Category Archives: Halloween

Celebrate Halloween at Home This Year With This Gourmet Miso Caramel Corn

Just when you thought 2020 couldn’t get any scarier, along comes Halloween. And while we don’t know exactly what to expect from this year’s holiday, we do know you’ll need this recipe for miso caramel corn to get you through it. It’s the ultimate salty-sweet combo and it’s an easy treat to pack up and give away or — let’s be real — to enjoy curled up on the couch with your fave scary movie.

Bowl of miso caramel corn

Miso Caramel Popcorn

Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 8 cups

Ingredients:

8 cups popped popcorn (from ½ cup kernels)
⅔ cup packed dark brown sugar
⅓ cup unsalted butter
3 Tbsp golden corn syrup
¼ tsp baking soda
2 Tbsp white miso
2 Tbsp black and white sesame seeds

Ingredients for miso caramel corn on table

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 250ºF. Line a baking sheet with parchment or a silicone mat. Place popped popcorn in a large bowl. Set aside.

2. Combine sugar, butter and corn syrup in a medium pot. Set over medium-high heat to melt butter. Once butter has melted, stir mixture until combined.

Ingredients for miso caramel corn in pot

3. Bring mixture to a boil, swirling occasionally. Continue to cook until temperature reaches 250ºF on a candy or instant-read thermometer, about 3 minutes. Remove from heat, then whisk in baking soda (be careful as it will bubble up) until it is several shades lighter in colour and mixture is uniform. Whisk in miso and sesame seeds until fully incorporated.

Miso caramel corn sauce in pot

4. Immediately drizzle mixture over popcorn and working quickly, stir to coat. Scrape popcorn onto prepared baking sheet and arrange in an even layer.

Related: 12 Dead-Easy Halloween Cocktails You Need to Try This Year

5. Bake until shiny and crisp, about 20 to 25 minutes. The best way to determine crispness is by carefully plucking a kernel from the baking sheet, letting it cool for a second or two and then trying it. It will still be a bit sticky at this point, but it should have a nice crunch. Let cool completely, about 15 minutes.

Closeup of miso caramel corn

Want more Halloween treats? Try these make-ahead gory white chocolate truffles or these witches’ cauldron cupcakes.

Spookylicious 2020

Spookylicious: A Feast For the Eyes is Coming This Fall

Something spectacularly delicious is coming your way this Fall! Spookylicious is the ultimate line-up of all your favourite Food Network Halloween shows. Get ready for all the creepiest edible creations, from over-the-top spooktacular cakes to jaw-dropping pumpkin carvings that will frighten like never before.


Spookylicious returns to Food Network Canada beginning Monday, September 14 at 9 PM ET/PT with a new season of Halloween Baking Championship. Carla Hall hosts as 10 talented bakers compete to create terrifyingly tasty treats and bake their way through a haunted house brimming with challenges that test their nerves and skills. Judges Zac Young and Stephanie Boswell join Carla to determine whose devilishly delicious desserts will earn the grand prize of $25,000 and the title of Halloween Baking Champion.

Halloween Baking Championship season 6

Halloween Wars returns for season 10 on Sunday, September 20 at 9 PM ET/PT.  Host Jonathan Bennett welcomes six teams made up of an expert pumpkin carver, a cake artist and a master sugar artist to fight for glory as they create frighteningly fun and edible Halloween displays that are as spooky as they are tasty. The last team standing takes home a grand prize of $50,000.

Halloween Wars season 10

Hosted by Alyson Hannigan, new series Outrageous Pumpkins is coming to Food Network Canada on Sunday, September 27 at 10 PM ET/PT. In it, the most spectacular and ridiculously talented pumpkin carvers and Halloween artists come together to duke it out in an outdoor pumpkin carving competition that defies everything you thought you knew possible with pumpkins.

Outrageous Pumpkins season 1

Stream Spookylicious and all your favourite Food Network Canada shows through STACKTV with Amazon Prime Video Channels, or with the new Global TV app, live and on-demand when you sign-in with your cable subscription.

Make-Ahead Gory White Chocolate Truffles for Your Halloween Bash

Playfully gory, these adorable crafty treats are just a cake box away from impressing your Halloween enthusiasts, with just the right amount of fun and horror. Make these bite-sized desserts ahead and freeze them for up to one week. You have the choice of serving them cold with a crunchy coating, or at room temperature for a soft, cakey texture. That’s what we call frightful meets delightful!

Make-Ahead Gory White Chocolate Halloween Truffles

Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour + 45 minutes (includes cooling, rolling, dipping, decorating and refrigeration times)
Servings: 48 cake pop truffles

Ingredients:

1 box yellow or white cake mix, prepared according to package directions in a 9-by-13-inch cake pan and cooled
3/4 cup prepared vanilla frosting (approx)
48 candied cherries (optional)
450g (16 oz) white chocolate, finely chopped
2 Tbsp coconut oil (optional)
1 tube red decorating gel
Red food colouring or paste (optional)
Mini royal icing decorative knives (optional)

Directions:

1. Divide the cake into six equal portions. Working with one portion, finely crumble cake into a large bowl (large bits will give you lumpy cake truffles). Repeat with remaining cake.

2. Add frosting and stir into cake using the back of a spoon until evenly combined. Don’t be tempted to add more frosting, it will be too soft to shape into balls.

3. Using a generous tablespoon for each, shape the cake batter into rounds and place on a baking sheet to give you 48 portions. Gently roll each to form balls. If using cherries, open the centre to add, then cover with cake, rolling to shape. Refrigerate until firm, about 30 minutes.

4. Melt chocolate in a microwave-safe bowl, stirring every 25-30 seconds, stir in coconut oil (if using). Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside. Working with a fork, dip each cake ball into chocolate, tapping fork on edge of bowl to remove excess; transfer to prepared pan. Repeat with remaining cake balls (refrigerating cake if softening and reheating chocolate if firming up to evenly coat). Refrigerate truffles until chocolate is hardened, about 15 minutes.

