Play with your food on Halloween

October 24, 2012 

It's perfectly acceptable to play with your party food on Halloween. But, if you want your guests to eat your creations you might consider decorating your food to resemble the happy side of Halloween (pumpkins and scarecrows) instead of the gross side (eyeballs and brains).

These recipes, Courtesy of McCormick, won't scare your guests away.

Pumpkin Patch Cupcakes

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

1 package (181/4 ounces) white cake mix

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Assorted food colors

1 container (16 ounces) vanilla frosting

24 mini donuts

24 green gum drops

Prepare cake mix as directed on package, adding vanilla. Tint cake batter orange with 1/2 teaspoon yellow food color and1/4 teaspoon red food color.

Bake as directed on package for cupcakes. Cool cupcakes on wire rack.

Tint frosting orange using1/4 teaspoon yellow food color and 1/8 teaspoon red food color. Attach a mini donut to cupcake with some frosting. Frost entire donut and top of cupcake. Press ridges into the frosting with a small knife to resemble a pumpkin. Use a gum drop for the stem.

Makes 24 cupcakes.

Easy Jack-O-Lantern Cupcakes: Omit mini donuts. Frost cupcakes with orange-tinted frosting. Use candy-coated pieces to decorate the face and green gum drops for the stems.

Test Kitchen Tip: For easier measurement,1/4 tsp. food color is 20 to 25 drops.

Harvest Scarecrow Cookies

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 9 to 10 minutes per batch

1 package (17.5 ounces) sugar cookie mix

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 container (16 ounces) vanilla frosting

54 sugar wafer cookies

Shredded wheat cereal, broken up

Assorted decorations, such as candy-coated pieces and red string licorice

Prepare cookie mix as directed on package, adding vanilla. Cut out rounds with 2 1/2-inch round cookie cutter. Bake and cool cookies as directed on package.

Frost cookies with vanilla frosting. For the scarecrow's hat, break a sugar wafer cookie in half. Press half into the top of the frosted cookie. Place a whole wafer cookie below the cookie half. Press shredded wheat around sides of the face for hair. Use candy pieces and string licorice to decorate the face. Makes 3 dozen.

Creepy Crawly Cake Truffles

1 package (15 1/4 to 18 1/4 ounces) white cake mix

1 teaspoon orange extract

1/2 teaspoon yellow food color

1/4 teaspoon red food color

1 cup marshmallow crème

White confectionary coating wafers

Black confectionary coating wafers

Semi-sweet baking chocolate

Assorted candies for decorating

Prepare cake mix as directed on package, adding orange extract and food colors. Bake as directed on package for 13x9-inch baking pan. Cool completely on wire rack. Crumble cake into large bowl. Add marshmallow creme; mix until well blended. Shape into 1-inch balls. Refrigerate 2 hours.

Melt coating wafers or chocolate as directed on package. Using a fork, dip 1 cake ball at a time into the confectionary coating or melted chocolate. Tap back of fork 2 or 3 times against edge of dish to allow excess to drip off. Place cake balls on wax paper-lined tray.

Decorate as desired.

Makes 4 dozen or 24 (2 cake pop) servings.

Note: Wilton Candy Melts

Black Velvet Whoopie Pies

Cookies:

1 package (15 1/4 to 18 1/4 ounces) German chocolate cake mix with pudding

1/2 cup water

1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

1/4 cup vegetable oil

3 tablespoons black food color

3 eggs

1 tablespoon vanilla extract

Filling:

1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened

1 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar

1 jar (7 ounces) marshmallow cream

1/2 teaspoon orange extract

1/2 teaspoon red food color

1/2 teaspoon yellow food color

For the Cookies, preheat oven to 350°F. Beat cake mix, water, cocoa powder, oil, food color, eggs and vanilla in large bowl with electric mixer on low speed just until moistened, scraping sides of bowl frequently. Beat on medium speed 2 minutes.

Spoon 1 tablespoon of batter, 2 inches apart, onto parchment paper-lined baking sheets. (Cookies will spread so avoid crowding them on baking sheet.)

Bake 8 minutes or until cookies are puffed and spring back when touched, turning baking sheets halfway through baking. Cool on baking sheets 1 minute. Remove to wire racks; cool completely.

For the Orange Filling, beat all ingredients in medium bowl with electric mixer on medium speed until light and fluffy. To assemble the Whoopie Pies, place 1 tablespoon filling on flat side of 1 cookie. Top with a second cookie, pressing gently to spread the filling. Repeat with remaining cookies and filling.

Makes 2 dozen or 24 (1 whoopie pie) servings.

Black Cat Cookies

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 12 minutes per batch

3 1/2 cups flour

1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 1/2 cups sugar

1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened

2 eggs

2 teaspoons McCormick Pure Vanilla Extract

4 ounces unsweetened baking chocolate, melted

1 container (16 ounces) chocolate frosting

McCormick® Black Food Color

Assorted decorations, such as black string licorice, black jelly beans, chocolate wafercookies, miniature candy-coated chocolate pieces and gum drops

Mix flour, baking powder and salt in large bowl. Set aside. Beat sugar and butter in large bowl with electric mixer on medium speed until light and fluffy. Add eggs and vanilla; mix well. Gradually beat in flour mixture on low speed until well mixed. Add chocolate; mix well.

Roll out dough on lightly floured surface to 1/8-inch thickness. Cut out rounds with 2 1/2-inch round cookie cutter. Place 2 inches apart on ungreased baking sheets.

Bake in preheated 350°F oven 10 to 12 minutes or until cookies are set. Cool on baking sheets 1 minute. Remove to wire racks; cool completely.

