Chef Time!

Chef Time!

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Halloween Treats

From my laboratory to yours, let's have some fun for Halloween. These are just a few ideas for treats, if you are having a Halloween Party for the little monsters, witches and goblins. (Or, for the much larger and older ones too.)


Sewer Water Halloween Punch

This Halloween party punch looks just... well, it looks like the name implies! Which isn't a good thing on any day except for Halloween. The Dr. Pepper makes the whole drink brown and sewer-y, and the orange juice gives it a cloudy appearance that's not so appealing. But it tastes great! Be sure to serve this Halloween punch drink in a clear Halloween punch bowl to allow your guests to get the whole effect of its gross appearance. Serves about 12.


Ingredients:

7 C. fresh orange juice with pulp
1.5 liters (3/4 of a 2 liter bottle) Dr. Pepper
Ice

Instructions:

1. In a large, clear punch bowl combine the vodka, orange juice, and Dr. Pepper.

2. Fill a separate container or ice bucket with ice.

3. Fill each punch glass with ice before serving. Serve with a lemon wedge if desired.


Bath Water Punch
Gross Halloween Party Punch

This gross-looking bathwater punch is a total Halloween classic. And I love to make this one because it's really versatile. Having a casual party with kids and other family members? It looks really gross. The rainbow sherbet in this melts to a gross-looking day-old-bathwater grey color. It looks scummy and unappetizing... but it tastes great! A traditional way you'll see this Bathwater Punch Recipe served is with little after-dinner mints floating on the top to look like little soaps. And while that's cute, I usually skip it. My guests always seem to pick the mints out of their drinks and leave them --sticky and wet-- on their napkins. But it's up to you!

Ingredients:

1 can (12 oz.) frozen lemonade concentrate, thawed, prepared according to directions
1 bottle (2 liters) lemon-lime soda (I use Sprite), well chilled
1/2 gallon rainbow sherbet (a must-- don't substitute!)

Instructions:

1. Remove 1/2 gallon (generally half of a package) sherbet from the freezer, scoop it into a bowl, and let thaw about 15-20 minutes. With a wooden spoon, stir the half-thawed sherbet around until brown-grey and ugly. Return to the freezer to re-freeze.

2. Place prepared lemonade and lemon-lime soda in a punch bowl.
3. Scoop out small spoonfuls of the brownish sherbet. Float them on top.


Pumpkin Eggnog
My Favorite Halloween Eggnog Recipe

Eggnog is one of the most famous holiday punch recipes there is... but for the wrong holiday! Want to make something rich and special for a Halloween party punch? This pumpkin eggnog is delicious, different, and full of Halloween-y flavor. I like to garnish mine with a little bit of pumpkin pie spice on top instead of plain nutmeg-- it makes the perfect Halloween party punch.
Also, as a bonus, this is a cooked eggnog recipe, so you don't have to worry if any of your guests (or you yourself) feel a little bit funny about raw eggs. Serve in creepy witches' cauldron or even a hollowed out pumpkin-- so pretty!

Makes enough to serve 10-12 people, depending on how much you augment the volume with rum! To make this a delicious alcoholic Halloween punch recipe, I add lots.

Ingredients:

4 C. milk (I use 2%)
1 C. canned pumpkin puree
7 lg. eggs
1 C. granulated sugar
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp. freshly ground nutmeg
1 C. whipping cream
1 tsp. vanilla extract
Spiced rum (such as Capitan Morgan), to taste
10-12 cinnamon sticks (to garnish)
Pumpkin pie spice, as desired (to garnish)

Instructions:

1. In a large, heavy saucepan, whisk together the pumpkin puree and the milk. Bring slowly to a gentle boil. Remove from the heat.

2. Meanwhile, beat together your eggs and sugar in a heat-resistant bowl.

3. To temper your egg mixture, pour a small amount of your hot milk into the eggs, whisking constantly. Add a bit more, whisking all the while, until your egg mixture is hot and close to the temperature of your milk mixture.

4. Slowly and gradually whisk your tempered egg mixture into your milk mixture. Return to a medium-low heat.

5. Add cinnamon and nutmeg. Cook, whisking constantly, until the mixture coats the back of a spoon. Remove from heat and stir in cream, vanilla, and rum to taste.

6. Cover and refrigerate up to 24 hours. You'll want to let it chill for at least four hours to let the flavors combine. Garnish each serving with a cinnamon stick and a sprinkle of pumpkin pie spice.

Tip: If your eggs weren't tempered perfectly, you may end up with a few egg bits in your nog. If this happens, simply strain the pumpkin eggnog into your Halloween party punch bowl before chilling.

Decorating:

If you want to make this Halloween party punch look a little more spooky, you can add a bit of orange food coloring before you chill it. Decorate with a little bit of black-colored sugar. Serve in a punch bowl or pretty little cups. I like clear ones.


Bubbling Witches' Brew Halloween Party Punch

Whether you want to make an alcoholic Halloween punch recipe or a virgin punch for the kids, this recipe is just perfect. It's sweet, it's creamy, it's bubbly, it's tangy... and it's really rather creepy looking. The vanilla ice cream floating on top of the orange-red punch mixture makes it look like something pretty evil is brewing. I like to garnish mine with things like plastic frogs, plastic eyeballs, and severed fingers. But even if you serve it just as is, it makes a great impression.
Serves about 10 people. More if you add the vodka. Looks great served in a witch's cauldron bowl!

Ingredients:

1 (2 liter) bottle orange-flavored soda, chilled
24 oz. fruit punch, chilled
1/2 (700 mL) bottle vanilla vodka (optional), chilled
1/4 gallon (half of a 1/2 gallon carton) vanilla ice cream

Instructions:

1. In a creepy-looking Halloween punch bowl , stir together the fruit punch and the soda.

2. Scoop out the ice cream and place all over the top of the punch. Stir gently for a moment to get the right look.

3. Garnish this Halloween party punch with creepy crawlies, if desired.


Erie Empanadas

With their funky green crust, these eerie empanadas look much stranger than they actually taste! Bite sized and easy to eat, these will be a Halloween party appetizer hit, I promise. The sweet potato filling is creamy and wonderful and oh-so autumn-y.

This Halloween party appetizer makes about 40-50 bite-sized empanadas. They taste nice either hot or at room temperature.


Ingredients:

2 (15 oz) pkgs. refrigerated pie crust
3 egg yolks, beaten
Green food coloring, as needed

Filling:
2 1/2 lbs. sweet potatoes or yams, cooked, peeled, and pureed
2 tbsp. butter, softened
1 tsp. ground cumin
1/4-1/2 tsp. salt, or to taste
1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper

Instructions:

 1. In a mixing bowl, combine your sweet potato puree, butter, cumin, salt, and pepper until well mixed. Set aside or refrigerate until ready to use (will keep covered in the refrigerator a couple of days).

2. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F while you assemble your empanadas.

3. To assemble your empanadas, unfold your pie crust and place on a floured board. Roll it out slightly to thin it out.

4. Using a 3" biscuit cutter or a floured glass, cut 40-50 pie crust circles from your two prepared crusts.

5. Scoop about a tsp. of filling into the middle of each circle. Fold over into a half-moon shape. Seal with your fingers or a fork.

6. Place your empanadas on a parchment paper-covered baking sheet, about 1" apart. You'll need to cook them in batches.

7. In a small bowl, combine the egg yolks and food coloring as needed to get a bright green coating.

8. Brush each empanada lightly with green egg mixture.

9. Bake 10-12 minutes until crisp and cooked through. Cool on a rack.

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