Tip: The melted white chocolate will coat and firm up without the addition of coconut oil, but will not be as solid.

5. For the bloody decoration, gently squeeze decorating gel on top of truffle and spread using toothpick. For a deeper red colour, stir decorating gel with red food colouring to desired tint and decorate using toothpick. If using royal icing knives, poke top of truffle with tip of paring knife and gently wedge in cleaver.

For more fang-tastic desserts, make these easy chocolate witches’ cauldron cupcakes and get inspired by these 50 killer Halloween party recipes.

These Witches’ Cauldron Halloween Cupcakes Are Wicked Delicious

Looking for a fun and spooky treat to make this Halloween? Look no further! These witches’ cauldron cupcakes are as eye-catching as they are delicious. I used my favourite one-bowl chocolate cake batter as the base, and topped each with a fluffy vanilla buttercream frosting. 

The addition of handmade witches legs also add a little trick to the treat. To make the legs, all you need is black card stock and striped paper straws. Simply cut out 48 black booties using the card stock, cut each straw into thirds and glue the boot upside down to the top of each straw. What else are you brewing up this Halloween season?

Witches’ Cauldron Chocolate Cupcakes

Prep Time: 20 minutes
Bake Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes
Servings: 24 cupcakes

Ingredients:

Cupcake Base
2 cups granulated sugar
½ cup vegetable oil
½ cup unsalted butter, melted
2 large eggs, room temperature
1 Tbsp pure vanilla extract
1 cup whole milk (can substitute equal parts dairy-free milk)
2 cups all-purpose flour
¾ cups unsweetened cocoa powder
2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp fine salt
1 cup boiling water

Cupcake Frosting
1 pound unsalted butter, room temperature
4 to 5 cups powdered sugar, or to taste
1 Tbsp pure vanilla extract
20 drops green food colouring
¼ cup whipping cream, cold
24 gummy fang teeth candy, halved
24 neon worms candy, halved
48 googley candy eyes, for topping
Halloween sprinkles, for topping
24 sets of witches legs (see headnote)

Directions:

Cupcake Base
1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Line two 12-tin cupcake trays with cupcake liners.
2. In a large mixing bowl, beat together the sugar, oil, butter, eggs and vanilla extract until fluffy. Stir in the milk until combined.
3. Sift in the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt. Beat until batter is smooth.

4. Slowly whisk in the boiling water until well blended.
5. Evenly divide batter amongst prepared cupcake trays. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until the tops bounce back to touch. Let cook completely before frosting.

Cupcake Frosting
1. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream butter and sugar until fluffy, about 8 minutes.
2. Scrape down the edges of the bowl. Add the vanilla and food colouring. Beat until colour is evenly blended. Add the whipping cream and beat for an additional 30 seconds.
3. Transfer frosting to a large piping bag fitted with a star tip. Pipe as desired.

4. Top each cupcake with the fang teeth, neon worms, googley eyes and sprinkles. Finish with a set of witches legs.

Don’t let the scary fun stop there! We’ve got 25+ spook-tacular halloween desserts, plus more frightening cake and cupcake ideas!

Candy-Filled Pumpkin Pail Cake for Halloween

Bursting with colourful candy and pumpkin spice, this charming Jack O’Lantern cake is the ultimate Halloween dessert. A little less spooky and a lot more whimsy, celebrate the haunting holiday with treats instead of the creepy crawlies. Made from two Bundt cakes sandwiched together to create the pumpkin shape, even the inside has a candy surprise! The pumpkin spice cake is the perfect seasonal flavour, but feel free to fill and top the cake with whatever candies you’d like.

Jack-O-Lantern-Cake

Prep Time: 10 to 15 minutes
Cook Time: 50 to 60 minutes
Total Time: 2 to 2 1/2 hours
Serves: 14 to 18

Bundt Cakes:

Note: To create the pumpkin design, two cakes will be needed. Repeat recipe for each bundt cake.

Ingredients:
3 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 Tbsp baking powder
1 tsp pumpkin spice
1/2 tsp salt
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup pumpkin puree
1/3 cup whole milk
1 cup unsalted butter, melted and cooled
2 Tbsp vegetable oil
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1 cup light brown sugar
2 whole eggs
3 egg yolks

Directions:
1. Pre-heat oven to 350°F. Liberally grease and flour a 10-cup Bundt pan and set aside.
2. Sift together the flour, baking powder, pumpkin spice and salt in a large mixing bowl. In a separate bowl or liquid measuring up, whisk together the vanilla, pumpkin and milk. Set aside.
3. In a separate bowl, whisk together the melted butter, sugars and oil with an electric mixer. Add in the eggs and yolks, 1 at a time, and mix until combined. Stop the mixer and scrape down the bowl.
4. With the mixer on low, add in half of the dry ingredients. Once incorporated, slowly stream in the milk mixture. Add in the remaining dry ingredients and mix until smooth.
5. Spread the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 50 to 60 minutes, or until a thin knife inserted into the cake comes out clean. Allow the cake to cool on a wire rack until it is safe to handle before inverting the cake out of the pan. Allow the cake to completely cool, about 1 hour, before assembly.

JackOLanternCake-candy-filled

Vanilla Spice Frosting

Ingredients:
1 1/2 cups unsalted butter, softened
5 1/2 to 6 cups confectioner’s sugar
1 Tbsp vanilla extract
1 tsp cinnamon, or to taste
3 to 5 Tbsp milk
Orange food colouring

Directions:
1. Using an electric mixer, beat the butter until smooth. With the mixer on low speed, gradually add in the sugar, vanilla, cinnamon, and milk until combined.
2. Once combined, turn the mixer up to medium-high and beat until fluffy, 3 to 5 minutes. Add more sugar and/or milk until desired consistency is reached. Add the orange food colouring until desired shade is achieved.

