Halloween is one of the most fun holidays for my kids, they really love it! Back in Portugal we celebrated "Carnaval" where they also were costumes and everything but it really isn't the same thing and they never felt really excited about it. With Halloween it's totally the opposite: they start talking about it way too early and always want to bake or cook something spooky or funny around these days. I also enjoy it and actually, for the first time ever, we're all going to dress up, even mom and dad!
With all this going around I try to choose easy and quick treats to do, things that won't take too much of my time because, lets face it, I also want to enjoy Halloween!
This year I chose simple chocolate cupcakes, chocolate covered pretzels, vanilla puddings and chocolate chip cookies. I'll post the directions just bellow but, as I said, they are pretty easy and I always use handy "half made" products that I can. Fun is fun so we better enjoy it with our kids while we can!
Halloween vanilla puddings
For the puddings I used a package of instant pudding (no sugar added) and the only thing I had to do was to mix it up with some milk (following the directions on the package) and whisk it for a minute or so. After that I divided the pudding between 4 bowls and started adding the food colors I wanted to make the most colorful scheme I could. I used "Color Garden Food Colors" which is a natural and safe option if you want to add some color to your food.
I just love being able to get creative and not worry about fake ingredients that can only be bad for us. I'm always looking for safe options and I really recommend this food coloring - the colors come from vegetables and fruit and you can just use them and enjoy! Find them here, at Amazon:
I also used some Halloween themed Wilton's sprinkles to make things even more fun! Who doesn't like some bats on their vanilla pudding? What about some candy corn ones? Yes, these have sugar but considering that these were the only sugary ingredient on these puddings I'm pretty happy with that!
Isn't that a colorful and creative spread? I love the red colored pudding with all the eyeballs!
I'll be trying the food colors on cakes and other recipes to see how they turn out on something baked because here they were just added to the cold puddings. I'm hoping for good results!
Chocolate mummy cupcakes
I decided to use some mummy gummy treats that I had bought specifically for Halloween. I must say that my kids didn't even ate the mummy's (it's all sugar in there and hard as a rock!), just the orange gummy that they could skilfully remove from the mummy's hands!
Anyway I though these turned out the most cute cupcakes ever, with almost no work at all. I used the Bob's Red Mill muffin mix and just added a Tbsp of cocoa powder. After baking them I let them cool down on their beautiful carton cupcake holders and then I just pipped some buttercream frosting on top: I used just butter and sugar and mixed it up on my Kitchenaid mixer until the mixture had the right texture to pipe on the cupcakes.
Pipped the buttercream on top and added the mummy gummy. Isn't that the cutest thing??
Chocolate chip cookies
I had a package of chocolate chip cookie mix on the pantry ready for a quick treat and that was what I decided to go with: chocolate chip spider cookies and bats and spider cookies! I used some Wilton's edible decorations, some Reese's mini-buttercups and some sugar eyeballs and that was all we needed for a fun and giggly afternoon by the fireplace eating cookies with the kids!
I baked the cookies and let them cool down. After that, I melted a small dark chocolate bar in the microwave (30 second intervals) and when it was all perfectly melted I used a small plastic snack bag as a pipping bag to draw the spider's legs. I used the chocolate as glue on the bottom of each Reese's mini-buttercup, pressed it on the cookie and "glued" the eyes that same way to the buttercup!
With the rest of the chocolate that was left I made the other cookies: I spread the chocolate on top and just spread the edible decorations on top so that they would stick to the chocolate. Waited 5 minutes (and that was hard!) and they were ready to be devoured!
Chocolate covered pretzels
Well, we couldn't miss the pretzels, right? A sweet and salty snack is always a good choice! This is the most easy thing ever. I just melted some candy melts in the microwave (30 seconds intervals) until they were really soft and ready to be put on a pipping bag. I used green and purple because I though those were the perfect colors for Halloween!
I spread the pretzels on some parchment paper on a flat surface and then I just started spreading the melted colorful chocolate on top, drizzling it through all the pretzels. Then, I added some cute sprinkles, some eyeballs, bats and spiders!
Mr J helped me with this task and was really committed on doing a great job on the pretzels. I sure did and I always appreciate my kids' help in the kitchen! Passing them my love for cooking and baking is one of the most precious things to me!
That was it as far as quick Halloween treats go! Now, lets get ready for Trick or Treating next Tuesday and hope for good weather and lots of fun!