Haunted House Halloween Cake

What scares me more than anything about Halloween?  Well, the thought of walking into a haunted house.  I’ll admit, I’m a big chicken when it comes to that kind of thing, but that doesn’t mean I can’t still be fascinated by it.  🙂  For months, the thought of a haunted house cake was in my head with what to make for Halloween.  Unfortunately, time caught up with me on preparing the chocolates that I wanted to make for the cake, and wasn’t able to do everything that I wanted.  There’s always next year to create an even better cake!

Naked cake!  As my dad would say, “Woo hoo!”  The base is a 2 layer 12 inch cake.  The bottom layer is yellow, and the top layer is chocolate.  Wanted to mix it up a little bit.  The house is made of an 8 inch cake that I cut up into 4 equal squares, and stacked the layers on top of each other.  I put the house on a cake board and inserted some dowel rods to make sure it didn’t sink into the bigger cake.  I also inserted a skewer stick (because they’re already pointed) to secure the house to the rest of the cake to keep it from falling over.

I started out by make some black icing using chocolate icing, and starred the color all around the sides, on the roof of the house, to make a front door and windows.  The yellow background gives it the night time look for the windows.  The little stones for the sidewalk are made out of chocolate.

All covered in icing.  I went with the purple to add a little color, but still wanted to use a darker color for the spooky effect.  I used a grass tip to pipe the green icing all around the top of the cake.  Perfecting the grass look with icing definitely takes some practice, so I still have more work to do!

I originally wanted to make a little graveyard in the front part of the yard with little tombstones, but was pressed for time.  So, I bought these little knick knacks at the local chocolate and cake decorating store to be the added decorations.  I was just telling my mom today that this was a trial run, and next year’s Halloween cake is going to be massive!  The letters are made out of chocolate.  I like the beware sign, because I can tell you right now…I wouldn’t want to go inside this house!  Spooky!

Mini Halloween Cupcakes

Super easy.  Super convenient.  Super cute.  That’s how I would describe these little guys.  I passed the mix and icing at the grocery store a couple of times, brainstorming what to do just as a little something extra.  Well, when I signed up to make mini cupcakes at my daughter’s daycare for their Halloween party, it was the perfect opportunity!

It’s white cake mix with the funfetti thrown into the batter to add some color.  Same with the pre-colored orange icing with the extra funfetti.

Follow the recipe directions on the box for the cake batter and mix thoroughly before stirring in the funfetti.

Using my cookie scoop, I filled it about half full and dispensed the batter into the pan with the Halloween cupcake liners, and baked at 350 degrees for about 14 minutes.

Personally, I wasn’t really impressed with this color orange that the icing came in the container, so I added some more orange food coloring to get a brighter shade that I wanted.

The color turned out great!  It also goes well with the “Trick or Treat” black cupcake liners that I bought from AC Moore.  The funfetti just added a little something extra cute to the cupcakes, and the little black ones are shaped like bats.  Love it!

Here they are, all packed up and ready to go to the Halloween party!  This size cupcakes will be great for the little kids.  It would’ve been great a few years ago to have known about these plastic containers that you can carry the mini-cupcakes in.  Too many times while traveling with these little guys, they toppled over in the car and turned into such a big mess.  These containers are perfect!  These mini cupcakes are perfect for last minute ideas without having to buy the pre-made cupcakes at the grocery store, and of course are very easy and cute.

Halloween Rice Krispie Treat Pumpkins

I’ll have to be honest here…I’ve been sampling rice krispie treats my entire life, and none of them have held a candle to my mom’s recipe.  She claims that she followed the recipe on the box, but I found out that’s not true.  She improvises on things that she decreases or adds.  Ah ha!  That’s where I get that quality from!  About 8 years ago, I attempted to make the treats on my own.  This was before I learned, well mostly everything I have learned, and they were a disaster.  This time, we put our heads together and made these for Halloween.