Assembly
Ingredients:
1 cup assorted chocolate candies
Whole candy bars and lollipops for decoration
2 oz black fondant

Jack O Lantern Cake

Directions:
1. Once the cakes have completely cooled, turn upside down and trim the bottoms so that they are flat. Reserve the cake scraps for later.
JackOLanternCake-cut
2. Stack the cakes on top of each other. Using a serrated knife, begin carving the cakes until they resemble the shape of a pumpkin. Depending on the initial shape from whatever pan you are using, be sure to trim so that the gap between the 2 cakes is fairly seamless. If desired, go back and define the ridges on top by cutting grooves into the cake to resemble that of a pumpkin. Most importantly, save the cake scraps.
Jack O Lantern Cake
3. Once trimmed, separate the 2 cakes. Place the bottom cake on a serving dish or cake board. Press the cake scraps into the hole to create a bottom layer about 1-inch thick. Fill the center with chocolate candies.
JackOLanternCake-frosting
4. Spread on a thin layer of frosting on the top of the cake. Place the second cake on top to form the pumpkin. Continue to fill the center with candy. Press the remaining cakes scraps to cover the top of the hole. Crumb coat the entire cake with frosting before giving it a smooth finish.
Jack O Lantern Cake
5. Roll out the black fondant to 1/4 to 1/8 inch thick. Using a parking knife and round cutters (or the large end of a piping tip), cut out eyes, a nose, and a mouth. Stick the cut pieces on the cake to form the Jack O’Lantern. Cover the top with an assortment of candy and enjoy!
Jack O Lantern Cake

halloween-pretzels-3-ways

Make These Spooktacular Halloween Pretzels and Watch Them Disappear

Halloween is the time of year for sweet and salty treats and we’ve come up with some super fun recipes that transform pretzels into spooky and delicious Halloween party eats. On top of being easy to make, all the ingredients can be picked up at your grocery or bulk food store. Plus each of these adorable bites come together in minutes and are guaranteed to bring a smile to your face!

halloween-pretzel-party

Pretzel Ghosts Recipe

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes
Makes: 24 treats

Ingredients:
1 cup white chocolate molding wafers
24 small pretzel twists
½ cup dark chocolate molding wafers

Directions:
1. Line 1 large baking sheet with parchment paper.
2. Melt white chocolate wafers in a small heat-proof bowl over a small pot of gently simmering water. Dip each pretzel in chocolate and place on parchment sheet. Place in fridge to set for 10 minutes.
3. Melt dark chocolate wafers in a small heat-proof bowl set over a small pot of gently simmering water. Spoon chocolate into a pastry bag fitted with a writing tip.
4. Fill each opening in pretzels to create eyes and mouth.
5. Place in fridge to set, about 20 minutes.

spider-web-halloween-pretzels

Pretzel Cobwebs Recipe

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes
Makes: 12 treats

Ingredients:
1 cup white chocolate molding wafers
72 pretzel sticks
Halloween candy quins or sprinkles

Directions:
1. Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper.
2. Melt chocolate wafers in a small heat-proof bowl set over a small pot of gently simmering water. Spoon chocolate into a pastry bag fitted with a writing tip.
3. Dollop six dime-sized rounds of chocolate onto each prepared tray. Lay 6 pretzels in the centre so they touch the chocolate and radiate out. Dollop another circle of chocolate on centre. Working in a circular motion from the centre out draw web lines about a ¼-inch apart. Finish web design at edge of pretzels, repeating the circle three times to add strength to the web.
4. While chocolate is still wet, sprinkle edges and centre with candy quinns or sprinkles. Place in fridge to set, about 30 minutes.

cookie-and-pretzels-spiders

Pretzel Spiders Recipe

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes
Makes: 12 treats

Ingredients:
36 pretzel sticks
12 chocolate wafer sandwich cookies with double filling (such as Double Stuffed Oreos)
3/4 cup dark chocolate molding wafers
24 candy eyeballs

Directions:
1. Line 1 large baking sheet with parchment paper.
2. Break pretzels in half and stick three into each side of the cookie about ¼-inch apart to resemble legs.
3. Melt chocolate in a heat-proof bowl set over a small pot of gently simmering water. Spoon a quarter-sized dollop onto cookies, spreading to edge. While still wet, press candy eyeballs into chocolate.
4. Place in fridge to set, about 30 minutes.

Looking for more spooky recipes? Try our Zombie-Approved Recipes for your next Halloween party.

halloween-porch-party-pumpkins

How to Host a Spooktacular Halloween Porch Party

Growing up in Australia, we didn’t celebrate Halloween. No jack o’lanterns, costumes or going door-to-door collecting candy from neighbours.

Now that I’m teaching at an elementary school in Canada, the growing excitement of Halloween is impossible to avoid, with kids planning their costumes weeks in advance of the big night. Living in a neighbourhood filled with families, it’s fun to see their creative costumes and hand out treats to all the little ghouls and goblins. These days, we make an evening of it – setting ourselves up on the front porch with snacks, drinks and dinner and play host to condo-dwelling friends who don’t have trick or treaters. It’s become an annual event that’s a fun, no-fuss way celebrate Halloween, enjoy time with friends and catch up with neighbours without leaving your front porch! Over the past decade, we’ve got the hosting of this porch party down to a fine art. If you’d like to throw your own front-porch soiree, here are our best tips for a spooktacular evening outside.

Spooky eye bark recipe

The Treats

Arguably the most important part. If you have the willpower buy treats earlier rather than later, you’ll get a better selection. Don’t leave it until 5 p.m. on Halloween night because often by then, stores are sold out or won’t have the treats you want.  Buy treats with the “nut free” symbol on it so they are safe for everyone.

Plan your treats accordingly –  if you’re ok with a few leftovers (i.e. you haven’t already been eating treat-sized candy for weeks!) buy candy you enjoy.  The best way to avoid leftovers is to buy the right amount of treats – if you’re unsure, ask neighbours how many they typically hand out on Hallowe’en.

If you have guests joining your porch party, have them bring some treats too (make sure they buy something different so you have a good selection).

And hey – if you’ve got leftover candy, you can always make this cute candy bark.

