Halloween only comes once a year and brings with it the perfect excuse for sweet and sticky candy apples, light-as-a-feather ghosts and anything pumpkin!
Here are a few easy treats that you can make at home for your own party or to take with you to a neighborhood costume bash.
Remember that stuck-to-your-teeth feeling of gooey caramel and crisp apple? It can be yours at home. This recipe from About.com Candy takes a little pre-planning (you need to have, buy or borrow a candy thermometer) and should only be made by an adult due to the high temperature of the caramel coating. Kids can help roll the caramel-covered apples in their favorite toppings such as coconut, chopped nuts and crushed candies. Use those extra chopsticks you got with your Chinese food as holders for the apples.
Have you heard about that crazy cupcake recipe on Pinterest and other websites such as Nothing But Country that uses only two ingredients: a can of pumpkin puree and a box of cake mix? Fear not, it does work, but has a couple of reservations, in my opinion.
That's right, you mix together the pumpkin and the cake mix (no eggs, oil, water, etc.) and bake it. It does work. I tried it and baked cupcakes. They tasted just fine - a little more 'quick bread' than 'light cupcake.' What was interesting is that they do not rise yet they do not collapse, either - they stay the exact shape as when you spoon the batter into the cupcake pan. So if you try this recipe, remember to crest the cupcake about an inch or so off the pan. One other note - most likely due to the lack of oil or butter, the cupcake did stick to the bottom of the paper cupcake liners I used.
I saw this recipe for meringue ghosts on About.com Candy and it looked pretty easy. Meringues are pretty much whipped egg whites and sugar that are baked. You can serve them plain or coat the bases in chocolate. Think of how a tray of little ghosts will get attention from all your goblins and witches!
Here's an easy layered and frosted pumpkin cake recipe for the adults! It's a recipe from my friend Donna who loves an occasional short-cut recipe for the busy hostess.