Unique Halloween Treats for Kids and Adults

spooky_treats

 

Halloween is a time to let your creativity shine! There are so many ways to participate in the holiday, from homemade costumes to ghoulish decorations to over-the-top parties, you can really get into the creative spirit this time of year. One way to feature your originality is through food. There are countless ways to create creepy looking treats that are both delicious and fun to make. And, it’s a great way to spend quality time with the kids in the kitchen. They’ll have fun learning and using their imagination while making these terrifying-looking treats.

Below we’ve selected two recipes, one that’s kid-friendly and another that’s just a little more sophisticated for adults. Who says kids get to have all the fun?

For The Kids:

Witch Finger Cookies

Courtesy of Recipe Girl

Makes about 5 dozen cookies

Ingredients:

1 cup salted butter, softened

1 cup powdered sugar

1 large egg

1 teaspoon almond extract

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 2/3 cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspooon salt

3/4 cup whole blanched almonds

1 tube red decorator gel

Directions:

  1. In a large bowl, beat together butter, sugar, egg, almond and vanilla extracts.
  2. Whisk together flour and salt in a medium bowl. Add to wet mixture and beat just until moistened. Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
  3. Preheat oven to 325°F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper (or lightly grease them.)
  4. Working with one quarter of the dough at a time and keeping the remainder refrigerated, roll heaping teaspoonful of dough into finger shape for each cookie. Press almond firmly into 1 end for nail. Squeeze in center to create “knuckle” shape. Using a small knife, make slashes in several places to complete the look of the knuckle.
  5. Place on prepared baking sheets and bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until pale golden. Let cool for 3 minutes. Lift up almond, squeeze red decorator gel onto nail bed and press almond back in place, so gel oozes out from underneath to create the look of blood. If you want to get really gross, you can also make slashes in the finger and fill them with “blood.”
  6. Remove from baking sheets and let cool on racks (and let the red gel set).

Tips:

*How to blanch almonds: Place almonds in a bowl. Pour boiling water over to barely cover almonds. Let sit for just 1 minute (if you wait longer than that then the almonds will break apart). Drain, rinse quickly under cold water, and drain again. The skins should slip right off. Pat dry.

For The Adults:

Pumpkin Dirt Pudding Parfaits with RIP Cookies

Courtesy of Neighborfood

Serves up to 8

Ingredients:

  1. 1 (12 oz) can evaporated milk
  2. 1 (15 oz) can pumpkin puree (1¾ cup)
  3. 1 (5 oz) box instant vanilla pudding
  4. 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  5. ½ an 8 oz container cool whip
  6. 1 package oreos, crushed
  7. 4 Tablespoons butter, melted
  8. 8 Milano cookies
  9. Handful chocolate chips

Directions:

For the pudding:

  • In the bowl of an electric mixer, combine evaporated milk, pumpkin puree, and pudding and beat until mixture is smooth and well combined, about 2 minutes. Refrigerate for 5 minutes. Stir in cinnamon and the cool whip. Refrigerate mixture until ready to serve.
  • In a bowl, combine melted butter and crushed Oreos. Set aside until ready to serve.

For the RIP cookies:

  • Line the Milano cookies up on a baking sheet or wax paper.
  • Melt the chocolate in the microwave then place it in a plastic bag. Cut a tiny hole in the corner of the plastic bag then push the chocolate to the corner.
  • Use the melted chocolate to write out RIP on the top of each of the cookies. Allow to dry.
  • To serve, layer Oreos in the bottom of the glasses. Spoon pudding to about ¾ of the way full then finish with another layer of Oreos. Stake the Milano cookies in the pudding mixture, with the RIP on top. **This will serve different amounts depending on how big your glasses are. This will be enough for 8 juice size glasses or 4 large drinking glasses.

 

L’Ecole Culinaire offers public cooking classes designed for the at home chef. On October 17th, L’Ecole Culinaire-St. Louis will be offering Basic Baking – Beginner, a class for kids ages 5-13 that will focus on creating Halloween-inspired treats. L’Ecole Culinaire Memphis will be hosting a Spooky Treats public cooking class for adults providing hands-on instruction for a number of Halloween-themed party desserts. For information or to register visit lecole.edu.

What To Do With All Those Apples – October 2, 2015

Apple picture

Autumn is in full swing which means there are plenty of apples to go around. Between visiting the apple orchard for an afternoon of picking and selecting from a wide variety of apples at the grocery store, you may find yourself with more apples than you can eat. Have no fear! There are plenty of ways to use all those apples without having to tediously eat them one by one or bake them into dozens of pies. We’ve rounded up a few useful ways to get through your crisp and juicy bounty.

Shrunken Head Halloween Decoration

With Halloween just around the corner, apples can actually make seriously creepy decorations when turned into shrunken heads. It’s also pretty easy to do: wash, peel and core the apple and then soak it in a mixture of 1 cup lemon juice and 1 tablespoon salt for about 30 minutes. Then carve a face into your apple, making sure the features are exaggerated, use a marker to draw the face on the apple first to avoid mistakes. Dip your ‘head’ into the lemon juice mixture again and let it air dry naturally for about one week. Once the apples have dried out you can use different craft materials to decorate them.

Apple Infused Vodka

Give your vodka some Autumn-inspired flavor by infusing it with apple and cinnamon. All you need are 6 red apples, 4 cinnamon sticks and a 750ml bottle of vodka.   Slice the apples and place them into an infuser jar (or other air-tight jar) along with the cinnamon sticks and vodka. Seal the jar for as little as a few days or as long as a couple weeks and then voila! Strain and serve.

Using apple slices to help out in the kitchen

Adding apple slices to pantry items or recipes can help improve them. Placing a few apple slices into your container of brown sugar will prevent the sugar from hardening. Placing apple slices into a soup or sauce that is too salty can absorb some of the extra salty flavor. Just make sure to remove the apples before serving!

Of course, there are plenty of other ways to use apples, including pies, cakes and tarts, in salads or soups or in other beverages such as juice, smoothies and ciders. Having extra produce on hand is the perfect excuse to put your creativity skills to use in the kitchen and L’Ecole Culinaire can help! We offer a variety of public cooking classes for the at-home chef which aim to provide the skills and ideas to easily create plenty of dishes right in your own kitchen. For more information or to register please visit here.