candy Corn Sugar Cookies (I used my favorite recipe for the dough and just doubled the vanilla and almond flavorings since there is no frosting on the cookies. At a minimum, I also recommend dipping each cookie in the coarse sugar before baking. The white candy melt or almond bark on portions of some of the cookies was quite tasty, too. I’ll do more of these next time), and No Bake Cookies transfigured into cute spiders.

There were Mummy Dogs and Candy Corn Pizza for our main course. We agreed that hot dogs wrapped in crescent dough are WAY tastier than hot dogs in a bun. We’ll be having these more often. I didn’t get around to dotting the eyes on the faces, but I think everyone still got the point.

Boo Brew. One of the comments on this recipe suggested using Peeps Ghosts instead of creating your own using whipped cream and mini chocolate chips as the recipe instructed. I went with the time saving tip and was happy with the outcome.

I also made this Caramel Toffee Dip and served with Winesap and Granny Smith apple slices from our apple picking trip the previous day. Somehow missed getting the photo. It is seriously so incredibly delicious. We made it again over the weekend, and it vanished quickly.

Pumpkin Krispy Treats
Modified from Little Family Fun

  • approximately 6 cups of crispy rice cereal (white or brown puffed rice cereal)
  • 1 package of marshmallows (I think minis are easier to melt)
  • 1/2 c. butter
  • 2 (3 oz) envelopes of orange Jell-O or Kool Aid (I used Jell-O)
  • Tootsie Roll midgets or large pretzel sticks
  • baking spray
  • wax paper
  • green icing, optional

Directions:

Melt the marshmallows and butter in microwave or on stove top. Once melted, remove from heat and stir in the Jell-O or Kool-Aid. If it is not “orange enough” for you, you can add some red and yellow food coloring to enhance the color. (I didn’t need to do this). Add the crispy rice cereal and stir well.

Spray your hands with baking spray and roll the mixture into balls and place them on wax paper. Make a dent into the top of the pumpkin and insert pretzel or tootsie roll. Mold pumpkin around the stem. Cool before piping on leaves.

Yield: approximately 2 dozen pumpkins

Creamy Lemon Bars

This is a REALLY yummy treat I served at our 4th of July barbeque. I had lots and lots of requests for the recipe & really wish I had doubled the recipe. By the end of the party, there was one, lone lemon bar left on the plate. Fortunately, three friends came up with a non-violent way to share it amongst themselves.

Mom, I think you should definitely try these. They aren’t as “egg-y” as other lemon bars, so I think you’ll like them.

Creamy Lemon Bars

Creamy Lemon Bars
from Our Best Bites

20 Nilla Wafers, finely crushed
1/2 cup All-Purpose flour
1/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) cold real butter
1 pkg. (8 oz.) cream cheese (you can use 1/3-less fat cream cheese)
1 cup granulated sugar
2 eggs
2 Tbsp. flour
3 Tbsp. grated lemon peel, divided
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice (don’t even think about opening a bottle!)
1/4 tsp. Baking Powder
powdered sugar

Preheat oven to 350ºF. Line 8-inch square baking pan with foil, with ends of foil extending over sides of pan. Spray lightly with non-stick spray and set aside. (The foil isn’t too pretty, but it makes clean-up and cutting the bars a cinch!)

In a bowl, combine Nilla Wafer crumbs, 1/2 cup flour and the brown sugar. Chop butter into small pieces and then cut into crumb mixture with a pastry blender. If you don’t have a pastry blender, just use 2 knives, or even your fingers to break up the butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs.

Press crumb mixture firmly onto bottom of prepared pan. Bake 15 min.

While crust is cooking, beat cream cheese and granulated sugar with electric mixer on medium speed until well blended. Add eggs, 2 Tbsp. flour, and baking powder; mix well. Blend in 1 Tbsp. lemon zest, and lemon juice and then pour mixture over crust.

Bake 25 to 30 min. or until center is set. Cool completely. Cover and refrigerate at least 2 hours, but preferably overnight. These bars improve with time. Sprinkle with powdered sugar and remaining 2 Tbsp. grated lemon peel just before cutting into squares to serve. Store leftover squares in refrigerator. (As if you’ll have leftovers!)

Butterscotch Blondies

I served these at our 4th of July barbeque and at a subsequent pool party. They were such a hit, and several people requested the recipe.  I figured it was worth a quick blog post to share with everyone.

Butterscotch Blondies

Butterscotch Blondies
from yourhomebasedmom.com

3/4 cup butter, softened
3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 eggs
2 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1 2/3 cups butterscotch chips
1 cup chopped nuts (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Grease 13 x 9 pan.  Beat butter, brown sugar and granulated sugar in large bowl until creamy.  Add eggs; beat well.  Stir together flour, baking soda and salt;  gradually add to butter mixture, blending well.  Stir in butterscotch chips and nuts, if desired.  Spread into prepared pan.  Bake 30-35 minutes or until top is golden brown and center is set.  Do not overbake.  Cool completely in pan on wire rack.  Cut into bars.