Check the Weather and be Prepared

Sometimes, Halloween evening can be pretty chilly, especially after the sun goes down. Make sure you are dressed properly (layers work well here) and have gloves handy. Make sure you have comfortable cushions and lots of blankets for your porch party guests too.

chli-lime-pumpkin-seeds

Don’t Forget the Snacks

If you’re trying to avoid eating the candy before you hand it out (and while you wait for dinner to heat up), make some snackable items in advance. Since you’ll probably be carving your pumpkin anyway, save the seeds and make this spicy lime version.

And popcorn is always a good idea.

alberta-beef-stew

Don’t Forget to Eat Dinner!

If you’re not careful, Halloween dinner might end up being just treats and snacks but if you plan in advance, it can be the highlight of the night. As I rarely make it home before 5 p.m. and by this stage, many of the younger kids have already started trick or treating, there’s no time to prep dinner.  With a little planning, you can prepare a hearty dish that’s easy to reheat in the oven when you get home (or in the slow cooker in the morning) and serve family style on the porch.

A bowl of chili on a chilly night is always a good idea. This one tastes even better the next day so prep it the night before for an easy meal on the night.

Soup is a tasty way to stay warm. How about this hearty winter minestrone? Beef stew (made in the slow cooker) takes the fuss out of dinner in between trick-or-treaters. And lasagna is an easy dish to make the day before so all you have to do is pop it in the oven to warm up while you hand out the treats!

These are all great choices to feed a crowd and are easy to prepare in advance. That way you can pop them in the oven to reheat while you get started handing out treats!

slow-cooker-mulled-wine

Thirsty?

It’s always a good idea to have a selection of beverages (hot and cold, alcoholic and non-alcoholic) to serve your guests (and hey, the parents who accompany their kids trick or treating!). On cold evenings, a big slow cooker filled with mulled wine hits the spot! Remember paper cups for those parents who are taking their warm drinks along with them.

What about you – what are your Halloween evening traditions?

vegan-pumpkin-cake

Vegan Pound Cake With a Colourful Surprise Inside

There are so many treats and sweets that vegan and gluten-free have to pass on, why not bake up a delicious Halloween cake everyone can enjoy. Treat your vegan and gluten-free friends to a delicious dessert with a colourful surprise inside!

vegan-gluten-free-pound-cake

Vegan Hidden Pumpkin Pound Cake
Courtesy of Christina Frantzis
Prep Time: 45 min
Cook Time: 95 min

Ingredients:
Cake
8 Tbsp aquafaba (canned chickpea liquid), divided
2 510 g gluten-free pound cake mix
1-1/4 cup coconut or rice milk, divided
2/3 cup vegetable oil, divided
1/2 cup pumpkin puree
1/2 tsp vegan orange food colouring

Glaze
1 cup icing sugar, sifted
4 tsp water
1/4 cup pecans, chopped

Note: Aquafaba is the water that canned chickpeas are packed in. Strain chickpeas and reserve for another use and use the water to substitute eggs.

pumpkin-pound-cake-slides

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Lightly grease a loaf pan and set aside.
2. Whisk 4 Tbsp of the aquafaba in a small bowl until foamy.
3. In a large bowl, whisk 1 package of the cake mix with the foamed aquafaba, 1/2 cup of the milk, 1/3 cup of the oil and the pumpkin puree until smooth. Stir in food colouring until no streaks of colour remain.
4. Pour batter into prepared loaf pan and smooth top. Bake until a tester inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean, about 45 minutes. Let cake cool in pan on cooling rack for 20 minutes. Remove cake from pan and cool completely.
5. Remove ends of cake and slice loaf into 1inch thick slices. Using a pumpkin shaped cookie cutter cut pumpkins out of centre of each slice. Reserve scraps for another use.
6. Preheat oven to 350°F and lightly grease clean loaf pan. Stand the pumpkin cutouts in a straight line in the pan, leaving no space between them.
7. Whisk remaining 4 tablespoons aquafaba until foamy. Stir into second cake mix along with remaining 1/4 cup of the milk and remaining 1/3 cup of the oil until smooth. Pour mix along sides of pumpkin cutouts in the pan and over top to cover, carefully straightening out if row shifts. Bake until loaf is golden and a tester inserted in the middle without piercing through the pumpkin row comes out clean, about 50 minutes.
8. Let cake cool in pan on cooling rack for 20 minutes. Remove cake from pan and cool completely.
9. Stir sugar with water in a medium bowl until smooth. Drizzle over top of the cake and sprinkle with pecans. Allow 30 minutes for glaze to set before serving.

Looking for more delicious vegan desserts? Try these 50 Vegan Desserts Even Non-Vegans Will Love.

black-icing-halloween

How to Make Black Icing for Naturally Spooky Halloween Treats

Using coconut butter and activated charcoal, we’ve created a smooth, luscious dark icing, with no food colouring, that is the perfect addition to any Halloween treat.

Despite its deep, dark hue,  charcoal — which you can buy with coconut butter at health food stores — doesn’t have a funky taste. Instead, this icing is sweet, rich and maple in flavour.
You can feel good serving this to your kids, knowing it’s a fairly healthy recipe. Scroll down to find a fantastic way to use it in spooky, desserts.

Black Icing1

Prep Time: 7 minutes
Total time: 7 minutes
Serves: 4 to 7

Ingredients:
1 cup coconut butter (also known as coconut manna)
1/4 cup maple syrup
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1/4 cup coconut milk (from a carton, not a can)
1 tsp activated charcoal (in powder form)

Directions:
1. If the coconut butter is solid in a jar, break it up into larger chunks and measure out 1 cup.
2. Place all ingredients except the activated charcoal in a food processor and blend until smooth, about 3 to 5 minutes. You may need to stop and scrape down the side.
3. Add activated charcoal and blend for another 2 minutes until the icing turns black.

Black Icing2

Time to put your spooky black icing to use! Turn cupcakes into a tasty cemetery using black icing to set the scene with this recipe for Pull Apart Graveyard Cupcakes.