Look at this!  Okay, so this may not sound very appetizing, but I honestly couldn’t tell the difference between the regular and the healthier kind.  In fact, my brother jumped in and started eating them, and I tested him.  He gobbled his treat down quickly, and I asked how he liked it.  “Really good!” he said.  I smiled, “Oh, really?  They’re made out of gluten-free whole grain brown rice krispies.”  He looked confused.  “Well, maybe I do taste a little difference.”  Ha!  Just don’t tell your family when you use these.  🙂

First, melt the butter and the marshmallows.  The minis melt much better, making this first step easier.  Next, add the orange food coloring for desired color.

When the mixture is almost completely melted, take the pot off the stove and stir frequently until smooth.  Add the krispies, one cup at a time, stirring in gradually.  If you try to add all of the krispies at once, it makes it more difficult when stirring everything together.

I saw my mom rubbing butter on her hands, and she told me that this keeps the krispies from sticking to her hands, making it a lot easier when pressing into the pan to set or rolling into balls, like we do here.  The balls are about the size of the palm of my hand, and I pressed them down slightly to give them more of a pumpkin shape.

Here, I took melted chocolate and put it in a squeeze bottle…then piped it on the treats to give it more of a pumpkin look.  To top it off, we added a chocolate chip on top as the stump.  Although they’re not the exact shape of pumpkins, we thought they were super cute AND yummy!

Chocolate Chunk Halloween Cookies

I love Halloween.  Such a fun time of year to experiment with creativity in the kitchen, along with the costumes.  The funny costumes are my favorite.  This year, I’m dressing up as a chef, and my daughter is dressing up as a cupcake.  She is truly the best thing I’ve ever created.  And cutest.  And sweetest.  Anyway, this is just a spin on some cookies that I previously posted on here, the chocolate and peanut butter chip cookies.

Here are the chips.  I used one bag of dark chocolate chips, one bag of peanut butter chips, and chopped up chunks of orange chocolate to throw in to the mix to add some color for Halloween, and of course the extra flavor of vanilla flavored chocolate.

These guys bake perfectly on a baking stone in my oven at 350 degrees for 13 minutes.  If you haven’t read my recommendation for using a baking stone for cookies, here it is…I highly recommend using a baking stone for baking cookies.  😉  The bake perfectly even from top to bottom, so the color on top is the color on bottom, preventing the cookies from burning.  I made these with my family over at the house for dinner, and my brother came back several times, searching for more of these cookies.  They must be good, because he’s a picky eater.

Chocolate Covered Halloween Oreos

When I was in college, I discovered something incredible when I was doing some Christmas shopping at Wal Mart.  Walking down the sweets aisle, there they were.  White chocolate covered oreos.  My eyes got as big as golfballs and my mouth started to water.  I picked up the package and handled it carefully, turning it over, wondering if all dreams do come true.  The entire package disappeared in a couple of days, and you would’ve thought I was protecting a baby cub if anyone came near them.  But, to my disappointment, they disappeared off the shelves after the Christmas season was over, and I noticed that they were only available that time of year.  Luckily, making chocolate goodies is my specialty, so every time of the year is like Christmas!

But this time of year, it’s nice to make them special.  I got some orange chocolate wafers from a local chocolate store, but you can also buy it from AC Moore, Michaels, Hobby Lobby, etc.  It says “Milk’s Favorite Cookie” on the package.  Milk sure does have good taste.

With melting chocolate, make sure to melt the wafers in 30 second intervals, stirring between each interval.  I like to use a pair of tongs when dipping cookies into chocolate, just a personal preference.  Drop the cookie in and press down, then pull out with the pair of tongs and place on wax paper.

After the chocolate has hardened, melt some milk chocolate.  I prefer to use a squeeze bottle when decorating chocolate in this manner.  Pipe the chocolate design on top and let it set.

Ta Daaa!  Here they are, all finished and ready to be devoured.  I’m really not an artist, so their faces may not have come out perfectly…but they did the job.  Such cute little pumpkins, and they’re really good, too.