These Halloween Recipes Are Literally Eye Candy
While we should keep healthy Halloween snacks around the house this time of the year, more often than not we succumb to our sweet tooth and indulge a little (or a lot)—'tis the season, right? Besides, Halloween is a special time and it only happens once a year, so we say live a little. Hands up: Who's been caught pocketing their kids' candy post–trick-or-treating? It's sacrilege, we know, but it's just too good to resist. But we have a better alternative. If you're looking for a tasty dessert (that also functions as eye candy), these mouthwatering recipes from Rosie Daykin's newest cookbook, Butter Celebrates, are exactly what you need.
Whether you're hosting a party or attending one, scatter these ghost meringues on a platter, give the gift of a spicy graham-coated caramel apple, or pile up a basket of doughnuts flavored with everyone's favorite spice of the season (pumpkin, duh). Tasty treats that double as tabletop décor? Yes, please. Ahead, Daykin takes us through each recipe so you can whip them up in the kitchen today. We even included all your bakeware necessities to treat your spooky do-gooders.
"I made my first doughnut at the ripe old age of 45. It's a good thing I waited this long to start, because based on how many I have consumed in the last three days, it freaks me out a little to think what that number might be if I'd started at 44. If your willpower is stronger than mine, these doughnuts will keep, when tightly wrapped, for up to three days."
Note: Recipe makes one dozen doughnuts and one dozen doughnut holes.
Ingredients for cinnamon sugar
2 cups granulated sugar
2 tbsp. ground cinnamon
Ingredients for doughnuts
1 1⁄2 cups all-purpose flour, plus extra for kneading
1 1⁄2 tsp. baking powder
1⁄2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1⁄2 tsp. salt
1⁄4 tsp. ground allspice
1⁄2 cup granulated sugar
2 tbsp. butter, room temperature
1⁄2 cup canned pumpkin
1 large egg
Directions for cinnamon sugar
In a large bowl, combine the sugar and cinnamon and set aside.
Directions for doughnuts
1. Follow the instructions for preparing your deep-fryer. I like to use a vegetable shortening to fry the doughnuts. Set the temperature gauge to 350°F.
2. On a large piece of parchment paper, sift the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, salt, and allspice. Set aside.
3. In a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, combine the sugar and butter, and beat on medium speed. Scrape down the sides of the bowl, and add the pumpkin and egg. Beat again until well combined.
4. Turn the mixer speed to low and slowly add the dry ingredients. Continue beating until just combined.
5. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface. It will be a little sticky as it is a soft dough. Give it a few kneads, and add a little flour as you go. Use a rolling pin to gently roll the dough out to about an inch thick.
Dip your cutter in flour and use it to cut out as many doughnuts and doughnut holes as you can and then reroll the scraps and repeat until all the dough has been used. Place the doughnuts on the tray lined with parchment.
6. Once the oil has reached the desired temperature, very gently place a couple of doughnuts in the oil, being careful to not drop them in. You don’t want to get splashed with hot oil. Allow the doughnuts to cook for 1 to 2 minutes per side (the doughnut holes will cook quicker because they are so much smaller). Use a metal slotted spoon to help turn the doughnuts over at the halfway point.
Once they're cooked, carefully lift the doughnuts and transfer them to the bowl of cinnamon sugar. Use another spoon to sprinkle the sugar over the top and sides of the doughnut and then gently lift it from the sugar and place it atop the tray lined with paper towel. Repeat with the balance of the doughnuts.
What you'll need
"This is a simple and silly little add-on to your Halloween menu. They are perfect atop a cupcake or as standalone little treats that look really cute when clustered together on a platter like a little ghost flash mob."
Note: Makes four dozen little ghosts, and the meringues will keep in an airtight container for up to one week.
1 recipe Little Meringue Booties Mix (page 94 of Butter Celebrates! cookbook)
1 cup dark chocolate chips
1. Preheat the oven to 225°F. Follow steps 1 and 2 for the Little Meringue Booties.
2. Fill your 14-inch piping bag fitted with a large plain tip with the meringue. Pipe a ghost onto the prepared cookie sheets by holding the bag upright with the tip pointing straight down. Apply pressure by squeezing the bag to release the meringue and create the base of the ghost. Gently start pulling up as you are squeezing to create the body of the ghost. Stop squeezing and pull up on the bag to create a little pointy top. Repeat, spacing the ghosts about 1 inch apart.
3. Refer back to the meringue recipe and follow step 4.
4. In a double boiler over medium heat, or a small heatproof bowl set over simmering water, melt the chocolate chips. Or melt the chocolate chips in your microwave by placing them in a small ceramic or glass bowl for 15 to 20 seconds, depending on the strength of your appliance.
5. Transfer the melted chocolate to your 10-inch piping bag fitted with a small plain tip. Carefully pipe two little eyes and a mouth on each ghost. Allow the meringues to sit for at least 1 hour for the chocolate to set.
What you'll need
"Who doesn't love food on a stick? Delicious and convenient."
Note: Makes six to eight caramel apples, and they'll keep in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to one week.
Ingredients for crumb mixture
1 cup graham crumbs
1 tbsp. ground cinnamon
1 tsp. ground nutmeg
1⁄2 tsp. ground cloves
2 tbsp. granulated sugar
2 tbsp. butter, melted
Ingredients for caramel apples
6 to 8 large apples (Granny Smiths recommended)
2 cups light brown sugar
1⁄4 cup water
1⁄4 cup corn syrup, light or golden
1⁄2 tsp. salt
2 tbsp. butter
2 tbsp. heavy cream
Directions for crumb mixture
1. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
2. In a medium bowl, combine the graham crumbs, spices, sugar, and melted butter. Use a wooden spoon to stir until fully combined. Spread the graham crumb mixture across one of the prepared cookie sheets and bake for 10 to 12 minutes, until lightly toasted. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool.
Directions for caramel apples
1. Pierce the top of each apple in its center with a Popsicle stick. Set aside.
2. In a medium pot set over high heat, combine the brown sugar, water, corn syrup, and salt. Clip the candy thermometer to the side of the pot.
3. Using a whisk, stir the mixture constantly until the temperature reaches 280°F. Use a wet pastry brush to wash off any sugar crystals that form on the sides of the pot.
4. Remove from the heat and stir in the butter and cream. Be careful as you do this as the caramel may bubble up and spit when these are first added.
5. Holding an apple by its stick, dip it in the caramel and slowly turn it to evenly coat. Lift the apple from the caramel and hold it over the pot until it stops dripping.
6. Roll the coated apple across the toasted graham crumbs and then give the bottom a little stamp to coat it too. Set it aside on the other prepared tray until the caramel has fully set, about 15 minutes. Repeat with the remaining apples.
What you'll need
Want more? Preorder your Butter cookbook to see the rest of the genius holiday recipes by baker Rosie Daykin below.
Excerpted from Butter Celebrates by Rosie Daykin. Copyright © 2016 by Random House. Excerpted by permission of Alfred A. Knopf, a division of Random House LLC. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.