Food Network Kitchens Pull Apart Graveyard Cupcakes

Food Network Kitchens Pull Apart Graveyard Cupcakes

Looking for more spooky recipes? Try these Scary-Good Halloween Cakes.

Slime cake

How to Make a Gooey Slime Poke Cake and Win Halloween

Satiate your kids’ need for all things slime with this twist on a poke cake! Dark and delicious devil’s food cake is filled with ooey-gooey neon green slime that is a spooktacular delight for the eyes and the taste buds. Learn how to make this easy, yet eerie cake, just in time for Halloween.

Slime poke cake

Slime Poke Cake
Courtesy of Christina Frantzis
Prep Time: 30 min
Cook Time: 40 min

Ingredients:
Cake
2 boxes devil’s food cake mix

Slime
1 package vanilla pudding mix
3 cups of milk
1/4 tsp green gel food colouring

Frosting
3/4 cups shortening
1/4 tsp salt
4 cups powdered sugar
2 Tbsp black gel food colouring

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Invert the bottom of two 9” springform pans and line with parchment paper. Assemble pans and set aside.
2. Mix cake batter according to package directions. Divide batter evenly amongst prepared pans and bake on centre rack of oven until a tester inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean, 40 – 45 minutes. Remove cakes to a cooling rack and cool completely, removing outer ring of the pan after 20 minutes.
3. For the slime, combine milk and instant pudding mix and microwave for 3 minutes, stir in green food colouring, and return to microwave for an additional 3 minutes. Allow coloured pudding to cool slightly before placing 1/3 of it in a piping bag.

Slime poke cake 1
4. Using the bottom end of a wooden spoon, poke holes through to the bottom of each cake layer.
5. Place the first layer of cake on plate and pipe slime into each hole till it reaches the top of the cake. Spread a thin layer of slime on first cake and top with the second layer. Pipe slime into holes in the top layer of cake.

Slime poke cake 2
6. For the frosting, mix shortening with salt in the bowl of a stand mixer. Slowly add sugar to shortening beating on low until fully incorporated. Add in black colouring and beat on high until frosting is fluffy about 5 minutes.
7. Frost top and sides of the cake and smooth using an offset spatula. Top cake with reserved slime and spread to edges to drip down the sides.

slime-cake-icing

Looking for more spooky treats? Try our Scary-Good Halloween Cakes and Cupcakes.

Anna Olson Halloween Hacks

Anna Olson’s Spooktacular Halloween Hacks

If you ask us, the best food-based Halloween offerings combine a little trick and a whole lot of treat. In fact, one of the best parts about the ghoulish holiday is invoking some kitchen creativity and concocting amazing offerings that look as though they belong at a feast table in the great hall at Hogwarts.

Anna Olson may not have the magic spell that brings chocolate frogs to life, but she certainly has oodles of creativity up her flour-dusted sleeves. Check out these four spooktacular Halloween hacks that not only elevate party-friendly treats but are guaranteed to impress kids and adults alike.

Spiderweb Donuts

Scare up some of these elevated jelly donuts for your next Halloween party or office get-together. All you need is a standard sugar glaze, some jelly donuts, a makeshift piping bag and a toothpick. Easy, peasy. (Spiders not included.)

 

Witch’s Cauldron Instant Ice Cream

Source some dry ice and watch guests’ faces positively light up when you whip up some instant, smoky ice cream in a matter of seconds. Extra points for a colourful spread of gummy worms, crushed Oreo cookie “dirt” crumbs and other sugary toppings to pour over top.

 

Slimiest Green Slime

It only takes three simple ingredients to simmer up some kid-friendly slime that’s not only chemical-free but edible, too. Decorate cakes, cupcakes or other concoctions with “green slime,” or just give it to the kiddies to play with as they see fit for some real Halloween fun.

 

Spooky Kitchen Fun: Halloween Treats

Get the kiddies involved in some good old-fashioned Halloween fun with these simple hacks that won’t just transform snacks into adorable creations, but you’ll craft some life-long memories while you’re at it. From witches hats and pretzel ghosties to blondie Frankensteins and fanged pumpkins, these treats are surprisingly easy to assemble.

 

Looking for more spooktacular inspiration? Try our 18 Orange and Black Halloween Treats.

Easy Halloween Cookie Pizza

While Halloween is all about the treats, make life a little easier with this dessert trick. Instead of baking a batch of individual cookies, wow the kids and adults with a giant Halloween cookie pizza. The huge slice-and-serve chocolate chip cookie is topped with delicious chocolate icing, and decorated with your favourite Halloween candy for a spooky seasonal treat that will be gone before you can say ‘boo!’

Halloween Cookie Pizza

Prep Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour, 10 minutes
Serves: 12

Ingredients:

For the Cookie:
2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1 cup butter, softened
1 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 granulated sugar
2 eggs
2 tsp vanilla
1 cup semi sweet chocolate chips

For the Topping:
1 cup semi sweet chocolate chips
2 Tbsp butter
1/4 cup milk
1 cup icing sugar
1 1/2 cups assorted Halloween candy (we use candy corn, pumpkin marshmallows, coated pretzels, and ghost shaped sour candies)

Directions:
1.  Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease a 14-inch round baking tray.
2.In a small bowl combine flour, baking soda and salt.
3. In the bowl of a hand mixer, cream butter with sugars until light and fluffy. Add in eggs one at time and then vanilla and beat until combined. Gradually add the dry ingredients and stir until just combined. Fold in chocolate chips.
4. Spread the batter in an even layer onto the baking tray leaving a 1-inch border around the edges. Smooth the top.
5. Bake in the center rack of the oven until golden brown and cookie is baked through, about 22 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool for 15 minutes.
6. To make the the topping, place chocolate chips in a small saucepan over low heat. Add butter and milk and stir until just melted and immediately remove from heat. Transfer mixture to a large bowl.
7. Gradually whisk in icing sugar until mixture is smooth and spreadable. If mixture becomes too thick, add a few drops of milk.
8. Spread a layer of chocolate icing onto the cookie leaving a 1 1/2 inch border around the edge. Top with assorted Halloween candy.
9. Slice pizza into 12 slices and serve.

