Everyone celebrates sweets, gore and dressing up during October. Entertaining is common, but you don’t need a special occasion to create Halloween treats that will satisfy even the pickiest of taste buds. You also don’t need a lot of special tools and materials to create sweet treats that look scary and intricate. In fact, with a few tricks you can use the recipes you’ve already got to make fright-worthy foods for the holiday.
Pumpkin Cream Cheese Frosting
Halloween is one of the few times when people expect everything to taste like pumpkin. My favorite Halloween trick is pumpkin cream cheese frosting. For me, it was a revelation when it comes to creating holiday-themed treats.
At the last minute, I got invited to a party where everyone was expected to bring something to eat. I do not cook, so I started mixing up cupcakes (because who doesn’t love cupcakes?). Then I realized that my cupcakes weren’t very Halloween-friendly, so I modified my cream cheese frosting to include pumpkin and the cupcakes were a hit.
Cream cheese tastes great with everything, so you can use this bit of trickery for just about any recipe. Cake, cupcakes, even cookies can be slathered in pumpkin frosting to suddenly become a Halloween-themed treat. Mix a brick of cream cheese with a quarter cup of canned pumpkin (available everywhere in October). Add a quarter cup of butter and four cups of powdered sugar to make creamy pumpkin frosting. I like to use it with spice cupcakes (plain cupcakes with cinnamon and nutmeg mixed in).
Nothing’s creepier than eating spiders during Halloween, and few things are quite as delicious. You don’t have to get really fancy to create fun Halloween cookies – you just need pretzel sticks.
Make your favorite stiff cookie batter (chocolate and sugar cookies both work well) and shape it into elongated ovals. Put two balls together on a cookie sheet, and place your pretzel sticks along the edges to create spiders. Cover the cookies and the pretzel legs in melted chocolate and chocolate sprinkles. Complete the effect by placing red candies side-by-side near the top of the cookie to give your spiders eyes.
Paint it Black
My favorite item when it comes to Halloween baking? Black food coloring. With this stuff, any baked treat becomes a Halloween treat. I mix it with melted chocolate and use the chocolate to cover pieces of fudge. I cut the fudge into coffin shapes to make them look really spooky. Black chocolate can be used for all sorts of treats in October, and it’s a very simple way to turn ordinary treats into Halloween treats.
Not-So-Scary Halloween Baking
Simple tricks like food coloring and canned pumpkin take the fear out of baking custom treats for Halloween. Don’t try to master new recipes or buy a bunch of specialized equipment to make those spooky treats. Use your own stuff, and cheat a little, to create holiday fun that isn’t so scary.