Creepy cakes and other goblin gobbles Ideas: Here's a scary thought. Halloween is a good time to play with your food.

October 29, 1997|By DALLAS MORNING NEWS

A twisted mind and some creative shopping can scare up all kinds of gruesome grub for ghouls and goblins of all ages.

Turn sandwich cookies into tilting tombstones in a Halloween granola graveyard. Fill in with candy pumpkins.

Or design a spidery icing web.

The designs described in this article start with cookie mixes, but you could use the same topping treatment on any cake or cookie recipe.

Turn a round cake or cupcakes into a grinning face with candy eyes, nose and lips and a mane of shoestring licorice hair. Or spread out all the goodies and let kids design their own creepy critters.

Go ahead. It's the one night of the year when you're encouraged to play with your food.

Spider web munch

Serves 12

2 cups (12-ounce package) semisweet chocolate morsels

1 cup creamy peanut butter (divided use)

1/3 cup confectioners' sugar

3 cups toasted rice cereal

Heat morsels and 3/4 cup peanut butter in a small, heavy-duty saucepan over low heat, stirring constantly until smooth; remove from heat. Add sugar and stir vigorously until smooth.

Place cereal in a large bowl. Add 1 cup of melted chocolate mixture; stir until well-coated. Place on ungreased baking sheet. Using a small metal spatula, shape into a 10-inch circle with slightly raised 1-inch border. Pour remaining melted chocolate mixture into center of circle and spread to border.

To make spider web, place remaining peanut butter in a heavy-duty plastic bag; knead with hands to soften. Cut tiny corner from bag; squeeze to pipe concentric circles on top of chocolate. Using a wooden pick or tip of a sharp knife, pull tip through peanut butter from center to border.

Chill for 30 minutes or until firm. Cut into wedges.

Per serving: 320 calories; 19 grams fat; no cholesterol; 150 milligrams sodium; 54 percent calories from fat.

Spider web peanut bars

Makes 12 bars

1 package chocolate-peanut butter dessert bar mix (or use your favorite recipe)

1/2 cup honey-roasted peanuts, chopped

3 tablespoons margarine or butter, softened

1 egg

Decorating icing (chocolate and vanilla)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line 8-by-8-inch or 9-by-9-inch pan with aluminum foil, leaving the edge of the foil hanging over the side of the pan. Grease foil. Stir peanut butter bar mix, peanuts, margarine and egg in a medium bowl. Mixture will be like soft cookie dough. Spread in pan.

Bake 18 to 22 minutes for 8-inch pan, 17 to 23 minutes for 9-inch pan, or until top is light golden brown.

Cool completely; lift out foil and bars. Pull foil away from sides of uncut bars for easier frosting and decorating.

Knead packet of frosting included with mix for about 10 seconds. Cut off one corner of packet. Squeeze frosting onto bars; spread evenly with the back of a teaspoon. Using white decorator icing, pipe a series of thin circles onto uncut brownies, each about 1/2 inch larger than the previous circle. Draw the tip of a knife from the center of the rings to the edge in a spoke fashion to create spider-web effect. Place plastic spider near the center of the web.

Per serving: 337 calories; 16 grams fat; 45 milligrams cholesterol; 292 milligrams sodium; 35 percent calories from fat.

Graveyard brownies

Serves 18

1 package walnut or chocolate-chunk brownie mix (or use your favorite recipe)

3 tablespoons water

1/2 cup vegetable oil

2 eggs

1 cup granola (without dried fruit)

5 to 7 finger-shaped vanilla sandwich cookies

Candy pumpkins and other Halloween candy

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a 9-by-13-inch pan with aluminum foil, leaving edge of foil hanging over the rim of pan. Grease bottom of foil.

Stir brownie mix, water, oil and eggs in medium bowl, using spoon, about 50 strokes or until well blended. Spread mixture in pan. Sprinkle with granola, breaking up any large pieces.

Bake 23 to 28 minutes or until toothpick inserted 2 inches from edge of pan comes out clean or almost clean.

Immediately after removing brownies from oven, randomly press sandwich cookies halfway into warm brownies to look like tombstones.

Cool completely; lift out foil and transfer uncut brownies to serving tray or a piece of cardboard covered with foil. Arrange candy to complete graveyard scene.

Per serving: 242 calories; 13 grams fat; 24 milligrams cholesterol; 124 milligrams sodium; 37 percent calories from fat.

Dino punch

Makes 14 ( 1/2 -cup) servings

1 (6-ounce) can frozen lemonade concentrate, thawed

1 (6-ounce) can frozen limeade concentrate, thawed

1 cup water

Few drops green food coloring

1 (1-liter) bottle chilled ginger ale

In large, non-metal pitcher combine concentrates and water. Add food coloring; blend well. Just before serving, add ginger ale and stir gently. Serve over ice.

Per serving: 80 calories; no fat; 5 milligrams sodium.

Pub Date: 10/29/97

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