Looking for more ghoulish delights? Try our 20 Spook-tacular Halloween Treats.

Halloween pumpkin

5 Tips to Make Your Halloween Pumpkins Last Longer

It’s the countdown to Halloween: the decorations are appropriately ghoulish and the kids are a quiver with anticipation of sugary excess. But wait — has the family Jack ‘o lantern gotten a bit too eerily rotten even for fright night? With a little bit of forethought, you can avoid a scare on Halloween with our five tips for putting your pumpkin’s best face forward this year.

Halloween Pumpkin

1. Choose Wisely
Even before the knives come out, starting with the freshest possible pumpkin is the best way to ensure longevity in your Jack o’ lantern. The best way to choose a pumpkin in the patch (or your local grocery store) is to look for plump and unblemished specimens with a vibrant orange colour and an intact stem. Avoid gourds that are mushy or have soft spots, indicating that spoilage is already occurring or will occur shortly.

2. The Power Of Procrastination 
Sometimes, it’s OK to leave some things to the last minute. Waiting until the day before Halloween (or the day of, if you’ve got the day off and are super ambitious) delays the start of the clock in terms of rot and decay. Rushed for time or trying to keep those costumes pristine? Consider using stickers, glue-on adornments and markers instead of — or to complement — the decorative cutting.

3. Keep It Clean
Making sure your hands  are clean when prepping your pumpkin will keep yesterday’s pudding out of the middle of your creation and inhibit mold. Also wipe down your surfaces as well as the outside of the pumpkin, and dry it thoroughly. A mild bleach solution, vinegar or lemon juice may help keep bacteria and fruit flies at bay. Scrape the inside of the pumpkin and remove all the gooey innards, and be sure to give it a wipe out as well.

4. Polished Presentation
To keep your pumpkin perfectly plump, you can use petroleum jelly or oil to coat the insides and cut edges and wrap the whole thing well (or rehydrate it with a quick soak before trick or treaters arrive, but be sure to drain it completely to avoid pumpkin puddles).

5. Think About Temperature
Pumpkins are like most people: happiest when it’s not too cold or too hot. Bring your pumpkin indoors if the weather falls below zero to avoid a cycle of freezing, thawing and rotting, but avoid making them too toasty lest they shrink. To prevent mold, keep them away from high humidity. If storing your gourd outside, concrete may add heat and the potential for spoilage, so consider giving it a cushy seat with a piece of cardboard until the big night.

Prefer to eat pumpkin? Try these 25 Tasty Pumpkin Desserts.

Spooky Apple Cider Punch

In my search for Halloween party ideas, I came across this great recipe from the homemaker of all homemakers, Martha Stewart. Inspired, I decided to whip up my own mix of ingredients, to go along with the shrunken apple heads. This punch is super easy and would also be great alcoholic, substituting the soda for champagne, or adding some spiced rum or bourbon to the mix!

Spooky-Apple-Cider-Punch-2880-1024x683

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 2 minutes
Serves: 4-8

Ingredients:
4 cups apple cider
2 cups sprite (or other sparkling soda)
1 cup cranberry juice
2 sticks of cinnamon
2-4 apples (2 for a small punch bowl, 4 for a wider punch bowl)
2 whole cloves per apple (optional)

Spooky-Apple-Cider-Punch-2861-683x1024

Directions:
1. Start by preheating your oven to 250°F.
2. While oven is preheating, peel the skin off all of your apples and slice them in half, removing the core with a melon baller. Cut faces using the round side (I used the smaller side of my melon baller, along with a paring knife to cut out the faces).
3. Once sliced in half, and given a face, place the apple on a parchment paper lined baking sheet.
4. Bake for about 2 hours until apples have shrunk a bit, and become wrinkly. Push a clove into each eye socket of your apple.
5. Mix ingredients for punch together, place your apples into the bowl, along with the cinnamon sticks.
6. Serve and enjoy!

5 Halloween Party Recipes Inspired by Scary Movies

Alright, so making cute party snacks isn’t your strong suit— that’s OK! Not everyone has a steady hand (or patience) to make immaculate marshmallow jack o’ lanterns or a five-layer tombstone cake. Here are five Halloween recipes that are meant to look messy and gross, but actually taste delicious. Bonus: you can do this while already half in the bag over a witches’ brew (gin) and still impress your friends.

Halloween smoothie recipe

Camp Crystal Lake Waters, inspired by Friday the 13th
Makes about 4 cups

Welcome your guests with a shot glass filled with some murky brew.

Ingredients:
4 cups kale leaves, stems removed and leaves torn into small pieces
2 cups sweetened almond milk
1 cup blueberries
2 Tbsp freshly grated ginger
2 Tbsp maple syrup

Directions
Place all ingredients into a blender and mix until everything is evenly blended. Pour into shot glasses and serve.

Halloween recipe red pepper hummus pita pockets

Puss-filled Wounds, inspired by A Nightmare on Elm Street
Yields: about 2 cups of hummus, enough for about 30 pitas plus leftovers.

A snack of roasted red pepper hummus served in mini pita pockets. Make things less hectic by making the hummus the night before.

Ingredients:
2 cups canned chickpeas, drained and rinsed (or one 591ml can)
2 whole roasted red peppers
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 cloves garlic, minced
Salt and lemon juice, to taste
Two bags of bite-sized pitas

Directions:
1. Combine chickpeas, roasted peppers, garlic and olive oil in a blender, food processor, or a bowl if you’re using a hand blender.
2. Purée the ingredients until everything becomes a smooth and velvety texture and all the lumps gone. If the mix is too thick, thin it out with a bit of water.
3. Add lemon juice and salt to taste. Continue blending until everything is well incorporated. Store in an airtight container and refrigerate until ready to serve.
5. To serve, cut open a hole in the middle of the pita and stuff a spoonful of hummus inside.

