Halloween draws out (scares out?) the most creative decorating ideas of home cooks, hostesses and bakers. I love to see regular old party foods reinvented to resemble spooky cemeteries, eyeballs and witch fingers. This is certainly the season to play with your food, so have fun!
Here are a couple of ideas that I think you'll like:
Miniature hot dogs get wrapped in dough as if they're mummies.
Dip pretzel rods in white chocolate that's been tinted with green food coloring and you've made "witch fingers." Add a slivered almond as if it's the witch's nail. Ew. They're almost too creepy to eat!
A little green food coloring and some carefully placed olives turn deviled eggs into eyeballs.
Strategically carved melons become brains .
Write RIP in melted chocolate on shortbread cookies and place on a cake to make a cemetery.
If you can't stomach those creepy foods or you're afraid your party guests will flee in fear, try the recipes below. They're festive but not gross. They're courtesy McCormick, and feature the company's food color dyes and flavor extracts.
Candy Corn Cupcakes
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
1 package (18 1/4 ounces) white cake mix
2 teaspoons McCormick Pure Vanilla Extract McCormick Assorted Food Colors and Egg Dye
1 container (16 ounces) vanilla frosting
Assorted decorations, such as orange sprinkles and candy corn
Prepare cake mix as directed on package, adding vanilla. Divide batter in half. Tint one batch yellow with 1/3 teaspoon yellow food color. Tint second batch orange with 1/4 teaspoon yellow food color and 1/8 teaspoon red food color.
Fill each paper-lined muffin cup 1/3 full with yellow batter. Gently add orange batter on top of yellow batter, filling each muffin cup 2/3 full. Bake as directed on package for cupcakes. Cool cupcakes on wire rack.
Frost cupcakes. Decorate with sprinkles and candy corn.
Makes 24 servings.
Test Kitchen Tip: For easier measurement, 1/4 tsp. Food Color = 20 to 25 drops
Orange Hocus Pocus Fizz
Prep Time: 5 minutes
1 cup pineapple juice
1/2 cup rum
1/4 teaspoon McCormick Imitation Coconut Extract
3 drops McCormick Red Food Color
2 drops McCormick Yellow Food Color
1 bottle (750 ml) sparkling white wine
Mix pineapple juice, rum, coconut extract and food colors in measuring cup.
For each cocktail, pour 2 ounces pineapple juice mixture into beverage glass. Top with 4 ounces sparkling white wine. Makes 6 servings.