Halloween 2010

OK, so for my first ever post, I will recant Bonnie and my celebrations for Halloween this year…

To begin with, I should explain that as Australians, neither Bonnie or I usually celebrate Halloween. Growing up, going trick or treating meant being met with blank stares of “huh?”. A few weeks prior to October 31st, however, I received an email from Bonnie suggesting we go all out on a Halloween themed party.

To say we got a little obsessive is an understatement. Between us, we must have visited every Halloween decoration and party supply place there is (including online). We were emailing each other constantly with ideas of what to make and what to decorate the house with. But in the end it was worth the obsessing.

The party was a huge success, with everyone dressing up and getting into the spirit. I was, however, kinda glad it was over in the end because my brain could get a rest…

TOMBSTONE CHICKEN SANDWICHES

1 large roast chicken, shredded
2 sticks celery, diced finely
1/2 red onion, diced finely
3/4 cup mayonnaise (I used Kraft)
1 large or 2 small loaves of dark rye bread
butter
200g Mango Chutney (I used Masterfoods)
250g cream cheese
Alfalfa to decorate

  1. In a bowl, combine chicken, celery, onion and mayonnaise and season well.
  2. Take two slices of bread, butter lightly, and spread with a little chutney.
  3. Spread a little of the chicken mixture onto one slice and sandwich together with the second. Continue until all the mixture or all the bread is used up.
  4. Cut sandwiches in half and lay flat.
  5. Heat cream cheese in the microwave until it reaches the consistency of thick icing (1-2 minutes)
  6. Transfer cream cheese to a piping bag, and pipe RIP and an outline on each sandwich half.
  7. Arrange sandwiches on a platter and decorate with Alfalfa.

Makes 20 tombstones approx.

GINGERBREAD SPIDERWEB BISCUITS

125g butter
½ cup (100g) firmly packed brown sugar
1 egg yolk

2 ½ cups (375g) plain flour
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
3 tsp ground ginger
½ cup (125 ml) golden syrup
1½ cups icing sugar + 1 cup extra
black or brown fool colouring

  1. Preheat oven to 180°C.
  2. Beat the butter and sugar together until light and creamy.
  3. Add the egg and beat until combined.
  4. Sift dry ingredients and stir into butter mixture with the golden syrup.
  5. Mix to a light dough and knead gently on a lightly floured surface until smooth.
  6. Roll out between 2 sheets of baking paper until approximately 3 mm thick.
  7. Using a 5cm round cutter, cut circles from the dough and place on baking paper on biscuit trays and bake for 10 minutes or until lightly golden. Re roll dough as many times as necessary. Cool on trays.
  8. Combine 1½ cups icing sugar with a little water until you have a thick icing. Spoon into a piping bag or freezer bag with the corner snipped.
  9. Pipe a white border around first biscuit, before piping a border around 2 more.
  10. Go back to first biscuit (icing should be a little set but not completely) and fill in with icing sugar. Repeat process until all the biscuit are iced.
  11. Combine 1 cup icing sugar with the food colouring and a little water until you have an icing slightly thinner than the white icing.
  12. Pipe a spiral on each biscuit, then while still runny, take a toothpick and drag from the center outwards to create the spiderweb pattern. Continue until all the biscuits are decorated

Makes 40 approx. (Adapted from an Australian Woman’s Weekly recipe)

SWEET CHILLI PHILLY BRAIN

1.5 L capacity brain mould
Spray Canola Oil

1.5 L cream cheese
Sweet Chilli Sauce
Rice Crackers to serve

  1. Grease brain mould with spray oil
  2. Heat cream cheese in the microwave, whisking occasionally, until the consistency of thick cream
  3. Pour cream cheese into mould and cover with cling wrap. Place in the fridge and allow to cool.
  4. When ready to serve, turn out brain and cover with sweet chilli sauce.
  5. Serve with rice crackers.

Serves 20

PUMPKIN CHEESECAKE

300g Oreo or other cream-filled cookies
2 1/2 tbsp butter, melted

450g cream cheese, at room temperature
1 cup sugar
1 cup cooked pumpkin, pureed
3 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
3 tbsp plain flour
1 tbsp mixed spice
1/4 tsp salt

  1. Preheat oven to 180ºC. Line a 20cm square pan with foil and spray with oil.
  2. Process cookies in food processor until ground. Pulse in butter until mixture resembles coarse breadcrumbs. Press evenly into pan and bake for 10 to 12 minutes. Allow to cool for 30 minutes.
  3. With an electric mixer on medium speed, beat cream cheese and sugar until smooth, about 2 minutes
  4. Add pumpkin, then eggs, 1 at a time, before adding remaining ingredients.
  5. Pour mixture evenly over cookie base and bake for 40 to 45 minutes.
  6. Remove pan from oven and allow to cool. Cover with plastic wrap and then chill until firm, at least 3 hours before cutting.

Makes 20 pieces. (Recipe adapted from MyRecipes.com)

CHOCOLATE EYEBALL CUPCAKES

1/2 cup butter, sofened + 1/4 cup extra, melted
1 1/4 cups brown sugar
2 large eggs
1/2 cup milk
1 tsp vanilla
3/4 cup flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
pinch of salt
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 cups icing sugar
few drops of red food colouring
48 foil-wrapped eyeball chocolates

  1. Preheat oven to 180ºC.
  2. Line 48 mini muffin cups with paper cases
  3. Beat 1/2 cup sofened butter and sugar using an elecric beater until pale
  4. Add eggs, one at a time, until just combined.
  5. Add milk and vanilla and stir to combine.
  6. Add sifted flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cocoa powder, and using a spatula stir gently until just combined.
  7. Spoon mixture evenly into paper cases and bake in a preheated oven for 12-15 minutes until golden. Allow to cool completely before icing.
  8. To decorate, combine icing sugar, 1/4 cup melted butter, food colouring, and enough water to make a thick icing
  9. Spoon icing into a piping bag with a large, star-shaped nozzle and starting at the center, pipe a swirl of icing onto each cupcake. Top each with a chocolate eyeball.

Makes 48 mini muffins (Cupcake recipe adapted from CupcakeBakeshop.com)

CHOCOLATE PEANUT BUTTER SPIDERS

200g packet plain fried noodles (do not add seasoning)
4 tbsp peanut butter
400g milk chocolate

  1. Microwave chocolate and peanut butter until melted, stirring occasionally
  2. Add noodles and stir to combine
  3. Spoon heaped tablespoons of the mixture onto a lined baking tray and refrigerate until set.

Makes 15-20 approx

VAMPIRE LOLLIPOPS

2 cups sugar
4 tbsp light corn syrup
red food coloring
white lollipop sticks

  1. Bring sugar, corn syrup and 1/4 cup water to the boil in a small saucepan until sugar dissolves (5-7 minutes or if you have a sugar thermometer, when it reaches around 150ºC).
  2. Working quickly, pour tablespoons of the syrup onto silicone mats (alternatively use baking paper-lined trays) before dotting on a few drops of the food colouring. Press a stick into each then allow to cool (about 5 minutes).

Makes about 20 lollipops.

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