Halloween recipe pea soup shot glass

Regan’s Demon Vomit Shots, inspired by The Exorcist
Yields about 12 cups of soup.

Make this chilled pea soup the night before and reheat just before serving, or serve chilled with mint or basil leaves as garnish.

Ingredients:
4 cups frozen green peas
4 cups low-sodium chicken broth
3/4 cups whole milk or cream
1 cup potato, chopped and peeled
1/2 cup white onion, minced
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 pats butter
1/2 cup grated parmesan
Mint or basil leaves, for garnish (optional)

Directions:

1. In a large soup pot, melt the butter over medium heat and sauté the onions and garlic until the onions become translucent.
2. Add the chicken broth and milk. Bring to a simmer.
3. Add the peas and potato.
4. Continue to simmer. Blend the mixture until smooth. Add in the parmesan and stir until it’s all melted. Let cool completely before refrigerating in an airtight container.
5. Sprinkle with additional grated Parmesan before serving.

Sized_BloodyMarshmallows

Bloodied Campfire Marshmallows, inspired by Cabin in the Woods
Yields about 36 bloodied marshmallows.

A sweet spread of marshmallow skewers, drizzled with coloured chocolate for your hungry guests to enjoy. This is meant to look messy and splattered, so don’t spend too much time trying to get the “blood” to drip just right. You can also make this the night before.

Ingredients:
1 bag large size marshmallows
1/2 pound red chocolate wafers (available at bulk food stores)
1 Tbsp chocolate chips

Directions:
1. Place the chocolate wafers and chips into a microwave-proof bowl that’s been wiped completely dry.
2. In intervals of 15 to 20 seconds microwave the chocolate on med/high, stirring the chocolate in between as it melts. Continue until the chocolate has completely melted and there aren’t any lumps.
3. Over a sheet of parchment paper, drizzle the melted chocolate on top of the marshmallows using a spatula, allowing it to run down the sides of the marshmallows. Allow the chocolate to harden and dry before skewering them.

Halloween party recipe LeatherfaceJerky

Leatherface Fruit Jerky, inspired by The Texas Chainsaw Massacre

This fruit leather with licorice strings is gooey, sticky and slightly slimy, perfect to gross out your guests while they pick at it.

Ingredients:
1 package thin red or black shoelace licorice
2 cups fruit gummies of various colours and flavours

Directions:
1. Place a heatproof bowl over a pot of simmering water, making sure that the water does not touch the bottom of the top bowl.
2. Pour in the gummies and stir occasionally with a rubber spatula until the gummies have melted and melded into one gooey blob.
3. In a baking tray lined with parchment paper, pour in the melted candy mixture. Using the spatula, spread the candy evenly in a rectangular shape about 1/2cm thick. Let the candy cool to room temperature then chill in the fridge for a few minutes. This will harden the candy so that it’ll be easier to peel off the parchment.
4. Remove from fridge and peel the candy off the paper. Using a pair of scissors to cut the candy into uneven, haphazard shapes.
5. Cut the licorice into short strands and place on top to replicate stitches.

Halloween Pumpkin Pasta

With fall upon us, out come the sweaters, colourful leaves, and tons of Autumn-inspired eats, like this Halloween pumpkin pasta.

This tasty dish is perfectly suited for the season; Halloween farfalle pasta covered in a creamy pumpkin sauce spiced with fresh rosemary, paprika and nutmeg.

888_pumpkin-pasta1

Halloween Pumpkin Pasta
Adapted from the Martha Stewart recipe.

Ingredients:
250 grams Halloween farfalle pasta
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 Tbsp fresh rosemary
1 can (400 ml) pumpkin purée
1 clove of garlic (minced)
1/2 cup of half-and-half cream
1 Tbsp white-wine vinegar
1 1/2 tsp paprika
2-3 pinches of nutmeg
1 shallot (minced)
Salt and pepper

888_pumpkin-pasta2

Directions:
1. Start off by cooking your pasta in a large pot of boiling salted water until the pasta reaches its desired tenderness.
2. While the pasta is cooking, in a large sauce pan, fry the fresh rosemary in olive oil for 1-2 minutes on medium heat. Once is begins to brown remove the rosemary from your pan onto paper towel.
3. In the same pan, add in the pumpkin purée, garlic, half-and-half, white-wine vinegar, paprika, nutmeg and shallot. Cook the sauce, stirring regularly for about 3-5 minutes until the ingredients have combined and the sauce has warmed through.
4. Season to taste with salt and pepper (feel free to add more half-and-half if the sauce is too thick).
5. Once the sauce has finished, add in the rosemary and pasta, stir and serve!

Anna Olson’s Top 5 Food Halloween Costumes

I’m more fond of the playful side of Halloween as opposed to the spooky side — although my house is rumoured to be haunted (it’s an old Victorian home and doesn’t need much help getting dressed up for Halloween).

anna-olson_halloween-blog-photos

Photos courtesy of Anna Olson

Our street really does Halloween in style; with lots of kids in the neighbourhood, the trick-or-treating starts right at dusk and doesn’t let up for three hours.  Along the way, we see some stunning costumes, and food is always on trend!  Here are the top five food Halloween costumes I’ve seen:

1. Bacon: My friend’s son, Walker, is obsessed with bacon, so of course it makes sense for him to dress up as his favourite thing on the planet.

2. Cakes and Cupcakes: If you come to my door dressed as a sweet treat, you can guarantee that I’ll toss an extra handful of sweets in your goodie bag. My friend’s daughter, Ruby, went all out with the tiered confection above. How sweet!

3. Lobster in a Pot: Our neighbour came by one year with her 6-month-old dressed as a lobster dropped into a stock pot— and her older sister was dressed as the chef who put her in there.

4. Popcorn: I’ve seen a single kernel (yellow outfit with puffy white kitchen bags tied on) and a box (striped box with clear bags filled with popcorn on top). Very economical and creative!

