Tag Archives: Halloween

Sweet and salty Halloween candy

Happy Halloween, everyone! This recipe is a fun way to eat all my favorite Halloween candies. It’s also a great one for kids, but all the adults I know ate way more of it. A simple “bark” made with dark chocolate covered with peanut M&Ms, Reece’s Pieces, honey-roasted peanuts, Heath bars, Butterfingers, Reece’s cups and finally white chocolate.

It’s addictive and delicious. I love that combination of peanut, chocolate and white chocolate. Of course, you can make this with any candy, so get creative!

Bon Appetit’s Halloween Peanut Butter and Toffee Bark

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound bittersweet chocolate chips
  • 3 2.1-ounce Butterfinger candy bars, cut into irregular 1-inch pieces
  • 3 1.4-ounce Skor or Heath toffee candy bars, cut into irregular 3/4-inch pieces
  • 8 0.55-ounce peanut butter cups, each cut into 8 wedges
  • 1/4 cup honey-roasted peanuts
  • 3 ounces high-quality white chocolate, chopped
  • Reese’s Pieces and yellow and orange peanut M&M’s
Line baking sheet with foil. Stir chocolate chips in heavy medium saucepan over low heat until melted and warm (not hot) to touch. Pour chocolate onto foil; spread to 1/4-inch thickness (about 12×10-inch rectangle). Sprinkle with Butterfinger candy, toffee, peanut butter cups, and nuts, making sure all pieces touch melted chocolate to adhere.
Put white chocolate in heavy small saucepan. Stir constantly over very low heat until chocolate is melted and warm (not hot) to touch. Remove from heat. Dip spoon into chocolate; wave from side to side over bark, creating zigzag lines. Scatter Reese’s Pieces and M&M’s over, making sure candy touches melted chocolate.
Chill bark until firm, 30 minutes. Slide foil with candy onto work surface; peel off foil. Cut bark into irregular pieces.

This will keep for days, maybe weeks, in your fridge. But we both know it won’t last that long. Enjoy, friends! xoxo

Hallow’s Eve

What are you up to this weekend? This is where I’ll be: Halloween  in Old Salem! Come see me volunteering Saturday from 6 to 9 p.m., dressed as an angel to Krissy’s devil as we hand out sweets to the kiddies.

The historical area will be decorated with spooky pumpkins (carving contest through Thursday, 5-7 p.m., we supply the pumpkins!) and other festive touches to celebrate the olden times. You can also do a tour of these cool old homes that are probably haunted.

All in all, good family fun. Join us! xoxo

Roasted pumpkin seeds

Happy Halloween!

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I always try to make roasted pumpkin seeds when we carve pumpkins. They are so easy and fun to munch on. I’ve found that one pumpkin’s worth is plenty, so don’t drive yourself crazy collecting everybody’s seeds.

Some people have special recipes for these things. I’ve seen the sweet and the savory. But I just do mine simply:

Once you’ve carved the pumpkins, separate the seeds from most of the goop. Leave some goop on, it will be yummy roasted. DO NOT WASH THE SEEDS. Spread the raw, slimy seeds on a cooking sheet and sprinkle with seasoned salt (or salt and pepper) and paprika. Roast at 400, tossing a few times, until crisped up. We like ours still a little soft in the middle.

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Enjoy, friends! xoxo

Spooky chocolate pumpkin tart

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Okay, so I know that Halloween is more than a month away. But darnit if those grocery-store magazines with all their fall/Halloween promos didn’t snare me. So now my coffee table has Martha Stewart, Country Living, Southern Living, Pottery Barn and Rachael Ray. All in orange, black and white.

A girl has to be prepared, right? This way, I’ll know which dishes to make and how to make them better by the holiday.

So, on to Martha Stewart. Her Halloween issue is one of my favorites because she always goes crazy. One recipe (among many) interested me: her chocolate-pumpkin tart. It took me around six hours, but I made it. And it is yummy nummy. The hardest part was finding canned pumpkin puree that is NOT pumpkin-pie filling. I finally found some, but it had to be organic, costing $3 a can! I had most of the other ingredients and used my turkey eggs, which worked great.

The most time-consuming part of this recipe was the baking/chilling time. The actual cooking part was easy, it just took a lot of steps. As a result, I’m not going to post the recipe here. It would take almost as much time as cooking the dang thing!

It starts out with a chocolate crust that you make with butter, cinnamon, cloves and cocoa powder (and salt, flour, sugar). You make it, chill it, roll it out, chill it again, then bake. Once that bakes, you sprinkle chopped chocolate over it, which melts nicely.

 

Chocolate on chocolate

Chocolate on chocolate

 

Next, you make a custard with creme fraiche (I used sour cream), eggs, brown sugar and spices (cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, cloves). Pour that over the crust and bake until set. Then you have to chill it before you make the spider-web pattern. For the web, I melted more chocolate and piped the pattern free-hand. Instead of adding plastic spiders to decorate like Martha, I piped my own little chocolate spider in the corner. I love the effect! Totally worth the tendinitis I now have in my left hand.

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Then you have to chill it again, for about an hour (we watched “Mad Men”). This will make the chocolate design set like a shell. When you cut in, you get the spicy crust, then a layer of chocolate, then the pumpkin custard, then more chocolate on top. It was very chocolatey, like a pumpkin pie dipped in chocolate.

 

Layers of goodness

Layers of goodness

I think this tart would be great to bring to a Halloween party because it looks so festive. And it feels good to make something so pretty. Friends, don’t wait until the holidays to make delicious treats – you can always make more later. Enjoy!