Sugar Cookies with Almond Icing

When it comes to sugar cookies, I’m very particular. I like thick, soft, dense, moist cookies with lots of icing.  Crunchy cookies have their place, but I don’t believe that frosted sugar cookies fall into that category.

My dear friend, Alicia, shared this cookie recipe with me several years ago, and I’ve never looked back. I love it! The icing recipe comes from the kitchen of my cousin, Jan. The almond extract in both the cookie and the icing is the secret weapon!

Alicia tells me that she’s substituted strawberry flavoring for the almond extract, and that was yummy, too. If you decide to substitute the almond extract for another flavor, I would suggest substituting the same flavor for the almond extract in the icing.

I included these on my Valentine goody plates, and I’ve some requests for the recipe, so here it is Ladies!

Sugar Cookies

Alicia’s Sugar Cookies

1-1/2  c sugar
1 c butter, softened
3 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp almond extract (or any other flavor)
4-1/2 c AP flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp salt

Cream sugar, butter, and eggs until smooth. Add flavorings. In a separate bowl, combine flour, baking soda, and salt. Once combined, add to wet ingredients until combined.

Chill dough for about an hour.

Preheat oven to 350.

Divide chilled dough in half. Roll out dough into a 1/4-inch thick circle. Using cookie cutters, cut out shapes and place on ungreased cookie sheet. Continue to roll out all dough until it has all been used (or eaten). 😉

Bake 6-8 minutes. Let cool on pan for a few minutes to complete the cooking. Transfer to wire rack.

Cool completely before frosting.

Jan’s Almond Icing

1/2 c butter, softened
3 c powdered sugar
1/4 c milk
1 tsp vanilla
1/2  – 1 tsp almond extract (or any other flavoring)

Beat all ingredients and keep firm but spreadable. Add more powdered sugar if needed.

Valentine Sweets

treats

  • Sugar Cookies
  • White Chocolate Fudge
  • Oreo Truffles
  • Cookie Dough Truffles

Stay tuned for recipes!

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies

This recipe comes from my fabulous SIL, Sara. They are so easy, so moist, so delish! It simply isn’t Autumn in our home until these have been made and consumed!

pumpkin-chocchip-cookies

Easy Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies

1 Spice Cake mix
1 15-oz can pumpkin puree (NOT pumpkin pie filling)
1 egg
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

Mix the first three ingredients together.  Then mix in the chocolate chips.  The dough is thick.  Form it into cookie blobs on the cookie sheet.  Bake at 350 for 12-14 minutes.

Caramel Apple Bars

This is another new apple recipe I tried this weekend. They were quite sugary, gooey, & yummy! I served them warm with vanilla ice cream. I think they’d also be good with Cool Whip.

Caramel Apple Bars

Adapted from King Arthur Flour’s recipe

Crust
1 cup (2 sticks, 8 ounces) unsalted butter
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp ground cinnamon
3/4 cup  brown sugar, firmly packed
1 cup confectioners’ sugar
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 3/4 cups King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
1 cup nut flour*
1 large egg

*Almond (toasted or plain), hazelnut flour (toasted or plain), and pecan meal are all good choices. Or grind 1 cup nuts in a food processor; be sure to stop before the mixture becomes pasty. (I couldn’t find nut flour, so I ground up some almonds in my food processor).

Filling
4 to 5 medium tart apples, peeled, cored, and chopped (about 5 cups)
2 T brown sugar
2 T boiled cider, or substitute an additional 2 tablespoons brown sugar
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp ground cinnamon

Topping**
1 cup (10 ounces) caramel, from a block, or about 30 caramel candies
2 1/2 T milk or cream
(I used fat free Half and Half)

**Or use our prepared caramel sauce.

Instructions:
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Lightly grease a 9″ x 13″ pan or 10″ x 10″ bun pan.

To make the crust: Beat together the butter, salt, baking powder, cinnamon, sugars, and vanilla till smooth. Add the flours, mixing till crumbly. Set aside half the mixture (about 3 generous cups); add the egg to the remainder, beating to combine. Press the crust with egg into the bottom of the prepared pan. Bake the crust for 17 minutes, till it’s barely starting to brown around the edges. While the crust is baking, prepare the filling.

To make the filling: Slice the apples about 1/4″ thick, then chop into 1/2″ to 3/4″ pieces. An apple peeler/corer/slicer gives you a great head start on this task. Combine the apples with the remaining filling ingredients, and distribute over the crust. Spread the reserved crust mixture over the apples.

Bake the bars for 45 minutes. Remove them from the oven, and after 15 minutes cut them into squares, leaving them in the pan. Cool completely, then place the bars on a rack set over a piece of parchment.

To make the topping: Place the caramel and milk in a microwave-safe measuring cup, and heat till the caramel is very soft. Stir (reheating if necessary) till the mixture is smooth and pourable. Drizzle it over the bars.

Yield: 16 to 24 bars