5. Jolly Green Giant: We happened to be taping Bake with Anna Olson on Halloween one year, and our Director of Photography arrived dressed in head-to-toe green, an exact replica of the asparagus spear giant. At least, I assume that’s what he is…

If raiding your kids’ bag of Halloween treats isn’t an option, I have some delicious goodies that taste just like your favourite classics:

anna-olson_chocolate-covered-candy-bar

Chocolate Covered Caramel Bars
Shortbread cookies are topped with gooey caramel and dipped into chocolate. This takes a little work but it’s beyond worth it!

Chocolate Peanut Butter Whoopie Pies
If you love a good peanut butter cup, this treat is for you: peanut butter frosting sandwiched between chocolate cake cookies.

Chocolate Macaroons
These chewy, not-too-sweet cocoa and coconut candies are always a fan favourite .

Spiced Monkey Bread with “Spider Web” Spun Sugar

Who doesn’t love a warm, gooey cinnamon bun as a breakfast treat or afternoon snack, but monkey bread is even better! Sticky, fluffy Timbit-like rolls of cinnamon bread all stuck together in a giant loaf — there’s really nothing like it.

This time around, I decided to make a Halloween-inspired, pumpkin-spiced monkey bread covered in “spider web” spun sugar. It’s a great treat for Halloween and the perfect bread for sharing; every little ghoul and goblin will be sure to get a piece.

888_monkey-bread3

Ingredients:

For the dough:
¼ cup butter, melted
2 cups warm milk
¼ cup brown sugar
1 tsp pumpkin spice
1 tsp vanilla
1 Tbsp quick rise yeast
4 ½-¾ cups all-purpose flour

For the dusting:
1 cup granulated sugar
2 Tbsp pumpkin spice
½ cup butter, melted

For the spun sugar:
1 cup granulated sugar
2 Tbsp corn syrup
¼ cup water

888_monkey-bread2

Directions:
1. Begin by making the dough. In a stand mixer bowl, combine the melted butter, warm milk, brown sugar, pumpkin spice, vanilla and yeast. Mix together and leave to sit for 3 minutes to activate the yeast.
2. Mix in the flour using a dough hook or using a wooden spoon if you don’t have a mixer. Mix until the dough comes together and continue to mix/knead the dough for 5 minutes.
3. Place the dough in a large, greased bowl. Cover with a clean tea towel and leave to rise for 1 hour. Once the dough has risen, punch it down.
4. For the dusting ingredients, mix together the sugar and spice.
5. Pull apart pieces of the dough to make small rounds (a couple inches in diameter). Roll each piece of dough into the melted butter and then straight into the spice mixture. Start packing the dusted balls tightly into a greased bundt tin. If you don’t have a bundt tin, use a large and deep, round 9” cake tin.
6. Once all the dough has been rolled and placed into the bundt tin, cover with a towel and leave to rise again for 30 minutes. Once the dough has risen again, place into a preheated 350°F oven.
7. Bake the monkey bread for 1 hour. The bread may leak from your bundt tin, so place a tray underneath to catch any drips.
8. While the bread is cooling, make your caramel for the spun sugar. Combine sugar, corn syrup and water in a small pot. Bring to a boil, stirring until the sugar dissolves. Boil, without stirring the mixture, until the mixture turns a light amber caramel, about 10 minutes.
9. Remove from heat and let cool slightly to thicken. Using a fork dip into caramel and quickly move the fork back and forth over a large piece of parchment paper to create small strands of sugar.
10. Once cool, lift off large strands and place on top of monkey bread to create spun sugar web.

Spooky Eyes Chocolate Bark

When I was a kid, I stretched trick or treating for as many years as I could. It wasn’t until I was verging on my late teens before I finally felt too old. There was nothing better than getting free candy, munching on it all night long, and having a huge stash at your disposal to enjoy for weeks to come.

SONY DSC

Now that I’ve grown way past the acceptable age of trick or treating, I look for other ways to get my candy fix.

halloween-bark2

This year, I’m making Halloween chocolate bark, combining my love for Halloween treats and chocolate into one delicious treat. The tiny eyes are super easy to make and add a touch of spookiness to this tasty chocolate bark.

SONY DSC

Ingredients:

The chocolate:
3 cups chocolate chips
½ cup–1 cup assorted Halloween chocolates (depending on size)

The eyes:
1 egg white
1 ½ cups icing sugar
Black gel food colouring

halloween-bark1

Directions:
1. Place the chocolate chips in a heat-resistant bowl. Place bowl over top of pot of simmering water to create a double broiler. Let chocolate melt, stirring occasionally.
2. Pour melted chocolate on a parchment lined baking sheet. Using a spatula, spread chocolate evenly into a large rectangle of even thickness. Place Halloween candy all over melted chocolate.
3. In a medium-sized bowl whisk egg white until frothy. Whisk in icing sugar until a smooth, white icing is formed. Place half of icing into a Ziploc bag or piping bag. Cut off a small corner of the bag or tip of the piping bag. Pipe two dots, for eyes all over the Halloween chocolate bark. Dip a q-tip into black gel food colouring and dot eyes on the white dots of icing.
4. Let set in the fridge for 30 minutes. Break bark into small pieces for eating, sharing or giving as gifts for Halloween!

10 Halloween Recipes for a Zombie-Themed Party

Halloween is quickly approaching, and so is… a zombie apocalypse? Well, maybe not, but we’ve got some ghastly recipe ideas for all you hardcore Halloweeners to feast like the undead this Hallows’ Eve. Get cooking…if you dare!

Ghoulish-Breakfast-013

1. Zombie Punch with Bloody Hats

2. Bleeding Hearts Scones 

3. Liver with Onion Compote

4. Broken Finger Cookies

5. Bloodshot Fried Eggs with Witch Fingers

6. Beet Hearts with Chèvre

7. Liver Pâté 

8. Brain with Brown Butter

9. Grilled Heart with Golden Beets & Horseradish

10. Roast Eight Winged Bat