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Recipe of the Week: Frightful food for your Halloween festivities

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It’s party time for fans of Halloween who enjoy scary stuff and dressing up.

If you are giving or going to a party, it likely will be this weekend since the holiday falls on Tuesday. While costumes are usually the highlight of these events, there are some food ideas that can help set the mood for a scary celebration.

Simplest is a wheel of baked brie decorated to look like a mummy using googly eyes and strips of puff pastry. Other favorites are a bowl of punch with puffs of steam from dry ice to make it look like a boiling cauldron, caramel apples, Halloween Jell-O shots and hot dogs wrapped in croissant dough to look like mummies (use more googly eyes). Roll spoonfuls of warm just-baked brownie or cake into balls, then dip then in white frosting and use gels to add eyeballs and bloodshot lines.

For a really easy centerpiece/dessert, here is an idea from foodnetwork.com:

If you have made crisped rice treats you know how easy the mixture is to work with, which helps make this recipe for a witch’s hat into a simple, edible centerpiece. If you don’t have edible gold, don’t worry about it; just use the plain crisped rice with no coloring.

Crispy Treat Witch’s Hat

12 tablespoons (1 ½ sticks) unsalted butter, plus more for buttering the parchment and bowl

Four 10-ounce packages marshmallows

Two 15.5-ounce boxes chocolate-flavored rice cereal

Dash of cocoa powder (optional)

Vegetable oil for oiling your hands

One 12-ounce box plain rice cereal

Green gel food coloring for coloring the cereal mixture

Edible gold powder for dusting the cereal mixture

1. Melt 9 tablespoons of the butter in a large pot over low heat. Add 3 packages marshmallows and heat, stirring, until completely melted. Add the chocolate-flavored rice cereal and stir until well coated. The mixture will look very white because of the melted marshmallow; that’s OK because the color will fade. You can add a dash of cocoa powder to deepen the color if you’d like.

2. For the hat base: Grease a large piece of parchment with butter. Oil your hands so the cereal doesn’t stick, then remove about a quarter of the cereal mixture. Press and mold the mixture on the greased parchment to create a 10-inch flat circle.

3. For the hat: Build the remaining cereal mixture into a cone with a 6-inch-wide base. Set the cone on top of the hat base. Shape bends and divots into the cone to make a realistic looking hat.

4. Melt the remaining 3 tablespoons butter in a saucepan over low heat. Add the remaining package of marshmallows and heat, stirring, until melted. Stir in the plain rice cereal until well coated. Grease a small bowl with butter and transfer 1/2 cup of the cereal mixture to the bowl. Set aside.

5. For the hatband: Add a few drops of green gel food coloring to the rest of the cereal mixture in the saucepan and mix well until the color is even. Using the green batch, create a 3-inch-wide band or strip to wrap around the entire base of the cone.

6. For the buckle: Dust the reserved batch of cereal mixture with edible gold powder and shape into a square buckle. Press the buckle onto the base of the hatband. If the mixture doesn’t hold its shape, let it set for 10 minutes to stiffen.


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