Tint frosting black with 1/2 teaspoon black food color. Spread onto cooled cookies. To decorate cookies to resemble cat faces, use miniature candy-coated chocolate pieces for the eyes, jelly beans for the nose, gum drops for the mouth, string licorice for the whiskers and cut-up chocolate wafers for the ears.

Makes 3 dozen.

Test Kitchen Tip:For easier measurement,1/4 tsp. Food Color = 20 to 25 drops

Bloodshot Eyeball Cupcakes

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

1 package (181/4 ounces) red velvet cake mix

1 container (16 ounces) cream cheese or vanilla frosting

McCormick Assorted Food Colors and Egg Dye

Assorted decorations, such as red ring-shaped candies and black candy-coated pieces

Prepare cake mix as directed on package.

Bake as directed on package for cupcakes. Cool cupcakes on wire rack.

Frost cupcakes. Place a ring-shaped candy in the middle of each cupcake for the iris. Attach a candy-coated piece with some frosting for the pupil. Place small amount of red food color in a disposable paper cup. Using a toothpick, draw "bloodshot" lines in the white frosting. Or, tint any remaining white frosting red with red food color. Spoon frosting into small plastic resealable plastic bag. Snip a small corner from bag. Pipe frosting to create the bloodshot lines.

Makes 24 cupcakes.

Creepy Crawly Spider Cupcakes

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

1 package (181/4 ounces) chocolate cake mix

1 teaspoon McCormick® Pure Vanilla Extract

1 container (16 ounces) chocolate frosting

McCormick Black Food Color

Assorted decorations, such as chocolate sprinkles, black string licorice, red candy-coated

pieces and white chocolate chips

Prepare cake mix as directed on package, adding vanilla.

Bake as directed on package for cupcakes. Cool cupcakes on wire rack.

Tint frosting black with 1/2 teaspoon black food color. Frost cupcakes, mounding frosting in center of cupcake to create a dome shape. Sprinkle cupcakes with chocolate sprinkles. Cut string licorice into 2-inch lengths and use for the spider legs. Attach candy-coated pieces to flat side of chocolate chips with some frosting. Use for the eyes.

Makes 24 cupcakes.

Test Kitchen Tip: For easier measurement,1/4 tsp. Food Color = 20 to 25 drops

Ghosts in the Graveyard Cupcakes

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

1 package (181/4 ounces) white cake mix

1 teaspoon McCormick® Pure Vanilla Extract

McCormick® Black Food Color

McCormick® Assorted Food Colors and Egg Dye

2 containers (16 ounces each) vanilla frosting

24 oval-shaped cookies

Assorted decorations, such as chocolate sprinkles and miniature chocolate chips

Prepare cake mix as directed on package, adding vanilla. Tint cake batter grey with1/4 teaspoon black food color.

Bake as directed on package for cupcakes. Cool cupcakes on wire rack.

Tint 1 container frosting black with 1 teaspoon black food color. Frost cupcakes, reserving1/4 cup of frosting. Spoon reserved frosting into small plastic resealable plastic bag. Snip a small corner from bag. Pipe "RIP" onto top half of each cookie. Push tombstone cookies gently into cupcakes.

For the ghost, spoon remaining container of white frosting into large resealable plastic bag. Snip a corner from bag. For the body of the ghost, pipe 1/2-inch dollop next to tombstone. Pipe a smaller dollop on top, lifting while squeezing bag so that top of dollop is pointed. This is the head of the ghost. Use chocolate sprinkles and chocolate chips to decorate the ghost's face.

Makes 24 cupcakes.

Test Kitchen Tip: For easier measurement,1/4 tsp. Food Color = 20 to 25 drops

Red Velvet Vampire Cupcakes

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

1 package (181/4 ounces) red velvet cake mix

1 container (16 ounces) cream cheese or vanilla frosting

McCormick Black Food Color

Assorted decorations, such as black jelly beans and red gummy candies

Prepare cake mix as directed on package.

Bake as directed on package for cupcakes. Cool cupcakes on wire rack.

Divide frosting in half. Use half of the frosting to spread a thin layer on cupcakes. Tint remaining frosting black with 1/2 teaspoon black food color. Spoon frosting into small plastic resealable plastic bag. Snip a small corner from bag. Pipe frosting in the shape of a widow's peak for the vampire's head. Pipe a line of frosting for the mouth. Use jelly beans for the eyes and gummy candies, cut into triangles, for the fangs.

Makes 24 cupcakes.

Test Kitchen Tip: For easier measurement,1/4 tsp. Food Color = 20 to 25 drops

Wicked Witch Cupcakes

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

1 package (181/4 ounces) chocolate cake mix

1 teaspoon McCormick Pure Vanilla Extract

24 chocolate ice cream cones

4 ounces semi-sweet baking chocolate, melted

24 chocolate wafer cookies

1 container (16 ounces) vanilla frosting

McCormick® Assorted Food Colors and Egg Dye

Assorted decorations, such as green gum drops, red candy-coated pieces and black string licorice.

Prepare cake mix as directed on package, adding vanilla.

Bake as directed on package for cupcakes. Cool cupcakes on wire rack.

Dip open end of each ice cream cone into melted chocolate. Attach to chocolate wafer cookies to make the witch's hat. Let stand 30 minutes to allow chocolate to harden. Tint frosting green with 1/2 teaspoon green food color. Frost cupcakes. Place witch's hat on each cupcake. Use candy-coated pieces for the eyes and gum drops, cut into triangles, for the nose. Cut string licorice into assorted lengths for the hair.

Makes 24 cupcakes.

Test Kitchen Tip: For easier measurement,1/4 tsp. Food Color = 20 to 25 drops

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