From queso in cauldrons to devilish wings, prepare a spell-binding spread this Halloween
Seeking enchanting new ideas to celebrate Halloween? Try these family friendly tricks and treats all ages can pitch in to help create.
Pumpkin Spice Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting
1 (15.25-ounce) box spice cake mix
½ cup water
½ cup oil
1 (3.4-ounce) package vanilla instant pudding mix
1 cup canned pumpkin puree
Preheat oven to 350 F. Grease and flour a Bundt pan.
With electric mixer, beat all ingredients together on medium speed about 4 minutes. Pour into greased pan and bake 45-55 minutes until toothpick comes out clean in the center of cake.
Cool 10 minutes, remove from pan and chill or freeze until ready to glaze with cream cheese frosting.
Cream Cheese Frosting
4 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
2½ cups powdered sugar, sifted
2 tablespoons milk
¼ teaspoon vanilla
Seasonal candy sprinkles
With electric mixer, whip cream cheese, powdered sugar, milk and vanilla until thick and creamy. Gradually whip in more powdered sugar, if desired, to achieve a thicker consistency.
Spoon frosting over top of chilled cake. Decorate with seasonal candy sprinkles.
Halloween Party Snack Mix
Create your own bewitching party mix with your family’s favorite snacks. For a sweet and salty treat, we used mini-twist pretzels, Bugle snacks, caramel popcorn, Milk Chocolate M&M’s, candy corn, candy pumpkins and dry-roasted peanuts.
Stir together and store in air-tight container. Serve in cute Halloween containers.
This delicious queso comes from Martha’s sister-in-law, Jean.
Yields: 8 cups
2 pounds original Velveeta cheese
½ pound block mild cheddar cheese
2 tablespoons cumin
2 tablespoons chili powder
2 garlic buds, peeled
1 (14.5-ounce) can tomatoes
1 (10-ounce) can original Ro-tel diced tomatoes with chilies
In a food processor or blender, process garlic with 1 can of tomatoes. Save Ro-tel for later. Cube cheddar cheese, add to tomatoes with cumin and chili powder and continue to process until smooth.
Place tomato mixture in large pot on the stove. Stir in Ro-tel. Cube Velveeta cheese and add to the pot with ½ can water. Cook on low heat 30 minutes, stirring occasionally until cheese is melted.
Serve in a festive cauldron with favorite chips. Extra freezes well.
Devilish Chicken Wings
Yields: 24 wing pieces
12 whole chicken wings
4 tablespoons butter
½ cup all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon pepper
1½ cups any favorite barbecue sauce
½ tablespoon Tabasco or adjust heat to taste
½ teaspoon Cajun seasoning
¼ teaspoon ground cumin
Chunky blue cheese dressing
Carrot and celery sticks
Separate each chicken wing at the joints to make 3 pieces. Discard pointed ends. With a sharp knife, remove skin, if desired.
In a large resealable food-storage plastic bag, mix flour, salt and pepper. Add wings, seal bag and shake until chicken is completely coated with flour mixture. Place wings on a foil-lined baking sheet and let floured chicken set at room temperature about 30 minutes.
On stovetop in a small skillet, melt butter. Stir in barbecue sauce, Tabasco, Cajun seasoning and cumin. Using half the sauce, spread a spoonful over each wing piece. Broil in oven 6-8 inches from top, uncovered, about 10 minutes.
Remove from oven, turn wings and spoon remaining sauce over the other side of each wing. Broil another 10-12 minutes longer, or until wings are cooked through and no longer pink. Lower baking sheet in oven, if necessary, to avoid over browning.
Serve with blue cheese dressing, carrot and celery sticks.
Ghostly Deviled Ham Sandwiches
Yields: 2½ cups
2 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
1⁄3 cup mayonnaise
½ teaspoon grated onion
½ teaspoon Tabasco
¼ teaspoon garlic powder
¼ teaspoon pepper
2 cups diced deli or leftover ham, about ½ pound
1 tablespoon sweet pickle relish, optional
Thin sliced white sandwich bread
Mini pieces of black olives for eyes
In a food processor, pulse first 7 ingredients until finely chopped. Stir in pickle relish, if desired.
Trim crusts from bread. Spread a thin layer of deviled ham between two slices.
Cut out with ghost cookie cutter. (Be sure cutter is sharp and deep to cut through the sandwich.) Attach eyes with mini dots of cream cheese. Or, to make simple party sandwiches, cut each sandwich into 4 squares, 4 triangles or 3 rectangles.
Oreo Double Stuf Chocolate Sandwich Cookies (twice as much icing)
Candy eyes (from party shop)
Creamy peanut butter
Carefully take Oreos apart. Split stick pretzels in half.
Start with the iced side of the cookie. For the legs, press 8 pretzel pieces into edges of the icing. In the center, add a small dab of peanut butter. Lightly press the other cookie half on top. Attach candy eyes using mini dots of peanut butter.
This easy, yummy recipe is a grandkids’ favorite from Martha’s daughter-in-law, Shonda.
Rolo Candy Surprise Cookies
1 (16.5-ounce) box devil’s food cake mix
1⁄3 cup oil
24 Rolo candies, unwrapped
Preheat oven to 350 F. Line a cookie sheet with parchment.
With electric mixer, mix first 3 ingredients until well combined.
With hands, take a small piece of dough (about half golf-ball size) and roll it into a ball. Press it flat and place a Rolo in the center. Close dough around Rolo. Roll again. Place on cookie sheet and repeat until all dough is used. Bake exactly 9 minutes.
Cool and sprinkle with powdered sugar if desired.
This nutritious, delicious cooler is a longtime favorite from Martha’s sister, Betsy.
Yields: 4-4½ cups
2⁄3 cup orange juice concentrate
¼ cup sugar
1 cup milk
1 cup ice water
1 teaspoon vanilla
Fresh small orange slices
In electric blender, place all ingredients, except orange slices, and process on high until frothy. Immediately pour into festive wine glasses and garnish with fresh orange slices.
For Halloween fun, we decorated wine glasses with jeweled spider rings.
Martha Justice is the author of “Easy Breezy Coastal Cooking” inspired by Galveston’s Coastal lifestyle. This cookbook is available for holiday giving online at www.grandcookbook.com or through Justice at firstname.lastname@example.org.